Federal Investigation Nets 100 in Phishing Scheme
Authorities in the United States and Egypt have charged 100 people with
participating in a sophisticated phishing ring authorities say
defrauded two banks in the
Early today, police in cities across the United States arrested 33 of the 53 suspects named in a federal indictment in Los Angeles last week. Overseas, Egyptian authorities charged another 47 defendants for participating in the scheme.
The charges were the result of a two-year probe known as Operation
Phish Phry, which started when FBI agents working with
"This international phishing ring had a significant impact on two banks and caused huge headaches for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of bank customers," said Acting United States Attorney George S. Cardona, in a statement. "Organized, international criminal rings can only be confronted by an organized response by law enforcement across international borders, which we have seen in this case."
According to the indictment, Egyptian-based attackers phished bank
credentials and used them to break into the victims' accounts. Once
that was done, the attackers in
The 51-count indictment accuses all of the defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Some of the defendants are also charged with aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit computer fraud and domestic and international money laundering.
"The sophistication with which Phish Phry defendants operated represents an evolving and troubling paradigm in the way identity theft is
now committed," said Keith Bolcar, acting Assistant Director In Charge
of the FBI in Los Angeles, in a statement. "Criminally savvy groups
recruit here and abroad to pool tactics and skills necessary to commit
organized theft facilitated by the computer, including hacking, fraud
and identity theft, with a common greed and shared willingness to