News: Disgruntled IT Admin blocks access to SF city network

image Wrong Password small From time to time there are stories passed around how a single tech employee is holding a company or agency hostage over a personal dispute or after being fired. This time its a story about an senior admin from San Francisco.

As the SF Chronicle reported yesterday he was arrested by Police this weekend and is being hold in jail on a USD 5 Million bail. He’s accused of having tampered with San Francisco’s new fiber network that provides access for officials to government documents, their emails and the administrative systems.

From the SF Chronicle article:
“…Childs created a password that granted him exclusive access to the system, authorities said. He initially gave pass codes to police, but they didn’t work. When pressed, Childs refused to divulge the real code even when threatened with arrest, they said…”

Officials claim there had been some disciplinary actions against him recently and that they “tried to fire” him. It is also reported that he has created some kind of monitoring system to check what other admins were saying and doing regarding his case. And there is of course the story of fearing that documents etc might be destroyed.

The SF Chronicle reports at length how much the city has paid the guy most likely to create the impression that he was treated fairly. It also seems from other details mentioned that the dispute must have been going on for a while. One commentator suggested they should have done the checking before they handed over the pink slip to him – well seemingly that’s what they tried and how they got into this situation.

While CEOs and other top managers have their golden parachutes of hundred of millions USD, tech people sometimes do have their own “insurance policies”.

More information:

SF Chronicle reporting on the case

Techdirt post with some interesting comments on the topic.

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