Authorities bust global credit card fraud network targeting POS terminals and ATMs in Europe

The criminal group rigged POS devices in European shopping centers with rogue card readers and malware, Europol said

A global credit card fraud network was shut down on Thursday as the result of an international police operation called "Pandora-Storm" that saw the participation of 20 law enforcement agencies from Europe, America and Australia, Europol announced,

The organized crime group stole credit and debit card details and PIN codes by manipulating point-of-sale (POS) terminals in big shopping centers across Europe using sophisticated methods, the European law enforcement agency said Thursday in a press release.

Members of the group used the stolen data to create counterfeit payment cards that were then used for illegal transactions outside of Europe, in countries like the U.S., Argentina, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The credit card fraud network was primarily controlled from Romania and affected around 36,000 card holders from 16 European countries, according to Europol. In addition to physically manipulating POS terminals and rigging them with rogue credit card readers, the group also used malicious software developed for such systems and engaged in online fraud activities, the agency said.

Illegal electronic equipment, stolen financial data, cloned cards and cash were seized during house searches in Romania and the U.K., Europol said. Two illegal workshops for producing hardware and software designed for POS manipulation have been discovered and shut down, the agency said.

The investigation was run by the Romanian Cybercrime Unit and a specialized division of prosecutors from the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) with support from law enforcement agencies from other countries that collaborated through Europol.

Eighty-five house searches were conducted across multiple Romanian counties, DIICOT said Thursday in a press release. At the same time, property searches were also being conducted in the U.S., Germany, U.K., and the Dominican Republic, the agency said.

Seventy people have been detained in Romania and have been brought in for questioning at the DIICOT central headquarters. The agency has identified four individuals who are believed to be the leaders of several criminals groups that formed the credit card fraud network. Combined, these groups have over 100 members, DIICOT said.

The groups did not only target POS terminals, but also ATMs with the use of skimming devices, DIICOT said. The fraud losses are estimated at over €2 million (US$2.5 million).

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Topics: Criminal, physical security, security, legal, fraud, cybercrime, malware
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?