A British court has sentenced four men to prison after they admitted they used sophisticated trojan software to steal almost £600,000 from bank accounts and send it to Eastern Europe.
London's Southwark Crown Court on Friday imposed sentences of as much as 4 and a half years on the men. According to IDG News, they used a trojan known as PSP2-BBB to stealthily monitor victims' browsers. It inserted special fields into banking pages that asked for sensitive information and then sent it to the criminals when the user complied.
To give it the pages air of legitimacy, they bore the logo of NatWest, according to other news reports. The gang used a stable of money mules to transfer the funds to countries including Ukraine, which is also the location of a computer server that was used in the scam.
At least 138 banking customers were affected with "just under £600,000 being fraudulently transferred," according to the Press Association. Almost £140,000 was later recouped from Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest's parent company.
Azamat Rahmanov, 25 of London's Lewisham, received four and a half years and was considered one of the organizers, according to news reports. Shohruh Fayziev, a 23-year-old Uzbekistani who lived in Peckham Rye, Southwark, in south east London, got four years. He was regarded as a "trusted lieutenant."
The remaining two men were the Angolan-born "facilitator" Joao Cruz, 33, of South London, who received three years, and Portuguese Recardo Pereira, 36, of Essex, who was sentenced to 21 months.
UK authorities have hailed the case as the first collaboration between the financial industry and the Police Central e-Crime Unit, which was established earlier this year to crack down on cybercrime. ®