Tech

IT administrator received seven years in prison for blowing up company servers

facepalm: Often people who are dissatisfied with their work do stupid things to show their dissatisfaction. However, it may be a good idea to at least limit the behavior to actions that won’t land them in jail. A Chinese IT worker learned this lesson the hard way after he was sentenced to prison for “sabotaging” his employer’s servers.

A disgruntled IT administrator at a real estate firm has been sentenced to seven years in prison for cleaning up his employer’s financial servers. The 40-year-old worker attempted to make the data unrecoverable, resulting in a severe punishment. However, the company was able to restore the databases and re-enter the lost data at a significant cost.

Chinese news outlet Bejing Roar notes that database administrator Han Bing warned the management of his employer, Lianjia, has reported several security holes in his database. Bing allegedly wanted to teach them a lesson, so he erased four servers with the company’s financial information.

The real estate brokerage firm immediately launched an investigation. The list of suspects was quickly reduced to five people with administrative rights to the servers, including Bing. The four employees cooperated fully with management and handed over their laptops and passwords. However, Bing refused to give out his username and password, stating that his laptop contained personal information.

He agreed to let investigators access his laptop in his presence, but they found no evidence that Bing had tampered with. However, they determined that he may have erased the evidence from the laptop. So they started looking at server logs and analyzing surveillance footage.

Investigators found the Bing laptop’s hostname, MAC address, and IP address in the server’s records at the time of the wipe. They confirmed his access with time-stamped CCTV footage. None of the other four administrators had access to the servers at the time. They determined that Bing used the “shred” and “rm” commands to delete and make the data unrecoverable.

After dismissing the appeal, the courts found Bing guilty of sabotaging computer information systems and sentenced him to seven years in prison. He must also pay $30,000 (about 200,000 yuan) in compensation.

Image credit: Hafizi


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