San Francisco (CA) – Don’t piss off your network admin, especially when he can read all your emails. 43-year-old Terry Childs is sitting in jail for holding San Francisco city’s fiber optic network hostage. Childs, a five-year employee of the city’s Department of Technology, is accused of locking out city employees and even the mayor from accessing the FiberWAN network. The network carries most of the city’s network traffic including employee emails, personnel information and even law enforcement documents. Childs allegedly gained covert access to the network while his supervisors were trying to fire him.
Authorities say Childs was being disciplined for work related issues in recent months and began tampering with the network last month. After gaining access, he tracked all the correspondence between his supervisors and other employees regarding his personnel issues. Tipped off, Childs then locked everyone out of the network and has raised a symbolic middle finger to the city by refusing to give the correct passwords to the Cisco routers and switches. Initially Childs gave a bogus password to the network.
Childs faces four counts of computer tampering and probably won’t be getting out anytime soon because of his massive $5 million bail. Interestingly enough, he is still being paid by the city.
While this is certainly horrible for the city, I'm sure many network admins have thought of doing the same thing to their organizations.