US charges eight in $45 million cybercrime scheme

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A global cybercrime ring stole $45 million from thousands of ATMs in two precise operations involving people in 27 countries, US prosecutors said on Thursday.

In the first operation, an unnamed Indian credit-card processing company handling Visa and MasterCard prepaid debit cards was infiltrated by hackers.

Armed with the details of MasterCard debit cards issued by the Bank of Muscat in Oman and the United Arab Emirates' RakBank, the hackers increased the available balance and withdrawal limits of the cards.

Using only five different account numbers, the hackers distributed the information to people in 20 countries who proceeded to encode the information on magnetic-stripe cards.

Cashing crews then made some 4,500 withdrawals around the world, netting $5 million.

Computer experts monitored the financial transactions of the street crews to ensure they weren't shortchanged on their cut.

US federal prosecutors charged eight men with money laundering and conspiracy to commit "access device fraud".

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