Following a multi-national investigation into a phishing scheme that covered the United States and Egypt, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced today that it had charged 53 defendants in the U.S, thirty-three of which were already arrested while the others are still being sought.
Authorities in Egypt on the other hand have charged 47 defendants who are also linked to the phishing operation, taking the total to 100, the largest number ever charged in a cybercrime case.
The investigation, which was dubbed “Operation Phish Phry”, begun in 2007.
“The sophistication with which Phish Phry defendants operated represents an evolving and troubling paradigm in the way identity is now committed,” Keith Bolcar, acting assistant director of the FBI in Los Angeles, said in a statement.
“Criminally savvy groups recruit here and abroad to pool tactics and skills necessary to commit organized theft facilitated by the computer, including hacking, fraud and identity theft, with a common greed and shared willingness to victimize Americans.”
The 53 defendants in the U.S. face charges of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud that could cost them a maximum of 20 years in prison. Hmmn, let’s see if they can hack they’re way of out that.