Moldovan phishing scheme took $3.5M from drilling accounts

AP News
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Posted: Oct 14, 2015 2:31 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh say a man from the eastern European country of Moldova ran an email phishing scheme that enabled him and others to steal banking information from U.S. companies, including $3.5 million from a Pennsylvania drilling firm's bank accounts.

Thirty-year-old Andrey Ghinkul was indicted under seal in August; the charges were announced late Tuesday.

The FBI says U.S. victims of the Bugat malware that infected computers of those who opened the phishing emails lost about $10 million.

Penneco Oil Company Inc., in Delmont, had $3.5 million stolen in two transfers in 2012: one to Russia and the other to Belarus. Another attempted transfer of about $76,000 to a Philadelphia bank account failed.

Penneco says the bank covered company losses; the bank is trying to recoup the money.

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This story has been corrected to show the drilling company's bank, not the drilling company, is the victim of the alleged scheme; the bank covered the drilling company's losses.