Fifteen arrested in multinational 'phishing' scam

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Argentine authorities have detained 15 people, including a Spanish national, in connection with a multi-million euro (dollar) online banking fraud, the Spanish interior ministry said.

The Spaniard was one of 15 people arrested amid allegations of "phishing", or making illegal use of online account holders' details, following a police operation in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Palencia and Valencia and Santa Fe in Argentina, the ministry said.

The 23-year-old Spaniard, an information technology expert nicknamed "Tasmania", was already the subject of 14 arrest warrants.

The other suspects hail from Argentina, Italy and Romania, the ministry said, adding that house to house searches had turned up a wealth of information related to the case, covering some 150 bank accounts.

The suspects allegedly infected victims' computers with so-called Trojan viruses and worms to access account information using servers as far apart as Argentina, Canada, Russia and Thailand, according to investigators.

A computer worm, unlike a virus, does not have to travel through e-mail but can spread by itself to any unprotected computer linked to the Internet.

AFP