Bulgaria arrests eight for phishing operation

Authorities in Bulgaria arrested eight people last week who allegedly ran a phishing operation using a variety of Web pages with Microsoft logos as lures.

Authorities in Bulgaria arrested eight people last week who allegedly stole financial information using a variety of fake Web pages carrying Microsoft logos, netting the group at least $US50,000.

The group, known as the MBAM (Microsoft Billing Account Management) gang, launched 46 attacks on 43 compromised servers in 11 countries, Microsoft said in a news release on Saturday. In a technique known as phishing, the group sent fraudulent e-mails purporting to be from MSN's customer service team asking recipients to update their account information.

Microsoft said it assisted Bulgaria's National Service for Combating Organized Crime (NSCOC) with investigative and technical support. Raids were conducted in three cities in Bulgaria, Microsoft said.

The group set up dozens of look-alike Web pages similar to MSN Web sites asking for personal identification and verification numbers. The group used the stolen the data -- from credit card holders in the United States, Germany and the U.K. -- for purchases and express money transfers, Microsoft said.

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Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service

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