Police: Teen 'robbed' banks via computer

19-year-old allegedly used "Trojan Horse" to hack into accounts.

bank discount 88 (photo credit:)
bank discount 88
(photo credit: )
A 19-year-old Mevo Betar resident appeared in court for the first time Tuesday after he allegedly managed to steal money out of bank accounts without ever leaving the comfort of his own home. The Tel Aviv Fraud Squad initially received a complaint from an Eilat resident that a NIS 750 police traffic fine had been paid using his bank account - but without his knowledge. Police contacted the bank branch where the account was held, and discovered that four different accounts had been accessed from the same IP address. When the clients holding the accounts were contacted, all four said they had no knowledge of the transactions and claimed that they had never given their account information to anyone else. When police checked the victims' home computers, they discovered a collection of "Trojan horse" programs, as well as other computer viruses, that had apparently been planted to access the owners' account information. Police then tracked down the IP address from which all of the accounts had been accessed, and this led them to the suspect's Mevo Betar residence. Their suspicions were further supported when police found that the suspect was the recipient of the traffic fine that had been paid through one of the victims' bank accounts. Upon checking the suspect's computer, police found a database of thousands of bank accounts, Paypal accounts, e-mail accounts and Internet access codes belonging both to Israeli citizens as well as residents of foreign countries. Investigators believe that the database was compiled with the use of a Trojan horse program. The suspect was arrested Tuesday morning, and detectives said later that under questioning, he had admitted to the charges against him. The teen added that he had entered Internet accounts of Israelis, but that he had received the international database from a person he had met through the Internet.