SOCA reveals its online security battle

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) has revealed more on its fight against serious international cybercriminals this year, particularly its battle against fraudsters forum DarkMarket, in its annual report.

SOCA led the UK end of an FBI undercover operation against DarkMarket, which was known to deal with stolen personal information that criminals used to profit.

Adewale Taiwo, a Nigerian known as fredbb' in DarkMarket, admitted causing 600,000 of fraud. He was arrested by Humberside Police and sentenced to five years imprisonment for conspiracy to defraud.

As well as the two SOCA operations against DarkMarket members, it also provided intelligence and forensic capability to the City of London, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire and Humberside Police.

Twelve of the 60 suspects were arrested in the UK, potentially saving $70 million (46 million) in international losses, and recovering over 16,000 compromised cards.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith said in a statement: "The approach SOCA is taking is evolving to deal with the changing picture of organised crime and it is working to reduce harm at national and local levels."

SOCA also revealed details about its investigation of the attempted theft of 229 million from the Sumitomo Matsui Banking Corporation.

The organisation went to work in investigating the complex web' of companies and accounts which had been set up to launder money, as well as catch the insider' and two other members of the gang who had escaped arrest, through circulating CCTV footage in Europe.

The report also detailed SOCA's work against mass-market fraud (such as phishing scams over the internet), working with the Office of Fair Trading, which estimated that UK victims lost 3.5 billion every year to it.

An international working group has been established, chaired jointly by SOCA and the US Department of Justice, to increase understanding as well as innovation in tackling it.

SOCA deals with the more serious organised side of e-crime, while the Police e-Crime Unit now deals with smaller scale fraud activity in Britain.