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London Data Centre theft brings up worrying questions

Burglars (opens in new tab) posing as policemen successfully made their way into a data centre near London's King's Cross station on Thursday 6th December.

According to a Metropolitan Police statement, "Three to five male suspects, dressed as police officers, gained entry to the property at approximately 21:00 by claiming to a member of [Police] staff".

They stole equipments worth one million pounds according to some sources; the bounty included micro-system motherboards but apparently no storage devices.

Because of their specific nature, these motherboards would be very difficult to sell even on Ebay, especially as they would come without any warranty.

Telecommunications company Verizon Business, who runs the data centre (opens in new tab), did not confirmed the nature of the data lost or the exact value of the appliances stolen.

Although the building was equipped with state of the art security, the heist shows that human beings are still the weakest link in any security systems and that social engineering is one of the most effective tools conmen have.

It also raises the question of whether data centers are not quickly turning into honey pots for criminals both offline and online.

Another London data centre owned by Easynet was broken into back in October 2006.

No arrests have been made yet.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.