Before You Revenge Delete All Your Firm's Data, You Might Want To Make Sure You're Really Getting Fired

from the just-a-suggestion dept

We’ve seen a few different stories over the years about fired employees who take revenge on their former employer’s computer systems — usually deleting important data. It’s amazing that these people don’t expect to get caught (and receive a punishment much worse than losing your job). We even wrote about one case where an employee, who was afraid he was going to get fired, put some code in place to delete data… just in case. He also got caught, though no damage was done to the computer systems. However, down in Florida, details are coming out on an even more ridiculous situation. An employee at an architectural firm saw a help wanted ad in the newspaper that looked similar to her job description, and included her boss’s name and phone number. So she drove to the office on Sunday and deleted seven years of architectural drawings and blueprints from the computer system. The only problem? She wasn’t about to be fired. The job listing was actually for her boss’s wife’s company, not her own. Of course, now she has been fired. And, oh yeah, arrested, too.

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Comments on “Before You Revenge Delete All Your Firm's Data, You Might Want To Make Sure You're Really Getting Fired”

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YeaRight says:

They were going to fire her and she knew it. Please, we were just advertising exactly the same job as you have, and using your boss’s name and phones number as the contact info ? but…it was really my wifes company and they do exactly the same thing ?

And she didn’t know what was going on..knew the vibe in the office was just ever so comfy ? yet felt so strongly that doom was about to overtake her that she drove to the office on a Sunday to fook over the data base ?

Good for her ! ๐Ÿ™‚

chris (profile) says:

the truth about recovery

backups are often made but not often tested. unless a company is doing disaster recovery drills on a semi-regular basis, chances are the backup system hasn’t ever been used for a full scale recovery operation.

the rule of backups is to make them often, but do everything you can to make sure you never need them.

also, reading and decompressing from tape is very slow. you don’t notice it so much when you are recovering handfuls of files when they are accidentally deleted or corrupted, but hundreds of gigs could take days to restore.

Just Me says:

re: YeaRight

“Good for her ! :-)”
Even if she KNEW she was or was NOT going to be fired, and even if her employer did post a wanted add for her job without telling her it is still not her data to destroy.
If they want to fire her that’s their choice. If they want to hire a replacement without telling her that’s also their choice.

If she decides to take a hissy fit and delete data that is someone else’s property and potentially ruin their livelihood then she SHOULD be thrown in jail!

Anonymous Coward says:

What about this?

My first job out of college was as an Engineer (A real one, not software – we’re still about one generation away from SW being engineering; it’s still “craft” ๐Ÿ˜‰

This was a long time ago, the new “thing” was a NetWare network.

Anyway, the company used illegal copies of AutoCad (10). They paid for something like 5 and 30 engineers were using it. They also had other applications someone in sales would buy and then distribute to everyone. There was no licensing, I know for a fact.

The company was bought and was being chopped (this is one recession ago, than you GHWB). As the youngest engineer, I was going to go first.

A week before my escort out of the building, I had setup a command to replace the logout with a program that deleted all the illegal copies that *I* was using (that the company supplied me with, mind you). It also deleted all my personal data (not business data). All reports, designs, mechanical drawings, etc. were left intact. I did not report the company for their licensing violations although I thought about it. But it seemed too “sour grapes”. And who am I to do IP protection that I don’t entirely agree with?

So security escorted me to my desk to pickup my briefcase and logout. And except for engineering documentation, all trace of me and any illegal software I had used left their system as I walked out the front door.

Mostly I was concerned about them having any personal data *and* any trace of the fact that I had used illegal software. I usually don’t keep personal data on a business computer or network anyway, but there’s always some leak.


Daniel Khoo says:

How to get revenge, and not get arrested.

1) instead of deleting data, how about stealing it. Make a copy to sell (after you get fired).

2) instead of deleting the data directly, how about infecting the computer system with a data-deleting/corrupting computer virus, preferable one that does not activate immediately, but spends a few days/weeks spreading, before the data-deletion/corruption function activates.

3) a combination of 1 & 2.

4) installing a backdoor, so that after you are fired, you can remotely access the system, delete data, and remove the backdoor. If there’s somebody you don’t like, you could do it using their account, so they get blamed. Of course, usually, only the IT staff can do this.

5) insert obscure errors into the data files, taking care to “touch” the files so that the dates are not changed. This being an architectural firm, there’s plenty of potential to kill and maim innocent victims. Or cause a huge financial loss (see

John says:


If they fired her the deserve what they got. Employers are not always right. They destroy peoples lives on a regular basis. If your company is loseing money then YOU should take the loss, not inocent employees who are the bread and butter that helped you get filthy rich in the first place. I would delete all the files and burn down the office. Remember, Employees are people, and should not be dispossed of due to greed.

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