bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Sunday 18.02.2018 | Name days: Kintija, Kora

Cyber criminals claim $45 million in ATMs in 26 countries; Latvia included

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

AUthor: SXCAn international group of hackers has carried out a large scale robbery, stealing information of debit cards and using it to withdraw money in 26 countries of the world, including Latvia, for a total amount of $45 million.

The robbery lasted for several hours on December 22, 2012 and on February 19-20, 2013.

The massive heist unfolded “in a matter of hours,” said the U.S. prosecutor’s office for Brooklyn, New York.

Prosecutors unveiled charges against eight people accused of forming the New York cell of the plot, which stretched across 26 countries, including Latvia.

In their case, they allegedly lifted $2.8 million in cash and now face charges of conspiracy to commit access device fraud and money laundering.

Seven of the eight have been arrested, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The eighth, Alberto Yusi Lajud-Pena, who was the leader and was nicknamed Prime and Albertico, is reported to have been murdered two weeks ago, the office said.

“The defendants and their co-conspirators participated in a massive 21st century bank heist that reached across the Internet and stretched around the globe,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

“In the place of guns and masks, this cybercrime organization used laptops and the Internet.”

The type of heist is known to criminals as an “unlimited operation” and two were allegedly carried out: first on December 22 last year and again on February 19-20 this year.

In the initial stage, taking several months, sophisticated hackers allegedly infiltrated credit card processors’ computer networks, looking into databases of prepaid debit cards, a tool used often by employers and aid organizations. Breaking into the system, the hackers eliminated withdrawal limits imposed by banks.

Next, the hackers cybergang distributed the debit card numbers to its street associates called “cashers,” who loaded other magnetic stripe cards, like gift cards, with the stolen data.

Finally, the cashers were given stolen PIN numbers and sent to harvest the loot, going from ATM to ATM and withdrawing as much as cash as they could for the organization.

In the first alleged raid, hackers targeted RAKABANK in the United Arab Emirates. After manipulating the withdrawal limits, casher gangs worldwide hit the ATMs, conducting some 4 500 transactions worth $5 million across about 20 countries.

In the second attack, U.S. prosecutors say, the group broke into the Bank of Muscat based in Oman. Then in the space of 10 hours, casher cells in 24 countries conducted some 36 000 transactions, withdrawing $40 million from ATMs.

The New York cell, the U.S. attorney’s office says, took $400 000 in the first raid and $2.4 million on the second, when it made some 3 000 ATM withdrawals.

The prosecutor’s office highlighted the “surgical precision” of the alleged plot and “the speed and coordination with which the organization executes its operations on the ground. These attacks rely upon both highly sophisticated hackers and organized criminal cells whose role is to withdraw the cash as quickly as possible.”

According to the indictment of the New York defendants, they quickly moved to launder their cash, opening a Miami bank account and pouring money into cars, including a Porsche and a Mercedes, and two Rolex watches. There was no detail given on the apparent murder of their leader just over two months after the second alleged heist.

Nor did prosecutors give details of where else the alleged criminal operations unfolded abroad.

However, they gave some idea of the scope of the alleged crime by thanking authorities from more than a dozen countries: Belgium, Britain, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Romania, Spain, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

Ref: 103.109.109.7230


Leave a reply

BNN summary of the week: minister threatened with dismissal; ABLV Bank scandal

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Fight; Court; Problem; Decline; Commentary; Future; Proposal

SRS uncovered violations in 169 inspections at catering companies last year

In 2017, the State Revenue Service (SRS) performed a total of 989 inspections at 212 catering companies. This includes 182 thematic inspections for 125 taxpayers. Violations were uncovered in 169 inspections. The most common violation was manipulation with cash registers, according to information published by SRS.

Russian tourists often decide to celebrate International Women’s Day in Riga

To satisfy growing demand for bus tickets from Russia to Latvia for the week when 8 March is celebrated, Lux Express plans to organize additional buses between St Petersburg and Riga.

FCMC to investigate ABLV Bank again; no operational restrictions applied to the bank

Latvia’s Finance and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) has plans to perform an additional investigation at ABLV Bank in the next couple of weeks, says the commission’s manager Pēters Putniņš, adding that no operational restrictions have been applied to the bank so far.

Study: overall sense of happiness in Latvia is record-low

60% of Latvian residents feel happy. Although this is a good index, there has been a general decline of the sense of happiness, according to a study performed by Amigo mobile network operator and SKDS to assess the level of happiness of Latvian residents.

Raid reveals some taxi drivers in Riga do not have valid driver’s license

A raid was performed by the State Revenue Service and Riga Municipal Police to check taxi service providers in the capital. Authorities uncovered a total of 81 violations in 48 cases, BNN was informed by SRS.

Estonia sea ice crash: last missing body found

Nine days after a van with six people inside drove onto the ice of the Baltic Sea in south-western Estonia, the body of the last victim has been found.

Delna invites immediate investigation of claims about ABLV Bank’s money laundering schemes

The decision by US Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to apply sanctions against ABLV Bank for involvement in money laundering schemes and bribery of officials was not a surprise. It is a sign for acute need to continue improving investigative and supervisory institutions’ ability to prevent money laundering through Latvia, as noted by Delna – Society for Openness.

Estonian income tax should be simplified, parties believe

The existing income tax scheme in Estonia should be simplified, three parties in the Estonian Riigikogu find, but there are differences in opinion as to maintaining the current state budget income. Meanwhile, the opposition Reform Party has voiced backing for an annual tax-free income of 6,000 a year to every earner.

Baltics propose increasing member states’ contributions to EU budget after Brexit

Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia invite European Union member states to increase contributions to the EU budget after 2020 in order to make sure available funds do not drop after UK’s exit.

Instagram obeys Russian internet censor to block content on corruption allegations

In the atmosphere of the March Russian presidential election, social network Instagram has submitted to the demands of Russia's internet censorship body and blocked in the country content with corruption claims voiced by Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Teenager charged with U.S. school shooting has confessed

A day after a tragic school shooting in Florida, the U.S., where 17 people have been killed, the suspect 19-year-old Nicolas Cruz has confessed to police.

Snowfall expected for weekends in Latvia; sky to become clear again next week

On Friday, 16 February, weather in Latvia will be dictated by a small cyclone, which will approach the country from Sweden. Because of that, the sky will be cloudy and snowfall will come to many areas. The cyclone will not be strong. With that, wind speed will remain relatively slow, as reported by Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

How will Lithuania look like in another 100 years?

In order to tell it, one needs to know the past and the presence. Yet the predicting how the centennial celebrations-engulfed Lithuania will look like in another hundred years is not easy at all even for political and business pundits.

Minister: Latvian authorities will perform an investigation about FinCEN report

Responsible Latvian institutions will perform an investigation in relation to the report from US Finance Ministry’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In this report, the institution accuses ABLV Bank of bribing Latvian officials, says Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Party calls for extraordinary meeting of Riga City Council’s Transport Committee

To invite officials to explain the illegal decision in regards to the mutual agreement between Rīgas satiksme’s and Rīgas mikroautobusu satiksme’s, political party For Latvia’s Development urges opposition factions of Riga City Council to call an extraordinary meeting of the Transport Committee, as confirmed by the party.

Meteorologists warn about -25° C frost in Latvia in March

Global Forecast System predicts a possibility of -25° C frost in Latvia’s eastern parts at the beginning of March.

Latvian residents remain dissatisfied with their families’ financial state

For several years in a row the majority of Latvian residents remain dissatisfied with their families’ financial state, according to results of Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Latvia’s cosmetics market – 160 million euros

Latvia’s cosmetics market is worth approximately EUR 160 million. Similar to Europe, skin and hair care products are the most popular ones. The smallest market proportion is occupied by decorative cosmetics, according to data from Latvian Cosmetic Manufacturers Association (LCMA).

RB Rail CEO says interference «from above» has been in line with the law so far

We have seen interference «from above» in RB Rail’s activities. The law was not breached, however. With that, there was no need to report anything to law enforcement institutions, RB Rail CEO Baiba Rubesa told Ir magazine.

15 Estonians die in flu period from complications

The number flu patients in Estonia is currently increasing. So far during this year's flu season, 15 people have passed away with flue-related complications.

Economy Minister asked to fix increasing electricity bills; parties threaten with dismissal

Latvian Economy Minister Arvils Ašeradens has to fix the mistakes that have caused electricity bills to increase, said chairman of Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia Egils Baldzēns in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Third of beer consumed in Estonia in 2017 bought in Vidzeme, Estonian factory breweries evaluate

Saku and A. Le Coq, two largest beer makers in Estonia have not published their exact sales numbers for the last year, but have been quick in stating that about one third of all beer drunk in Estonia was purchased in Latvia.

U.S. hit by another mass shooting at school

In the U.S., a high school has been attacked in the state of Florida, where gunshots have taken the lives of 17 people. Local police has detained a suspect – a 19-year-old man, who had been expelled from the same school.

Czech Republic and Slovakia may add to NATO’s battalion in Latvia this summer

The Czech Republic and Slovakia may add to the NATO battalion stationed in Latvia at the beginning of summer 2018, as confirmed by Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Bergmanis.