Thursday 23 November 2017

Major cyber criminals target Trinity College and steal 'substantial' amount of money

Trinity College Dublin (Stock picture)
Trinity College Dublin (Stock picture)
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A criminal investigation has been launched after bank accounts belonging to the Trinity Foundation were targeted by cyber criminals.

Trinity Foundation, the fundraising organisation of Trinity College Dublin, had a "substantial" amount of money stolen from its accounts following a major computer-based scam.

The crime was reportedly discovered after police in the UK raised concerns with Bank of Ireland over a number of suspicious transactions connected to the Trinity Foundation.

The Irish Sun reported this morning that the money-laundering scam could involve up to €1 million and that €250,000 has been frozen in a number of bank accounts in the UK and US.

However, a spokesman for Trinity declined to comment on the amount of money involved.

Some of the money, but not all, has since been recovered.

In a statement to Independent.ie, the spokesman said: "It was discovered that the Foundation has been the apparent victim of a computer-based fraud.

"This has been reported to the gardaí who are investigating the matter. Some money was recovered following the discovery but it is too early to say whether everything can be recovered. Any shortfall will be made up from the university’s future commercial revenues.

"In addition to the Garda investigation, Trinity College Dublin and Trinity Foundation are conducting a detailed investigation and have engaged an external computer forensic team to assist in establishing the technical details of what happened. The Data Protection Commissioner’s office has been informed and is liaising with the university.

"As both the Garda criminal investigation and internal investigation are continuing, Trinity will not be making any further statements at this time."

Gardaí confirmed they are investigating the matter.

The Data Protection Commissioner's office has also been alerted.

The Trinity Foundation was set up to help raise money for people to access third-level education.

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