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Seven Arrested in Multi-Million Dollar Cyber-Heist

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Seven people have been arrested in New York in connection with one of the largest international bank robberies in history.

It's like an old fashioned bank heist with a 21st century twist. Federal prosecutors say hackers overseas stole data from pre-paid debit cards and disseminated it to local operatives worldwide who used it to make unlimited ATM withdrawals.

“Instead of guns and masks, this cyber crime organization used laptops and malware,” U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said at a press conference Thursday.

The alleged cyber criminals were able to raise the limits on targeted accounts to “unlimited” -- prompting federal law enforcement to call the crackdown “Operation Unlimited.”

“This scheme was organized for months and planned down to the minute, reminiscent of the casino heist in Ocean's Eleven,” Lynch said.

Lynch watched one defendant do it in New York. “Surveillance photos show his backpack getting heavier and heavier,” she said.

The New York cell withdrew $3 million of the $45 million stolen in a matter of hours from ATMs in 27 countries.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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