Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Infosecurity Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

Top-secret Anglo-French drone plans stolen

The theft involved at least two culprits. One apparently ‘hassled’ the executive’s wife, who briefly put the case down to respond – and the other walked off with it.

The Economic Times of India writes: "His attention had been purposefully diverted. It was not a random theft. We have to determine whether the thieves were targeting confidential documents on the drone project or other valuables in the briefcase.” While the police insist “that a highly-sophisticated operation by a spy agency could not be ruled out, Dassault said it was ‘probably a random theft’” continues the report.

Dassault insists that that the briefcase contained no sensitive documents. A separate report by the BBC states: “A Dassault spokesman denied initial French reports that important documents were taken, suggesting it was a straightforward criminal act. ‘The police shouldn't have difficulty finding the thieves because the area was filmed,’ he told French media.”

Nevertheless, there is a collaboration agreement between the UK and France to develop a new generation of unmanned fighter drone aircraft. The possibility that sensitive documents have been stolen highlights the security problem in carrying paper records – you cannot realistically encrypt the written word.

“Once again”, comments Ricoh UK director Chas Maloney, “the threats posed by paper-based documentation have been exposed, in this case top secret military files on the UK’s multimillion pound deal to develop drones with France. This is the latest in a series of high profile incidents of document security breaches that could have been prevented via digitized documentation. Only by adopting a secure, digital approach to information sharing will organizations be able to eradicate the threat of paper-based security breaches once and for all.” 

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?