Feds: 100 In U.S. And Egypt Charged In ID Theft Ring Bust

WASHINGTON (CNN) — One hundred U.S. and Egyptian suspects were indicted Wednesday in the smashing of an international identity theft ring authorities called one of the largest cybercrime cases ever brought.

In a speech on cybercrime in San Francisco, FBI Director Robert Mueller announced more than 50 people had been arrested, and the others were being pursued.

Fifty-three of those charged are U.S. citizens. Most of the suspects live in Southern California, but officials identified four from Nevada and seven from North Carolina. There was no immediate word on the number of arrests among the 47 Egyptians charged in the case, but U.S. officials expressed optimism all of the defendants in both countries would be taken into custody.

The ID theft operation had victimized two banks and about 5,000 U.S. citizens with losses of more than $2 million, officials said.

Members of the accused hacking ring had allegedly engaged in a sophisticated operation called “phishing” in which personal information is fraudulently collected through unwitting responses to phony e-mails which appear to be from legitimate institutions.

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