Authorities in New York said they have charged 37 people with using a computer virus to steal more than $3 million from dozens of individuals, banks and other businesses.
As many as 70 people were arrested Thursday, media reports said, including a number of students in the U.S. on college visas who were recruited through social media channels to act as "mules" to open accounts to move the money overseas.
The FBI in New York said it charged 37 people in 21 separate cases. An agency spokesman declined Friday to say if any credit union accounts were targeted by the cyber thieves.
The suspects are primarily citizens of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. They are accused of using variants of the Zeus Trojan malware to steal passwords, account numbers and other data used to access accounts and transfer money.
"The modern, high-tech bank heist does not require a gun, a mask, a note or a getaway car. It requires only the Internet and ingenuity, and it can be accomplished in the blink of an eye and with the click of a mouse," said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
The New York arrests followed by a day a similar crackdown in London that netted 19 suspects