Computer Crime Research Center


Microsoft exalted Bulgaria for phishing gang arrest

Date: January 20, 2006

Microsoft Corp. has commended the Bulgarian law-enforcement National Services to Combat Organized Crime (NSCOC) agency for investigations leading to the arrest of an organized ring of eight individuals who allegedly operated an international "phishing" operation. Microsoft supported the NSCOC by providing investigative and technical support in the case.

NSCOC arrested eight people in raids conducted this week in three Bulgarian cities. The group allegedly is part of an international criminal network that commits financial fraud and steals personal data through the Internet.

"We are pleased to have collaborated with the Bulgarian authorities in their swift and effective action in this case," said Horacio Gutierrez, associate general counsel for Microsoft Europe. "This is an important step forward in the combat against those who prey on Internet users. Microsoft believes vigorous criminal enforcement against phishers is essential to show cybercriminals that there are consequences to their illegal actions, and we are pleased to collaborate with law enforcement agencies around the world in this effort."

Known as the MBAM Gang (Microsoft Billing Account Management) by Microsoft investigators, the group allegedly spoofed emails to make them appear as if they were sent by MSN customer service representatives. The group also allegedly created dozens of fake Internet Web pages that mimicked the design, logo and trademark of official MSN pages.
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