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FBI smashes US-Egypt cyber phishing ring.

LOS ANGELES Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. : Investigators in the United States and Egypt have smashed a computer "phishing" identity theft scam described as the biggest cyber-crime investigation in US history, officials said Wednesday.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice charged with investigating all violations of federal laws except those assigned to some other federal agency.  said 33 people were arrested across the United States early Wednesday while authorities in Egypt charged 47 more people linked to the scam.

A total of 53 suspects were named in connection with the scam in a federal grand jury indictment, the FBI said.

Authorities said the sophisticated identity theft network had gathered information from thousands of victims which were used to defraud American banks. Wednesday s arrests were the culmination of a two-year probe involving US and Egyptian officials dubbed "Operation Phish Phry."

The investigation was described in statement as the largest cybercrime cybercrime
 also known as computer crime

Any use of a computer as an instrument to further illegal ends, such as committing fraud, trafficking in child pornography and intellectual property, stealing identities, or violating privacy.
 investigation to date in the United States. A series of raids early Wednesday resulted in arrests in California, Nevada and North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures


Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop.
.

A 51-count US indictment accuses all defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud while various defendants are charged with aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit computer fraud.

"The sophistication so·phis·ti·cate  
v. so·phis·ti·cat·ed, so·phis·ti·cat·ing, so·phis·ti·cates

v.tr.
1. To cause to become less natural, especially to make less naive and more worldly.

2.
 with which Phish Phry defendants operated represents an evolving and troubling paradigm in the way identity theft is now committed," FBI Los Angeles acting assistant director Keith Bolcar said.

"Criminally savvy groups recruit here and abroad to pool tactics and skills necessary to commit organized theft facilitated by the computer, including hacking, fraud and identity theft, with a common greed and shared willingness to victimize Americans."

According to an unsealed indictment, Egyptian-based hackers obtained bank account numbers and personal information from bank customers through phishing, and then hacked into accounts at two unidentified banks.

Once compromised accounts had been accessed, hackers in Egypt contacted conspirators CONSPIRATORS. Persons guilty of a conspiracy. See 3 Bl. Com. 126-71 Wils. Rep. 210-11. See Conspiracy.  based in the United States via text messages, phone calls and Internet chatrooms to arrange transfer of cash to fraudulent accounts.

"This international phishing ring had a significant impact on two banks and caused huge headaches for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of bank customers," acting US Attorney George Cardona said in a statement.

The investigation comes hard on the heels of a security breach targeting thousands of Microsoft Hotmail accounts.

Cyber-crooks evidently used "phishing" tactics to dupe users of MicrosoftEoe1/4aos free Web-based email service into revealing account and access information, according to the US technology giant.

Muscat Muscat, Maskat, or Masqat (all: mŭs`kăt, mŭs`kət), city (1993 pop. 533,774), capital of Oman, SE Arabia, on the Gulf of Oman. It is flanked by rugged mountains.  Press and Publishing House SAOC SAOC Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization
SAOC Sunbeam Alpine Owners Club (UK)
SAOC Sector Air Operations Center
SAOC South African Orchid Council
SAOC Submariners Association Of Canada (Gloucester, ON, Canada) 
 2009

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Oct 11, 2009
Words:399
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