Feeds

'Bogus IT guys' slurp £1.3m from Barclays: Cybercops cuff 8 blokes

'Engineer' slipped remote-hack hardware INSIDE branch, says Met

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

UK police have arrested eight men after a gang fitted remote-control hardware to a Barclays bank branch computer and stole £1.3m.

Money was slurped from the bank after crooks hooked up a KVM (keyboard, video and mouse) switch and 3G dongle to a terminal in the branch, officers said.

The suspects, aged between 24 and 47, were cuffed by cops from the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit during a series of raids on Thursday and Friday. The Met said the men had been arrested "in connection with an allegation of conspiracy to steal from Barclays Bank, and conspiracy to defraud UK banks".

Police said that "cash, jewellery, drugs, thousands of credit cards and personal data" are were recovered in a series of raids across London and Essex.

"The arrests are the result of a long-term intelligence-led operation by the Metropolitan Police's PeCU, in partnership with Barclays Bank, who have been investigating the theft of £1.3 million from the Swiss Cottage branch of Barclays in April 2013," a Met Police statement explains.

Barclays reported the missing money to Scotland Yard, and a subsequent search revealed a 3G mobile internet dongle attached to a KVM switch that was connected to a computer in a London branch. KVM switches, which can cost as little as £10, are used legitimately for remote working; the keyboard, video and mouse signals can be routed over the internet to another keyboard, monitor and mouse.

In this case, it seems the device was allegedly used to remotely control the compromised computer in a Barclays branch in London's Swiss Cottage district. Bank accounts were looted shortly after an individual posing as an IT worker installed the device on 4 April, cops said.

"A male purporting to be an IT engineer had gained access to the branch, falsely stating he was there to fix computers," the Met police statement explains. "He had then deployed the KVM device. This enabled the criminal group to remotely transfer monies to predetermined bank accounts under the control of the criminal group."

Barclays have since been able to recover a "significant amount" of the stolen funds.

Detective Inspector Mark Raymond of the Met's PCeU said: "These arrests were achieved working in partnership with the Virtual Task Force (VTF), an unique information sharing cyber collaboration between the PCeU and the UK Banking sector.

The detective added: "Those responsible for this offence are significant players within a sophisticated and determined organised criminal network, who used considerable technical abilities and traditional criminal know-how to infiltrate and exploit secure banking systems."

David Emm, senior security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, commented: "KVM devices have been around for some time now. They allow the use of multiple devices through one keyboard or mouse. The successful fitting of such a device, combined with specific software, would give the hackers remote access to that particular computer and any network or information it had access to."

Planting hardware hacking devices to enable cyber-crime is becoming something of a trend. The latest arrests come after four men appeared in court earlier this month charged with conspiracy to steal after a KVM was placed on a Santander branch in Surrey Quays, southeast London. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.