From “Operation Card Shop” to “Operation High Roller,” the cybersecurity headlines this week sounded more like something out of a Las Vegas casino.
Keeping a poker face for nearly two years, on Tuesday the US Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed its major sting operation to crack down on hackers, announcing the agency had arrested 24 people around the globe for engaging in credit card and banking cyber crime.
Dubbed “Operation Card Shop,” undercover FBI agents set up an online forum called “Card Profit,” where hackers could communicate and buy, sell and trade stolen credit card numbers and other personal banking information.
According to court papers, Card Profit allowed the FBI to monitor, record and track the hackers as they attempted to exploit the financial information they received through the forum.
“From New York to Norway and Japan to Australia, Operation Card Shop targeted sophisticated, highly organized cyber criminals,” said Janice Fedarcyk, assistant director of the FBI’s New York office. “Spanning four continents, the two-year undercover FBI investigation is the latest example of our commitment to rooting out rampant criminal behavior on the Internet.”
But the FBI may have more work to do, according to a report published online this week by security firms McAfee and Guardian Analytics.
In the report, the companies’ researchers unveiled the discovery of a highly sophisticated cyber attack targeting international banking services in Europe, Latin America and the US.
Being called “Operation High Roller,” the malicious code has intercepted banking transactions, stealing large amounts of money from high-balance financial accounts, with some fraudulent transfers as high as $130,000.
“Debunking the popular wisdom that only big banks are affected, the research documents attacks at every class of financial institution: credit union, large global ban and regional bank,” the researchers noted in the report.
According to McAfee and Guardian Analytics’ estimates, the criminals behind the malware have already netted at least $78 million since deploying the attack.
So, with all of the latest hacking attempts happening across the globe, what is cybersecurity really worth?
According to a research report released Thursday, the market is expected to be valued at $120.1 billion by 2017.
Back in 2011, the cybersecurity market had an estimated worth of $63.7 billion, with companies like Cisco Systems, Check Point Software Technologies, Kaspersky Lab, Fortinet, IBM, CA Technologies, McAfee and Symantec listed as “key market players.”
Let’s just say, if you’re up for a gamble, it seems cybersecurity is your best bet.