Romania smashes international cybercrime ring

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Romanian authorities said Tuesday they dismantled a cybercrime network blamed for causing more than 11 million euros (13.5 million dollars) in losses to firms in the United States, Britain, South Africa, Italy and Romania.

About 50 people were part of the criminal ring headed by two Romanians, said the prosecutor's office specializing in combating organized crime in a statement.

Police arrested 42 people and tookthem into custody Tuesday while several computers and hard disks were seized, the statement said.

Ring members were accused of stealing confidential Voice over IP data by cracking servers on the Internet. They would then use the data to make thousands of calls towards surcharged numbers abroad which allowed them to get bonuses for every call, it added.

The crackdown coincided with an international forum on cybercrime which runs until Wednesday in Bucharest.

Several law enforcement experts Tuesday highlighted the steep increase in cybercrime in recent years.

"We need international cooperation between states but also between the law enforcement agencies and the private sector", Catalin Dragota, head of the police unit combating organized crime, told the forum.

© 2010 AFP

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