Four charged over 'cyber plot' against bank in the UK

A group of alleged cyber plotters accused of stealing £1.3m from a British bank branch by taking control of its computer system will appear in court today.

Four charged over 'cyber plot' against bank in the UK

A group of alleged cyber plotters accused of stealing £1.3m from a British bank branch by taking control of its computer system will appear in court today.

Four men have been charged in connection with the theft at the Barclays bank in Swiss Cottage, north London, in April, after being arrested by police this week.

A further four men who were also arrested have been released on bail.

Michael Victor Harper, 26, an estate agent from Hampstead, north west London and Lewis James Murphy, 29, from Chelsea, central London, were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Darius Bolder, 34, unemployed from Chelsea, central London, was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to steal, while Tony Colston-Hayter, 47, unemployed from Marylebone, central London, was charged with conspiracy to steal.

All four have been remanded in custody to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today.

Police carried out a secret intelligence operation following the theft.

It is believed somebody posing as an engineer at the branch planted a “keyboard video mouse” (KVM) that allowed thieves to access accounts.

Metropolitan Police Detective superintendent Terry Wilson would not comment on whether other banks had suffered similar attempted thefts, but said none had lost money.

“We’ve no evidence of other banks at the moment that have suffered losses in terms of the use of a KVM, however...we are sharing intelligence in order that banking security can be enhanced, and this type of crime actually designed out, by hardening their security systems,” he said.

Alex Grant, Barclays’ managing director of fraud prevention, said the bank had “acted swiftly” on the day of the theft.

He said: “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.

“We can confirm that no customers suffered financial loss as a result of this action.”

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