While computers are an integral part of everyday life for many people, their powers are not always used for good. The vast majority of computers, and computer users, focus on the positive side of life and the benefits brought by the internet and computer software. Sadly, the emergence of computers provide people with the opportunity to commit crimes and there has have been many high profile crimes that utilise computers to steal money. In recent times, these crimes have been punished with serious jail time as judges aiming to send a message that cybercrimes are being taking very seriously in court.
The scope and potential for high levels of fraud to be undertaken through the use of computers can be found by the fact than an organised criminal gang managed to steal a total of £1.25 from various banks across the United Kingdom. The gang utilised a Trojan device which enabled them to hijack the computers of some of the most prominent UK banks such as Santander and Barclays. The gang managed to seal bank card details and credit card details from over 1 million letters which they managed to intercept.
A Trojan Device was Utilised
The device utilised by the gang was the KVM Device, a well-known Trojan device, and this provided the gang with the opportunity to steal £1,252,490. The device acts by allowing employees of a company to access their intranet systems from a remote location. This style of device can be purchased online for just £10, which provides a huge potential to make a great return on this level of expenditure. The device was found connected to a router that was located in a Barclays branch in the north of London.
This money was placed in a range of mule accounts, all of which had been set up to facilitate the theft of this money. The fact that this amount of money was accumulated from just 128 transfers indicates the grand scope that cybercrime offers in the modern era. Police have indicated that this style of crime, which is based on taking personal data, is on the rise and a leading QC said in court that this style of crime is an example of the increasingly organised and sophisticated attacks that are taking place on the UK’s banking system.
Barclays have Received Some of the Cash
The court learned that police undertook raids in September of 2013 which allowed them to seize more than a thousand instances of personal data and credit cards in addition to drugs, jewellery and cash. These raids took place in a variety of locations including Essex, Brent, Camden, Newham and Westminster. Since the uncovering of the crime, Barclays has been able to recover over £540,000.
One of the leading names in the gang is Tony Colston-Hayter, a man who has experienced some rather high profile court cases in his time, so much so that he has even managed to earn a criminal nickname. Colston-Hayter earned the name of “Acid House King” as his famous parties were actually banned by the Government at the time. In protest of this decision, and in an attempt to raise publicity for himself, Colston-Hayter handcuffed himself to popular TV celebrity Jonathan Ross. In fact, not everyone would agree that Jonathan Ross was popular and some people may suggest that Colston-Hayter had suffered enough after finding himself attached to Jonathan Ross for a considerable period of time!
Colston-Hayter has admitted to conspiring to steal, conspiring to commit a number of frauds with the credit cards and he has committed two separate counts of possessing articles which were to be used fraudulently. He also denied tampering with a personal email account in order to commit fraud.
Alongside Colston-Haytor was LanreMullins-Abudu, Stephen Hannah, Lewis Murphy, Darius Boldor, Michael Harper, Akash Vaghela, Segun Ogunfidodo and Leroy Odunusi, who all have admitted and denied a series of charges relating to the same crimes. The fact that so many people are involved with this style of crime indicates that it is something that can involve a lot of people. The size of the money at stake in the crime was large but even with the use of computers, it appears obvious that there is a need for many people to be involved in pulling off this style of crime.
Andrew Reilly is a freelance writer with a focus on news stories and consumer interest articles. He has been writing professional for 8 years but has been writing for as long as he can care to remember. When Andrew isn’t sat behind a laptop or researching a story, he will be found watching a gig or a game of football.