Young MI6 employee incarcerated over data espionage

A 25 year old IT worker from London has been sentenced to a prison term after he was found guilty of attempting to sell data of national importance to foreign security services.

Daniel Houghton worked for MI6 and earned an annual wage of 23,000 by writing software programs for the agency, but he sought more than a million pounds from the Dutch secret service, when he offered to sell them the private details of thousands of MI6 workers.

Mr Houghton used a USB storage drive to steal data relating to over 7000 individuals and then brokered a deal with the foreign buyers, which was eventually reported to total 900,000.

MI6 was alerted to the deal’s arrangement by the Dutch authorities, as they initially assumed that Mr Houghton was bluffing. However, his calls were bugged and the details of the bungled exchange were discovered, resulting in his immediate arrest after he switched the USB device for a suitcase full of cash back in March.

Defence lawyer David Perry said that Mr Houghton had not carried out this act to deliberately put members of MI6 in danger and asserted in a statement published by the BBC, that there were no ideological motivations behind the security breach.

Perry explained that Mr Houghton was simply inexperienced, young and socially inept to the point of being seen as a distant figure even by colleagues. Mr Houghton was allegedly pressured into committing this theft by internal voices dictating his actions, according to Perry.

Mr Houghton was handed a 12 month custodial sentence by Judge Justice Bean last week, but he has already been freed under probationary care, because he has been held for a long period in the run up to the trial, therefore fulfilling the terms of the sentence.

Judge Bean said that there was potential for huge amounts of damage to have been done by the leaked data had it been intercepted or purchased by malicious forces. He concluded that the act was perpetrated by an odd individual.

MI6 has not commented on the level of security with which internal data is protected, or whether the use of USB devices by staff is allowed under its policies.

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

Sales question? Need support? Start a chat session with one of our experts!

For support, call the 24-hour hotline:

UK: 0800 999 3600
US: 800-220-7013

Or, if you've been given a screen sharing code:

Existing customer?

Click below to login to our secure enterprise Portal and view the real-time status of your data protection.

Login to Portal