It’s a common, even understandable feeling that there are times when we absolutely despise our job. Even worse is when that feeling is compounded by the deliberate ignorance of the people above you.
For one IT administrator, the blatant disregard of his warnings was perhaps the step that drove him to the brink of frustration and forced him to make a strong, yet rather drastic point. So drastic, in fact, it landed him a seven-year prison sentence.
The IT admin, a Chinese national who goes by the name of Han Bing, worked for a company named Lianjia, which specialises in real estate brokerage. Bing reportedly informed his employer about the lax security over the company’s financial database, only for his concerns to go in one ear and out the other. At wit’s end, Bing decided to take matters into his own hands and proceeded to erase Lianjia’s entire database.
For context, Bing’s form of “teaching a lesson” isn’t uncommon, but also isn’t right. In IT parlance, the act has its own saying too: to cut off your nose to spite your face. In Bing’s case, he unilaterally decided to go postal on the server since he was one of five specialist that had special administrative privileges, just to send a message.
Needless to say, Lianjia launched a full investigation into the matter, narrowing down the suspects to him and the other four specialists. Of course, it clearly didn’t help his case that, when asked to hand over their laptops and passwords – the other four had fully cooperated with the investigators – Bing refused to do so, citing matters of privacy and sensitive information on his laptop. Bing only consented to the check after it was agreed that he would be present during the process.
The investigators initially found no evidence but still suspected Bing could have removed evidence of the crime from his laptop. It wasn’t after they combed through the server logs and thoroughly analysed surveillance footage, that were they able to finger Bing as the culprit. In fact, they found Bing’s hostname, MAC addresses, and IP addresses within the server, all during the nuking process.
For his actions, Bing was sentenced to seven years in prison, for the crime of sabotaging Lianjia’s computer systems, while he was also told to fork out US$30000 (~RM131655) in restitution.
Najlaa Aina contributed to this article.