Feeds

Stolen laptops fuel industrial espionage fears for UK software firm

All hands to the pump

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A UK-based hi-tech firm that's become the victim of "industrial espionage" is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for stealing its computer hardware.

Thieves who stole a number of laptops from VBi Triscan Systems also lifted hard disks from the fuel management firm's servers sometime between Tuesday, 27 March, and Saturday, 31 March. Executives at the Blackburn, Lancashire, firm fear the thefts were aimed at gathering trade secrets rather than just routine blags.

"As a market leader in the provision of fuel management and retail solutions software we are a prime target for this kind of activity due to the value of the products that it has in the market place and in those currently under development," VBi Triscan Systems managing director Simon Hollingsworth said.

Data on the machines was backed up, but not encrypted. "The laptops were worth thousands, but in terms of intellectual property the potential damage to the business is a hell of a lot more," said marketing manager Barry McLeod. Piecing together useful information from data on the stolen server hard drives would present a huge problem for potential industrial spies.

"It would be difficult for the thieves or recipients of the material to gain any useful advantage or information from them. It's like taking a few pieces of a jigsaw," McLeod explained. "We are not ruling out industrial espionage. We are a niche company and don't have many competitors."

Lancashire police told The Lancashire Telegraph they would look into the possibility of industrial espionage as part of their investigation into the theft of kit from VBi Triscan Systems. Police are appealing for information on the case. Potential witnesses are urged to contact Blackburn Police on 01252 51212 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.