Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Tracking & Law Enforcement

European Authorities Arrest 49 Suspected Members of Cybercrime Ring

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) announced on Wednesday the results of a joint international operation targeting a criminal group that used malware and social engineering to steal a large amount of money.

Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) announced on Wednesday the results of a joint international operation targeting a criminal group that used malware and social engineering to steal a large amount of money.

According to the EC3, the fraudsters planted malware on the systems of medium and large European companies. The malware allowed them to obtain unauthorized access to corporate email accounts and monitor them for payment requests.

When they came across such an email, the fraudsters asked the targeted company’s customer to send the payment to a bank account they controlled instead of the legitimate account. The money was then quickly cashed out through various methods, said the EC3.

The suspects, located mainly in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Spain, used a sophisticated money laundering network to transfer the money outside the European Union.

The now dismantled cybercrime group was active in Italy, Spain, Poland, the UK, Belgium and Georgia. Law enforcement agencies in Italy, Spain, Poland and the United Kingdom have worked together on the operation coordinated from Europol’s headquarters in The Hague.

Officers arrested 49 individuals and searched a total of 58 properties. They seized various items from the suspects, including credit cards, cash, forged bank account documents, laptops, phones, SIM cards, tablets, hard drives, and memory sticks.

Europol noted that parallel investigations revealed fraud totaling 6 million EUR (6.8 million USD), which fraudsters accumulated in a short period of time.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Related: Alleged Developers of Photobucket Hacking Tool Arrested

Related: Canadian Hacker Arrested for Spying Through Webcams

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

SecurityWeek’s Threat Detection and Incident Response Summit brings together security practitioners from around the world to share war stories on breaches, APT attacks and threat intelligence.


Securityweek’s CISO Forum will address issues and challenges that are top of mind for today’s security leaders and what the future looks like as chief defenders of the enterprise.


Expert Insights

Related Content


No one combatting cybercrime knows everything, but everyone in the battle has some intelligence to contribute to the larger knowledge base.


The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.


The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.


Spanish Court agreed to extradite Joseph James O’Connor to he U.S., who allegedly took part in the July 2020 hacking of Twitter accounts of...


US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...


Employees of Chinese tech giant ByteDance improperly accessed data from social media platform TikTok to track journalists in a bid to identify the source...


A hacker who reportedly posed as the CEO of a financial institution claims to have obtained access to the more than 80,000-member database of...

Application Security

Virtualization technology giant Citrix on Tuesday scrambled out an emergency patch to cover a zero-day flaw in its networking product line and warned that...