Successes in cybercrime fight highlighted in SOCA report

Last week the UK’s SOCA (Serious Organised Crime Agency) published its annual report examining its last year’s worth of operations, tackling everything from international trade in Class A drugs to those behind “letters from Nigeria” and other fraudulent scams.

SOCA report

The report includes a number of brief case studies about successes that SOCA has had in the last year. E-Crime, of course, is only a small part of what SOCA does, but the report does highlight their success in thwarting the UK’s largest ever attempted bank theft, where a gang secretly recorded usernames and passwords from the employees of the Sumitomo Matsui bank in London. If the heist had been successful, the criminals could have stolen £229 million.

In addition, the UK assisted the FBI in an undercover operation against the DarkMarket underground internet forum, where thousands of identify thieves, hackers and identity thieves had been selling information to each other.

FBI agent J Keith Mularski recently spoke about how he spent two years infiltrating the group, using the online handle “Master Splynter”, and ultimately ended up running the group’s servers from his office.

To date, 60 people have been arrested in connection with the DarkMarket operation – including 12 in the UK. One of those men, Adewale “fredbb” Taiwo, was arrested by Humberside Police and sentenced to five years in prison after admitting causing £600,000 of fraud.

You can download the full report (in PDF format) from SOCA’s website. There’s probably not as much in there about cybercrime as many readers of the Clu-blog would like, but it gives you a good feel for the wide scope of crime that falls under SOCA’s wing.