Dutch police have arrested three men suspected of stealing credit card and bank account data by hacking into more than 100,000 personal computers worldwide, public prosecutors said on Saturday.
The three Dutch men supposedly used so-called "Trojan horse" software to infect computers with a virus and steal confidential personal information, and to attack company websites, the public prosecutor's office said in a statement.
"In the Netherlands alone, several thousands of computers were infected," the statement said.
The three men, aged 19, 22 and 27, were arrested on Tuesday.
The hackers are also accused of plundering accounts in PayPal, the payment-processing business of online auctioneer eBay Inc, and are suspected of threatening to attack the computer system of a U.S. company, the statement said.
The three used a virus, called W32.Toxbot, which allows access to the infected computer's control system. They kept adapting the virus in line with upgraded anti-virus programs, prosecutors said.
Justice officials expect more arrests in the case, Dutch media said.
Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.
NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at. Hundreds of new articles daily.