Trojan phishing suspect hauled in

Stole millions (allegedly)


An Estonian man suspected of plundering millions from hundreds of online bank accounts accounts across Europe was arrested last week. AP reports that the unnamed 24 year-old allegedly used a sophisticated Trojan in order to monitor the keystrokes on victims' PCs and extract confidential banking passwords that allowed him to plunder online accounts.

The unnamed Trojan was bulk mailed to prospective victims in emails that promised lucrative job offers from government institutions, banks and investment firms. In reality it linked to a web page hosting malicious code.

Investigators reckon the suspect stole millions of euros from bank accounts in the Germany, Britain, Spain and the Baltic states. Aivar Pau, a spokesman for Estonia's central criminal police, said last week's arrest followed a year long investigation into what he described as the biggest case of online banking theft in Estonian history. The suspect faces fraud charges punishable by up to five years imprisonment.

Estonian police were aided in their investigation by IT specialists from Hansabank as well as Latvian and Lithuanian police. Jaan Priisalu, an IT risk manager at Hansabank, told AP the Trojan used in scam was the most sophisticated he had ever seen.

The use of malicious code and phishing scams to extract confidential account details from consumers have cost British banks approximately £12m in 2004, according to an estimate from banking group APACS published last month. APACS and UK police warn that the use of malicious code in such attacks in beginning to eclipse conventional phishing attacks in its severity. ®

Related stories

Brazilian cops net 'phishing kingpin'
Cyber cops foil £220m Sumitomo bank raid
Trojan targets UK online bank accounts
UK banks launch anti-phishing website


Other stories you might like

  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021