Men found guilty of botched £229m high-tech bank heist

Filed Under: Law & order

Sumitomo Mitsui
It would have been Britain's biggest bank robbery - an elaborate scheme to steal £229 million from the London branch of Sumitomo Mitsui by smuggling hackers into the premises after-hours to install keylogging software onto terminals.

Once the spyware was in place, it was designed to secretly record the usernames and passwords of bank employees, allowing a gang to transfer money to accounts controlled by their accomplices overseas.

Yesterday 61-year-old Hugh Rodley and Soho sex shop owner David Nash, 47, were convicted at Snaresbrook crown court for their part in the sophisticated operation.

The attack, which was thwarted by the Japanese bank, underlines the importance of protecting against spyware and controlling the usage of USB devices.

Astonishingly, it appears that the huge robbery might have succeeded had the criminals transferrring the money properly filled out the SWIFT forms to move the money from one account to another.

This was a close shave for the Sumitomi Mitsui bank, but I wonder how well other financial institutions would brave a similar assault on their systems?

You can learn more about the heist in this BBC News report.


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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley