back to article 178 arrested in pan-European money mule crackdown

A pan-European crackdown has resulted in the arrest of 178 suspected money mules. Across Europe, 580 people were identified as suspects. National law enforcement agencies last week interviewed 380 suspects collectively implicated in losses amounting to €23m. After malware or phishing is used to obtain the login credentials of …

  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Cops 178, Criminals 0

    OK, so the score looks good - a real win for the cops, pizza and beer all round tonight to celebrate the victory. Over the next few months they will probably jail half of them and the rest will get of with a warning, "Sorry, I thought it was a real job gov"

    Meanwhile the criminal organizing the whole thing will Ctl-Alt-Del and do it again. It's like planning to stop an invading army by stealing their shoelaces.

    1. EJ

      Re: Cops 178, Criminals 0

      I hear ya: we need more drone strikes.

    2. fandom

      Re: Cops 178, Criminals 0

      More like disrupting their supply lines.

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Cops 178, Criminals 0

      The real questions are how much information about the bosses these mules can collectively give and how easy is it to rebuild the network. Brian Krebs noted in his book (I do not have the title handy) that one of the major weaknesses of any scam/criminal enterprise is the need to move money after getting it. Make getting and moving money difficult many of the enterprises are in trouble.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cops 178, Criminals 0

        But you would think savvy enterprises would have a Plan B and C ready on hand in case of stuff like this, given this is to them The Cost Of Doing Business.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: Cops 178, Criminals 0

          "But you would think savvy enterprises would have a Plan B and C ready on hand in case of stuff like this, given this is to them The Cost Of Doing Business."

          Exactly - and their actual "cost" of doing business is very low - the mules only get paid if they complete the transfer so this hasn't been a big expense - chances are they are working the scam somewhere else with the same data as I type. While this sort of declaration of victory looks good in the end of year report, it doesn't usually cause much of a problem to the people running the scam.

    4. phuzz Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Cops 178, Criminals $16.31 billion

      Instead of "Cops 178, Criminals 0", shouldn't it be "Cops 178, Criminals $16.31 billion", which was the amount lost to credit card fraud in 2014*?

      So not such a good score really.

      * last year I could find figures for.

  2. Ru'

    The fields are full of mules, this is just regular staff "churn" (that's one for the bingo card!)...

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