Santander Bank Hacking Plot Foiled By Police
Twelve men have been arrested over an attempt to take control of a Santander bank's computer and steal millions of pounds.
The men allegedly fitted a computer within the branch in Surrey Quays shopping centre, southeast London, with a "keyboard video mouse" (KVM).
The device, which can be purchased online for as little as £10, allowed them to transmit the contents of the computer's desktop and take control of the machine remotely.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said it was not clear whether any money was taken, but the bank said "no money was ever at risk".
Police added that detectives and bank officials had thwarted a "very significant and audacious cyber-enabled offence" that would have cost Santander millions of pounds.
Officers arrested 11 men aged between 23 and 50 in Hounslow, while a 34-year-old was arrested in Victoria.
Searches were carried out at addresses in Westminster, Hounslow, Hillingdon, Brent, Richmond and Slough, where property was seized.
The men are currently in custody at a London police station.
A Santander spokesman said: "Like all high street banks, Santander works very closely with the police and other authorities to help prevent fraud.
"Through this co-operation, Santander was aware of the possibility of the attack connected to the arrests. The attempt to fit the device to the computer in the Surrey Quays Branch was undertaken by a bogus maintenance engineer pretending to be from a third party.
"No member of Santander staff was involved in this attempted fraud.
"We are pleased that we have been able, through the robustness of our systems, to prevent the fraud and help the police gather the evidence they needed to make the arrests."