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Firm takes on terrorists

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By Fiona Reid
Firm takes on terrorists

AN innovative app that could help protect the UK from terrorism and cybercrime has been developed by a Beattock firm.

Engineering and software company QEM Solutions, based in Telford Mews, say they have solved ‘a world renowned problem’ with their new encryption system for messaging.

It addresses widespread concerns that terrorists can hide behind current encryption methods used for texts, emails and messages. Their ‘Light Blue’ prototype app helps keep users’ details safe from cybercrime, like identity theft, through a patent pending system called Matryoshka Overlocking. It replicates a set of Russian dolls to securely lock data in a system that requires digital keys for access – and it promotes social responsibility.

Explaining more, QEM CEO Rob Graham said: “This could resolve the encryption debate so prominent in our news headlines once and for all. Ultimately, Light Blue is encrypted messaging for honest people.

“The way end to end encryption works is that the message I write gets encrypted with my digital key and you need a digital key to unlock it – if you see it in transit it just looks like a load of gobbledegook.

“What we have done is created a method of encryption that, under the right controls, the Government can get access to but no authority can decrypt anything without consent. But crucially, the government in question knows from the outset that they have access should they legitimately require it. It’s like giving them a door key and access to just one room of your house.”

After two years in development and testing, he is confident they have something special and said: “The government are jumping up and down saying a solution needs to be found, we have got the solution.

“We’re a tiny business near Moffat and we have solved a world renowned problem.”

QEM Solutions was set up 15 years ago as an engineering firm and has now moved into software development as well. They employ 30 engineers around the UK and have a partner firm in Australia, Mineral Blue. They are about to start a seed funding promotion for Light Blue and hope the app, which is in the testing stage, will be ready to use by the end of the year.

Rob added: “It’s the last system you’d choose to plan something malicious. The beauty of Light Blue is, the more users it has, the smaller the landscape in which the bad guys can operate.”


BUSTING CYBERCRIME . . . some of the team at QEM Solutions pictured above, left to right: Gill Whalley, CEO Rob Graham and Eamonn Lung


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