Authorities in Asia and Europe have apprehended five members of an international hacking ring accused of sophisticated attacks on bank ATMs that cost the financial institutions hit about €3 million.
Members of the hacking gang were recruited online, and most members were citizens of more than one country, which helped them travel and commit crimes across the globe.
Finextra reported that one suspect was arrested in Romania, another in Belarus and three in Taiwan. The three suspects in Taiwan have already been sentenced to five years in prison for their role in the operation, which involved 22 individuals from six countries. The three convicted criminals — all from Romania — will be deported once they’re released from prison.
The arrests were the result of an investigation launched with Europol support at the beginning of 2016. According to The Hacker News, the group used spear-phishing emails with attachments containing malware to access bank networks and gain control of ATMs, making the machines spit out cash. They were able to locate and hack into the network of ATMs from the inside, using a malicious software program to delete almost all traces of their activities.
Europol recognized law enforcement from around the world in helping with the investigation that led to these arrests.
“The majority of cybercrimes have an international dimension, taking into account the origins of suspects and places where crimes are committed,” said Steven Wilson, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre. “Only through a coordinated approach at the global level between law enforcement agencies can we successfully track down the criminal networks behind such large-scale frauds and bring them to justice.”