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back to article Man jailed over air traffic control IT kit eBay scam

An engineer who sold £58,000 of kit stolen from the UK's National Air Traffic Control Centre on eBay to pay off a credit card debt was jailed for 15 months on Monday. Andrew Woffinden, 43, of Fareham, Hampshire, a former IT worker with Serco, turned criminal in order to pay off his wife's credit card bills. During a sentencing …

COMMENTS

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FAIL

Having worked for both

encryption? SERCO and the CESG never heard of it, else why such furore at the losses of data from gov departments that use it?

If you were lucky and they had flagstone drives, then fine, else kilgetty can be bypassed.

the USB sticks are normally STEGO.

only thing is, the users lack any thought for passwords, mots never change the old chestnuts like password1,2 etc or letmein

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Silver badge
FAIL

*cough*

Yes, of course all parts of the British establishment encrypt all sensitive data all the time don't they!

Yeah right.

Although it's a bit unfair that they discounted he could not have wiped the data as he didn't have the skill given the plethora of bootable linux based drive wiping self contained CD images there are available, not to mention the online guides and how-tos explaining how to securely wipe drives.

I hope his lawyer was cheap, because letting the prosecution sneak in a paranoia fuelled "sensitive data was sold on ebay!!" slur without an adequate defence is pretty pathetic.

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Not so smart

The hi tech equivalent of having your bike stolen and taking a walk down to the Brick Lane market to find it. Nice one.

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FAIL

Typical

Working class, steels £58k of equipment and gets JAIL!

I'll bet you any money that there are MP's with bigger skeletons in their closets who are in parliament right now representing us.

In my opinion this guy is stupid, but also as much a victim of reckless lending as anyone else who's ever got over their head in debt. Indeed my company went the same way, then called in Chapter11 bankruptcy. IE, it was business as usual, but anyone that was owed money then had a bean with a nominal value that they could either cash in, or wait to mature into two beans somewhere in the future.

The way individuals and lower class people are treated in relation to this sort of crime is disgusting.

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Bronze badge
Big Brother

Whilst he commited a crime....

... and should indeed be punished, I'm fed up of 'security' being used as an excuse for just about everything these days.

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Paris Hilton

Stupid Man..

Make the wife do the time for runnin up the bills in the first place.

Paris: Cause she can pay the bills.

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FAIL

Top Secret? I doubt it ...

Was the data classified as "top secret"? I doubt it. I suspect whoever is using the term "top secret" doesn't actually know much about UK security classifications.

If the data was actually classified top secret then there are plenty of other people who should be prosecuted if machines holding it were able to be stolen without anyone noticing.

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FAIL

What kind of moron...

...steals that much kit from such a controlled environment as ATC?

Furthermore, who came to the £58K total? The same people who calculate the "Street Value" of drugs?

You would be hard pressed to find a laptop costing £2K, I bet they were probably worth more like £1K each.

So he stole between 27 and 58 laptops? Holy cow! How does someone get that many laptops out of a supposedly secure ATC centre?

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WTF?

eh?

May have had classified data on them? Don't they know? So he might be guilty of a more serious crime than stealing a laptop?

Who is the nimrod that puts classified data on a laptop???????????????

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is required

Perhaps Serco were employed to upgrade kit and destroy the old laptops.So rather than follow the government apporved method and leave them on a train he chose to bung them on eBay.

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Anonymous Coward

duh

"This means that if a laptop or USB is stolen, then the data on it can't be accessed without the encryption key."

Oh, thanks for that!

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A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits. - WHY???

I feel kinda sorry for the guy in some ways - he must have been pretty desperate to do this sort of thing, and known there was a high chance he'd get caught.

Having said that, looking at this a different way, £58k for 15 months work is a pretty good salary - criminal record screws up future career prospects a little though.

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Unhappy

If she ran up such a huge bill.....

.....while he was around to keep an eye on her, imagine the freakin' nightmare that'll greet him on the day of his release!!

Poor bastard is gonna have to steal the crown jewels to pay that bill!!

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FAIL

Forthose who missed it..

He was working with the installers of the new kit.. new kit goes in old kit goes to shredding, or at least it should have seems it stopped of at his car boot.

as for the stated value I bet that was the initil contract price, not the fact that it was outdated rubbish going for shredding.. Point is though it is shredded for security not because it is not wanted. if it were not wanted then it might be ok for him to take it.but he should seek permission first.

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Several Things

Firsty, yes he should indeed get jail. Even if he stole ONE laptop, it's still theft. Secondly, they probably have the same numpty security as many other government places where if you have a contractor pass you can come and go as you please and nothings ever questioned.

But regardless, he stole several things from a customer, that's theft, theft = jail. Not sure what the argument here is. As for the MP's not going to to jail, well you have to be proven beyond reasonable doubt to have committed a crime first don't you ;) And MP's are a cunning bunch!

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@Clive Galway

Maybe there was just one laptop, but they ended up in a bidding war with someone and got carried away.

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Anonymous Coward

@ AC 20:52

"Who is the nimrod that puts classified data on a laptop???????????????"

Who is the nimrod who decided everyone has to work on laptops now?

Sure it's gotten to the point where they're about as cost effective as a desktop PC but they are still easy to break, easy to steal, difficult to upgrade and expensive to fix (if the mobo or the screen dies you might as well bin it ).

You find me one office on earth where the employees *need* laptops and aren't just using them because the director met up with a laptop salesman on the golf course.

If you travel between different offices and to meetings a lot then fine, have your precious laptop. If you go in to work in one place all day everyday then get over yourself and ask work to give you a real computer.

You don't need to be able to take your work home with you and you shouldn't want to anyway. And any work that actually took you more than an hour of your life to complete shouldn't be stored on a laptop. Not unless you know about encryption and backups.

/rant

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Thumb Up

At least they jailed the twat

At least they jailed the twat

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@ Bah Humbug

"criminal record screws up future career prospects a little though."

No, no, no.

You forget ... he worked for SERCO so he'll be given a top security job with the guv'mint.

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Bronze badge

15 months a bit steep

Considering that the youff who stole about 3.5K worth of stuff from my house and burgled 5 other larger houses in the area only received 160 hours community service. He had not yet finished similar penalties for previous offences.

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