Australian police have uncovered a large-scale cybercrime scheme

29 February 2024 2 minutes Author: Newsman

Australian Federal Police have announced the arrest of four people accused of being involved in a major cyber crime scheme that involved business email compromise (BEC) and other online fraud. According to law enforcement, the perpetrators organized more than 15 sophisticated cyberattacks and managed approximately 180 bank accounts to support their criminal activities.

Millions of dollars worth of damage

Between January 2020 and March 2023, cybercriminals created more than 80 bank accounts using stolen data to transfer stolen money out of Australia. They used bank accounts in South Africa to launder approximately $1.1 million. In total, the group is believed to have laundered more than $1.7 million from BEC attacks, Facebook marketplace fraud and fraudulent retirement investments.

Individual losses from the criminal group’s activities ranged from US$2,500 to US$500,000, with one Indonesian company losing more than US$100,000 in an attack on BEC. The arrests come amid a new warning from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) about BEC schemes, where cybercriminals use fake domain email addresses to initiate bulk purchases of goods from US suppliers.

Affected suppliers usually discover the fraud after unsuccessful attempts to receive payment or after contacting the company they believe placed the order, only to discover that the source of the emails was fraudulent. As part of the observed attacks, cybercriminals ordered construction materials, agricultural products, computer equipment and solar energy products, indicating the need for increased attention and caution on the part of suppliers.

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