Feeds

Aussie crooks recruit teen phishing mules

Cyber-Fagins

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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 AFP reports money is withdrawn "in sums of less than $10,000 from different bank branches".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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.