Admin in Prison

I read a news article about a system administrator for a large city computer system being locked up in jail. Apparently the guy disabled everyone’s access to the system. Then he locked everything down with a password that only he knew. The police got involved and instructed him to cough up the password. He gave them some fake ones that did not work. So the schmuck is in prison now. This was indeed quite a story.

Now I do not feel too much pain for this guy. Apparently he makes $126k a year. And last year he made a $22k bonus. That is truly some large bank. But here is the funny part. The guy had some problems at work. He was reprimanded a couple times. And I hear they tried unsuccessfully to fire him. These facts do not add up though. What kind of guy who you want to fire gets a massive $22k bonus? Maybe they are covering something up about the story.

This guy has enough cash to hire himself a lawyer. Not sure what kind of defense he can use. I guess he can say that he forgot his password. But the jury is not going to buy that. Perhaps he can make some counter suit and say they had it out for him. This is still not the way to go. You should not have to divulge your secret password. Then again you should not reset everybody’s password and lock them out of the system. There was obviously a lack of checks and balances at this location. You cannot let just one sys admin have the only admin password. Otherwise you might find yourself getting locked out like this guy.

I recall one time I talked a backwards company into giving me some Internet access. We set up an account with an ISP. When I left, they asked me to cough up my password. I protested saying that was not appropriate. However I gave them instructions to contact the ISP and either drop the account, or have the ISP reset my password. I was not going to cough up my password at any cost though. It did not affect the company. This account was set up solely for my Internet access. That they wanted my password was evidence enough that this was indeed a backward company.