Dutch hackers arrested for looting accounts

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No image availableNL Times

Four Dutch hackers were arrested for suspected looting of bank accounts and conducting hundreds of fraudulent transfers by installing malicious software, reported the Public Prosecutor (OM) Thursday.Four men from Alkmaar, Haarlem, Woubrugge and Roden were apprehended by the police. They are suspected of involvement in large-scale, digital fraud and money laundering.

Police are investigating the period between spring 2012 and present. The investigation focuses on  more than 150 fraudulent transactions. The extent of damage is possibly close to a million euros.

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Via e-mail messages with a link to malware hackers gained access to computers of unwitting accountholders.

By using the free service TorMail the hackers could shield their activities. TorMail allows users to  send and receive anonymous messages . The transfers were routed to so-called money mules, people who were recruited to make their accounts available for such transactions.

Some of the money was converted into bitcoins, a type of electronic money.

Several banks and companies have filed reports of cybercrime. The prosecution is still investigating how many accountholders have been victimized. Affected individuals need not worry about the damage. Banks will offer compensation.