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49 busted in Europe for Man-in-the-Middle bank attacks

A multination bust on Tuesday nabbed 49 suspects spread throughout Europe.
They were arrested on suspicion of using Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) attacks to sniff out and intercept payment requests from email.
As Europol detailed in a statement, the raid was coordinated by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and Eurojust, led by Italian Polizia di Stato (Postal and Communications Police), the Spanish National Police, and the Polish Police Central Bureau of Investigation, and supported by UK law enforcement bodies.

The suspects were arrested in parallel raids in Italy, Spain, Poland, the UK, Belgium and Georgia, where police searched 58 properties.
Police seized laptops, hard disks, telephones, tablets, credit cards and cash, SIM cards, memory sticks, forged documents and bank account documents.
The parallel investigations uncovered international fraud totaling €6 million (about £4.4 million or $6.8 million) – a haul that Europol says was snagged within a “very short time.”
The gang allegedly targeted medium and large European companies via MiTM attacks.
The suspects allegedly used social engineering and managed to plant malware onto the targeted companies’ networks.
Once they had established illegitimate access to corporate email accounts, they then allegedly monitored communications, sniffing around for payment requests.
The fraudsters then set up a simultaneous transaction with a targeted company’s real site.

Europol says that the suspects they busted on Tuesday instructed customers to send payments to bank accounts controlled by the criminal group.
Those payments were then cashed out immediately.
The suspects, who were mainly from Nigeria, Cameroon and Spain, transferred the ill-gotten money to outside the European Union through what Europol called “a sophisticated network of money laundering transactions.”