(Bloomberg) — Criminals hoodwinked banks, credit-card networksand a payment-security firm while moving hundreds of millions ofdollars, according to the U.S. government. It won't be easy to stopit from happening again.

As U.S. prosecutors announced indictments Tuesday against ahacking ring linked to stock manipulation, gambling and fakepharmaceuticals, details emerged that made payments specialistswince. To move money through the global banking system,conspirators allegedly disguised recipients as pet-supply and dressstores. When financial firms raised alarms, the groupfeigned shock, paid fines and opened new accounts. And in a twistthat turned heads, it even hacked a security company that wassupposed to detect its ruse.

"Wow," said Julie Conroy, a security specialist at paymentsresearcher Aite Group. "Shame on this firm for being a victim,because if you're in that position you know the bad guys are comingafter you."

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