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.

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Comments on “Smart Enough To Manage A Network, Dumb Enough To Think Nobody Sees Your Mischief”

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Matthew Miller (user link) says:

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.

Thomas McGrath says:

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.

JM says:

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.

Search Engines WEB (user link) says:

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.

The infamous Joe says:


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.

The infamous Joe says:

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.

another says:

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.

Foxed facts? says:

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!”

a says:

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.

A non-slave IT guy says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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.

fat_hamster says:

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.

another says:

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.

|333173|3|_||3 says:

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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