Seven Arrested for Theft of 500,000 Credit Cards

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The Australian Federal Police (AFP) recently announced that seven people had been arrested in Romania, charged with stealing 500,000 Australian credit cards, 30,000 of which were used for fraudulent transactions that totaled AU $30 million.

"The syndicate searched the Internet looking for weaknesses in secure retail systems and remotely hacked the computers of more than 100 Australian grocery stores, petrol stations and other retail outlets," writes The Australian's Lanai Vasek. "Police would not say which retailers were subject to the attack but that systems had been updated and Australia was now safer from such theft."

"In March this year, the AFP worked with Romanian National Police to trace the transactions back to a crime ring in Romania," writes ZDNet's Michael Lee. "[Tuesday], Romanian law enforcement authorities detained 16 people and subsequently arrested seven, shutting the syndicate down. The AFP is expected to continue working with Romanian authorities throughout the prosecution phase there."

"A senior AFP agent was at the Romanian command centre in Bucharest on Tuesday as more than 200 local police raided 36 gang-related properties in six Romanian regions," writes The Herald Sun's Keith Moor.

"This is the largest data breach investigation ever undertaken by Australian law enforcement," AFP manager for cyber crime operations Glen McEwen said in a statement. "Without the cooperation of 13 other countries, along with Australia’s banking and finance sector, we would not have been able to track these illegal transactions to the criminal network in Romania. Today’s successful outcome is a culmination of 17 months of hard work with these partners."