Europol operation crushes phiendish global phishing ring

Man-in-the-middle diddle seared in legal griddle

Police have arrested 49 men from Spain, Nigeria, and Cameroon in connection with electronic bank account raids that plundered some €6 million across Europe.

The men were arrested as part of Operation Triangle, an effort involving police from Spain, Italy, and Poland together with authorities in Belgium, the UK, and Georgia.

Europol says the men hacked into emails of organisations and used man-in-the-middle attacks to convince victims to send bank deposits to their accounts, stealing millions in a "very short time".

"The suspects, mainly from Nigeria, Cameroon and Spain, transferred the illicit profits to outside the European Union through a sophisticated network of money laundering transactions," the agency says in a statement.

"The Joint Cybercrime Action Taskforce hosted at the European Cybercrime Centre at Europol has played a key role in the coordination of this investigation."

Police seized the usual electronic items such as laptops and hard drives, along with forged documents and SIM cards.

Almost half of those arrested hail from Italy, 18 are from Poland and 10 from Spain.

The arrests come as Eurpol top cop Rob Wainwright said Wednesday the public has "accepted" that phone calls may be intercepted and that such an intervention is normal in healthy democracies.

Europol is lending a hand at this weekend's Download Festival in the UK allowing facial recognition cameras to plug into its face database to hunt criminals.

That database of "lawfully held European custody photos" is "a stand-alone database of legally held custody photographs drawn together with partners in Europol", El Reg is told. ®

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