04 Oct 2011

Hackers stole millions by discovering bank PINs

Highlighting why banks should always have top notch internet security, a group of hackers used a virus called Zeus to access PINs for bank accounts in Europe and the U.S. About 44 million British pounds ($67.79 million) was stolen in the hacker heist, according to news sources.

Karina Kostromina, wife of Ukrainian ringleader Yehven Kulibaba, was jailed for two years this week for allowing her account to be used by the British gang. Nearly £3 million was taken from British banks including Barclays, Lloys TSB and HSBC, according to news sources.

"This was a systematic, sophisticated, a highly organized and, to those who benefited from it, an extremely lucrative fraud which attacked the U.K. banking industry and, more specifically, the security of online bank accounts," said Mark Bryant-Heron, a lawyer for the prosecution, to The Metro.

Kostromina, from Latvia, is the only member of the mostly European gang to deny involvement in the British operation. Judge Nicholas Ainley, in sentencing her, said she must have known she was involved in an organized crime operation, since she made a lot of money.