Friday, April 29, 2011

FBI warns U.S. businesses of new Chinese cybercrime scheme -- when will enough be enough?

FBI agents combating international cybercrime are currently battling hackers on two new fronts -- from a remote corner of China to the virtual battlefields of "Call of Duty" emanating from the family playroom.

On the international stage, FBI cybersleuths have informed U.S. businesses that millions of dollars have been fraudulently wired from business accounts in U.S. banks to banks in a remote coastal region of China near the Russian border.

The FBI says apparently legitimately licensed Chinese economic and trade companies have successfully stolen at least $11 million dollars in a series of wire transfers to Heilongjiang province.

U.S. experts don't quite know what to make of the scam that has surfaced 20 times in the past year. But it is increasing in frequency to the point the FBI has declared the problem a "trend." In this investigation agents have discovered Chinese efforts to defraud U.S. businesses of about $20 million.

The fraud scheme prompted the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center to disclose the case and issue an unusually detailed description of the problem they confront.

"It is unknown who is behind these unauthorized transfers, if the Chinese accounts were the final transfer destination or if the funds were transferred elsewhere, or why legitimate companies received the unauthorized funds," the center disclosed in its "fraud alert." (read more)