Hacker’s method exposed

POLICE BELIEVE that a gang of eight Bulgarians and Croatians who were on the verge of withdrawing money from potentially thousands of people’s accounts using multibanco cards before they were arrested accessed bank details using sophisticated computer software.

The other theory put forward was that the group had an inside source giving them account details but on closer inspection of the computers seized during their arrest, the possibility that they were able to hack into bank systems is more plausible.

Police also seized hundreds of multibanco cards with Portuguese account numbers on them and a BMW. One of the gang members had around 36,000 euros on him when he was arrested.

The group arrived in Lisbon on September 21 and stayed in a motel, which was paid for until September 25, which police believe would have given them time to drain accounts and escape unnoticed.

The gang was arrested on the day of their arrival thanks to specific information from the pending investigation. An international arrest warrant was issued by Europol and Spanish authorities who were leading the international investigation where similar crimes had occurred in many European countries.

Experts in computer hacking, the gang is alleged to be part of an international network of computer hackers who access bank account databases, print the details on blank cards and go to cash machines to remove the money.

They were in court on September 22 for a preliminary hearing, where they were remanded into preventive custody and if convicted, gang members could face up to 12 years in prison.

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