The Channel logo


By | John Leyden 13th October 2009 15:28

Man jailed over air traffic control IT kit eBay scam

Pushing Tin

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 hearing at Portsmouth crown court, Judge Peter Henry described Woffinden as a "threat to national security", because he had sold Swanwick base computers containing commercial and military flight data.

The judge discounted defence arguments that Woffinden had wiped the information after hearing that the accused lacked the requisite skills to do the job properly, the Daily Mirror reports.

Chris McIntosh, chief exec of hardware encryption firm Stonewood Group, said it was highly unlikely that national security was threatened by Woffinden's criminal actions. "National security is highly unlikely to have been compromised in this case, as top secret information must be protected by CESG-approved encryption products," McIntosh explained. "This means that if a laptop or USB is stolen, then the data on it can't be accessed without the encryption key."

"The only way that national security would have been put at risk is if Woffindin also had access to and was selling the encryption keys. Moreover, the laptops may not even have had top secret data on them," he added. ®

comment icon Read 20 comments on this article alert Send corrections


George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury
shutterstock_183801788_container ship

Chris Mellor

The SAN growth glory days are well and truly over, so where next?

Tom Whipp

Insurance industry insider tells all
Crypto fingers


Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0
Follow the money – or, at least, our projections
Boats storm girl photo via Nikolina Mrakovic
The puppets from Team America: World Police gather at a bar for drinks.