Operation “Pandora Storm” takes down international credit card fraud group

With fraud and identity attacks so prevalent in today's world, it is especially important for those who make use of credit card POS systems to process purchases. An international police force is reported to have taken down a ring of criminals who specialized in POS abuse and duplicating credit cards. Though the endeavor to catch the criminals, known as "Operation Pandora-Storm," appears to have been successful, it should serve as a reminder of the vulnerability of these systems and the importance of exercising caution when implementing them.

The group that was the target of the operation was based out of Romania, but the team assembled to carry out the mission contained members from several different countries, including the U.S. The cross-cultural alliance reflects the nature of the threat, which victimized card users in countries across Europe and also saw cloned cards used in South America and Asia. Procedures were led by DIICOT, the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism. 

Some of the evidence taken from sites used by the perpetrators includes copies of the information the group had obtained illegally, as well as the devices that were used. There are allegedly 70 people currently being detained for the crime, with four supposed to have headed individual sub-groups. A pair of workshops was also located, and 85 homes were searched as part of the effort.

The fraud was carried out in part through the use of fake electronic readers to steal user information, as well as malware for the continuation of the fraud.

There will always be groups like this one looking to take advantage of existing systems, which is what makes the use of high standards in credit card processing software so important.  Concerned merchants are encouraged to seek out trusted programs that can help them ensure safety for their customers and greater security for their business.

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