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Quadsys Five charged with fraud over data-slurping allegations

Firm's MD and owner implicated in hack at channel rival

The boys in blue have charged Paul Cox, MD at Oxfordshire-based security outfit Quadsys, with fraud after he and others at the firm allegedly hacked into a rival security reseller to take data, including pricing info.

Cox was among five bods arrested in March by Thames Valley Police (TVP) in conjunction with the National Crime Agency and the South East Regional Organised Crime unit (SEROCU).

TVP confirmed Cox, 40, of Acremead Road, Wheatley, Oxford, has been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and blackmail – crimes that, if proven, could lead to a five-year stint in the slammer.

Also charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation are: Quadsys owner Paul Streeter, 40, of Blakes Avenue, Witney; director Alistair Barnard, 38, of Bampton Road, Aston, Bampton; account manager Steve Davies, 34, of Yeats Close, Oxford; and Jon Townsend, 36, of Pensclose, Witney, an in-house security solutions consultant.

The individuals were first arrested in March at Quadsys’ offices in Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxfordshire, TVP confirmed.

Back in March, TVP said the arrest warrant was executed on suspicion of a conspiracy with others to commit computer misuse offences; unauthorised access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences; conspiracy to steal from another; conspiracy to enter into/be concerned in the acquisition/retention/use of control of criminal property.

The company, which was incorporated in June 2008, sells security software and appliances, as well as cloudy stuff. Services include consultancy, remote health checks, and an infrastructure and security skills matrix.

On top of the Sophos gold badge of honour, Quadsys is a McAfee Security Alliance Premier Partner, a Kaspersky Gold Partner, an ESET Silver Partner and a Barracuda Authorised Partner.

In addition, the firm is authorised to sell gear from Websense, Checkpoint, Trend Micro, Trustwave, F-Secure, Juniper Networks, GFI, MessagLabs and Clearswift.

A source alleged to The Channel the men hacked into a rival firm to steal data that would give Quadsys a competitive advantage. TVP refused to comment on this, or indeed make any further comment.

According to Quadsys’ website, the company has some pretty high profile clients, including: Leeds United FC, Derry City Council, South Tyne and Wear Primary Care Trust, the ASA, and Cokethorpe School, a private institution.

In the year to 30 June 2014 (the last financials for Quadsys available at Companies House) the firm filed abbreviated P&L accounts showing net assets of £623,000.

The Quadsys five have all been bailed to appear at Banbury Magistrates’ Court on 7 September. They were unavailable to comment. ®

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