European Police Target Dark Web, Halt Millions in Losses

During a three months-long operation targeting dark web marketplaces, Europol and law enforcement agencies from Italy, Hungary and the U.K. analyzed 90,000 pieces of credit card data and prevented nearly €40 million (US$47.7 million) in losses.

Credit Card Dark WebDark web marketplaces, home of fraudsters buying and selling compromised credit card data. (Photo: Freepik)Operation Carding Action 2020 “sought to mitigate and prevent losses for financial institutions and cardholders,” the statement said, adding that it had targeted “fraudsters selling and purchasing compromised card details on websites selling stolen credit card data, known as card shops, and dark web marketplaces,” Europol said on Thursday.

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,” Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), Edvardas Šileris, said.

He warned that cybercriminals can “attack us in different ways,” which requires a robust response “not only from law enforcement, but also from the private sector.”

Europol stressed that the expansion of e-skimming attacks targeting merchant point of sale systems and e-commerce retailers also influenced the significant increase of prevented losses.

The agency reminded of its Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA) 2020, where it emphasized that “card-not-present fraud is a criminal threat in constant evolution, generating millions of euros of losses and affecting thousands of victims from across the EU.”