Cyber Hackers Stole $45 Million from ATMs in Global Crime Scheme

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Seven men based in New York have been charged with stealing $45 million in a matter of hours. Experts are calling it the second-biggest bank robbery in the history of the city.

The ring of bank robbers was scattered across the globe. They utilized sophisticated cyber crime techniques to steal the millions from thousands of different ATM machines over a span of 10 hours.

They utilized hacked debit-card data and made 40,500 transactions in 27 cities, many of them in New York.

Authorities arrested seven American citizens related to the ring, including Jael Mejia Collado, Joan Luis Minier Lara, Evan Jose Pena, Jose Familia Reyes, Elvis Rafael Rodriguez, Emir Yasser Yeje and Chung Yu-Holguin.

Another defendant, Alberto Yusi Lajund-Pena, would have been arrested, but was murdered on April 27 in the Dominican Republic. It is not known whether the murder had anything to do with the case.

The criminal organization hacked into two different credit card processors and used stolen data to make withdrawals at the automated machines. This occurred on two separate dates, one in December 2012 and another in February 2013.

The seven New York men were charged with participating in the global scheme by withdrawing $2.8 million from ATMs in New York City.

U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said it was likely that the headquarters of the scheme was outside of the United States.

They are now investigating to find out if other transactions were made in the country.

"In the place of guns and masks, this cyber crime organization used laptops and the Internet. Moving as swiftly as data over the Internet, the organization worked its way from the computer systems of international corporations to the streets of New York City, with the defendants fanning out across Manhattan to steal millions of dollars from hundreds of ATMs in a matter of hours," Lynch said.

This case represents the threat cyber crime poses in today's world. 

"Hackers only need to find one vulnerability to cause millions of dollars of damage," Mark Rasch, former federal cyber crimes prosecutor, said. 

Sources: Daily Mail, USA Today