Brazilian Federal Police arrested this Tuesday, February 14, in seven states in Brazil (São Paulo, Paraná, Paraíba, Ceará, Pernambuco, Bahia and Rio Grande do Norte), members of a gang specialized on stealing money online from bank accounts.
The gang leader was a 19-year-old man, whose name was not released. The gang’s operations headquarters was in the city of Campina Grande, in the northeastern state of Paraíba.
Three hundred and thirty police agents participated on the "Scan Operation." 40 people were arrested. Investigations started last May, based on reports by the Caixa Econômica Federal (Federal Savings Bank) and the Banco do Brasil, both state-owned financial institutions.
Account holders were receiving e-mails with enclosures containing "Trojan horse"-type viruses, which, after being installed in the computers of bank clients, copied their account numbers, passwords and PIN numbers.
In possession of this data, the crackers made transfers to other accounts. According to an estimate by the Paraíba state superintendency of the Federal Police, the diverted funds exceed US$ 4.6 million.
Among other offenses, the Brazilian authorities are charging the hackers with criminal conspiracy, illegal interception of electronic data and aggravated theft.