In a press release issued July 13 (or 13 luglio 2007, if you're in Roma), the Commanding General of the Financial Guard of Milan announced that they had arrested 26 phishers. 18 Italian citizens, and 8 foreigners.
Here's my Babylon 6 assisted translation of the press release:
The Provincial headquarters of the Guardia di Finanza in Milan has, in fact, executed 26 orders of custody to members of two criminal associations responsible for a series of fraud perpetrated on hundreds of users of home banking services, by technical means better known under the name of "phishing".
The operation has identified 18 Italian citizens and 8 Eastern European foreigners, who are regular residents in our country, which are exploiting the home banking personal access credentials to customers of Poste Italiane bank, sent fraudulently in response to randomly dispatched e-mails apparently sent by their financial institution.
Hackers from the group, during questioning, have confessed to having sent the e-mail messages, which appeared to originate from Poste Italiane, by using stolen login credentials for electronic mailboxes of ISPs operating in Italy but with servers abroad. They subsequently logged in to the accounts during the next 30 days and defrauded them out, by transferring the sums on cards specially created by other members of the Organization.
The means of offense were identified thanks to a tight cooperative investigation between the "fraud management" team of Poste Italiane and the officers of the Guardia di Finanza, which have monitored in real time the activations of the cards, initially in the territory of Milan and then on the whole national territory.
The orders of custody have been carried out in the provinces of Milan, Brescia, Novara, Como, Florence, Parma, Forlì and Pescara.
In the course of the searches they seized computers, removable media archives, magnetic cards used to set up credit cards and debit cards, hundreds of credit cards and prepaid cards of various banking institutions, CARDS one, false documents and mobile phones last generation.
This type of investigation is possible every day in the United States. What is necessary to make it a reality? The belief by the management in charge of the manpower of various investigative and prosecutorial agencies that "small crimes" are worth investigating -- because they lead to Big Criminals!
Well Done, Italy! May you serve as a model for us all!
(original press release, in Italian, is available here:
Italian Press Release
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Posted by Gary Warner, UAB / PhishMe at 7:21 AM