Two arrests in costly online banking heist

After a tip-off from Interpol, Attica police arrested a couple yesterday and are looking for two more people in connection with a ring that used spam e-mails to hack into people’s computers and use the online banking system to transfer money from their accounts. The man and woman arrested, aged 37 and 22 respectively, as well as the other couple being sought, are Greeks of Russian origin. They are believed to be members of a wider gang based in Russia that sends e-mails containing a Trojan horse program, which installs itself into people’s computers when the messages are opened. The e-mails usually offer bargain holidays or items for sale at low prices, officers said. The software is used to pass on banking details and passwords to the gang members. The members of the Greek branch of the gang transferred at least 40,000 euros from six victims to Russia using this method, while keeping an 8 percent cut for themselves, officers said. Police fear that further investigations may reveal many more victims and warned people who use Internet banking not to open e-mails from senders they do not recognize.