Costa Rica police nab five men suspected of stealing $220,000 from bank

September 12, 2013

A computer engineer with the last names López Víquez was arrested Thursday morning in the province of Alajuela, along with four other men, on suspicion of committing computer fraud against Davivienda bank, formerly known as HSBC.

Agents from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) conducted seven raids in Heredia Centro, Mercedez Norte and Barva, in San Rafael, Alajuela, and La Uruca, San José. Officers arrested López and four other men identified by the last names Cambronero Solano, Ramírez Arce, Ramírez Bolaños and Hidalgo Mora.

Police reports stated that López, who works for a technology company, discovered a vulnerability in Davivienda’s Internet banking site, where he found a backdoor in the exchange rate area of the website.

Investigations indicate that López and at least 24 other people opened bank accounts to use the backdoor and allegedly transferred some ₡110 million ($220,000) over a period of seven months from August 2012 to February of this year, when the bank’s security systems detected the intrusions.

OIJ said more arrests could follow in coming hours, as the investigation continues to identify who opened accounts to access the website’s backdoor.

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