Thieves have stolen a computer database from a company that specialises in gathering evidence from mobile phone networks to help police track suspected terrorists.
The robbers broke into the premises of Forensic Telecommunications Services (FTS) in Kent on Saturday and snatched the IT equipment, which included a server. Scotland Yard’s Counter Terrorism Command, SO15, was immediately informed of the raid.
The private company confirmed that the data stored on the server, which includes administration work and forensic case files, was encrypted. FTS emphasised that even if an attacker accessed the information it would not compromise any ongoing police investigations.
The police backed the firm’s comments and said the information saved on the server was of little use to a criminal.
“The data is made up of either old cases that have passed through the judicial process, or cases that are already in the judicial system and subject to full disclosure to both defence and prosecution teams,” an FTS spokesperson said in a statement.
Jamie Cowper, director of European marketing at PGP Corporation, warned : “As well as putting internal security measures in place organisations really need to be more cautious of the third party companies that they entrust sensitive information to.
“However, the immediate disclosure and swift action taken by the FTS following the breach is yet another positive indication that organisations are beginning to take data protection seriously."
FTS is today reviewing security across the whole company.