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U.S. programmer outsources own job to China, surfs cat videos
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U.S. programmer outsources own job to China, surfs cat videos

  #1 (permalink)
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U.S. programmer outsources own job to China, surfs cat videos


Quoting 
Hong Kong (CNN) -- Call it an amazing example of entrepreneurship or a daring play of deceit.

After a U.S.-based "critical infrastructure" company discovered in 2012 its computer systems were being accessed from China, its security personnel caught the culprit ultimately responsible: Not a hacker from the Middle Kingdom but one of the company's own employees sitting right at his desk in the United States.

The software developer is simply referred to as "Bob," according to a case study by the U.S. telecommunications firm Verizon Business.

Bob was an "inoffensive and quiet" programmer in his mid-40's, according to his employee profile, with "a relatively long tenure with the company" and "someone you wouldn't look at twice in an elevator."

Those innocuous traits led investigators to initially believe the computer access from China using Bob's credentials was unauthorized -- and that some form of malware was sidestepping strong two-factor authentication that included a token RSA key fob under Bob's name.

Investigators then discovered Bob had "physically FedExed his RSA token to China so that the third-party contractor could log-in under his credentials during the workday," wrote Andrew Valentine, a senior forensic investigator for Verizon.

Bob had hired a programming firm in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang to do his work. His helpers half a world away worked overnight on a schedule imitating an average 9-to-5 workday in the United States. He paid them one-fifth of his six-figure salary, according to Verizon.

And over the past several years, Bob received excellent performance reviews of his "clean, well written" coding. He had even been noted as "the best developer in the building."

A forensic image of Bob's workstation revealed his true work habits and typical day:

9:00 a.m. -- Get to work, surf Reddit, watch cat videos

11:30 a.m. -- Lunch

1:00 p.m. -- Ebay

2:00 p.m or so -- Facebook and LinkedIn

4:30 p.m. -- Send end-of-day e-mail update to management

5:00 p.m. -- Go home

The Verizon investigation suggested Bob's entrepreneurial outsourcing spirit stretched across several companies in his area -- netting him several hundred thousand dollars a year as he paid out about $50,000 a year to his China-based ghost writers, according to hundreds of PDF invoices also discovered on his work computer.

Verizon's Valentine told CNN via e-mail that Bob "was in fact terminated at the conclusion of the investigation."

Presumably Bob's Chinese helpers were as well.

U.S. programmer outsources own job to China, surfs cat videos - CNN.com

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  #2 (permalink)
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Heard about this on CNBC. What I'd like to know is if "Bob" was an actual programmer, his training and background etc. A professional would have more pride in doing his own work. To add insult to injury, he's representative of the average statistics of slacker workers in the U.S. who waste at least an hour or two on the internet instead of working at the job and failure of IT depts to monitor and restrict time wasted on the internet. It was also discussed that he wasn't "smart" enough to have a proxy server at home and instead let the outsourced Chinese group direct access to his company's network and his work computer. Sets a bad example in favor of outsourcing and offshoring.

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  #3 (permalink)
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Further investigation would probably reveal that...

The guy in China outsourced it to a guy in India for $10,000 who out sourced to the guy in Vietnam for $1,000.

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mattz View Post
Further investigation would probably reveal that...

The guy in China outsourced it to a guy in India for $10,000 who out sourced to the guy in Vietnam for $1,000.

LOL Exactly.
My first thought was "Oh sure, it's OK if the company does it! But fire the programmer who copies the business model!"
Absurd all around.

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  #5 (permalink)
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well, being a programmer/analyst (since 1978) I found this story amusing/strange - and definitely not something I would ever consider.

Programming is a lot more fun than watching cat movies or ebay/facebook.
But then, at least the guy was helping out some poor chinese programmers, giving them some work to do.


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BlackSwan04 View Post
LOL Exactly.
My first thought was "Oh sure, it's OK if the company does it! But fire the programmer who copies the business model!"
Absurd all around.

If he was a trader they would say he is an Arb (arbitrage) Trader.

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Do you still code fulltime?

Sent from my HTC One V using Tapatalk 2

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Azharr View Post
Do you still code fulltime?

Sent from my HTC One V using Tapatalk 2

yes, I do.

I am the programmer/analyst at a local private university.
Currently developing on/for a Windows client-server/web environment.
When I started out in 1978 I worked with punched cards on an IBM 135 machine.
I evolved with technology, exclusively on the mainframe for the first 20 years; later on integrating client-server with the mainframe for another 7 years.
Then I moved and had to start over - finding a new job in a town where only two companies run a mainframe (and they didn't hire).
I retrained myself on the fly - Windows technology is child's play, compared to developing for IBM mainframe.

The most important thing I learned is: a byte still has 8 bits, and all your questions can be answered with "yes" or "no".

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