Neohapsis is currently accepting applications for employment. For more information, please visit our website www.neohapsis.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
[ISN] Security chief cleared of blackmail
From: InfoSec News (isnc4i.org)
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 06:12:53 CST
Wednesday, 7 November, 2001
A former senior Barclay's official from Cheshire has been cleared of
trying to blackmail the bank out of 25m.
Graham Browne from Cranage was found not guilty at the Old Bailey
after telling a jury he wrote blackmail letters to draw attention to
The prosecution had alleged that the former head of the bank's
encryption department tried to blackmail Barclays into paying 1.7m
each to himself and 13 team members.
After discharging Mr Browne, 57, Judge David Stokes said it was "not
appropriate" to reimburse his costs.
Judge Stokes said: "On the defendant's own admission, he acted
stupidly, irresponsibly and foolishly."
Outside court, Mr Browne's solicitor Jeffrey McCann said: "Mr Browne
is tremendously relieved."
He said Mr Browne could not comment further because of a High Court
order preventing him from discussing the matter.
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins, prosecuting, said he had threatened to
disclose coded keys which would have put the security of millions of
credit and debit cards worldwide in jeopardy.
She said he had become "disillusioned, bitter and angry" with the bank
before finally resigning from his job.
Mr Browne, from Cranage, near Holmes Chapel, Knutsford, had complained
that his suggestions on improving security were not being taken up,
and between March and September last year he sent four letters to
Barclays' chief executive making the blackmail claims.
The court heard that when police searched his home they found items
connecting him to the letters hidden in a secret compartment under his
In the letters, Mr Browne had demanded a team of experts named by him
should be paid 1.7m each to devise better security measures.
He said it was done in a jokey way in order to bring the bank's
attention to his fears about scrapping an internal security system.
The demands for 25 million were described by Mr Browne as "ludicrous",
and he did not think the letters would be taken seriously.
He said: "I expected to be instantly found out and have people on my
doorstep demanding an explanation for what I was up to and what I was
trying to achieve."
He added that he felt his department had been under funded.
The refusal to accept voluntary redundancy, his step-father's death
and the failure of his marriage meant he was "fairly unstable" by the
time he resigned in January 2000.
After this his local branch had mistakenly emptied his account of
8,600, leaving him overdrawn.
The bank had apologised, sent him a couple of bottles of wine - then
sent him the bill.
He thought that was fairly amusing until he got a 4 bill for the
interest on the overdraft.
"That is what threw me over the edge," he said.
After the verdict a spokesperson for Barclays said: "There has never
been any need for customers to be concerned about security.
"This case was brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and, as
Barclays is not a party to the proceedings, it would be inappropriate
for us to comment on the verdict."
ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
To unsubscribe email majordomoattrition.org with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY
of the mail.