Fired Engineer Tried To Wipe Out All Fannie Mae Computers
from the that-would've-been...-bad dept
We’ve seen plenty of stories of former disgruntled workers shutting down computer systems, locking others out or even running scams, but I don’t think we’ve seen anything that had the potential to be as big a deal as the disgruntled tech who installed a logic bomb that would have wiped out all of Fannie Mae’s computers, potentially shutting the organization down for at least a week to recover.
There are a few oddities here — beyond just the simple question of how the system was set up in a way that would ever allow the ability to wipe out all machines in that way. First, the guy was fired — but then allowed to finish up work that day, which gave him time to set the logic bomb. Why would you let someone who was fired (for a programming error) back to his computer to “finish” his day? These days it seems rather standard practice to escort fired employees off the premises. Next, the logic bomb wasn’t spotted for five days. This turned out not to be a problem, since he had set the logic bomb to go off at the end of January (he was fired in October). Perhaps he did so to avoid having blame pointed in his direction, but if he had set it to go right away, or the next morning, it might have actually worked. Given Fannie Mae’s role in the current financial mess, can you just imagine what would have happened if all their computers had melted down at once?