Smart Enough To Manage A Network, Dumb Enough To Think Nobody Sees Your Mischief

from the what's-so-logical dept

Apparently embarking on an idiotic effort to sabotage your employer doesn't always require being fired first. Out of New Jersey comes the story of an IT administrator who left a "logic bomb" buried in the network of one of the nation's largest prescription drug management companies. The dim employee had actually just survived a round of layoffs, only to have the company discover his handy work and fire him anyway. Stupider still was the fact that his actions had potentially fatal repercussions and wouldn't just harm his employer: one of the targeted databases tracked patient-specific drug interaction conflicts -- used by pharmacies to avoid potentially fatal prescription combinations. Apparently the employee had crafted the bomb to go off on his birthday, but his own programming errors resulted in a misfire -- and the FBI arrested him before he could correct the code and set it off the following year. His lawyer's defense is that he was smart enough to know the bomb would be tracked back to him, therefore he couldn't have possibly done it. Last week, a systems administrator (also in New Jersey) was sentenced to 8 years in prison for causing an estimated $3.1 million in damage due to a logic bomb. As with the Utah ISP employee we discussed last week, it's amazing these individuals are smart enough to manage networks, yet stupid enough to think nobody can track their misdeeds.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 9:52pm

    idiot

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Matthew Miller, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 10:13pm

    ooh, yes, let's ALL jump to conclusions

    Wait, do we trust whatever the US Attorney's office says now? That innocent-till-proven thing isn't just for laughs, and honestly, the possibility that the guy was framed seems plausible enough that there's no way we can make an informed guess one way or another. That kind of thing does happen.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Thomas McGrath, Dec 19th, 2006 @ 10:46pm

    Re: ooh, yes, let's ALL jump to conclusions

    Yes, people are sometimes framed, but working in the IT Security field, I see all too often Admins and others who feel a smug sense of superiority becasue they are asked stupid questions all too often by the end users they support. Sometimes they end up feeling as if they are the smartest person out there, and that no one would ever be able to keep track of what they do, not realizing that there's always someone out there just a little bit smarter than they are.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Search Engines WEB, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 12:27am

    Too Self Absorb to Empathize

    There are numerous examples of criminal behaviour from people who are just so self absorbed they only focus on themselves and getting revenge without thinking about the effects it would have on innocent people. Or even if their revenge is out of proportion to the perceived wrong.

    They come in all walks of life, from high profile political leaders to the everday person who neighbors considered harmless until they were charged with a heinous crime.

     

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  5.  
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    The infamous Joe, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 3:57am

    Bleh.

    He doesn't seem to have a motive-- which is one of the things that helps when proving guilt.

    I dunno, a 50 year old man who thought he might get fired makes a logic bomb to go off on his birthday, but he messes up and it doesn't go off (in 2004) so he recodes it to go off next year, even though he didn't get fired. To top it off, he's so inept at IT mmbo-jumbo that he leaves a trail back to him (As if picking his birthday wouldn't be bad enough)

    Sounds like a setup to me. Or the old guy watched Office Space too many times.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 5:39am

    Re: Bleh.

    He doesn't seem to have a motive-- which is one of the things that helps when proving guilt.

    Revenge for being laid off is a pretty good motive. He probably buried it when he thought he was going to get laid off.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 5:48am

    Re: Re: Bleh.

    Ah, yes, but when he allegedly went to fix his error and reset it to go off next year, he already knew he wasn't getting fired. The threat at almost getting fired (laid off is more accurate-- it was due to a merger, not personal performance) might have given motive to create it, but couldn't show a reason to keep it active after it had failed.

    I'd look closely at the people who worked in the IT department who DID get laid off. That's just me.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    another, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 6:54am

    The fact is, most people that go to trial are actually guilty. Why is that? Is there some social injustice happening?

    No, the reason is that prosecutors don't like to lose, so on cases they don't think they have a good chance of winning, they don't take to court. In the past things may have been different, and there are a few cases of people being charged with things they didn't do, but mostly, if you are in a court room, there is usually a good reason for that.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Bumbling old fool, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 6:56am

    Re:

    That is a very frightening prejudice you have there.

    Thankfully, I don't share it with you.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 7:07am

    Re:

    You know what, you're right. Let's just go trim some fat off the Bill of Rights, since clearly it's just there taking up space. Any other pearls of wisdom?

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Foxed facts?, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 8:00am

    Re: another

    "The fact is, most people that go to trial are actually guilty. Why is that? Is there some social injustice happening?"

    Where did you get that "fact"? Care to back it up?

    One of my girlfriends was an asst. DA. She quit because of the number of questionable cases she was given with the instructions to win at any cost. These cases would increase when the DA was up for re-election so he could appear "tough on crime!"

     

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  12.  
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    Sea Man, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 8:05am

    Two words...

    "New Jersey"

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    a, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: another

    If you dipshits could read, you would have understood that the fact that most people that go to trial are guilty not because of any social injustice, but the fact that prosecutors don't like to lose cases. It looks bad on their records. If they can't win the case, it doesn't end up in court. Are there excetions? Of course, but the fact is, prosecutors don't like to try cases they can't win. All these "must win" cases are usually driven by politics. If they don't win, it is usually because evidence gets thrown out, not because the person wasn't guilty.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Bumbling old fool, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: another

    I read, and you scare me. Get out of my country.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 11:26am

    Re: Bleh.

    Never overestimate your fellow man.
    If in fact he is guilty I would find the details believable.
    A smart person would have spent their time looking for
    an new job, not sabotaging their old one. Vengence
    is too costly for smart people and all too attractive to
    stupid people.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    fat_hamster, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 12:23pm

    twice on HIS birthday

    yes, purely a coincidence that the logic bomb was set to
    detonate twice on his birthday. Must be a conspiracy
    or maybe if we don't have a you tube video of him writing it,
    he must be innocent. As we all know, no one can trust
    the people we pay to protect our way of life. We have
    courts and trials by his peers to find out if he was culpable beyond a reasonable doubt. That is where it should be decided.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    a, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: another

    Bumbling Old Fool, you may read, but you don't comprehend.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    JM, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 12:31pm

    Re: Re: ooh, yes, let's ALL jump to conclusions

    So what's your point? That because there are assholes out there that like to think they're God because they know a trade many do not that they should automatically be treated with MORE suspicion without direct evidence?

    Sorry but Mr. Miller has a good point. Especially so with all the 'enemy combatant' shit floating around. Giving this credit without specific evidence pointing to his guilt is like taking a giant shit on the foundation of our freedoms.

    Innocent before PROVEN guilty. However – if this particular administrator IS guilty then he deserves to meet Bubba in the shower at the correction facility of the judge's choice.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Bleh.

    I agree Joe. I find it amazing how many non-critical thoughts exist in the minds of techies sometimes.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 12:36pm

    Re:

    Yep, non-critical thinkers indeed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: another

    I would love to see the statistics that back up your claim. The reason our justice system is set up the way it is, is to keep people with YOUR attitude in check thanks.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Bumbling old fool, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: another

    I read and I comprehend. Your menatility is dangerous and to be avoided at all costs.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    another, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 1:38pm

    Bumbling, no you don't, because my post had nothing to do about the issues in this or any other case but about what cases actually make it to court.

    Prosecutors don't like to lose cases, so they typically only go to court on cases they have a very good chance of winning. One would assume thats because they have evidence and a good case against the defendant.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    A non-slave IT guy, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: another

    A person demonstrates a conspicuous lack of critical thinking and logical analysis skills when they insist that someone is not reading or not understanding what was said when in fact they disagree with it or find it to be incorrect, invalid, stupid, etc.

    In simple words; saying "you're wrong" or "I disagree" doesn't mean we don't understand. It does makes YOU look dumb to say so.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, Dec 20th, 2006 @ 6:22pm

    Maybe someone should ensure that, in criminal cases, "a jury of his peers" is defined as people with his level of expertise in his field where relevant, rather than just his peers socially (i.e. commons/lords in theUK, I don't know what the law is in the USA). Thus if someone is on trial for a IT matter, those who make up the jury would have to be IT experts, even if this was merely defined as those who gave thier occupation on thier passport/census as Nentwork admin/programmer/etc. Then it could be made a requirement that if an employeee is sacked for doing something illegal (as he was), then he must first be convicted, and in copyright cases, the pirate must be found guilty of copyright infringememnt by a criminal court, before any compensation can be sought. THsat way, in piracy cases, the jury would be competent in the field relevant to the case and understand the technology. THis would save time (hence money), and make the likelyhood of a miscarriage of justice lower.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Learning, Jan 3rd, 2007 @ 12:49pm

    if it didn't go off how did they find out about it then

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 4:46am

    most dumb people do not think of repurcussions.

    their brain got a one-way ticket to dummy ville.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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