2 Oct 2010

FBI cracks cyber crime ring

1:33 pm on 2 October 2010

The FBI says it has cracked an international cyber crime network.

More than 90 suspects are under arrest in the United States.

The FBI says they worked for fraudsters based in eastern Europe who hacked into US computers to steal around $US70 million.

A US Attorney said most of those arrested in the United States were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering.

The BBC reports they are suspected of acting as go-betweens or 'mules' by providing bank accounts for an elaborate cyber crime scheme.

In a statement, the FBI said that hackers in eastern Europe used spam email to infect computers of small businesses and individuals in the US with a virus known as Zeus.

They were then able to to access users' online passwords and bank account details and used them to transfer money to the bank accounts provided by the go-betweens in the US.

The bureaur says they attempted to steal around $US220 million.

Omaha connection

The arrests were the result of an international operation that began in Omaha in May 2009 when FBI agents noticed a number of suspicious bank transactions.

Law enforcement agencies in Ukraine, the Netherlands and Britain were also involved in the investigation.

The FBI said 19 people were arrested in Britain and five in the Ukraine.