Nineteen charged with using Zeus banking Trojan to drain UK accounts

Suspects allegedly used the data-stealing malware to hijack bank accounts and steal millions of pounds.

Police in London arrested 19 people suspected of using the Zeus banking Trojan to steal millions of pounds from UK bank accounts.

According to the Daily Mail, the East European suspects allegedly made 2 million pounds a month by stealing victims' online banking credentials and hijacking their accounts. Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit reportedly arrested 15 men and four women across London early Wednesday.

The Daily Mail, which reported that police believe the suspects' scheme may have netted them 20 million pounds, published photos of arrests. That's about $31 million U.S. dollars.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at security vendor Sophos Plc, applauded the arrests in the Zeus, also called Zbot, case.

"Arrests like the ones in London don't mean the end of Zbot -- it continues to be available for sale to other criminals via underground websites -- but it's still good news for everyone interested in making the Internet a safer place," he wrote in a blog post.

Last month, security researchers uncovered a targeted attack against customers of a large UK-based bank that used the Zeus banking Trojan to compromise 3,000 accounts and steal more than $1 million (U.S. dollars).

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