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Crimebook: Anti-Social Network Shut Down by U.K. Authorities

You know about Facebook, aka “The Social Network,” but what about “Crimebook”?

Two young men in the UK have been convicted and face up to five years in prison “for running a $26 million Facebook-style website for criminals described in court as ‘Crimebook.’” This very “anti-social network,” as The Age calls it, was run on a website called GhostMarket.net, and allowed as many as 8,000 members to exchange details about thousands of stolen credit cards and hacked bank accounts.

The judge in the case described Crimebook as a “criminal enterprise offering sophisticated advice on how to hack into computers, cause them to malfunction and retrieve personal information from computers — and how to do it on a massive scale.”

Police reportedly found 100,000 stolen credit card details on one of the two young men’s laptops and traced the information back to the GhostMarket.net site. After their arrests in 2009, the 18- and 17-year-old skipped bail and fled to Majorca, but they were apprehended last year after returning to the U.K. Both have now pleaded guilty to “conspiracy to make or supply articles for use in fraud, encouraging or assisting offenders, and conspiracy to commit fraud.”

If you thought youth crime was low level, it is time to think again. Cybercrime attracts young men and this story shows the potential to make vast sums of money from this type of fraud.

Is your computer safe?

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