Feeds

£25m Barclays blackmail trial begins

Tales from the crypt(o)

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

An encryption expert attempted to blackmail Barclays Bank for £25 million after becoming disillusioned with his work and leaving the bank, a jury at the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Graham Browne, 57, from Knutsford in Cheshire, told police that his threat to reveal the encryption codes which protected the security of credit cards was "a joke" he had made to call attention to poor security practices at Barclays, prosecution barrister Sallie Bennett-Jenkins told the court.

Until January 2000, Browne headed Barclays' team of cryptographers but he became frustrated at what he saw as the bank's failure to recognise his skill and the value of his work.

After his application for voluntary redundancy was rejected "he became more erratic and his tolerance for the workplace diminished, Bennett-Jenkins told the court. He subsequently resigned, and to the surprise of those working with Browne, the bank accepted this decision, The Telegraph reports.

The prosecution case is that soon after leaving Browne sent the first of four letters to the firm's chief executive threatening to reveal sensitive codes which, if disclosed, would put the security of the bank's credit and debit card operation at risk. The letters were accompanied by demands that 14 people - including Browne - would get a payment of £25 million and that Barclays set up a unit to improve security.

On receipt of the fourth email, Barclays called in the police who subsequently arrested Browne after recovering incriminating evidence from his house and computer.

A number of pre-trial hearings in the case were hold behind closed doors, or in camera, because of concerns that sensitive details of security systems used by Barclays might be revealed.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service told us that the application to conduct hearings in camera was made by Browne's defence lawyers. No such application for the trial itself has yet been made, she told us, which means the trail is continuing to be heard in open court, at least for now.

Browne denies the charges against him and the case continues today. ®

External Links

Court report by The Telegraph

Related Stories

Barclaycard £25m blackmail crypto case cloaked in secrecy
IT consultant denies £25m Web site blackmail
Barclays goes down on customers
Barclays beats Egg for top online bank crown
Barclays online cockup

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.