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Finnish Wi-Fi bank robber snaffled by own laptop

Head of security uses company computer to hack account.

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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 building.

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.


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