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Hackers Dodged Sandwich of Approx. $50,000

The police revealed on November 25, 2008 that computer hackers had breached the bank accounts in a south-east England's town, Sandwich, earlier in November 2008.

According to the Sandwich Police Chief, Michael Miller, hackers stole passwords by compromising the PCs of the town to take out cash via wire transfers, as reported by Cape Cod times on November 26, 2008.

Police believe that the criminals deployed a virus to infect the PC of Treasurer Craig Mayen and to insert a key-logger which keeps a track on the key-strokes entered by him. By using a technology, similar to sniffer - a device that records system's information, hackers traced the password and security code of Mayen while he was typing them. Then, the details were used to drain the town's bank accounts.

Further, the stolen money was transferred to the banks in Georgia and Florida in the US and a minimum of one transfer was made to St. Petersburg, Russia, indicating to the involvement of an experienced Russian cyber crime organization in the case.

It has been reported that Mayen came to know about the breaching incident in the second week of November 2008, when he didn't find enough money to pay the town's bills. Also, the bank officials informed him that all the transfers were authorized by him. Thus, he instantly reported the case to the police. As per the estimation of the investigators, about $50,000 were wired in the scam.

The officials are stating that a bank account in Florida is still holding a small amount of the wired money. While interrogating a man who was trying to withdraw the money, it was revealed that he was employed by a company, which he thought was legitimate. The man opened an account in the bank and granted his employer access to the details of that account. In other words, he was working as a money mule that was paid for wiring money across the accounts.

In context of the Russian criminals' involvement in the case, Director of Global Intelligence Network for Symantec, Dean Turner, stated that cyber crime is on a soar in Eastern Europe and Russia. In these regions, organized criminal outfits are providing all hacking equipments and information through black market, as reported by boston on November 26, 2008.

Related article: Hackers Redirect Windows Live Search to Malicious Sites

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