Threat Management, Malware

Cyber bank thief sentenced to five-plus years in U.K. prison

A 29-year-old man who infected computers around the world with malware and stole roughly $1 million from victims' bank accounts was sentenced to five years and three months in a U.K. prison.

Tomasz Skowron of Worthing, England, received his sentence on Monday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud, fraud, and money laundering offenses. According to a press release issued by the Metropolitan Police Service of Greater London, Skowron was part of an organized gang that used malware to gain unauthorized access to individuals' financial accounts before transferring their funds to accounts under the criminal network's control, often by way of money mules. Customers of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia were among those affected.

Skowron was arrested on Dec. 9, 2014, after investigators were able to link several fraudulent money transfers to his home IP address. He was not convicted of any hacking offenses, although authorities had linked him to two man-in the-middle cyberattacks against U.K. construction companies whose online banking passwords were stolen, resulting in approximately $600,000 in losses.

Bradley Barth

As director of community content at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for SC Media online conferences and events, as well as video/multimedia projects. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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