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German Police Arrest 10 Fraudsters Involved in Phishing Scam

German police arrested 10 suspects involved in the international phishing scam. According to the Federal Police Office, the scam could have meant loss of hundreds of thousands of Euros for the victims. PCworld.com published this in news on 13 September 2007.

The group of suspects includes German, Russian and Ukrainian citizens, according to the release by the Federal Crime Office of Germany. The police investigation went on for 18 months, which resulted in the arrests on 12 September 2007. The arrests took place in many German cities including that of Cologne, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf.

The investigators seized many computers at the time of arrests, wrote Toralv Dirro, a researcher with McAfee Avert Labs, in a blog post. InformationWeek.com published on 13 September 2007. The defendants used the fraudulently earned money to buy cars, luxury holidays, and jewelry.

The group allegedly sent phishing e-mails to Internet banking users. The e-mails claimed to have come from eBay, Deutsche Telekom, Ikea, Wal-Mart, or the German Television Licensing Organization. The security company Sophos observed that the e-mails had attachment that contained different Trojan horses like Troj/DwnLdr-FYH and Troj/Clagger-AZ.

In a statement, Graham Cluley of Sophos said that the German officials deserved praise for channeling their resources to investigate the overwhelming malicious e-mails that online users in the country were getting because of those campaigns. InformationWeek.com published Cluley's statement 13 September 2007.

The case indicates that criminal gangs are increasingly using the Internet to make huge amounts of money while the risk of being caught is low, said Joerg Ziercke, President of the Crime Office. pcworld.com published Ziercke's statement on 13 September 2007. The authorities constantly face new challenges while fighting computer crime as perpetrators are building up higher levels of specialization and professionalism, he added.

Dirro wrote that over months, the waves of phishing e-mails were being sent every week that had the new variation downloaders, which on execution planted a keylogging Trojan. The e-mails claimed to be from a company saying the details were in an attached file. Some e-mails even pretended to be from the German law enforcement agencies.

Related article: Germany Restricts Anti-Hacking Legalization

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