36 domains have been seized by UK and US officials in a financial fraud crackdown

UK, US Federal Authorities Seize 36 Domains Connected to Financial Fraud

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Federal authorities seized 36 domains used to sell compromised card data on Thursday. In a press release, the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency says it worked with the FBI and US Department of Justice to take down the sites that sold stolen payment card and online bank account details.

According to SOCA, the sites used ecommerce platforms known as Automated Vending Carts so criminals could sell large quantities of data.

The seizures come a month after the US Secret Service arrested 19 people across nine states allegedly involved in buying and selling stolen debit and credit card information on a website called Carder.su.

Domain seizures can be a lengthy and complicated process for web hosts and domain registrars, and with that in mind, ICANN recently released a paper that explains the factors of consideration and the groups involved with domain seizures.

SOCA says it has been tracking the development of AVCs and monitoring their use by cybercriminals, and has recovered more than 2.5 million items of compromised personal and financial information over the past two years. The identification of those details are estimated to have prevented $809.3 million in financial fraud.

On Wednesday morning, two men were arrested in connection to making large scale purchases of compromised data from AVC sites. An AVC operator in Macedonia was arrested by the Macedonian Ministry of Interior Cyber Crime Unit.

Aside from Macedonia, SOCA has been working with law enforcement agencies in Germany, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Australia, and Romania.

“This operation is an excellent example of the level of international cooperation being focused on tackling online fraud,” Lee Miles, head of cyber operations for SOCA said in a statement. “Our activities have saved business, online retailers and financial institutions potential fraud losses estimated at more than half a billion pounds, and at the same time protected thousands of individuals from the distress caused by being a victim of fraud or identity crime.”

Talk back: How effective do you think these domain seizures are? Do you know anything about AVC sites? Let us know in a comment.

About the Author

Nicole Henderson is the Editor in Chief of the WHIR, where she covers daily news and features online. She has a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto. You can find her on Twitter @NicoleHenderson.

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