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Leader of Bank Heist Crime Syndicate Detained in Spain


Following an investigation, which ran for 4 years, Europol declared it had found and detained the person doubted to lead one crime syndicate which filched $1.2bn from more than a hundred banks within over 40 countries with the aid of malware. Europol states Spanish National Police detained the person in Alicante, Spain for which officials from Romania, Belarus and Taiwan as well as the FBI supported in addition to cyber-security firms.


Starting during 2013, there were several malware campaigns which the crime gang utilized. One was known as Anunak after which increasingly complex versions called Cobalt and Carbanak were used for hacking bank employees' PCs with the help of phishing scams to subsequently hijack bank computers followed with gaining admission into the servers which regulated automatic teller machines. When cash was siphoned from Thai and Taiwanese ATMs, the identical method was applied.


First, malicious phishing e-mails were sent to bank employees whose computers got contaminated with malware. From there the malware proliferated onto servers at the bank, while ultimately onto ATMs. These automatic machines were subsequently configured for giving out cash from time to time as determined before. Since the criminals had control over the servers as well as ATMs they managed en-cashing the money in 3 separate methods.


The syndicate's members hung around for grabbing the cash while wired funds from bank accounts to criminals' A/Cs. They as well hacked databases containing account details through inflation of A/C balances followed with collecting the differences prior to anybody knowing about it. As per Europol, every raid the gang made it stole EUR10m or more. Gizmodo.com posted this online dated March 26, 2018.


Several organizations, as per Europol, made active participation during the investigation. These were EBF (European Banking Federation), FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) of U.S. as well as Spanish, Romanian, Belarusian and Taiwanese authorities.


EBF chief executive Wim Mijs said EBF's active cooperation with Europol for one particular investigation was unlike ever before. According to him, public-private joint action was most necessary for successfully combating digital crimes beyond countries similar as the one observed with the above crime syndicate.

» SPAMfighter News - 4/2/2018

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