London police nab 12 in alleged cyber-bank heist plot

Hackers generic AP

LONDON London police said Friday they arrested 12 men involved in a bold attempt to take control of a bank's computer in order to rob the institution.

The men are accused of tampering with a computer inside a Santander bank branch to seize control of the bank's computer systems.

The 12 suspects range in age from 23 to 50. Police said they had prevented a "multi-million pound" loss from the Santander branch at the Surrey Quays shopping center.

Bank officials said no money was taken from the branch. Officials said the plotters sent a bogus engineer to the bank who installed a device onto a computer designed to allow the gang to access the bank's funds.

The device "would have allowed the transmission of the complete desktop contents of the bank computer over the network," a police statement said. "In effect, this would have allowed the suspects to take control of the bank's computer remotely."

Detective Inspector Mark Raymond said the plot "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."

Searches were being carried out in six different locations in the greater London area.

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