Simon Janes, International operations director, Ibas

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Simon Janes, International operations director, Ibas

I used to be the detective in charge of operations at the Metropolitan Police computer crimes unit. I was there for six years. I spent a total of 22 years at the Metropolitan Police. I retired in 1998 and since then I’ve been in computer forensics in the private sector.

Any interesting cases?

I dealt with some of the more high-profile cases. I helped with the prosecution of a virus writer called the "Black Baron". He was the first person in this country to be prosecuted for writing and distributing a computer virus (the Smeg virus). The court sentenced him to an 18-month prison sentence.

How have you adjusted from being a copper?

I admit that at first I thought I wouldn't get the same level of job satisfaction. I really surprised myself when I actually did get a lot out of the job I do. There is a lot of commercial espionage going on, and I get to investigate a lot of it.

Most of the time it is not the super secret stuff being stolen, it's the data being copied by an individual, either for themselves or for a rival company.

Any stories there?

One particular case was where someone set up a rival company while still working at the victim company. He was feeding his other firm information on contracts, and so on. The victim company had started to lose a lot of business. My investigations found all the evidence needed to confront the person.

What normally happens, do they go up before m'lud?

These things tend to get settled out of court. Most companies want this thing to stop happening and get on with business. Very often, compensation is paid and assets can be surrendered as part of the settlement. If a person has a boat in the south of France, say, this can be taken as part settlement. You have to put a figure on the loss to the victim firm.

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