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San Francisco city Network Administrator arrested

23 July 08

Over the year I've witnessed several database professionals who were arrested for over-stepping their authority, in cases ranging from refusing to share data access to selling data to business competitors.  However, it's not just DBA's who suffer from megalomania, other system administrators have this same issue, believing they they "own" the resources.

This article notes that the Network admin for the city of San Francisco has been arrested and is being held on a $5m bail.

"Childs made headlines last week when he was arrested and charged with four counts of computer tampering, after he refused to give over passwords to the Cisco Systems switches and routers used on the city's FiberWAN network, which carries about 60 percent of the municipal government's network traffic."

This story resembles some of the complaints of incompetent co-workers that we hear from Oracle DBA's

"Childs' attorney has asked the judge to reduce Childs $5 million bail bond, describing her client as a man who felt himself surrounded by incompetents and supervised by a manager who he felt was undermining his work.

"None of the persons who requested the password information from Mr. Childs ... were qualified to have it," she said in a court filing.

Childs intends to disprove the charges against him but also "expose the utter mismanagement, negligence, and corruption at DTIS, which if left unchecked, will in fact place the City of San Francisco in danger," his motion reads."

However, there appears to be a darker side to this story, as revealed by the San Francisco police department:

"According to an affidavit from James Ramsey, an inspector with the San Francisco Police Department, he and other investigators discovered dial-up and DSL (digital subscriber line) modems that would allow an unauthorized connection to the FiberWAN.

He also found that Childs had configured several of the Cisco devices with a command that would erase critical configuration data in the event that anyone tried to restore administrative access to the devices, something Ramsey saw as dangerous because no backup configuration files could be found. "

While details are forthcoming, it appears that Mr. Child's refusal to share access may have been to prevent investigators from discovering something unsavory.

 



 

 
 
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