Four UK-based men have been sentenced to more than 13 years in jail after using a Trojan to steal money from bank accounts.

Azamat Rahmonov, Shohruh Fayziev, Joao Dos Santos Cruz and Paulo Jorgi (also known as Ricardo Pereira) waited until internet users tried to log in to their online bank before displaying a fake login page to steal credentials. The malware then altered the customer's account without their knowledge and created a new payee in a man-in-the-browser attack.

Later, a third party would access the bank account and transfer funds to a specially-recruited money mule who would be instructed to withdraw the stolen cash at another bank, earning a commission in the process, before ultimately wiring the illegal proceeds to Eastern Europe.

Rahmonov and Fayziev, who are both Uzbekistan nationals, and Angolan-born Dos Santos Cruz were charged with conspiracy to defraud various financial organisations and money laundering. They received four and a half years, four years, and 21 month long jail sentences respectively. Jorgi, a Portuguese national, pleaded guilty to money-laundering offences and was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

A fifth member of the gang, 21-year-old Venezuelan Edgar Orlando Henriques has pleaded guilty to money-laundering offences but failed to appear for sentencing. Authorities are requesting assistance in locating his whereabouts.

Prosecutor Dominic Connolly told the court: “As a result of this Trojan virus fraud very many people - 138 customers - were affected in this way with just under £600,000 being fraudulently transferred. Some of that money, nearly £140,000, was recouped by NatWest's parent company the Royal Bank of Scotland after they became aware of this scam."