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Spanish Court Indicts 9 for Roles in Massive Cyber-Heist: Report

Spain’s National Court has indicted nine people on fraud charges for allegedly participating in a massive cyber-fraud operation that spanned the globe.

The group is accused of withdrawing money from ATMs in February 2013 using information provided by a group of hackers that had penetrated the network of a credit card processor and compromised prepaid debit card accounts associated with Bank Muscat in Oman.

Spain’s National Court has indicted nine people on fraud charges for allegedly participating in a massive cyber-fraud operation that spanned the globe.

The group is accused of withdrawing money from ATMs in February 2013 using information provided by a group of hackers that had penetrated the network of a credit card processor and compromised prepaid debit card accounts associated with Bank Muscat in Oman.

According to the Associated Press, after obtaining access code numbers, thieves around the globe made 34,000 cash withdrawals in roughly two dozen countries. The crew in Spain allegedly stole $390,078 during the early hours of Feb. 20, 2013.

Judge Eloy Velasco said there was evidence the suspects belonged to an international criminal operation, and that the suspects had raided an ATM in a similar way in December 2012, according to the report. That same month, the hackers had compromised prepaid debit card accounts at the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah.

Last May, authorities in the U.S. charged seven other individuals for their roles in the scam, as well as an eighth suspect who was deceased. Six months later in November, five more were arrested. Some of the U.S. defendants have already pleaded guilty.

“This case is another example of the ability of cybercriminals to inflict significant damage to world financial systems,” said U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Steven G. Hughes, in a statement in November. “This investigation and the resulting indictments should serve as a reminder to cybercriminals that law enforcement will continue to utilize cutting-edge investigative techniques, traditional tactics and hard work to thwart complex transnational cybercriminal activity.”

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