U.S. authorities announced on Tuesday the arrest of 24 suspected hackers tagged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as responsible for the pilferage of credit cards and bank accounts information from Asia, Australia, Europe and the United States.
In a statement, New York and FBI officials revealed that the global sting operation, which was commenced two years ago, netted 11 suspects in America, another six in the United Kingdom and the rest of the hackers arrested in Japan and Australia with help of local authorities in the areas.
The joint operations, the FBI said, prevented the loss of $US205 million from the more than 400,000 credit and debit accounts that were successfully accessed by the suspected hackers since 2010.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan said that three men were apprehended in New York, with Reuters identifying the two suspects as Joshua Hicks and Mir Islam.
The two New York suspects have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges and access device fraud charges, authorities said.
Mr Islam, specifically, has been pinpointed by authorities as person of interest in the hacking attack that was directed last week at microblogging site Twitter.
All of the suspects, authorities said, face up to 40 years of jail terms if proven guilty.
FBI officials said that its crackdown against the suspects started when the agency established an online forum it called 'Carder Profit', which functioned as the hackers' secret web nook where they exchanged stolen credit card and bank account information.
After mustering enough evidence to pin down the suspects, the forum was closed down in May, the FBI said, which also signalled the actual clamp down on the hackers, who ran their operations from four continents.
According to Reuters, U.S. authorities also charged hotel operator Wyndham Worldwide Corp for allegedly its failure to secure card account information of its unsuspecting clients that led to the theft of more than $US10 million.
"Clever computer criminals operating behind the supposed veil of the internet are still subject to the long arm of the law," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that was issued following the revelation of the FBI operation.
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