British Raid Nabs 19 Suspects in $9 Million Online Bank Heist

British Raid Nabs 19 Suspects in $9 Million Online Bank Heist
British Raid Nabs 19 Suspects in $9 Million Online Bank Heist

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By Kim Zetter 
Threat Level
September 29, 2010

In a rash of dawn raids, police in the United Kingdom nabbed 19 people 
suspected of stealing more than $9 million from online bank accounts, 
according to reports.

The suspects -- 15 men and 4 women ranging in ages 23 to 47-- are 
believed to be part of an East European gang that allegedly used the 
ubiquitous Zeus malware to infect victim computers and steal login 
credentials to more than 600 bank accounts. Money was then siphoned from 
the accounts and transferred to drop accounts owned by so-called money 
mules, who allowed the thieves to use their bank accounts to launder the 
funds. The thieves averaged about $3 million a month over a three-month 

Despite the rich takings, the alleged ringleader lived in a dingy 
third-floor walk-up in Essex, according to the Daily Mail, which 
published photos of some of the suspects as they were arrested. The 
twenty-something suspect and his wife allegedly ran the operation from a 
laptop in their living room, using a pad and pencil to track the 
siphoned loot.

Investigators from Scotland Yard=E2=80=99s e-Crime Unit say the amount of money 
the thieves stole could increase as the investigation continues and 
could rise as high as $31 million.


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