Cops: Cyberthieves Planned To Rob Bank Remotely

Allegedly tried to install device to take control of London branch computer

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Sep 14, 2013 11:25 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Four men appeared in a London court today, charged with attempting to rob a bank by taking control of its computer system. Police say the suspects were arrested after a bogus maintenance engineer tried to install a keyboard-video-mouse—a device typically used to control several computers at once—on a computer at a south London branch of Spanish bank Santander. Detectives say the hardware could have "allowed the suspects to take control of the bank's computer remotely," and potentially allowed them to siphon millions. The suspects were arrested before any money was withdrawn.

Lanre Mullins-Abudu, Dean Outram, Akash Vaghela, and Asad Ali Qureshi, aged 25 to 35 and all from London, were charged with conspiracy to steal. Eight other suspects have been released on bail pending further inquiries. Santander said none of its staff was involved in the attempted heist, the latest case in which a bank has been targeted by tech-savvy criminals. US investigators announced in May that a gang operating across 27 countries managed to steal $45 million in two separate sprees after compromising payment systems used by two Middle Eastern banks.

People walk past a branch of Santander bank in Barcelona, Spain, in this file photo.
People walk past a branch of Santander bank in Barcelona, Spain, in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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