Man Jailed For Refusing To Reveal USB Password

USB storage flash drive secret lock key © luchschen Shutterstock

Syed Hussain, already serving time for helping to plot attacks against UK targets, got another four months

A man has received an extra four months in jail after he failed to reveal the password for a USB stick the police and GCHQ were unable to crack.

Syed Hussain had already been jailed for his part in a cell that had discussed an attack on a Territorial Army base in Luton using a bomb attached to a remote control car.

USB secret lock storage flash drive security © Paul Fleet ShutterstockThey had also considered attacks on MI5, the US Air Force, the English Defence League and their local shopping centre.

Failure to crack password

He received additional time inside for not providing assistance on the US password, which he eventually revealed as “$ur4ht4ub4h8”, which related to a chapter in the Koran. He had used that password for other systems that police had investigated.

“We say that he always knew the password and only disclosed it, as he recently did in December a year or so after the notice, because he thought it would be in his interests to do so,” said Prosecutor Alex Chalk, according to local paper the Luton & Dunstable Express.

Chalk said the USB contained material linking the defendant to an alleged fraud. He added that it was only when investigators told Hussain he was being investigated for fraud that he gave up the password. Investigations into the alleged fraud are ongoing.

The memory stick did not contain any information on potential threats to national security.

Hussain had claimed to have forgotten the password, due to stress. GCHQ experts had even been called in to crack the password, but to no avail.

The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed many of GCHQ’s efforts to break encryption and reveal hidden data. The government unit is said to have plans to break encryption used by 15 major Internet companies and 300 VPNs by 2015.

What do you know about tech whistleblowers? Take our quiz!