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IT consultant Graham Browne is to be tried at the Old Bailey in September for attempting to blackmail an unidentified financial institution for £25 million over weak security, Private Eye reports.

Browne denies an alleged threat to compromise the security of Barclays' Barclaycard operation. The blackmail demands were made between March and September last year. Barclays' online banking service - the largest in Britain - was cracked in July last year and collapsed again in February this year.

Customers account details were accessible through the site before the plug was pulled. The bank claimed that no one was able to carry out any fraudulent transactions. But then it would say that. The security threat was thought to be so serious that eight million credit cards would have to be recalled.

Mr Browne, 57, pleaded not guilty to a hearing at the Old Bailey at the start of this month. ®

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