Twenty five international cyber criminals (who were involved hacking into banking systems and making of clone payment cards) are arrested by the Romanian authorities this week.
The group made over US$15 million from these crimes. They are now detained by the Romanian authorities.
The Group includes 52 members, including members from Romania and other nationalities. Banks of Oman, Puerto Rico, Muscat and U.S were among the targets of this group.
All these hacks were reported and investigated by DIICOT also known as the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism.
Fraudulent withdrawals were also made in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K and the U.S, according to DIICOT.
Hackers had unauthorized access to data relating to many large corporations which they used to make a large number of clone payment cards and distributed among their members. The member of the group then withdrew money from different ATMs and banks.
The reason why these hackers remain unnoticed and generated such large sums of money was their tactic to withdraw money in small batches, for example they never withdrew a million dollar from one ATM they always withdrew small sum of money across city’s different ATMs plus they avoided withdrawals on business days.
Among the countries badly affected by these hacks include Japan $9 million (faced $9 million loss) and Romania ($5 millon is losses). Romanian authorities took serious action against the group and generated 42 search warrants on Sunday in six cities. They also seized €150,000 ($163,000) in cash and gold bars. Highly expensive paintings from the groups’s homes were also seized.
Hackers also invested in real estate which was later investigated by authorities.
The police fear that this might not be the only crime the group have committed. Earlier, in 2013 a cyber gang stole $45 million (as reported by the US authorities) in the same manner. Police believe this group have connections to that robbery.
Police now keeps a vigilant eye over any suspicious activity regarding in their region. Extra security is provided to all organization’s intellectual program, online bank accounts, national infrastructure and efforts to block all the circulating viruses are ongoing.