Burglars Take Tory Liam Fox’s Laptop


‘Crime is down’ says Labour. ‘No it isn’t,’ says Liam Fox, who lost his laptop and car in a break-in on Wednesday

The Conservative shadow defence secretary, Liam Fox, has had his laptop stolen, along with his mobile phone and car, after his home in South London was burgled whilst he was asleep upstairs.

Laptops Most At Risk Whilst At Home

First reports suggested that he had left his laptop inside his car, but it has emerged that the thieves actually broke into his house, and according to the Daily Telegraph, armed themselves with his kitchen knifes in order to threaten the Tory politician if he confronted them, whilst they ransacked his property.

Liam Fox
Liam Fox

Fox woke up just before 7am to discover he had been burgled. Fox’s wife, Jesme, was not in the property as she is stuck in Hong Kong due to the travel chaos caused by the volcanic ash.

It is believed that the intruders climbed on to Fox’s balcony, having spotted an open window.

In February, research from Absolute Software warned that the place where laptops were most likely to be stolen was not at airports or on the train, but rather in people’s own homes. It found that the number of laptops stolen from British homes is significantly higher than in other countries. British homes are the most dangerous locations for laptops (32 percent of most recent laptop thefts), compared to France (22 percent), the US (18 percent), Germany (17 percent) and Canada (17 percent).

Meanwhile Symantec’s latest Global Internet Security report found that the largest percentage (37 percent) of data breaches that could possibly lead to identity theft, was still being caused by the physical theft or loss of that information.

Common Burglary

Meanwhile the Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are treating the incident as a burglary. Forensics officers are at the scene and detectives are understood to be studying CCTV footage from outside the gated apartment block in Bermondsey.

“I feel like anyone else who has been the victim of an opportunistic burglary, said Fox, speaking outside the flat in Bermondsey. “”It’s not very nice to have someone in your house, particularly when you have been in it. “It’s even less nice when they have taken kitchen knives out of the kitchen drawer and left them close so that they can threaten you.”

“But I’m not the only person in this country to have been the victim of crime and now have even greater sympathy in the future with people who are,” he added.

Sensitive Data Stolen?

Of course, question marks have been raised if any sensitive information was on the stolen laptop and whether Fox’s stolen laptop was encrypted.

When asked if any sensitive documents have been stolen Fox replied: “No. There were a number of documents in the house, but nothing was taken containing sensitive information.”

Fox had been due to outline the Tories’ armed forces manifesto on Thursday morning but the launch was cancelled at short notice.

“For Liam Fox’s sake, I hope that this laptop was encrypted. Laptops will always be stolen, the important thing is making sure that the data on them can’t be accessed and abused. If this laptop was encrypted, then Liam Fox has nothing to worry about,” said Chris McIntosh, CEO of hardware encryption expert Stonewood, which provides encryption for the UK armed forces.

“However if not, we could soon see the contents being leaked to the media and even worse repercussons,” he added.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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