Brazil’s federal police on Wednesday arrested 50 hackers who were accused of using the internet to syphon off $28m from bank accounts of private citizens.

Authorities said that hackers attacked some of the leading technology users in Brazil’s financial sector: Caixa Economica Federal, Banco do Brasil, HSBC, Bradesco, Unibanco and Itau.

Most of the suspects are under 25-years-old, a police spokesperson said.

Investigators found that the online thieves sent their victims email messages. Once the unsuspecting depositors opened the messages, their banking information and personal access codes became available to the hackers, who were able to transfer money out of the accounts to other bank accounts.

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