A US Federal Court has indicted a group of eight people believed to be involved in a massive $45m cyber scam on a bank.
The charges, filed in the New York Eastern District court, allege that the group infiltrated financial institutions and set up a series of ATM withdrawals that racked up millions of dollars in cash over a matter of hours.
Known as an "unlimited" operation, the attack is said to have combined a group of hackers who infiltrated a system and co-ordinated with "mules" who received the cards and withdrew money from ATMs at a specific time and place.
According to the court, seven of the eight individuals, all residents of Yonkers in New York State, targeted banks and ATMs around New York City with compromised accounts and specially-designed debit cards that had their withdrawal limits removed. An eighth defendant, who was said to have been murdered in an unrelated case, was charged posthumously.
The group faces charges including access fraud and money laundering. Because the case was related to currency fraud, the investigation included agents from the US Secret Service as well as the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
US Secret Service agent Steven Hughes, who headed the investigation of the heist, said: "New technologies and the rapid growth of the internet have eliminated the traditional borders of financial crimes and provided new opportunities for the criminal element to threaten the world’s financial systems.
"However, as demonstrated by the charges and arrests announced today, the Secret Service and its law enforcement partners have adapted to these technological advancements and utilised cutting-edge investigative techniques to thwart this cybercriminal activity."
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