Feeds

Stolen laptops fuel industrial espionage fears for UK software firm

All hands to the pump

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
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

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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.