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Jewel heist conmen sought by cops

Austrian police are searching for two conmen who allegedly stole bracelets and wristwatches worth several thousands euros from two jewellers in Vienna in the past week.

Jewel heist conmen sought by cops
Photo: Vienna Police

According to a report from Austria's national broadcaster ORF, police have asked that the surveillance images of the two men be published in order to request identification and to locate their whereabouts with help from the public.

The two suspects are believed to be responsible for at least two thefts in the Vienna metropolitan area.  Another potential theft was thwarted by an attentive staff member in one store.

The men work as a team, with one asking to see a valuable piece of jewellery, and the other distracting staff while the first one makes his getaway.

According to police, the two men are known to police in at least six European countries, with an arrest warrant currently outstanding in Germany.

Any member of the public with information about the suspects is asked to call Vienna police on (01)31310 extension 33800.  All information will be treated with the strictest confidence.

CRIME

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Austria said Friday that it was investigating a report that an Austrian company developed spyware targeting law firms, banks and consultancies in at least three countries.

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Microsoft’s security team earlier this week said it found that a malware called Subzero — developed by Vienna-based company DSIRF — was deployed in 2021 and 2022.

“Observed victims to date include law firms, banks and strategic consultancies in countries such as Austria, the United Kingdom and Panama,” it wrote in a blog entry on Wednesday.

Austria’s interior ministry said it had not received reports of any incidents.

READ ALSO: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

“Of course, (intelligence agency) DSN checks the allegations. So far, there is no proof of the use of spy software from the company mentioned,” it said in a statement.

Austria’s Kurier newspaper cited DSIRF as saying that Subzero had not been misused and “was developed exclusively for use by authorities in EU states” and was not commercially available.

DSIRF did not immediately return a request for comment from AFP.

Austria’s interior ministry said it knew of the company but “has not had any business relationships” with it.

Last year several media outlets reported that governments around the world, including in the EU, had used Pegasus spyware made by Israel’s NSO Group to spy on opponents.

Budapest and Warsaw responded that the use of Pegasus was for legitimate national security reasons.

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