Action against digital skimming reveals 443 compromised online merchants

Europol, law enforcement authorities from 17 countries and the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) have joined forces with the private sector partners, including Group-IB and Sansec, to fight digital skimming attacks.

With the support of national Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT), the two-month action has enabled Europol and its partners to notify 443 online merchants that their customers’ credit card or payment card data had been compromised. This action, led by Greece, falls under the EMPACT priority, which targets the criminals behind online fraud schemes.

Digital skimming is the act of stealing credit card information or payment card data from customers of an online store. Criminals use sophisticated information technology to intercept data during the online checkout process, without customers or online merchants noticing anything unusual.
Data theft often goes unnoticed

Digital skimming attacks can go undetected for a long time. Payment or credit card information stolen as a result of these criminal acts is often offered for sale on illicit marketplaces on the darknet. Customers are usually not aware that their payment details have been compromised until the criminals have already used them to carry out an unauthorised transaction. Generally, it is difficult for customers to find the point of compromise.

Europol is participating in the digital skimming action with the aim of informing affected e-commerce platforms and other online merchants that they have been unintentional points of compromise for such stolen payment data. Europol, national law enforcement authorities, national Computer Security Incident Response Teams and trusted private industry partners identify affected online merchants and provide technical support to these platforms to resolve the issues and protect future customers.

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