[ISN] Finnish Wi-Fi bank robber snaffled by own laptop

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Wed Aug 24 05:44:54 EDT 2005


By James Niccolai
IDG News Service 
22 August 2005

An electronic bank robber in Finland has been caught stealing 200,000
euros (£135,000) by using his corporate laptop to hack into his own
bank's network.

Police believe that GE Money's 26-year-old head of data security in
Helsinki stole banking software from the company along with passwords
for its bank account. Accomplices then accessed the account from a
laptop using an unprotected Wi-Fi network at a nearby apartment

They used the passwords to transfer money to a different corporate
account they had set up six months earlier, and thought that using
someone else's wireless network would cover their tracks.

Suspicion initially fell on the owner of the Wi-Fi network until
police searched his apartment and determined he was not involved, said
an investigating officer. However, searching through the network logs,
they discovered a laptop MAC address belonging to GE Money, and
fingers started to point toward the bank's security officer.

"After a while there were too many leads pointing against him, and
after we found the laptop, that was it," said Jukkapekka Risu.

Police are still completing their investigation and the security
officer, along with three other suspects, have not yet been charged,
Risu said.

The case will be sent to prosecutors next week and charges will follow
in about two months, Risu said. Despite not having been charged at the
moment, the security officer was immediately dismissed, said Pekka
Pattiniemi, general manager for GE Money in Finland.

"I can confirm that our local security officer was involved,"  
Pattiniemi said. "No harm was caused because our very good internal
control mechanisms caught that the money was missing the next morning.  
We got it all back," he said.

Juha-Matti Laurio of MikroPC contributed to this report.

More information about the ISN mailing list