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Operation Carding Action 2020 Cracks Down Credit Card Scammers

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In a joint operation dubbed as “Carding Action 2020,” lead by Police authorities of Italy and Hungary, and assisted by authorities of the U.K. and Europol, nearly 90,000 pieces of card data that were being sold and purchased on the dark web, has been seized.

The operation was also assisted by a private cybersecurity firm, Group-IB, whose security researchers helped in tracking down the scammers’ activities on various underground forums. As per reports, the crackdown has prevented losses of approximately €40 million ($47 million).

Operation Carding Action 2020

The law enforcement agencies undertook the operation Carding Action 2020 with just the aim of targeting fraudsters selling and purchasing compromised credit card details on the dark web. Europol played a pivotal role in coordinating between the agencies of different countries, including their private sector partners. Europol’s experts provided an operational analysis of larger subsets of data and lent their expertise in the field of payment card fraud and scams.

In the operation that lasted over three months’ time, over 90,000 pieces of card data were analyzed by the authorities and Group-IB. This data included credit card data compromised during phishing attacks on websites and endpoint devices infected with banking Trojans, hijacked e-commerce websites, and JS-sniffers.

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Edvardas Šileris, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), said, “Cybercrime can affect all aspects of our daily life, from paying in the supermarket, transferring money to our friends to using online communication tools or Internet of Things devices at home. Cybercriminals can attack us in different ways, and this requires a robust response not only from law enforcement but also from the private sector.”

E-skimming or Magecart attacks have surged in the recent past as the pandemic meant more and more people shopped online. Thus, Edvardas Šileris’s suggestion of a collaboration between private players and law enforcement agencies needs to be given a serious thought.

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