Hackers in the dock for £229m Sumitomo fraud

Losses & Lawsuits

London - Hackers accused of a £229m Sumitomo heist have faced fraud charges in court. Prosecutors allege a gang of thieves broke into the London office of Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui and installed spy-ware software key-logging computers, making off with £229 million. The 2004 plot was only discovered when employees realised their computers had been tampered with.

Jurors were told the thieves used spyware to steal employee passwords and usernames, installing it with the connivance of a Sumitomo security supervisor, who helped the criminals return days later to collect the necessary information.

Prosecutors said this was used to make 20 electronic transfers from accounts held by Nomura asset management and technology firm Toshiba. The money was allegedly intended for accounts in Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore, controlled by accomplices, jurors were told. But the transfers failed because of an error in the order forms.

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