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37 Charged With Committing Bank Fraud Using Zeus

The FBI along with the Office of U.S. Attorney within southern New York, on September 30, 2010, declared charges against 37 individuals blaming them of belonging to a global crime ring, which looted bank accounts off $3m via contaminating PCs with malware programs like Trojan Zeus. Cnet News published this on September 30, 2010.

The already familiar Zeus, also called Zbot, is particularly created to capture financial information like Internet banking details as well as other sensitive data after it creeps inside the Web-browser. The Trojan's versions that are more sophisticated further let attackers to link up via their victims' PCs so they can carry out illegal transactions, thereby bypassing the security systems of the banking institutions.

On September 30, 2010, a huge 70 people were detained. Among these were several students inside USA, apparently enrolled with college visas, while they served as money mules. They'd been recruited via channels of social media following which they opened accounts abroad where the stolen money was to be transferred.

And while filing the charges, a lot of them blamed Russian citizens of establishing numerous bank accounts where stolen funds were transferred from the accounts of people who became subject to the crimeware's infection. Also it seemed that the mules retained part of the funds before transferring the rest into the accounts of their associates in Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, a day before declaring the charges, UK prosecutors accused 11 so-called Zeus money mules who operated out of EU.

State authorities that the alleged mules set up accounts with a number of U.S banks with the help of personal identities alternatively counterfeit documents. These accounts were actually used to receive fraudulently-acquired money and from where the defendants could withdraw and wire the money to scammers abroad.

Notably, before making the fake transfers, the hackers used Zeus for hijacking the accounts belonging to public institutions, companies and organizations that were in USA.

Meanwhile, the charges vary between misusing passport for purposes of money laundering, bank fraud and conniving for carrying out wire fraud. Jail sentences can vary between 10 and 30 years while fines between $250,000 and $1m/count.

Related article: “Loopholes did not cause online banking thefts”: ICBC

» SPAMfighter News - 10/8/2010

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