High-tech computer thieves have been foiled in an attempt to steal 316 million euros from a Japanese bank in London. The target for the attempted electronic robbery was the Sumitomo Financial Group. The gang is believed to have tried to transfer the cash electronically to 10 other banks around the world.
Israeli police have arrested a 32-year-old man whose business account was allegedly the intended destination for some of the money.
Investigators say there was an attempt to move 20 million euros into the account by what they describe as “deception in a sophisticated manner.”
Police also warned financial institutions in the City of London to look out for devices known as key-loggers, which take a record of key strokes and can be used to steal passwords Computer security expert Richard Archdeacon said: “Very little is publicly known. But it seems a criminal gang have managed to get into a bank and carry out a theft, by using an electronic method of stealing from a bank rather than breaking down a door. They’ve put in a piece of software that’s allowed them to gain control of systems, and then used that to try and get money from accounts on those systems out of the bank”.
Britain’s National Hi-Tech Crime Unit has been working closely with the Israel police since last October and reportedly there are likely to be more arrests in the next few days.
A Sumitomo spokesman said the bank had not lost any money and they have have undertaken various security measures. He would not comment further on the basis that the investigation is continuing.