Feeds

Aussie crooks recruit teen phishing mules

Cyber-Fagins

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Phishing fraudsters have sunk to a new low in seeking to recruit Australian school and college students as "money mules". These hi-tech Fagins - Australia-based crooks with links to Russian and Malay crime gangs - have established a network of students able to funnel money from compromised accounts overseas. To date, 61 victims of the gang with combined illicit earnings of $600,000 have been identified, Australia's Daily Telegraph reports.

AFP reports that youngsters were typically paid between A$200 and A$500 a day for transferring up to A$100,000 a day for the syndicate. The gang used Trojan horse programs to record the passwords and keystrokes victims entered on banking websites reached via infected machines. This data is then surreptitiously transmitted to crooks, allowing their young accomplices to later empty bank accounts.

Once funds are siphoned from victims' accounts, middlemen (in this case Australian children) withdraw cash and use wire transfers to send it to their criminal bosses. AFP reports money is withdrawn "in sums of less than $10,000 from different bank branches". Teenagers handling this amount of cash would surely trigger suspicion, you'd think.

Indeed, 13 suspects - including four Sydney high school students, aged 15 to 17 - have already been arrested and charged over suspected involvement in the scam. One of the operation's alleged ringleaders, Derrick Cheng, 21, has pleaded guilty to obtaining money by deception and is due to be sentenced by a court in Burwood, New South Wales, on 12 January.

Fraud squad commander Detective Superintendent Col Dyson told the Daily Telegraph that crooks sought to prey on the naivete of youngsters.

"Word has gotten around on the grapevine that it's an easy way to make money... it may be a large amount to them but in the scheme of things it's a small amount compared to the actual funds that have been obtained," he said. New South Police are working with international banking authorities in efforts to recover the stolen money. ®

Related stories

Fraudsters recruit phishing middlemen
Free training offer is latest spam scam
Four charged in landmark UK phishing case
DIY phishing kits hit the Net
UK police issue 'vicious' Trojan alert

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.