ID theft gang takedown signifies progress

The announcement this week that 17 people were indicted in connection with a global identity theft and cybercrime ring is no insignificant bust.

This particular takedown is noteworthy because it nailed players across the supply chain - the masterminds, the sellers of the stolen credit cards, the money launderers - in addition to some of the buyers.

This, according to Symantec researcher Zulfikar Ramzen, shows that authorities here in the United States are getting better at training and employing stronger forensics capabilities to hunt down not just the bit players but also "the big fish." Credit institutions such as the National White Collar Crime Center and the soon-to-be-opened National Computer Forensic Institute.

Of course, had those masterminds not been based here, it's unlikely we'd have seen them in handcuffs. Clearly international cooperation among law enforcement is crucial.

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) may find itself in the leadership role. The France-based group recently proposed the creation of global and regional centers to investigate cybercrime.

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