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Cyber Police Arrest 12 Over Santander Plot

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Santander could have lost millions if police hadn’t foiled a plot to hack into a branch machine

The Metropolitan Police’s Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU) has arrested 12 men as part of an investigation into an “audacious” plot to take control of a Santander computer.

The hack could have led to multi-million-pound losses from the Santander branch at the Surrey Quays shopping centre.

Santander cyber plot

KVM switch - Wikimedia CommonsAccording to the police, the men had somehow managed to attach a KVM (keyboard video mouse) device to a machine in the bank, allowing them to remotely carry out actions on the computer.

KVMs are widely used for legitimate purposes, and can be a lot smaller and more discreet than the one in our illustration (left). The men were said to have used a fake maintenance engineer to fit the device.

“This was a sophisticated plot that could have led to the loss of a very large amount of money from the bank, and is the most significant case of this kind that we have come across,” said Detective Inspector Mark Raymond, of the PCeU.

“The PCeU is committed to tackling cyber-crime and the damage it can cause to individuals, organisations and the wider economy.”

The men, aged between 23 and 50, were arrested yesterday, whilst searches were carried out addresses in Westminster, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Brent, Richmond and Slough.

The PCeU has had a number of successes this year, whilst uncovering some serious cyber scams. In June, the force arrested three men as part of a probe into a phishing scam that could have netted them well over £59 million.

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