BlackBerry Ltd , isn’t the sort of firm you want to mess with. Despite John Chen’s attitude and the firm’s reputation for keeping users happy, BlackBerry is well able to go after those that displease it. James Dunham, a wireless exec, found that out the hard way. He’s now on his way to prison because he leaked a few numbers regarding the firm.
Dunham will go to prison for five months as a result of his crime. After leaving prison he will have to spend an additional five months under house arrest. He will also be compelled to pay a $76,000 fine. He was charged and found guilty of wire fraud, and his biggest crime appears to have been the leak of data related to BlackBerry.
BlackBerry sales slump revealed
Dunham was the COO of Wireless Zone, a firm that operates more than 400 Verizon Stores. The exec apparently entered into an agreement with research house Detwiler Fenton in 2010 in order to supply info in exchange for $2,000 per month. The firm used Mr. Dunham’s info, including that on BlackBerry , , in order to inform its clients of movement in the wireless world.
Prosecutors in the case said that in 2013 Dunham’s data leaks came to light after he revealed info about a firm’s new smart phone. Detwiler Fenton reported in 2013 that some stores had seen returns exceeding sales of the new BlackBerry releases in that year. Shares in the firm fell harshly after the data emerged.
Mr. Dunham was arrested in February of this year. At the time the report was released BlackBerry issued a statement saying that its conclusions were wrong. The firm also pushed regulators to investigate the case fully.
Prosecutors said that though the information was accurate when it came to the stores that Mr. Dunham was overseeing, it may not have reflected the wider state of sales truly.
BlackBerry goes after criminals
BlackBerry , doesn’t like those that break the law, but those that violate data security are held in particular contempt. The firm, despite its sometimes mixed statements about the future, is focused on one thing. It wants to be the gold standard in keeping client info safe and away from prying eyes.
In this case BlackBerry had some of its own data leaked. There’s not a single thing that its software could have done about it however. If someone with the authority that Mr. Dunham had wants to take info they’ve been given and send it on they can.
BlackBerry has no recourse but the legal system, and cases like this one make it appear that most involved in illicit info-sharing are never caught. Mr. Dunham’s five months may dissuade some from risking their future on wire fraud, but there’s many people out there who would take the risk for the rewards offered.
Data security is tricky. BlackBerry knows that more than any other firm out there. Mr. Dunham’s choice shows the weakness in any soft solution to data security. Most “hacking” is done on a social rather than a systems level. BlackBerry, as far as we know, has no current solution to issues of greed.