Eight charged in cybercrime scheme targeting banks, government

Hackers tried to steal $15 million from Citigroup, PayPal and others

More scary news on the cybercrime front.

Yesterday, New Jersey federal prosecutors charged eight people involved in an international cybercrime scheme that targeted 15 financial institutions and government agencies and aimed to steal at least $15 million from U.S. customers.

The targeted entities included Automatic Data Processing Inc., Citigroup Inc., eBay Inc.’s PayPal, JPMorgan Chase & Co., TD Ameritrade Holding Corp., the U.S. Department of Defense and others.

The accused hackers gained unauthorized access to computer networks and diverted customer funds to other accounts and prepaid debit cards, which they used to make ATM withdrawals and fraudulent purchases.

“Cybercriminals penetrated some of our most trusted financial institutions,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said yesterday in a statement. “Today’s charges and arrests take out key members of the organization, including leaders of crews in three states that used those stolen identities to ‘cash out’ hacked accounts in a series of internationally coordinated modern-day bank robberies.”

The defendants face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft. Each could land as much as 35 years in prison.

Read Bloomberg Businessweek, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal for more about the cybercrime scheme.

For more InsideCounsel stories about cybercrime, read:

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