money mule chart

Don’t you think a lot more people need to be aware of this?

Kevin Poulsen at Threat Level has a great item up about the growing menace of “money mules.” The term refers to bank customers who’ve been conned into unwittingly laundering cash that hackers have stolen from business bank accounts. The con and the funny phrase have been around for a while, but the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued a new warning to American financial institutions about the increasing spread on Thursday. Snip:

Using specialized Trojan horse malware, cybercrooks have been intercepting web-banking credentials from the computers of small and midsize businesses, and then initiating wire transfers to mules around the country. The mules are consumers who’ve been lured into fake work-at-home scams, in which their employment involves receiving money transfers and then forwarding the funds to Eastern Europe, either directly or through other mules.

The scheme has exploded in the last year…

The FBI is estimating losses at $40 million so far, according to a recent story from WashingtonPost.com reporter Brian Krebs, who’s been closely following the attacks.

FDIC Warns Banks to Watch for ‘Money Mules’ Duped by Hackers [ Threat Level via @glennf ]

Link to Kevin Poulsen at Threat Level

Link to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Link to more about money mules

Link to info on Trojan horse malware

[ Image: Bank Safe Online UK ]

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