Police breaks up international cybercrime ring

cyber crime, online fruad. (Picture: Twitter/@ralmart01)

A Joint Investigation Team comprising of authorities in the Netherlands, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Great Britain and Norway, recently broke up a large network of cyber criminals who used malware to attack banking systems world wide.

According to the police, a total of 60 suspects were arrested internationally. Some 40 suspects were arrested in the Netherlands, four of them are still in custody. A number of the servers used by the criminals was located in the Netherlands.

The cyber criminals caused at least 2 million euros worth of damage. At least 150 Dutch people fell victim to these criminals.

These cyber criminals worked together through a kind of underground market place on the internet. They used Zeus and SpyEye malware, which they continually adapted, to gain access to banking networks and harvest bank details. They washed the money they stole through so-called money mules.

This Joint Investigation Team was brought together by Europol. The investigation has been ongoing for 2 years, during which time the team performed raids and investigations in several different countries. The United States and the Ukraine also cooperated in the investigation. Last week 6 people were arrested and 8 houses were raided in the Ukraine.

At a press conference in Venice, where the results of this case were announced, Inge Philips, deputy head of the Dutch police's national detectives, thanked the citizens who reported these crimes. "That citizens file reports is crucial for our investigation." she said.

Philips is very pleased with the fast and efficient cooperation within the team and with the Dutch banks. "Through the rapid response of banks, a lot of damage was prevented. It sometimes seems as if criminals on the internet can operate with impunity. But police and judicial authorities can also rapidly exchange information internationally and can contact each other just as fast as criminals. So wherever you are, and even if you're just a small link in such a network, we know how to find you."