US authorities have arrested five men for their part in a massive ATM cyberheist that siphoned off $45 million in a matter of hours.
Defendants Anthony Diaz, Saul Franjul, Saul Genao, Jaindhi Polanco and Jose Angeley Valerio were members of the New York-based cell of the international cybercrime organisation, which used sophisticated intrusion techniques to hack into the systems of financial institutions, steal prepaid debit card data, and make fraudulent ATM withdrawals on a global scale.
The heists took place during two dates in December 2012 and targeted payment cards issued by the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah PSC in the United Arab Emirates and the Bank of Muscat in Oman respectively.
Diaz, Franjul, Genao, Polanco and Valerio allegedly operated the New York cell of 'cashers', who fanned out across the New York area to make thousands of withdrawals from ATMs. During the two operations, over the course of a few hours, the defendants and their co-conspirators withdrew approximately $2.8 million at over 140 different ATM locations in New York City. The defendants sent the bulk of the cash proceeds back to the organisers of the attacks.
Newly seized photographic evidence from one of the defendant's iPhones shows $800,000 in dollar bills spread out over a hotel bed and stuffed into luggage for transport to Florida by bus.
The new arrests are in addition to an earlier indictment of eight men in May 2013, four of whom have already pleaded guilty to charges resulting from the crime.