When the people selling you IT security solutions hack into their rival’s database…

Graham Cluley

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The Register reports:

Five men working at UK-based IT security reseller Quadsys confessed today to hacking into a rival’s database.

Owner Paul Streeter, managing director Paul Cox, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davies and security consultant Jon Townsend appeared before the beak at Oxford Crown Court.

“All pleaded guilty to obtaining unauthorised access to computer materials to facilitate the commission of an offence,” the court clerk told us.

This is punishable by a minimum of 12 months in prison or a fine on summary conviction, or up to five years or a fine on indictment.

We all know that there are bad guys hacking into firms.

We want to protect our firms from online criminals, so we bring in third-parties to help us do that, and purchase solutions and services.

It’s depressing to discover that some of those third party firms may have some rotten apples on their payroll, who don’t know the difference between right and wrong, and think nothing of exploiting their technical skills to break the law if it helps them gain a commercial advantage.

Let this be a warning to others. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should.

Hacking into a rival’s database to steal customer and pricing information might give you a short term advantage, but you are putting your personal future, and that of your business, at permanent risk.

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.
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