UK police arrest 19 over ZeuS Trojan bank fraud

Police in the UK have arrested 19 people suspected of being part of the international cybercrime ring wanted for stealing millions in an online banking fraud.

Detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit swooped on a number of London addresses in dawn raids on Tuesday, according to a Press Association report.

Fifteen men and four women, aged between 23 and 47, are said to be being held at police stations across London.

The international ring of which they are alleged to have been part used a Trojan called ZeuS to capture bank log-in details from victims' computers. These were then used to transfer an estimated £6 million over the last three months into specially-created bank accounts, from which the cash was laundered onwards.

The suspects are being questioned about fraud, money laundering and offences under the Computer Misuse Act. Two of those held are also said to have been arrested on suspicion of possessing a firearm.

Detective Chief Inspector Terry Wilson said he expected the amount that the gang was known to have nabbed to "increase considerably" as the investigation goes on, and urged the public to remain on their guard against further attacks:

"Online banking customers must make sure their security systems are up to date and be alert to any unusual or additional security features requested which is at variance with their normal log-on experience," he said.

It's nice, though, at times like these to see that the Met can spare a thought for others. Wilson reminded reporters to remember the real victims of the crime - the poor banking sector:

"We believe we have disrupted a highly organised criminal network, which has used sophisticated methods to siphon large amounts of cash from many innocent people's accounts, causing immense personal anxiety and significant financial harm - which of course banks have had to repay at considerable cost to the economy."