Police make arrests after Santander hacking attempt

16 September 2013

Police have arrested a group of men in connection with a plot to steal millions of pounds from a UK bank by remotely taking control of a computer.

A Santander branch in Surrey was the target in the attempt, where a false engineer fitted a keyboard video mouse (KVM) to a machine in the building that would have opened up the system, allowing criminals to download data.

Hackers can make use of a KVM to switch between different computers and see what is displayed on the connected monitors. They can ultimately take control of them using a remote keyboard and mouse, enabling them to gain access to the systems and transfer money to external accounts.

Police have since arrested 12 men in London on suspicion of conspiracy to steal. A spokesman said the "time-critical, dynamic response was achieved by working in partnership with the banking sector, thwarting a very significant and audacious cyber-enabled offence and avoiding multi-million-pound losses from Santander".

The institution said it was aware of the scheme for three or four months and had been working with the authorities to put a stop to the attack. It said no money was ever at risk.

By Claire Archer

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