Hacker replaces ex-boss's presentation with porn

Posted by Kate Taylor

When one Baltimore man was fired from his job, he refused to take it lying down. Instead, he hacked into his employer's computer system to show porn to the company's board.

Walter Powell was fired from non-profit organization Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems - it's against substance abuse, rather than for it, one assumes - in September 2009.

Days later, he started hacking its computer systems.

"In one incident, Powell remotely hijacked a computerized presentation by the chief executive to the board of directors," says the Baltimore City State's Attorney's office.

"After shutting the system down, Powell rebooted and presented pornography to the meeting's attendees."

The images appeared on a 64-inch screen, and must have brightened up the meeting no end.

Powell pled guilty to two counts of unlawful access to a computer causing a malfunction, and one count of possessing a pass code without authorization. He's been given a two-year suspended sentence, 100 hours of community service and three years' probation; he's also barred from owning remote access software.

"People do, of course, leave jobs all the time and most of them would never dream of logging back in to their old place of work to cause trouble," says Graham Cluley of Sophos.

"But it only takes one disaffected former worker to wreak havoc - so make sure your defences are in place, and that only authorised users can access your sensitive systems."