Debit cards and PINs are hot subjects on the criminal underground forums these days, Tom Rusin said on a recent visit to CNET. Rusin is president of North American operations at Affinion Group, a company that monitors the criminal underground for several thousand banking institutions by lurking in carder chat rooms.

"Carders" are the people who buy, sell, and trade online the credit card data stolen from phishing sites or from large data breaches at retail stores. Affinion is one of the largest identity protection companies in the world, with offices in more than a dozen countries. Over the years, it has provided a wealth of information to the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI. A few weeks ago, Affinion identified .Mac users who found themselves victims of a phishing scam.

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