The FBI’s latest arrests in a two-year, international sting operation that has led to the capture of more than two-dozen suspected cybercriminals will likely drive crooks to adopt more sophisticated tactics to avoid detection, security experts say.
In June 2010, the FBI launched in the criminal underground an online forum called Carder Profit. The marketplace attracted criminals who bought and sold credit card, debit card and bank account numbers; social security numbers and other personal identification information; hacking tools and “drop services.” The latter refers to setting up places where goods bought with stolen credit cards can be delivered and then picked up.
Should such sting operations have a chilling effect on the use of underground markets, it’s likely to be temporary, experts said. “One can reasonably assume that the recent law enforcement activity has been disruptive to illicit online marketplaces at one level, driving them further underground,” Stephen Cobb, security evangelist with ESET, said by email.