An international team of cops has taken down 36 websites that were being used to shift vast quantities of stolen credit card and bank account data.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency in the UK, along with the FBI and the US Department of Justice, and agencies from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Ukraine and Romania pulled the sites offline.
Criminals were using these sites' automated vending carts to sell batches of stolen private information quickly and easily.
The agencies have already recovered over 2.5 million items of illicitly obtained personal and financial data during the last two years of the operation, which they have passed on to financial institutions to prevent potential fraud. This has stopped over £500m worth of international fraud.
The sting also rounded up two men who are suspected of buying the compromised information on a large scale.
“This operation is an excellent example of the level of international cooperation being focused on tackling online fraud," Lee Miles, head of cyber ops at SOCA, said in a canned statement.
"Our activities have saved business, online retailers and financial institutions potential fraud losses estimated at more than half a billion pounds, and at the same time protected thousands of individuals from the distress caused by being a victim of fraud or identity crime.” ®