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ATM hackers steal $45 mn from 27 countries

Last Updated: Friday, May 10, 2013 - 22:03

Washington: In another incident of cyber-crime, 45 million dollars have been stolen by hacking a prepaid debit card database, followed by draining ATMs across the world, according to federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors have compared the hacking to the Lufthansa heist in the late 1970s where in a heist masterminded by Jimmy Burke, 5.8 million dollars in cash was stolen from a Lufthansa Airlines vault at Kennedy Airport, the Fox News reports.

Dubbing this incident as ‘a massive 21st century heist’, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch has said that the cyber criminals have sped their way to rob off financial institutions around the globe.

Lynch has called the heist ‘a virtual criminal flash mob’, where he claims the possibility could have been that the fraudsters used plastic cards such as an old hotel key card or an expired credit card to withdraw the cash provided they possessed the account data and correct access codes.

The report said that the crime involved the use of certain magnetic swipe cards to steal money from thousands of ATMs, adding that seven suspects who have been arrested so far are young US citizens originally hailing from the Dominican Republic. Lynch said that the hackers have been charged with conspiracy and money laundering and their conviction would ensure 10 years of imprisonment.

The arraignment has brought to the limelight eight people kept in the New York prison who have admitted that they have withdrawn a total of 2.8 million dollars from hacked accounts in less than a day’s time.

The report further said that the scheme involved attacks on UAE-based Rakbank and the Bank of Muscat in Oman. Hackers obtained debit card data, eliminated withdrawal limits on the accounts, created access codes and then sent out a network of operatives to withdraw the big money in multiple cities.


First Published: Friday, May 10, 2013 - 11:53
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