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Germany's FBI Bust Phishing Gang

German federal police on Tuesday arrested seven members of a suspected phishing gang on fraud charges after a three-month investigation.

According to the Web site of Germany's Federal Crime Office, known as the Bundeskriminalamt, or BKA, police nabbed seven men, ages 21 through 47, who were allegedly plotting to spamming password-stealing Trojans to online bank customers.

The gang, which included both Germans and Lithuanians, had already opened numerous accounts using bogus names and addresses, and planned to transfer the proceeds of their phishing to Eastern European accounts.

"The German police should be applauded for arresting these men before the alleged criminal plot was put into action," said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with U.K.-based security company Sophos. "Computer crime authorities around the world need to work closely with each other to break apart these criminal gangs and bring them to justice."

Phishing arrests have picked up of late -- in January, a California man was charged with posing as an employee of AOL's billing department in a large-scale scam -- but many of the most profitable operations are run out of Russia and other Eastern European countries, where they operate with relative impunity.