Major Turkish e-banking ring arrested

It was interesting to read over the weekend that police in Turkey have arrested no less than 17 people in connection with a major e-banking fraud that saw around $300,000 stolen from around a 1,000 Internet banking users.

The 17 Turks are reported to have been working closely with a trio of Russian hackers who provided them with e-banking IDs and passwords obtained using a Trojan Horse application.

The Russian hackers are said to have shared the password information of thousands of unsuspecting Turkish internet users in exchange for ten per cent of the dosh.

Reports in the Turkish media say that hundreds of Internet users began to complain about unexpected withdrawals from their online bank accounts during January.

A 20-strong team of the Izmir Organised Crime Bureau investigated the case, discovered the IP addresses of the computers making the illegal transactions, and made simultaneous raids at different addresses in Izmir, Fethiye, Didim and Kusadasi last week.

According to the Turkish newswires, several hundred people have complained to the Izmir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office that a substantial amount of money had been withdrawn from their bank accounts.

And now the bad news. Because Turkey doesn't have anything like the equivalent of the legal protection for bank customers here in Western Europe and the US, it remains to be seen whether the Turkish banks will actually refund the money.

The case is the first major one of its type in Turkey, and, because around $33,000 was sent to the Russian hackers in the last few weeks, many experts say the international nature of the scam could make prosecution of the Russians difficult, as well as recovery of all the money almost impossible...