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 …
And the advantage Toyota gained is immediately obvious.
What a difference it made
"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,"
Clearly. Despite throwing millions of dollars / billions of yen at F1, Toyota have yet to make a serious dent in anything other than the occasional sidepod and front wing. Crime obviously doesn't pay, after all.
Given the performance of the Toyota team (300+ million dollar budget and no race wins) it seems like these guys stole the wrong secrets.
what those guys said ^^^
need i say more.. :)
This is the Wrong Battle
This case has everything to do with Ferrari's desire to fight a dirty tricks PR campaign against Toyota, when in 2003, they were extremely worried that the financial strength of the Japanese team may hurt them badly.
Anybody who has worked in Formula 1 knows that data sharing amongst the travelling circus of engineers is rife. These freelance engineers merely had some old data on their laptops from their last job.
It's only a big deal in a PR battle, as the rate of improvement of the Toyota F1 car clearly shows. And of course, this is the Ferraris Formula 1 team renowned for their strict following of the rules (flex-wings or floors anyone?).
The real problem
... is of course how any big company will ever be able to forbid the use usb sticks or mp3 players in the first place. with these tiny yet powerful storage solutions it is more or less getting possible to carry out all documentation of one major project in your pocket.
One way is to have your computers only write to usb storage devices using encryption (as we learnt from the past, can never be broken *sigh*). On the other hand the laptops will have to do the same and they go in and out of the company so they are the enigma machines that the villain wants.
No solution to this.
USBs and Portable Devices
Yes, USBs, iPods, CD-Rs and countless other USB or portable devices cause problems for large and small companies. Controlling access to pockets of sensitive data like engineering plans to only pertinent personnell is a better solution.
If companies can instill firm Risk and Data policies, this will get us closer to having these types of data thefts of intellectual property occur http://www.essentialsecurity.com/news.htm?id=43
...the brains! You know, companies should keep the brains of their departing employees, since they sure contain so much sensitive information...
Seriously (kinda) now, I believe Honda must have stolen the same secrets Toyota did. Just more recently. I mean, second half of last season they were quite good, Button even won their first race. And now, it stinks like there's no tomorrow. If not those pesky secrets, it must be jinx on the new paint job then.