FBI takes down Crime Ring worth $72 million

The past month has seen a fair share of news in regards to Cybercrime and today is no exception with the story that the FBI has taken down a crime ring worth 72 million dollars. Police in the United States were able to complete the operation along with seven other countries which include the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania.

It is believed that the countries involved seized computers that were used to run a scareware scam which totaled over $72,000,000 according to Fox News. While the names of the individuals involved in the scheme have not been published, it is believed that the scareware was planted on over 960,000 computers across the globe. The aim of the scheme was to encourage users to disclose their personal information and credit card details by pretending to be an anti-virus program detecting several infections on the user's computer. As of this moment the Latvian authorities have taken control of five bank accounts that have allegedly received the ill-gotten funds. In connection with this, the United States authorities were part of another case that involved the arrest of two Latvians who are accused of placing a website advertisement on a Minnesota newspaper's website that led to the loss of $2 million. The two face several charges in the United States in relation to wire fraud and conspiracy.

As we've previously covered here on Neowin, there has been coverage recently of attacks on various websites and organisations which were primarily caused by the numerous requests sent from botnets. In this case, they were used to spread the malicious software to unknowing users which in turn results in their details and money being taken. It remains to be seen whether this crackdown on cybercrime will make a significant difference. Stealing information and causing havoc over the internet has its appeal to some users who may not be discouraged by raids on specific targets.

Image Source: columbiamissourian.com

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7 Comments

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You mean Inktel Direct? Talk about a crime ring. It's crackhouse central. Halfway home work. Webtapping. Wiretapping. Call re-routing. Etc.

Seetheworldsecond said,
I hope these people suffer in prison, I feel sorry for the poor saps who fall for their scams who are not too tech savvy....
Yeah it's really very sad how many people out there get taken by these scams. I always feel bad for those people. I mean, who do you turn to if you don't have anyone you personally know or are referred to? They usually end up in some commercial joint like Geek Squad and end up overpaying to have this crap removed.

Sometimes I get frustrated with my un-requested role as official family tech support but I'd much rather prefer nobody in my family fall prey to these illegal scam artists or the commercial outfits that charge too much. Sorry Geek Squad people but I've met too many people with massive bills over hundreds of dollars to uninstall a fake AV package then do simple things like "optimization" which includes defragging the drive and updating the patches. That should never be super expensive.

Typical, just like DOT one man works 3 stand around.

actually technically it is 1 FBI agent and 6 maybe 7 others standing with an ATF agent.

OT: I think it is related to both LulzSec and the confiscation of datacenters yesterday.

DerekMorgan said,
Typical, just like DOT one man works 3 stand around.

actually technically it is 1 FBI agent and 6 maybe 7 others standing with an ATF agent.

OT: I think it is related to both LulzSec and the confiscation of datacenters yesterday.

In what way could it be related? Lulzsec are hardly a paradigm of virtue but this doesn't seem to be up their alley. Also this has clearly be going on for much longer than the whole lulzsec debacle, why would they start this campaign against security and draw attention to themselves now?