European police dismantle cybercrime ring with ties to Italian Mafia

The group used phishing, BEC and different sorts of assaults to swindle victims out of thousands and thousands

Regulation enforcement businesses from Europe have cracked down on an organized group that’s related to the Italian Mob and has been concerned in all method of cybercrime, together with phishing campaigns, SIM swapping and Enterprise Electronic mail Compromise (BEC). The prison community was additionally concerned in identification theft, cash laundering, drug trafficking, property crime, arms dealing and different exceedingly violent crimes.

“The suspects defrauded tons of of victims via phishing assaults and different sorts of on-line fraud reminiscent of SIM swapping and enterprise electronic mail compromise earlier than laundering the cash via a large community of cash mules and shell corporations. Final yr alone, the unlawful revenue is estimated at about € 10 million,” reads Europol’s press launch.

The operation was spearheaded by the Spanish Nationwide Police and backed by the Italian Nationwide Police, in addition to Europol and Eurojust, the European Union’s legislation enforcement and judicial businesses, respectively. The operation led to 106 arrests, 16 home searches, 118 financial institution accounts being frozen, and the seizure of quite a lot of digital gadgets, 224 bank cards, SIM playing cards, and point-of-sale terminals.

Europol described the group as well-organized, with the community comprised of members with numerous specializations. “Among the many members of the prison group had been laptop specialists, who created the phishing domains and carried out the cyber fraud; recruiters and organisers of the cash muling; and cash laundering specialists, together with specialists in cryptocurrencies,” mentioned the European legislation enforcement company.

The group operated out of Tenerife within the Canary Islands and used numerous ways to dupe unsuspecting victims, normally Italian nationals, out of huge quantities of cash, which they’d ship to financial institution accounts managed by the prison group. As soon as the cash was wired to their accounts, they proceeded to launder it both via a big community of shell corporations or cash mules.

It’s no marvel that organized crime has taken an growing curiosity in cybercrime and particularly BEC scams. In line with the FBI’s 2020 Web Crime Report, BEC scams stay top-dog, with losses emanating from them reaching a complete of virtually US$2 billion final yr. And if the FBI’s annual report is any indication the losses from BEC scams can solely be anticipated to develop additional sooner or later.

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