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[ISN] F1 engineers plan appeal in Ferrari espionage case


By John Leyden
30th April 2007

Two former Ferrari engineers accused of stealing trade secrets have been 
convicted of industrial espionage.

Angelo Santini and Mauro Iacconi were last week sentenced by an Italian 
court to jail terms of nine and 16 months respectively over charges of 
stealing confidential engineering data from Ferrari and using it to 
design cars for motor racing rivals Toyota. Both intend to appeal.

Sensitive data stolen from Ferrari - including engineering documents, 
test data and other undisclosed documents – was allegedly used to 
develop the 2002 and 2003 edition of Toyota’s car. Iacconi, a wind 
tunnel engineer who worked at Ferrari between 1986 and 2000 before 
moving to Toyota, said the data in question was dated and was of no 
value in the design of Toyota’s car, Autosport.com reports..

Security firms were quick to highlight the case as an example of the 
dangers of uncontrolled use of removable storage devices in facilitating 
data theft.

“This prosecution highlights the seriousness of the ‘insider threat’. 
Disgruntled employees still find it all too easy to take company secrets 
off the network and onto portable storage devices such as CDs and USB 
sticks,” said Matt Fisher, VP of Centennial Software. “You don’t have to 
work in Formula One for your secrets to be valuable to the competition. 
With corporate IP the fuel that keeps business running, all companies 
are vulnerable to damage from data leaks,” he added. ®

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