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German authorities nab Trojan gang
Published: 2007-09-17

German authorities arrested 10 people last week for computer intrusion and financial crimes following an 18 month investigation into an international phishing group.

The suspects, who varied in age from 20- to 36-years-old, allegedly used a Trojan horse program to infect victims' machines and log their bank activity, racking up hundred of thousands of Euros in profits, according to a Federal Criminal Investigation Office (BKA) press release (in German).

Security firm McAfee identified the Trojan as Downloader-AAP, which has topped its Corporate User Malware Chart.

"The sophistication in the executables themselves were not ground breaking," said Craig Schmugar, a threat researcher with McAfee. "In terms of the overall safety of the Internet -- Did it get more safe because of this bust? Maybe, just for today."

Two weeks ago, the German media reported that the nation's computer systems had been infiltrated by Chinese spying software. Other nations have repeated the allegations, but the Chinese fired back last week, saying foreign countries had infiltrated its own systems.

U.S. authorities have focused on cracking down on financial fraudsters online. Last week, former security researcher Max Ray Butler, also known as "Max Vision," was arrested for allegedly running a large identity-theft ring.

The suspects arrested in the latest case were residents of Hamburg, Duesseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt and Elmshorn, according to the BKA.

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Posted by: Robert Lemos
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