Dutch police have arrested four men accused of using malware to steal in the region of EUR1 million from online bank accounts and then laundering the money using bitcoin.
The men were arrested last week, accused of using spear phishing techniques to install malware on victims' computers. The malware, called TorRAT, specifically targets online banking and uses the Tor network to protect crooks' anonymity. The gang also used the free TorMail service to hide their tracks.
From last spring, the four allegedly carried out more than 150 fraudulent transactions from the bank accounts of victims, transferring up to EUR1 million to money mules.
To then get their hands on the cash, the group is accused of turning to bitcoin, even setting up their own exchange service for the virtual currency. So far the public prosecution service says that it has already seized 56 bitcoins, worth around EUR7700.
In a blog post on the arrests, Feike Hacquebord from TrendLabs says: "Buying a service from a crypting service, using tormail.org, and recruiting and abusing money mules puts cybercriminals at risk of getting caught. A single error can lead to the unravelling of the whole cybercrime operation. Tor offers a high degree of anonymity, but Tor tools are not immune to data leaks."