Monday, January 28, 2008

I found another candidate for the Stupid Criminal Tricks file.

Seems that an employee who saw a "help wanted" ad, and thought that it meant she was about to be fired, deleted $2.5 million worth of her company's data.

Paranoia strikes deep

Published Thursday 24th January 2008 19:14 GMT

A Florida woman who believed she was about to get fired has been accused of deleting $2.5m worth of computer files to seek revenge on her employer.

Jacksonville Sheriff's officials say Marie Lupe Cooley, 41, used her own account credentials to access the server of Steven E. Hutchins Architects and delete seven years' worth of drawings. The firm's alarm company said someone entered the premises at 11 p.m. on Sunday and was there for about four hours.

Cooley went on her silent rampage after finding a help-wanted ad placed by her boss. It described an open administrative assistant position that sounded remarkably similar to hers.

"She decided to go and mess up everything for everybody," a spokesman for the sheriff's office told FirstCoast News here. "She decided to be spiteful and go in and sabotage the records. And she did a very good job of that."

Firm owner Steven Hutchins said he was able to recover the files. "It was not a sensationalistic amount of money," he told El Reg, referring to the fee he paid a consultant to dredge up the discarded architectural drawings. He declined to say if he had stored backups of the files, which were valued at $2.5m.

Cooley was charged with damage in excess of $1,000 to computers and was released on bail.

As it turned out, the help-wanted ad listed a position available in the office of Hutchins's wife. Cooley's job was never under threat, though it probably is now. ®

My first thought was, "What happened to maintaining backups? What happened to maintaining OFFSITE backups?" I mean, if it had been a case of the building burning down or the Hardware Failure from H*ll, instead of corporate sabotage, those files could very well have been lost without anyone's malicious action causing the damage. Heck, last time I checked, Mother Nature has a tendency to visit Florida with hurricanes and other assorted severe weather. That right there should be enough to inspire a company to maintain an OFFSITE backup of all data -- so in case the building where their computer resides suffers catastrophic damage, and their computer system takes a hit as a result, their offsite backup will allow them to start over with a minimal amount of aggravation. Obtain new computer, load offsite-backup contents onto it, and restart operations with little or no data loss.

So if the company's backup process is lacking, responsibility for that part of the company's woes lies squarely on their IT department's policies.

HOWEVER, by no means do I blame the victim here. Regardless of WHAT their company's backup procedures are, it doesn't excuse the (probably soon-to-be-ex-)employee's taking malicious action. Corporate sabotage is illegal, last time I checked, so if the company throws the book at this person, she brought it on herself. Hence, her actions are the Stupid Criminal Tricks for today.

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