Man arrested over cyber cash machine plot

A man has been arrested on suspicion of masterminding a £1.6m cyber raid on cash machines.

A 37-year-old man is being questioned in Portsmouth for allegedly being part of an "organised gang" that loaded malware in to the dispensers.

Detectives believe machines in Brighton, London, Liverpool, Blackpool, Doncaster and Sheffield were targeted.

An address in Edmonton, north London, is also being searched as part of the operation.

'Infected with virus'

Det Insp Dave Strange said: "We believe this is an organised crime gang systematically infecting and then clearing cash machines across the UK using specially created malware."

Police allege the cash machines were physically broken into and infected with a virus before large amounts of cash were withdrawn.

It is thought 51 machines were hit over the May Bank Holiday by criminals gaining access to the computer inside the devices and uploading a virus.

Once the malware was activated the machine could be told to dispense large amounts of cash, in some cases until it was drained of money.

Detectives believe the malware subsequently deleted itself, making it difficult to identify the cause of the attacks.

Customer data was not compromised, police said.

The man has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

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