Friday, April 20, 2007, 4/20/2007 02:53:00 PM

UK's VBi Triscan Systems Hit Hard By Industrial Espionage

By Todd
The Lancashire Telegraph is reporting that thousands of pounds worth of trade secrets have been stolen in suspected "industrial espionage" raids on a high-tech company.

Bosses at VBi Triscan Systems, Harwood Street, Blackburn, have now put up a "substantial" reward for information about the crimes.

Thieves targeted the fuel management company's main operational servers and stole a number of laptop computers containing company information.

VBi Triscan Systems employs 80 people and is market leader in the provision of hardware and software for fuel management solutions such as pay-at-the-pump petrol payment terminals.

Company bosses are concerned that customers may be approached by unauthorised individuals or companies offering support on VBi owned software and products.

Marketing manager Barry McLeod said: "The laptops were worth thousands but in terms of intellectual property the potential damage to the business is a hell of a lot more. We have got back-up procedures across our IT department which means there is no threat whatsoever to the business.

"But the theft involved hard drives from some of our servers which had the potential to create some major issues for the business and its customers; however, 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.

"We are not ruling out industrial espionage. We are a niche company and don't have many competitors."

The incidents happened between Tuesday, March 27 and Saturday, March 31.

Managing director, Simon Hollingsworth, added: "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.

"The company is taking this matter very seriously indeed and all staff including former employees are in the process of assisting the criminal investigation team with their inquiries."
A police spokesman said: "Police were called to the business on two separate occasions. We are currently investigating the incidents where the matter of industrial espionage will be looked into as part of the investigation."

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Blackburn Police on 01252 51212 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Since it's Friday, we thought you'd like to learn something interesting about Blackburn. Blackburn is a town in Lancashire, England. It is the main part of the Blackburn with Darwen borough, which has a population of 140,200. It was a key centre for the textile industry during the Industrial Revolution and is popularly known as the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club. Blackburn is situated to the north of the West Pennine Moors.
Blackburn is known to fans of The Beatles as the town featured in the song "A Day in the Life". An article in the Daily Mail about a plan to fill potholes in the town caught John Lennon's eye as he was writing the song, giving birth to the lyric: "I read the news today. Oh, boy. 4,000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire". This lends itself to the title of the unofficial fanzine of Blackburn Rovers, which is called "4,000 Holes".

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