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Romanian Police Arrested about 20 Suspected Phishers

The Romanian Cops along with the Direction for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) ran an operation, culminating into the detention of 15-20 persons they suspected of carrying out different criminal acts executed online inside the country. The gang is charged with the launching of phishing attacks and stealing money from the accounts they compromised.

Stefan Negrilla, Chief of the Organized Crime Police in Timisoara, a western city of Romania, said that people in Spain and Italy were cheated into giving out their online banking information via copycat sites, as reported by International Herald Tribune on March 11, 2009.

Moreover, the Italian Post Office appeared to be the prime phishing target of the criminals, according to the investigators. These fraudsters dispatched e-mail messages purporting to be from the Post Office claiming that customers' data had been lost owning to technical problems. The e-mail also contained a link that led unwitting victims to a webpage imitating the online payment service of the Post Office. Once on it, end-users were tricked into entering their financial information that got transmitted to a remote server that the Romanian scammers controlled.

Furthermore, details suggest that the suspected leader of the crime operation is a man from Caransebes named Flavius Bragaila who is 21 years old. Bragaila who is also one among those arrested allegedly executed the phishing operation after distributing the work among independent cells that functioned from various cities of Italy and Romania. Among the rest arrested, one person named Ovidiu Andras, interestingly, is Caransebes' Romanian Commercial Bank Manager's son.

Understandably, the entire phishing operation might have resulted in the siphoning of several thousand Euros, implying that the criminals amassed that sum by defrauding the innocent computer users.

Meanwhile, it appears that there is a general lax in the security of websites of banks, universities and governments worldwide. Police has also arrested an individual who is suspected of invading the systems of US government agencies, universities as well as the NASA. It is believed the individual used a program to register a US Internet address to escape police's notice.

Related article: Romanian Hacker Haunting ebay

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