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Cybercrime busts net data-theft suspects
Published: 2007-06-27

Two operations run by the the U.S. Secret Service led to the arrests of French and Canadian citizens on charges stemming from the theft of user names and passwords and illegal carding activity, the federal agency said this week.

In Operation Lord Kaisersose, the Secret Service's Miami field office identified an individual, known online as "Lord Kaisersose," that had allegedly stolen more than 28,000 compromised accounts and used the information to commit more than $14 million in fraud. The investigation led the French National Police to arrest a French citizen and three associates, the Secret Service said in a statement. A second operation led the Calgary Police Service to arrest an Alberta resident on charges of possessing and trading credit-card skimming devices and a French resident on charges of illegal carding activities.

The Secret Service stressed that the operations, as with most other Internet investigations, would not have been successful without international cooperation.

"Technology has forever changed the way commerce is conducted, virtually erasing geographic boundaries," Michael Stenger, assistant director of the U.S. Secret Service Office of Investigations, said in a statement (PDF). "While these advances continue to have a profound impact on the financial crimes we investigate, sharing information and resources through international partnerships is the best way to combat these types of crimes."

Most cybercrime investigations have had international components. An investigation into online funds transfer service E-Gold has been complicated by the fact that the company is registered in Nevis, West Indies, even though the company's assets appear to be entirely based in Florida. Operation Cardkeeper -- an FBI investigation into the illegal trading of credit-card numbers, so-called "carding" -- led to the arrest last year of three people in the U.S. and another 13 in Poland.

The U.S. Secret Service is developing the curriculum for the National Computer Forensics Institute in Hoover, Alabama, which will train both U.S. and international law enforcement personnel.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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