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Menace: revenge of former employees

21 March 2011, by — admin ()

Employers and their employees do not always manage to part peacefully. That’s why revenge is a fairly commonplace phenomenon that even such giants as Microsoft are not fully protected from.

Revenge can be take the shape of legal action taken against a former employer or even sabotage involving damage or deletion of internal documents and disclosure of corporate secrets.

These are the kinds of problems that Gray Wireline Service, an American engineering company, faced at the end of 2010 after firing Ismael Alvarez, an employee with a 7-year tenure.  Outraged by this decision, Alvarez hacked the corporate server and deleted important reports, as well as information about oil and gas wellsites.

The judge’s response was harsh as well: Ismael got 5 years of suspended imprisonment, 1 year of house arrest and was fined over $20,000 for his actions.

Gray Wireline Service made no comments as to whether the fired employee had access to these documents prior to leaving the company and whether the company implemented any, even the most basic, security features. As a rule, weak security policies are the main reason of such incidents.

A week ago, for instance, a company called PanTerra Networks (PBX provider) suffered massive damage from the actions of a fired employee only because her email account remained active for several months after she left the company. The fired employee found email messages containing confidential financial reports and contracts due to be signed. All of these documents were shared online, which resulted in damages of over $30,000 and loss of many potential clients.

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