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Police charge three men for £1.3m Barclays cyber theft

11 Oct 2013
Barclays Bank sign

The Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit has arrested three men over their involvement in a £1.3m cyber raid on a Barclays bank branch in London.

The Met confirmed charging 38-year-old Adam Jefferson, 24-year-old Duane Jean-Jaque and 25-year-old Lanre Mullins-Abudu for conspiracy to steal. The police also confirmed Jean-Jaque is a former Barclays employee. All three have been bailed and are scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 15 October.

The raid on the bank branch occurred in April 2013. It saw the criminals infiltrate the branch pretending to be IT engineers. After getting into the bank, one of the fake engineers attached a keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) switch to a computer connected to the branch's network.

The gang then used the compromised machine to access the network and transfer money to bank accounts under their control. The criminals reportedly stole £1.3m before being caught. 

The charges bring the total number of arrests to seven. Prior to the latest arrests the police charged 47-year-old Tony Colston-Hayter, 34-year-old Darius Bolder, 39-year-old Lewis Murphy and 26-year-old Michael Harper. All of the original four are scheduled to appear at Southwark Crown Court on 13 December for a plea and case management hearing.

Managing director of fraud prevention at Barclays, Alex Grant told V3 the bank welcomes the arrests and is aware of one of the men's past links to the company.

"Barclays has no higher priority than the protection and security of our customers against the actions of would-be fraudsters. We have been working closely with the Metropolitan Police following a security breach at our Swiss Cottage branch in April 2013. We identified the fraud and acted swiftly to recover funds on the same day. No customers suffered financial loss as a result of this action," he said.

"We can confirm that a former employee was charged on Wednesday 9 October, and has been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday 15 October."

The use of KVM machines is a growing trend in London cyber crime. In September the Metropolitan Police charged four men and arrested another eight between the ages of 23 and 50 for conspiring to mount a similar raid on a Santander bank branch.

Combating such attacks has been an ongoing goal of UK law enforcement and is a central part of the government's ongoing Cyber Strategy. Since launching in 2011 the strategy has seen radical changes in the organisational structure of UK law enforcement. Most recently the strategy saw the launch of the National Crime Agency's (NCA) National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU).

The initiatives have proven successful with the police reporting successfully taking down numerous cyber criminal operations. Most recently the NCCU reported securing a successful conviction against a London cyber criminal behind a £750,000 plot to defraud the financial sector.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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