Fascinating heist

I find this story about a cyber-theft quite fascinating:

A gang based in the former Soviet Union used viruses to secretly take control of computers used by county officials, including the country treasurer and a local judge, according to the Washington Post.

Then they secretly re-routed e-mails containing one-time passwords that both the treasurer and the judge would have to use to authorize wire transfers from the account, which belonged to Bullitt County Fiscal Court in Shepherdsville and was used to make payroll.

Beginning on June 22, the hackers began sending transfers, each under $10,000 so as not to alert federal watchdogs, to the bank accounts of 25 different Americans who’d been unwittingly recruited as “mules” by the Eastern European criminals.

The “mules” are possibly in a lot of trouble. It would be hard for them to claim that they are innocent dupes when their only duties involve wiring large sums of money to Eastern Europe. Of course if they could show previous donations to Nigerian con-men it would go a long way to convincing a jury that they are criminally stupid and rather than criminally greedy.

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