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Bank insiders charged in ZeuS cybercrime smackdown

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Six corrupt bank insiders turned ZeuS money mule suspects have been arrested in Moldova.

All half dozen of the suspects worked in local banks in the east European country. Investigators reckon the suspects specialised in laundering Western Union and MoneyGram payments received from co-conspirators in the West that can ultimately be traced back to compromised corporate and personal bank accounts.

The arrests in Moldova follow charges against alleged members of a massive cybercrime ring estimated to have raked in up to $70 million by using the ZeuS banking Trojan to steal online banking login credentials and loot accounts. Further arrests may follow in Moldova and elsewhere, Washington Post staffer turned security blogger Brian Krebs reports.

"Altogether, Moldovan prosecutors are looking at 12 suspects, including a government official who is alleged to have provided the group with copies of ID cards needed to open bank accounts," Krebs writes.

Moldova’s Specialized Services Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCECC), which is investigating the case, announced the arrests late last month. Days later two 21-year-old Moldovan money mule suspects were arrested in Wisconsin, USA. Both Dorin Codreanu and Lilian Adam were named by the FBI as suspects in the same case back in late September.

Eleven of the 37 money mules charged by the FBI in September remain at large. Closely related investigations have led to charges against a further 11 suspects in the UK and five in Ukraine. The Ukrainian suspects are alleged to have been the brains and driving forces behind the massive cybercrime operation. ®

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