Money Mule Arrests Highlight Banks’ Efforts To Fight Fraud

October 4, ComputerWorld – (International)
The indictments unveiled last week against dozens of people who allegedly helped loot millions of dollars from U.S. businesses via online corporate account takeovers highlights the struggle by financial firms to fight fraud. Over the past 2 years, corporate account takeovers by cybercriminals have cost U.S. businesses more than $100 million, according to FBI estimates. In most cases, the thefts have been
perpetrated by gangs in Eastern Europe who used the Zeus banking Trojan to break into computers belonging mainly to small businesses and small municipalities. The malware has been used to steal online banking credentials and access corporate accounts so the thieves could transfer money into fraudulent accounts set up by hundreds of U.S.-based accomplices, often called “money mules.” Most of the illegal transfers were unauthorized Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions from the victim’s account
to the money mule. The U.S Attorney’s Office in New York City said September 30 it had indicted 37 such money mules for helping crooks based in Russia and several East
European countries siphon off more than $3 million in stolen funds. In a joint announcement, Manhattan’s District Attorney announced indictments against another 36 people for their participation in a similar operation.

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