Police have released an image of the type of device used by a cyber gang in a foiled attempt to steal millions of pounds from a Santander bank branch in south-east London.
The Metropolitan Police, who arrested 12 men in connection with the attempt, said a plotter had posed as an engineer to fit a keyboard video mouse (KVM) device to a computer at the bank to transmit its desktop contents.
Using the gadget, the gang remotely took control of all the computers at the branch in Surrey Quays shopping centre, but the Spanish bank said they were unable to steal any money.
The bank branch pulled its shutters down and queues of worried customers used the cash points outside to check whether all funds were still in their accounts. No money had been taken.
Santander has said no money was ever at risk and no member of staff was involved in the foiled plot to steal millions from the bank's branch in Surrey Quays, south-east London.
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.
– Santander spokesman
It failed and no money was ever at risk. 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.
The Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit said the foiled plot to steal millions from a Santander bank computer at a branch in London was on a scale they had never seen before.
– Detective Inspector Mark Raymond
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.
I would like to thank our partners from the industry who have provided valuable assistance throughout this investigation.
The PCeU is committed to tackling cyber-crime and the damage it can cause to individuals, organisations and the wider economy.
The attempted multi-million pound theft at Santander involved fitting a keyboard video mouse (KVM) device to a computer within the bank's Surrey Quays branch, the Metropolitan Police has said.
This would allow the suspects to view the desktop contents of the bank computer and take control of it from a remote location.
The Met said: "Yesterday's time-critical, dynamic response was achieved by working in partnership with the banking sector, thwarting a very significant and audacious cyber-enabled offence."
The 12 men arrested are being held at a London police station following searches at a number of addresses across the capital.
Twelve men have been arrested over an alleged plot to take over Santander Bank's computer to steal millions of pounds from the bank.
The group are accused of fitting a device to a computer within the bank's Surrey Quays branch in south-east London and attempting to remotely control the bank's main computer.
Eleven men, aged between 23 and 50, were arrested in Hounslow, while a 34-year-old man was held at Vauxhall Bridge Road.
The arrests yesterday were the result of a long-term investigation by the Metropolitan Police's Central e-Crime Unit, which described the alleged plot as "audacious".