Barclays: 8 Arrested For Hacking Computer And Stealing $2M

Eight men were arrested by London police for infiltrating the computer system of a branch of Barclays Bank.

Barclays: 8 Arrested For Hacking Computer And Stealing $2M

One of the accused posed as an information technology engineer and installed a “keyboard, video and mouse” device to facilitate the group’s ability to transfer £1.3 million ($2.1 million) remotely to several accounts.

Second Time In A Week

Last week, the Metropolitan Police said it detained twelve men for their attempt to hack into Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE:SAN) computers. The Met efforts thwarted the theft of potentially millions of pounds.

The eight men arrested in connection with Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC)’ cyber theft are between 24 and 47 and are in custody in a London police station. The Met police are carrying out searches across London to seize cash, jewelry, drugs and credit cards.

KVM Switch

The “keyboard, video, mouse” switch would facilitate legitimate workers’ access to computers remotely.

A KVM switch has a 3G router attached, and permits a user to control multiple computers. The switch enabled the perpetrators to remotely transfer funds to other bank accounts from Barclays’ Swiss Cottage branch in north London in April.

The devices cost as little as £10 and are widely available in computer stores or online.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said this new and increasing methodology being seen by UK law enforcement highlights the rapidly evolving nature of low risk, high financial yield cyber-enabled crime.

Disclosing further details of the arrest, Dept Supt Terry Wilson said the latest arrests are at a different level, as it’s really the top tier of this criminal network that have been arrested. He elaborated that this was a highly-organized criminal network with each individual filling a specific role.

The thieves at Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE:SAN) also used the KVM switch, but couldn’t succeed in stealing any funds.

Highest Priority For Customer Security

Alex Grant, managing director of fraud prevention at Barclays, said the security breach came to light in April 2013, and all the money was quickly recovered. He stressed Barclays has no higher priority than the protection and security of its customers against the actions of would-be fraudsters.

He elaborated that Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) (LON:BARC) has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police, following the security breach. The bank identified the fraud and acted swiftly to recover the funds on the same day.

About the Author

Mani is a Senior Financial Consultant. He has worked in Senior Management role in large banking, financial and information technology organizations. He has provided solutions for major banking and securities firms across the globe in the area of retail, corporate and investment banking. He holds MBA (Finance) and Professional Management Accounting Qualifications. His hobbies are tracking global financial developments and watching sports