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US & Egypt Collaborate To Bust Huge Phishing Ring

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”.

Our Comments

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.

Related Links

100 charged in US and Egypt over phishing scam

(Telegraph)

Operation Phish Phry Nets 100 Suspects

(PC World)

Huge phishing ring busted

(The Inquirer)

Feds net 100 phishers in biggest cybercrime case ever

(The Register)

'Operation Phish Phry' Nets 100 Alleged Phishermen

(Channel Web)

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.