The US Federal Bureau of Investigation collaborated with Egyptian authorities to take the wrappers off from a big phishing scam in a highly sophisticated operation dubbed as “Phish Phry” that eventually led to the indictment of as many as 100 defendants in the two countries.
Of those defendants, 53 are from the US and the rest 47 belong to Egypt, with a majority of convicts in the US are from Southern California, North Carolina, and Nevada.
The FBI, in court documents filed in Los Angeles, claimed that the defendants reportedly tricked consumers into disclosing their personal information, such as bank details, and allegedly siphoned a massive $1.5 million from thousands of accounts they had accessed.
It further asserted that the Egyptian hackers used fraud emails to direct users to bogus bank sites, followed by tricking them into entering their bank account details.
The indictment marks culmination of a two-year joint effort by the authorities of the two countries to track down fraudsters in an operating named “Phish Phry”.
Keith Bolcar, acting assistant director for FBI Los Angeles, said in a statement: “The sophistication with which defendants operated represents an evolving and troubling paradigm in the way identity theft is now committed”.
Good to see an international anti-phish effort work. Unfortunately for other countries like Nigeria, Russia, China or Northern Korea, it might be slightly more difficult to get an indictment and any monnies back. Furthermore, closing a phishing ring won't necessarily mean that others won't crop elsewhere.