Paedophiles share child porn using corporate PCs

UK business and local councils are increasingly at risk from paedophiles using their networks to spread child sexual abuse images and videos, according to new research.

In a report entitled Cleaning Up Britain (PDF), software company NetClean highlights a growing problem of paedophiles sharing illegal images and videos via the networks of unsuspecting organisations, introducing them to employers' systems via USB drives and other portable devices.

According to figures supplied by the UK police's Child Exploitation & Online Protection centre (CEOP), 66 per cent of those caught with child sex abuse material have no previous criminal record - enabling them to operate undetected in corporate environments.

NetClean cites the example of Jeremy Colman, former Auditor General for Wales, who was jailed for eight months in November 2010 for downloading images of child sexual abuse. Police found 172 images on both personal and official computers.

NetClean has a vested interest in flagging up these dangers to corporate networks, of course: the company claims to have created the only file-matching software in the world that is specifically designed to identify material involving child sexual abuse.

"We have spent nearly a decade developing technologies that identify illegal child sexual abuse images and videos on public and corporate networks," said Pelle Gara, co-founder of NetClean.

"At this moment, file matching is the strongest safety measure companies and local councils can put into place. This is because file matching can track content circulated inside and outside network firewalls and web blockers."