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FBI Says Dark Market Sting Netted 56 Arrests

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the precise-number-on-those-prevented-thefts-fellas dept.

Security 130

narramissic writes "A two-year undercover FBI sting operation targeting online 'carder' forums hosted on the DarkMarket.ws Web site has netted 56 arrests and prevented about $70 million in fraud losses, the FBI said Thursday. DarkMarket.ws was widely used by online scammers to buy and sell stolen credit card numbers, other financial information, and even the devices used to make fake banking cards. Before it was shut down earlier this month, the Web site had registered more than 2,500 members. Although Dark Market was thought to have been administered by a criminal going by the name Master Splyntr, German Public Radio reported on Monday that the FBI had been running a sting operation on the site since late 2006, and that Master Splyntr was actually an FBI agent named J. Keith Mularski." Of course, they say it in German; non-German speakers may want to consult the Babelfish.

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agent identities (5, Interesting)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410605)

Why does the FBI publicize the names of their undercover agents?

Re:agent identities (5, Funny)

drix (4602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410637)

No kidding, I thought the same thing. Hope that guy has Lifelock [lifelock.com] .

Re:agent identities (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411833)

That doesn't bug me as much as the lack of oversight on these "stings".Did they have an independent branch keeps logs of all conversations online so we know they didn't toss out any "unusable"(entrapment) transactions? And don't think cops won't try to set you up? BS! I'll relate a little personal story just to give a taste.

The good old '90s was the time,where Windows was built on top of DOS and was as stable as a crackhead on bad dope,and I ran a chat room for Windows errors. You know the type,"OMG this thing runs for 5 minutes and then turns blue and says gibberish!".So I'm fixing a VXD error when suddenly this "chick" comes on and starts hitting on me HARD. At first I tell her she is in the wrong site,this is for Windows PC errors,etc but she just won't stop. One filthy suggestion after another and "What's a matter,you don't like hot teen girls or something?" Finally I say " Look I'm working here. Take your dumb jailbait ass and go to a chat site and let those that are having a problem with their PCs get the help they need before I block your IP!"

The screen goes dead for a few minutes,then returns with "This is Officer Jaynes of The Arizona PD working with a federal task force to catch online predators. I just wanted to thank you,for you are the first person who hasn't taken the bait in nearly six months and I was beginning to think all guys were predators." I said "Well considering IANAL but even I know that what you were doing is entrapment,congratulations! I have just looked up the IP range for the Arizona PD and as soon as I push this button you're blacklisted. Buh Bye!"

So I think that the SAME rules that apply to meatspace should be applied to cyberspace. If the FBI does a sting in meatspace everything from the initial conversation right up to the arrest is taped,usually on video,so we can see that no entrapment was going on and to give the FBI extra evidence at trial. So any FBI servers should be managed by a separate company and every single thing going through them should be logged,period. Because I am all for catching pervs and ID thieves,with all the stunts like this [abovetopsecret.com] ,where they didn't even bother to log referrers so a rickroll could have ended with you in jail or dead,frankly I don't trust them as far as I can throw their server blade.

Re:agent identities (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412003)

Wow that [cnet.com] 's insane!

At trial, defendant suggested unrealistic, unlikely explanations as to how his computer was linked to the post.

How unrealistic is "someone sent me a link"? It's entirely plausible that the link text he clicked was completely unrelated; even if it's unlikely and unrealistic, you have to have AIRTIGHT evidence if you're locking someone in a cage for a decade.

Re:agent identities (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412299)

There is no such thing as "airtight" evidence. There's always the possibility of "a string of coincidences".

This is not a problem with FBI agents, with oversight, or with anything, but a basic mathematical problem. It manifests itself when trying to measure the speed of light, and it manifests itself (a LOT worse) when trying to determine if someone is guilty of a crime. It even manifests itself in mathematical disciplines.

And it can't be eliminated ... ever (as in in mathematics there's a proof that eliminating doubt from even natural number theory would take an infinite amount of work to be done, for every other discipline it's beyond trivial to prove that there is no certainty without at least infinite checks (yes you can check more than infinitely many times) ).

If you demand airtight evidence, you couldn't lock up Bill Ayers for bombing. You couldn't accuse a falling snowflake of being white. You couldn't say that Hitler harmed even a single fly.

There is no such thing as airtight evidence. We still need to deal with criminals. Therefore less than ideal evidence is going to have to do. Deal with it.

Re:agent identities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25412365)

Hell, I saw a girl on Myspace who went on a rampage about a site that she said was promoting kiddie porn. The problem was the stupid bitch provided a fucking link and some of us just won't take someone's word for it. Well, the link did NOT contain kiddie porn though it could have been in the "members area" but the thing that kills me still is that she was stupid enough to provide a link as though nobody was going to click on it to determine if she was full of shit.

I mean I saw a bitch go completely apeshit over the "bonzai kitten" joke site claiming it was real and then defended her idiocy by claiming the site still should be banned when she was shown it was a joke, so I don't take someone's word for anything these days.

Anyway, what if someone accidentally clicked on a link? I have a kind of a tic when I hold my right-mouse button finger at a certain angle; if I had it on my left-mouse finger, I could accidentally click on anything on my desktop.

Re:agent identities (1)

conlaw (983784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412375)

It's entirely plausible that the link text he clicked was completely unrelated; even if it's unlikely and unrealistic, you have to have AIRTIGHT evidence if you're locking someone in a cage for a decade.

In the first place, evidence in a criminal trial doesn't need to be "airtight"; the standard is "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the defendent did what he was accused of.

Second, the defendant has a much storong case if he can show that the illegal images were received in a post from someone with whom he reglarly corresponds, titled, "My 4-year-old's birthday party." Responding to a an anonymous post or one from a stranger, titled, "Sex with my 4-year-old" pretty much establishes an intent to view illegal material.

Re:agent identities (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412479)

Responding to a an anonymous post or one from a stranger, titled, "Sex with my 4-year-old" pretty much establishes an intent to view illegal material.

Yes, if they really did respond to that post. Do you know what a rickroll is? Anyone could send you a link titled "check it out, tiger riding a horse!" which takes you to the same exact page as that anonymous post. Only thing you'd be guilty of is stupidity for clicking on a link in an email. Only thing you'd be found guilty of is child abuse.

Re:agent identities (4, Funny)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412441)

How unrealistic is "someone sent me a link"? It's entirely plausible that the link text he clicked was completely unrelated

Yeah, tell me about it. [goatse.cz]

(Disclaimer, that might be goatse, but I was too chicken-shit to find out for certain.)

Re:agent identities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25413873)

Well, the fact that he was probrably a MEMBER on the site says something. They have clearly not arrested someone for simply visiting the site, have they? Foolish.

Re:agent identities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25412273)

You sir need to watch the video about why you should never talk to police officers EVER. The main reason is because officers are NOT required to keep video or audio of their transactions by any means and if they happen to make video or audio recordings, they can just as easily take notes that say "the defendant said/did this" and destroy the media. I'm sure one of the lawyer-types here will clarify it a bit but I know for certain it's the truth, and it's another method they use to snare you once you've spoken to them.

Re:agent identities (3, Insightful)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412799)

lol.

You really need to brush up on what entrapment is.

They where NOT trying to entrap you. Selling you narcotics and then arresting you for owning them is NOT entrapment.

Your story is suspect anyway. Any cop worth (his / her) salts isn't going to be telling you that you are a good boy afterwards for not taking the bait.

Looking up IP space for the police? LOL. Heard of AOL dialup?

This post stinks of bullshit. I'm removing my shoes and walking on. snopes couldn't even stand for this one.

--Toll_Free

Re:agent identities (2, Interesting)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25414111)

Selling you narcotics itself in an of itself is not entrapment. Repeatedly pestering you to buy narcotics until you do is entrapment.

Cops are, by and large, dumb. Local (exclusing large cities) and state cops are typically dumber than federal agents. Even for TFA, the FBI was logging into their server from a government IP block. I'm typically skeptical, but I don't see anything glaringly inconsistent with this anecdote. And quite frankly, there have been many such sting operations, and I wouldn't be surprised if a /.er got to experience it firsthand.

Actually, I wouldn't be too surprised if a /.er got caught by such an operation and thrown in prison either...

Re:agent identities (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415709)

Selling you narcotics and then arresting you for owning them is NOT entrapment.

Then what, pray tell, IS? Sure looks like entrapment to me, and if I wind up on a jury where some poor slob got busted for buying dope from a cop, I'll hold out for a "not guilty" verdict. Actually since I don't believe the feds have the constitutional authority to outlaw drugs (they needed a constitutional amendment to outlaw alcohol, and I see no difference between it and any other drug) if I'm on the jury on a drug case, he or she will get off.

If a cop pretends to be a whore and walks up and says "suck your dick for twenty dollars?" that's entrapment. If she just LOOKS like a hooker and walks the streets like a whore (actually any Secret Police is a whore in my book) and you offer HER twenty bucks to suck your dick, first you're paying too much and second it's NOT entrapment.

Sitting outside a dope house and busting you as you come out isn't, as I found out when I drove two friends to a house in the ghetto to meet a slumlord who needed slums cleaned after evicting his impoverished tenents.

It and another episode of the cops abusing my Constitutional rights is journaled here [slashdot.org] .

Re:agent identities (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25413431)

"So I think that the SAME rules that apply to meatspace should be applied to cyberspace."

Meatspace = cyberspace, haven't you ever seen goatse?

Re:agent identities (1)

spohnsoftware (963349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410669)

I am sure it's real, just like you used your real name to be one of the lucky 2,500, right?

Re:agent identities (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410671)

The German radio station did.

Re:agent identities (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410759)

And how did they got it? ..

Re:agent identities (2, Funny)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411015)

They need to do way instain fbi> who kill thier agnets, becuse these anget can't fright back? It was on the news this morning a mother in DE, who had kill her three agent. They are taking the three feds back to New York to lady to rest my pary are with the father who lost his feds ; i am truley sorry for Mueller's lots.

Re:agent identities (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411447)

They need to do way instain fbi> who kill thier agnets, becuse these anget can't fright back? It was on the news this morning a mother in DE, who had kill her three agent. They are taking the three feds back to New York to lady to rest my pary are with the father who lost his feds ; i am truley sorry for Mueller's lots.

You must have used the bablefish translator too.......

Or taken transation lessons from it.

I think you heartfelt sentiment was lost amid the incoherency of your post...

Re:agent identities (3, Insightful)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411919)

Re:agent identities (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 5 years ago | (#25413063)

Holy crap, I missed a meme !!!

back to meme school for me.

Carry on.

I wondered what that sound was.

Re:agent identities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25414073)

I wondered what that sound was.

In this case it would seem to be the sound of an epeen narrowly missing your head. Good thing you ducked.

Re:agent identities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25411549)

Maybe this is code.. from all our long lost relatives.. all rolled in to one message. Compressed, compact and confusing!

Re:agent identities (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412169)

Court records, including the names of testifying witnesses, are public.

Re:agent identities (2, Insightful)

Riot.ATL (1365395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410827)

Might be a pseudonym?

Re:agent identities (4, Informative)

autocracy (192714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410845)

Well, they're not undercover, per se. Whenever a case comes to trial, the officer's name always ends up on the record. Further, I presume there is no such thing as a career undercover officer. I believe the way they, and most police organizations at a lower level, work is that willing officers rotate into undercover operations for a period of time, and then rotate back to "real" duty of some kind.

Re:agent identities (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411247)

If you read the outline of what the website admin says at the end, spoken like a true agent,
or not.....I am not so sure this dude is an agent as the german police would want you to think, maybe just want to discredit him in case he spawns another website with his name attached to it.

Re:agent identities (1)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411337)

Because he's done being undercover after that. I don't know about Germany, but if it's anything like the U.S. you have a right to face your accusers. That means his cover would be blown in court anyways. At least this way he gets some kudo's and he'll probably get a promotion out of that field work anyways.

Re:agent identities (1)

Spice Consumer (1367497) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412757)

Either way their names come up in the court case. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Escabar [wikipedia.org] actually had people that worked for him take the fall and have the lawyers report this information to him so he could weed out the moles in his organization.

Re:agent identities (1)

Crazy Taco (1083423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25413379)

Although Dark Market was thought to have been administered by a criminal going by the name Master Splyntr, German Public Radio reported on Monday that the FBI had been running a sting operation on the site since late 2006, and that Master Splyntr was actually an FBI agent named J. Keith Mularski."

I'm surprised anyone trusted him. Had I been a scammer, I would have only done business with Shredder or Krang. Everyone knows Master Splynter is one of the good guys! With this guy, I'd have been afraid four mutant turtles would show up and club me themselves!

Re:agent identities (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415497)

You don't have to say "f*ck", this is slashdot. You can say "fuck" here. Likewise you don't have to call your spade a "pointy shovel".

And you don't have to call the Secret Police "undercover agents". They'd goddamned secret police, and no free society needs them. If your law enforcement officers are incompetent to catch criminals, maybe you need better cops or better laws.

Re:agent identities (1)

infonography (566403) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415849)

Because if they don't Dick Cheney and Robert Novak will do it for them.

Master Splynter? (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410617)

Why are we wasting our time on rodents when the Shredder is still out there?

Re:Master Splynter? (1)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410729)

The FBI has apparently taken down Master Splinter. Quick brothers, to the Turtle Van! Haha.

This bust really alters the context of the ninja in Ninja Turtles, doesn't it?

Re:Master Splynter? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412661)

Why are we wasting our time on rodents when the Shredder is still out there?

I suspect the cybernetic hand of Baxter Stockman is somehow behind this...

Ich fuer ein (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410625)

Ich fuer ein sage wilkommen zu unseren neuen ... ah, fuck it.

Re:Ich fuer ein (2, Informative)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410765)

Ich zumindest begrüße unsere neuen Oberhäupter.

Re:Ich fuer ein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25410777)

Ich zumindest begrüße unsere neuen Oberhäupter.

Shouldn't that spell Führer?

Re:Ich fuer ein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25411551)

yeah... and it's only one.
that makes
Ich zumindest begrüße unseren neuen Führer.

Re:Ich fuer ein (4, Funny)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411205)

man, I took German for 3 years in school, and the only words i recognized were 'ein' and 'wilkommen'. Heres one for ya:
Zwei Kartoffel warst sitzen in der bakofen.
Die erste kartoffel sagt, "Est ist sehr heist!"
Und die zweite kartoffel sagt, "Du meine gute! Ein sprechen kartoffel!."
-- Die Kartoffel witz
Sorry bout the spelling ;)

Re:Ich fuer ein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25412473)

Pretty good, though in the original context, "welcome" might translate better to s. freuen auf.

Re:Ich fuer ein (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415925)

The literal translation of "to welcome someone" is "jemanden willkommen heißen", but I shortened that to "begrüßen".

Re:Ich fuer ein (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410791)

Wenn ist das Nunstuck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beirhund das Oder die Flipperwald gersput.

Re:Ich fuer ein (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411521)

I tried to Babelfish that and the whole site went down... what gives?!

Re:Ich fuer ein (1)

durnurd (967847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411661)

I assume this is the "funniest joke of all time", yes?

I'm particularly fond of this one that doesn't translate well:

"Was ist darunter?"
"Worunter?"
"Unterhosen?! Hah!"

Re:Ich fuer ein (0)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410883)

English speakers: I, for one welcome our new ...ah, fuck it.

Re:Ich fuer ein (0)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410897)

And before you ask, no I didn't use a machine translator.

Re:Ich fuer ein (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25410949)

Well done. Would you like a biscuit?

I don't speak any German and I knew what it meant.

Re:Ich fuer ein (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412113)

Well done. Would you like a biscuit?
I don't speak any German and I knew what it meant.

Which isn't too difficult, as it's german wording, but in english grammar - which sounds awkward to german ears and thus is funny in more that one way.

But it also works the other way around. English wording directly translated whilst keeping the german grammar is particularly funny as those germans understanding english will recognise the awkward and funny german grammar in english sentences inmediately and then recognise the directly translated german compound-words on a second parse. Which is even more funny because the german language has many compound words. Exceptionally funny with proverbs and such that can't all be translated directly without transforming them.

Such as: "By your english there runs it me yes cold the back down." or "By your english there get I yes a circle-run-together-break."

And what about you, speak you english?

secret police; jobs depend on illuminati regime (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25410697)

maybe they'll find something useful to do.

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The question. (5, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410809)

I think the real question is this:

How exactly does one pay online for a credit card number?

Re:The question. (5, Interesting)

ragethehotey (1304253) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410835)

Western Union or E-Gold, both relatively untraceable when used by people that know what they are doing. (Which is why a trust-based system such as an online forum is essential to the entire enterprise being able to function, and even so, criminals ripping off other criminals runs rampant)

Re:The question. (2, Funny)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411375)

criminals ripping off other criminals runs rampant

Are you saying there really is no honor among thieves?

Re:The question. (3, Insightful)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411485)

Thieves, politicians, corporate executives, you name it...

Re:The question. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415771)

Thieves, politicians, corporate executives

That statement is self-redundant. Politicians and corporate executives ARE thieves. I'd trust a shoplifting crackhead before I trusted a politician or a corporate executive.

Re:The question. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25410917)

E-Currency

Re:The question. (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411693)

I think the real question is this:

How exactly does one pay online for a credit card number?

With a credit card?

Re:The question. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412647)

A stolen one near it's credit limit.

protection racket (1)

fatalwall (873645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25410911)

So are they saying the form was run by the FBI?

GOLLY!! We better warn the Turtles that Splinter is also Shredder!!

Re:protection racket (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411125)

My thought exactly. At first I was thinking, good show. Our tax dollars at work. Then when I read that the FBI ran the site I was thinking, how can this not be entrappment?

I suppose the FBI will try to use the knowledge and people they gain from this sting to persue other cases. I can't see how they could prosecute the people they catch on this site that would not have existed if the FBI did not set it up.

Re:protection racket (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411481)

I'm sure they didn't go so far as to say "hey, talk about stealing credit cards here!"

Giving someone a room to talk in is hardly entrapment.

Re:protection racket (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411559)

Entrapment would be if they found people and pursued them, "Wanna buy some credit card numbers? Huh? Huh? Well dooya?!"

It seems to me that if you set up a front and people come to you soliciting illegal transactions that it's not entrapment at all. They had already decided to do the illegal thing and found you.

Re:protection racket (4, Funny)

deniable (76198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411541)

The FBI was given a mission to get online crime under control, so that's what they did. In Australia, one drug squad took control of the local drug scene and supposedly ran it very well.

only 56 arrests? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25410921)

doesn't the fbi have bigger and better things to do?

Re:only 56 arrests? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25410993)

So, when we make only one arrest with Osama been Laughin', are you going to complain yet again?

There's no "only". Each person arrested could have done millions of dollars of damage to countless people's lives and there's always that one particularly talented individual in the crowd that could do far worse. So, one or a hundred, I'm not complaining. Get those leeches off the street.

Re:only 56 arrests? (2, Funny)

csartanis (863147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411079)

Err, you actually think someone is looking for bin laden?

Re:only 56 arrests? (3, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411111)

Err, you actually think someone is looking for bin laden?

Yes. If you think otherwise, then you really need to loosen the tinfoil.

Re:only 56 arrests? (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25413943)

Sure, someone's looking for Bin Laden. The question is (or perhaps the questions are), who, how many, and what for.

Re:only 56 arrests? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25411119)

my thoughts exactly... especially after hearing about that youtube video of US soldiers chucking a dog off a cliff and laughing about it.

Re:only 56 arrests? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25414215)

my thoughts exactly... especially after hearing about that youtube video of US soldiers chucking a dog off a cliff and laughing about it.

Well what the hell were they supposed to chuck off the cliff? They didn't have any PETA members on hand.

Splyntr made a funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25410991)

So this Splyntr was admin & FBI? Hmm. FBI sponsered? So the whole police informant fiasco was gonna blow their cover, even though it may have not been a sting-op to begin with, and then the FBI decided to arrested their scammer friends. They do this with drugs all of the time. A whistle blower narcs on law enforcement. Before the word gets out, they say they found a huge stash of plants out in the boonies. Fake plants get destroy, for show, and the good stuff gets distributed. They look good and start over again.

Re:Splyntr made a funny... (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411471)

So... are there cookies and punch in the little world you live in?

Dark market shut down. (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411023)

Dang.

Re:Dark market shut down. (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412923)

The government is not your daddy. Its purpose is not to raid your neighbors' wallets and give you money.

Exactly, the government is more like an older male sibling, who's purpose is to waste a lot of your money, buying things you don't want, at a too high price from companies that his friends own.

Oh come ON (1)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411055)

So, the FBI has rounded up 56 people allegedly involved in credit card scamming...by...luring them with a url called "darkmarket.ws".

It's plain to see that its very important to the FBI to catch the smartest criminals, and that they'll spend any amount of money and take any amount of time to do it.

Thanks, FBI.

Re:Oh come ON (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411143)

Hahahahahaa.

Re:Oh come ON (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25411623)

They were just copying what's been done before.

There have been numerous similar online forums before this, the 3 most famous being, probably:

shadowcrew

carderplanet

darkprofits

these were all actually run by the criminals and not by an FBI sting, so it's not like there wasn't precedent for such an obviously named forum.

Its a Conspiracy! (1)

Quantus347 (1220456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411071)

Its a Conspiracy! The FBI has been scamming millions out of Americans to pay for the robotic technology that keeps Cheney's mechanical heart beating. Now the US economy cant handle it and they've outsourced to China, so they call it a Sting Operation.

Is is that the DHS following me?? *Pulls brim of tinfoil lined ballcap down and attempts to fade into the crowd*

Re:Its a Conspiracy! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415853)

The FBI has been scamming millions out of Americans to pay for the robotic technology that keeps Cheney's mechanical heart beating

We are cyborg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is not ony futile, you will not resist. You wil beg to join us. You will PAY to join us.

Just ask your grandma, chances are she's one of us.

I don't get it (0)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411129)

So the FBI created and administered this forum encouraging illegal activity, attracted 2500 users over 2 years, and arrested 56. Don't those numbers seem lopsided? Didn't the FBI create many more criminals than it caught? Isn't it legally and morally reprehensible to trifle with real citizens' financial information in order to catch such a tiny number of perps? What of the innocents whose financial histories have been at risk these past 2 years?

Am I missing something here? Isn't this entrapment? And reckless endangerment on behalf of the FBI?

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411227)

Not everyone that visits that kind of forum is engaged in criminal activity. They can only arrest people they have proof against.

Re:I don't get it (1)

g-san (93038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415323)

Or maybe they could only identify 56 beyond reasonable doubt.

Re:I don't get it (5, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411515)

Most of those "users" were probably spambots, if it's anything like the forums I maintain. :P

As for the entrapment angle, this one's easy. The FBI guy sets up the site, drops a few whispers around the Tubes, and gets people to show up. Maybe the FBI has some controlled info to spread around so that people get interested, but they can turn those accounts off quickly enough that it doesn't spend a lot of taxpayer money.

After a while, people start exchanging their own stolen credit card info for cash using the site as an intermediary. They discuss their own criminal exploits, and they unwittingly provide the information needed to trace themselves to their physical location, because they now trust the site and don't bother using a proxy for anonymity. The FBI guy only has to stay involved in a general way, making his presence felt as the site's maintainer, and everyone else will continue willingly providing evidence against themselves without the direct prodding of the FBI guy.

And that's not entrapment.

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

Jester998 (156179) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411535)

[italic]Isn't this entrapment? [/italic]
No, entrapment only happens when the authorities coerce you into doing something you wouldn't have done normally (i.e. send a hot female officer who promises to, ahem, 'reward' you if you commit an illegal act against your will). It does not cover things done of your own will (i.e. signing up for a forum and participating).

Re:I don't get it (3, Funny)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411753)

i.e. send a hot female officer who promises to, ahem, 'reward' you if you commit an illegal act against your will

Where do I sign up? And do I get to choose hair-color and such?

Ebay, Pirate Bay... (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411187)

So, I take it Ebay and Pirate Bay are FBI stings too?

Re:Ebay, Pirate Bay... (2, Funny)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411281)

Actually, Microsoft is an FBI sting for catching the criminally stupid.

Re:Ebay, Pirate Bay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25412033)

It doesn't stop there. Tampa bay, Green Bay, and Michael Bay are stings as well. Shhhhh. Don't tell anyone I told you.

Re:Ebay, Pirate Bay... (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25413809)

I know you are joking, but since I feel TPB is a good thing for several reasons, let me just tell any nervous souls out there that it would be illegal for the swedish police to do something similar. They are not even allowed to do this to catch previously convicted murderers selling drugs and weapons to minors. The police simply are not allowed to commit a crime to prevent a crime.
(They still do from time to time, but these individuals usually end up either in jail and/or without a job)

In addition, TPB has never distributed anything illegal to my knowledge. It merly keeps track of where the torrents are located. Information wants to be free and over here it still is (but as usuall, there are people who would like to change this)

We are under risk of contracting the ACTA - They want to search your laptop or mediaplayer among other things.
Please read up on ACTA here [wikipedia.org]

Re:Ebay, Pirate Bay... (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415651)

On the other hand, here in Sweden illegally obtained evidence can be used in the court of law, with a few exceptions of client privileges (communication with priests, lawyers, etc).

So even if a police officer gets fired for obtaining material illegally, you can still get found guilty in court because of that material.

Just an interesting note on how laws differ between countries.

Re:Ebay, Pirate Bay... (1)

cavis (1283146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25414675)

If The Pirate Bay is a sting, I'm about to be in a world of shit.

Re:Ebay, Pirate Bay... (1)

GoodNicksAreTaken (1140859) | more than 5 years ago | (#25414809)

Craigslist is a sting.

This is great news but... (5, Insightful)

madsheep (984404) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411241)

This is great news and I am happy it was a successful sting operation. Bringing these guys down is something we all like to see and it helps make a lot of hard work of different people pay off. However, there is one item that has been mentioned a few times in other articles that blows my mind on this. From the Wired article:

The German report confirm rumors that have swirled around DarkMarket since late 2006, when uber-hacker Max Ray Butler cracked the site's server and announced to the underground that he'd caught Master Splynter logging in from the NCFTA's office on the banks of the Monongahela River.

In other words they were completely outed, although unsuccessfully, prior to the German report. They were actually hacked and exposed two years ago. That's pretty bad operations security. Never run/manage your sting site from where you really are.. well at least if that plays ties back directly to law enforcement. That's kind of like if a DEA agent showed up to a drug buy and parked his marked police car behind the dumpster nearby. ::face palm::

Re:This is great news but... (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 5 years ago | (#25413875)

I guess in the end, you don't need smart cops, just cops smarter than the criminals.

Turtle PoweR! (2, Funny)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25411245)

When the Evil Darkmarket attacks, these FBI agents dont cut them no slack!
Teenage mutant ninja FBI agents,
Teenage mutant ninja FBI agents,
Teenage mutant ninja FBI agents,
FBI gonna scam you, Turtle power!

Man i miss Saturday morning cartoons

Re:Turtle PoweR! (1)

skjrag (533832) | more than 5 years ago | (#25414395)

The cartoons are still there. Where have you gone?

Re:Turtle PoweR! (1)

Windows_NT (1353809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25415037)

to work :(

What the hell? (1, Insightful)

derrickh (157646) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412039)

I'm I seeing things or did Slashdot just publish the full name of an undercover FBI Agent? Even if its out somewhere else, it's pretty low to post it on a site that gets 100x the traffic of the source.

D

Probably just another bait program (1)

thenewguy001 (1290738) | more than 5 years ago | (#25412345)

Anyone stupid enough to try and mess with the identity of one fictitious "J. Keith Mularski" will be promptly put under investigation and subsequently arrested
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