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Employee Pulls Plug on Digital Bank Robbery

Online transfer would have sucked "millions" from the bank's vaults; thieves are arrested

An alert employee found a foreign device attached to his computer, then pulled the plug only seconds before a group of digital bank robbers could steal "millions" from his bank near Stockholm, Sweden.

The bank robbers had placed "advanced technical equipment" under the employee's desk, according to a report. The device allowed the thieves to take control of the employee's computer remotely, prosecutor Thomas Nordenman said in a statement.

The employee discovered the device shortly after he realized his computer had started an operation to transfer funds from the bank into another account, Nordenman said.

"By pulling out the cable to the device, the employee managed to stop the intended transfer at the last second," he said.

The foiled heist happened in August at a bank in Uppland county, north of Stockholm, police said. They announced it only Wednesday after seven suspects -- all from the Stockholm region -- were arrested this week while allegedly preparing another robbery.

Police did not name the suspects, but said many of them have prior fraud and theft convictions. Investigators did not give other details on the device, or how it was placed under the desk.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading