I still need the reassurance of a familiar brand before it's a real story - Tony Maddox, CNN senior VP
AN AUDACIOUS attempted hacking attack on a branch of Santander Bank has been foiled by the arrest of 12 suspected would-be cyber-criminals.
The bank branch in London's fashionable Surrey Quays district was visited by a bogus workman who fitted a keyboard video mouse (KVM) switch to a terminal with a view to taking control of it later from a remote location.
The 12 arrested men between the ages of 23 and 50 were picked up at addresses around London and remain in custody at time of writing, after the Metropolitan Police foiled what a police spokesman described as a "significant" threat.
KVM switches have practical, benign purposes and although instances of criminal use have been reported in the past, this is the first time that the Metropolitan Police had seen one used by "an organised criminal network".
The INQUIRER can pick up a KVM switch device similar to the one the hackers would have used for under a fiver on Ebay. Could it really be this easy to bring down a bank?
McAfee CTO Raj Samani apparently thinks so, as he said, "These arrests prove that the ease with which anybody can conduct what is described as a very significant and audacious cyber-enabled offence requires [only] limited technical knowledge and [a] questionable moral compass. Simply plugging in a physical device that can be [acquired] from any number of legitimate outlets demonstrates that the bar required to be a 'cyber-criminal' is probably at its lowest level."
It is not suspected that anyone within Santander Bank was involved in the operation and no money was said to be have been at risk, as intelligence was received before the KVM switch was activated. However, this didn't stop queues from forming outside the closed Surrey Quays branch this morning, as worried bank customers checked their mini-statements. µ
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