Monday, December 01, 2008

Massachussetts City Theft Highlights Prevalence of Hackers

George Brennan writes on The Cape Cod Times:

The theft of $34,000 from a town bank account is part of growing underground economy centered on cyber crime, a top law enforcement official says.

"It's massive, it's growing and it's transnational," said Scott O'Neal, chief of the FBI's Washington-based computer intrusion section. "There are cyber criminals and cyber victims in many different countries."

Sandwich police say hackers stole the password and security information for a town bank account earlier this month and made four illegal wire transfers. The town treasurer noticed the bogus transactions while attempting to pay the town's weekly bills.

Bank officials told the town the wire transfers were made using Treasurer Craig Mayen's name and password, police said. Investigators believe the hackers breached the town computers using a virus that logged Mayen's key strokes.

Sandwich police Detective Albert Robichaud was able to trace the transfers to banks in Florida and Georgia in the United States, Police Chief Michael Miller said Tuesday. At least one of those transactions was traced to St. Petersburg, Russia, an indication to law enforcement that organized crime may be involved.

More here.


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