An IT worker at British Airways used "the most sophisticated decryption and encryption techniques ever encountered in dealing with international terrorism to date" to conceal his involvement with a fundamentalist terrorist group, according to newspaper reports.
Rajib Karim, who worked as a software engineer for the airline, was found guilty on four terror-related charges. He reportedly plotted to smuggle a bomb onto a passenger plane and proposed a cyber attack on BA’s IT system.
Sources quoted in the Daily Mail newspaper claim that Karim used a "Russian doll"-like system, with eight separate layers of encryption, to conceal his communications with conspirators in Yemen and Bangladesh.
Documents found on Karim’s laptop had been encrypted multiple times, had been disguised a registry files, and had further password protection on key names and dates. Karim would reportedly upload these documents to Internet file sharing sites, where they would be downloaded by associates.
The Mail’s source said that cracking this encryption was crucial to Karim’s succesful prosecution. "Once we arrested him, we managed to get into his computer eventually," they said, "and that is where the information came to light that led to the prosecution."