German police have arrested an international phishing gang that allegedly used spam e-mail to unleash trojan programs designed to steal bank account details and passwords.
The gang, which includes Russian, Ukrainian, and German suspects, is alleged to have targeted online banking customers with phishing e-mails claiming to come from organisations including Deutsche Telekom, eBay, Walmart and Ikea. Attached to the e-mails were malicious Trojan programs that stole information from the infected computers.
Germany's Federal Crime Office says the 18-month police investigation culminated in arrests in several cities, including Dusseldorf, Cologne and Frankfurt.
According to press reports, German police are still holding eight of the 10 arrested, including two women.
The suspects are thought to have used the proceeds of phishing to splash out on expensive jewelry, cars and luxury holidays.
Commenting on the arrests, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at IT security firm Sophos, says: "The financial rewards for cybercrime are significant, and we are seeing more organised gangs getting involved in this kind of crime all the time.
"Everyone who has a computer needs to learn how to properly defend themselves, or risk having their money and identity stolen."