In a research environment, where two companies are competing to build a proof of concept, or a prototype, a dirty trick an A.P.T. can employ, is to corrupt the backup stream.
It is standard to do backups on a cycle. One cycle is local. A second cycle is off site, fireproofed, with an alternative platform to lease, for disaster recovery. Older cycles are usually archived.
If an unfair competitor chose to steal a researcher’s superior design, he could do so by corrupting the backup process through several cycles, such that backup copies are defective. I don’t feel the need to design examples on their behalf; a thief stole DVD-R’s from my supply to match lot numbers, copied zip files to magnetic media and deleted critical data; he then burned the new zipped files back to a new DVR, and duly replaced them.
Under these conditions, an innovative researcher might find himself unable to assert ownership of breakthroughs, or labor intensive heavy lifting (such as dataset generation software, etc.)
In the absence of the emotional payload of anger and regret, that the rightful owner would feel, anyone paying for this work would be deprived of the fact of it. The programs wouldn’t be in the compilation, and so future work predicated on these capabilities would be blocked or delayed.
Leave feedback one and all to discuss how to secure backup systems. It’s a worthwhile discussion I have never had before.