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IT Pro Gets Prison Time For Sabotaging Ex-Employer's System

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the fractions-of-a-penny dept.

Crime 265

itwbennett writes: "In June 2012, Ricky Joe Mitchell of Charleston, West Virginia, found out he was going to be fired from oil and gas company EnerVest and in response he decided to reset the company's servers to their original factory settings. He also disabled cooling equipment for EnerVest's systems and disabled a data-replication process. After pleading guilty in January, Mitchell has been sentenced to four years in federal prison."

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Duh... (4, Insightful)

TJ_Phazerhacki (520002) | about 2 months ago | (#47060547)

The point at which this guy admitted he maliciously tampered with equipment, he was screwed. He should have argued that he was incompetent...

Re:Duh... (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 2 months ago | (#47060609)

The point at which this guy admitted he maliciously tampered with equipment, he was screwed. He should have argued that he was incompetent...

I've seen more than one shop where some vital/important system required the personal intervention of one particular guy to get up and going again in the event that something needed to be reset/rebooted/repaired. I don't believe it was malice, just incompetence, overconfidence, understaffing or some combination that resulted in a plausibly deniable deadman switch.

Re:Duh... (4, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47060803)

Smart people do dumb things when they're upset. According to TFA, he hacked into a protected computer to create the turmoil.

I'll bet you a dogecoin he believed he was clever enough not to leave any traces back to himself.

Inexperienced with law enforcement methods (or perhaps the consequences/repercussions anomaly), it probably didn't occur to him what one of the first lines of inquiry would be.

Anyone in IT that might be disgruntled?

Re:Duh... (4, Funny)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 months ago | (#47061567)

And the next question is something like "Anyone got a $5 wrench?" [xkcd.com]

Re:Duh... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061927)

That's not even close to relevant. Don't bother, because funny mods do not contribute to your karma, fag.

Linking to xkcd doesn't make you clever and original. It means you're a hipster doofus. Etc.

Re:Duh... (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 2 months ago | (#47060621)

He never should have mounted an argument in the first place. He never should have spoken with authorities without his own representation, and probably not even with his own representation.

Ignoring for a moment that his choice to act maliciously was what truly screwed him, law enforcement authorities are quite practiced at getting people to admit fault or to use language that allows the authorities to claim an admission. The only winning move is to not participate.

Re:Duh... (5, Informative)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 2 months ago | (#47060753)

Here's the only video you need to see about this (Yes it's long but it's interesting) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Duh... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060977)

It's the famous Dont Talk to Police video by James Duane and that other guy.
It's an interesting video, but would it have hurt to say which video it was? I suspect most people here have already seen it.

Re:Duh... (2)

zildgulf (1116981) | about 2 months ago | (#47060885)

Lessons Learned:

1. Never actively sabotage your employer's equipment in the event that you are let go.
2. Never talk to the police or court without a lawyer. Even an incompetent lawyer is better than representing solely yourself.

Re:Duh... (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 2 months ago | (#47061219)

"Never talk to the police or court without a lawyer."

Never talk to the police, ever! Lawyer or no lawyer.

It can only hurt you.
In court you'll have ample time to talk, but chances are that you never get there if you shut your mouth with the police.

Re:Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060919)

Ignoring for a moment that his choice to act maliciously was what truly screwed him

I believe you're ignoring the most important part. If you are a criminal, stop being a criminal. Turn yourself into the police and make a full confession. If you are not a criminal, present evidence to the police that you are not a criminal. If the police seem like they're corrupt or not listening to you for whatever reason, feel free to lawyer up.

99% of problems can be solved by not being an asshole. 50% of problems are caused by being an asshole when there isn't a problem to begin with. 87% of statistics are made up.

Re:Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061263)

Ignoring for a moment that his choice to act maliciously was what truly screwed him

I believe you're ignoring the most important part. If you are a criminal, stop being a criminal. Turn yourself into the police and make a full confession. If you are not a criminal, present evidence to the police that you are not a criminal.

Where I don't disagree with you up to "turn yourself in" we depart company abruptly from there. NEVER confess without your lawyer present, preferably using a written statement your lawyer authored.

But, If you are not a criminal but the police suspect you are, don't talk to them without a lawyer, EVER! Even if you don't think you are a suspect, I'd suggest you not talk to them unless you are SURE (as in bet your life 100%) you are not a suspect. There is no legal reason for you to answer any questions and many reasons NOT to answer without your lawyer present to protect you from both civil and criminal issues.

Re:Duh... (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 2 months ago | (#47061593)

If you are not a criminal, present evidence to the police that you are not a criminal

Incorrect. Present nothing. Say nothing. Do not open your mouth. Stare into space. Daydream. Meticulously mentally design a house in your mind.

Repeat after me:

Silence

Silence

Silence

Re:Duh... (1)

William Baric (256345) | about 2 months ago | (#47061679)

Can you give me one reason why I shouldn't help the police catch a criminal?

Re:Duh... (2)

Hewligan (202585) | about 2 months ago | (#47061755)

Yes, as was posted just above: Don't talk to police [youtube.com]

Or, to summarise, you are not helping the police catch a criminal. You are helping the police convict you of a crime. Whether or not you actually committed the crime is irrelevant.

Re:Duh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061811)

Can you give me one reason why I shouldn't help the police catch a criminal?

Because if they think YOU'RE the criminal, as they say: "Anything you say can and will be used against you."

If you give them evidence you didn't commit a crime - an alibi - they'll concoct a theory of the crime that works around your alibi. And probably come up with evidence to support that theory.

Make them concoct their theory in a vacuum.

Re:Duh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061687)

If you are not a criminal, present evidence to the police that you are not a criminal

Incorrect. Present nothing. Say nothing. Do not open your mouth.

I agree. If you are guilty, the only way you're going to get away with it is to remain silent. If you are innocent, emulating the behavior of a guilty person will make the police suspicious of you, which will play into your paranoid fantasies about how the police are out to get you. So... win-win?

Re:Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061951)

Trying to "prove your innocence" is exactly where they fuck you. Don't talk to the police.

Re:Duh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061241)

He never should have mounted an argument in the first place. He never should have spoken with authorities without his own representation, and probably not even with his own representation.

No! He shouldnt have engaged in malicious and destructive behavior in the first place then he wouldnt have anything to hide, he wouldnt have any proprietary information to keep secret. Information wants to be free and ultimately it will be so if you act in a malicious manner then trying to keep that information hidden and secret will only last so long.

Re:Duh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061887)

Maybe Emory University will hire him as their SCCM admin?

Ashamed! (4, Insightful)

sentiblue (3535839) | about 2 months ago | (#47060549)

He ruins our IT/Ops names...

He doesn't deserve the term "Pro"

Re:Ashamed! (5, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 2 months ago | (#47060681)

Four years for causing a million dollars worth of damage isn't that harsh a sentence. What would the verdict be if someone came into a facility with a cutting torch and did the same amount of physical damage? It likely would result in an arrest for some terrorism-related charge. Blanking out servers may not be as obvious as driving a semi into some core machinery, but it does the same exact thing, especially if there are no backups. The machinery may be intact, but if there is some manufacturing process that took years to develop and fine-tune, that knowledge can be lost forever.

This guy got off lightly, and the lesson that EnerVest has learned is that they are probably going to get their next admin or admins from Tata or Infosys, and it won't be surprising to see more companies doing the same thing.

A friend of mine had to clean up a mess (logic bombs left behind that would corrupt arrays and reset LTO tape passwords) that was similar, due to a disgruntled admin. After he cleaned up the mess and tested that backups were working on separate hardware, he was shown the door, and an offshore company hired for all IT work. The reason: "H-1Bs do not commit sabotage."

Re:Ashamed! (5, Insightful)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 months ago | (#47060749)

Four years for causing a million dollars worth of damage isn't that harsh a sentence.

I might agree with you if Wall Street scammers didn't get less for causing HUNDREDS of millions in losses to their customers. And not from a one-time "flip out", but years of knowingly and systematically screwing over everyone who trusted them...

Re:Ashamed! (1, Insightful)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 2 months ago | (#47060797)

Just because one set of criminals gets off easier than they should, it does not follow that all other criminals should be treated leniently.

Re:Ashamed! (4, Insightful)

taustin (171655) | about 2 months ago | (#47060941)

Actually, between the equal protection clause of the 4th amendment and the cruel and unusual clause of the 8th, it isn't difficult to argue that it does, in fact, mean just that.

Re:Ashamed! (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 2 months ago | (#47061317)

No, it simply means that the error may have been made at the too lenient side.

Re:Ashamed! (3, Informative)

careysub (976506) | about 2 months ago | (#47061557)

Actually, between the equal protection clause of the 4th amendment and the cruel and unusual clause of the 8th, it isn't difficult to argue that it does, in fact, mean just that.

Amen to that. If you have two sets of crimes ones committed by the fabulously wealthy (Wall Streeters, bankers - non one else is in the position to carry out such fraud) which do vast damage, and ones that are committed by ordinary citizens that do comparatively trivial amounts of damage, and that latter set are prosecuted far more vigorously, with much harsher punishments than the former, then we do not truly have a system of laws any longer, we have a system of (very rich) men.

One is reminded of this: "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread." - Anatole France

Re:Ashamed! (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 2 months ago | (#47061629)

That's silly, it's different crimes. Different crimes have different prison sentences. 4oz of crack will get you a nearly life sentence where the same amount of cocaine will get you a month or two. Is the baking soda and cooking process that important that it'll net you a sentence 10 times worse?

Re:Ashamed! (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | about 2 months ago | (#47061059)

So im going to throw away my mod point on this point but oh well, i can't believe someone thinks this so i want to get some clarification...

"Just because one set of criminals gets off easier than they should, it does not follow that all other criminals should be treated leniently."

If two groups of "criminals" is judged and sentenced according to the damage and harm they have done, and one of them does less harm/damage that the other, it does not follow that the one who did less harm should have a lesser sentence?

OR

justice equals = all criminals should be punished harshly no matter what the severity of the crime, as long as the% of criminals who receive less harsh punishment is relatively low?

OR

Justice = punishment that is mitigated by influence, money, collusion and corruption.

i'm having a hard time following any of these "logical?" conclusions of your reasoning...

Re:Ashamed! (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 2 months ago | (#47061431)

That's total nonsense. Criminals are not "judged and sentenced according to the damage and harm they have done," thought that is certainly considered in sentencing. Actually they're judged and sentenced based on the crimes they're convicted of.

The reason you're having trouble with the logic is because you seem to think the task is to make it all up yourself from whole cloth. But actually the task is to understand existing legal principles in the US. Of course, you don't really need to get that far in this case because it was total apples and oranges anyways between un-named "Wall Street scammers" who aren't even facing charges, and a person convicted of felonies.

Re:Ashamed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061515)

You are wrong you idiot!

Re:Ashamed! (-1, Offtopic)

mopower70 (250015) | about 2 months ago | (#47060963)

Where the hell are my mod points when I need them!

Re:Ashamed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061643)

Judging by the extent of the damage he was able to inflict, obviously this guy was "systemically important" to his company, how comes he wasn't bailed out and given a bonus too?

Re:Ashamed! (4, Insightful)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about 2 months ago | (#47060817)

"H-1Bs do not commit sabotage."

Absolutely, allowing foreign nationals access to your systems is COMPLETELY safe. Moreover, they don't get angry when you take away their livelihood.

Re:Ashamed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061313)

Indeed. See, the problem is that Network Administrators have an entitlement complex...they're always going on about how it's "their network," and how some users are "damaging their network." It's plain to see that these people are just a group of prima donnas, who need to be weened off their power trip...and who better to do that then upper management?

It has taken years, first by lowering wages, then by setting up a separate office for "network security," and now finally outsourcing this role to foreigners (who will play ball, or will be put on the slow boat back to China if they so much as raise their voice).

Granted, anyone with half a mind can see the insanity for what it is, but then, this is the country which wants to be the #1 choice for your 'cloud' needs while simultaneously supporting an agency hell-bent on getting a personal copy of everything you place on that cloud, warrant or no.

Re:Ashamed! (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 months ago | (#47061095)

Your friend was a fool. He should have followed the example of Dennis Nedry and made himself indispensable.

Re:Ashamed! (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47061203)

and they you get offshore people who don't know what they are doing / don't care

Re:Ashamed! (2, Insightful)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 months ago | (#47061337)

Usually the damage estimates are way overstated, so I don't buy it on that assumption, and usually people don't engage in that behavior unless they were treated reprehensibly by their employer beforehand. Perhaps the real solution here is for management to act like human beings instead of jackals.

If they do outsource, they'll just learn their lesson the hard way. Tata employees don't give a shit about you or your goals, and their code is buggy and broken, requiring a local side programmer to clean up their mess anyway.

H-1Bs are often treated as slave labor by aforementioned jackal management. I can guarantee they will throw their sabo into the works at some point the moment they have any power, which will happen when there are no more localside programmers left thanks to attitudes like yours.

Re:Ashamed! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061387)

You treat your employees like shit and you can expect them to treat you like shit back. Part of doing business is firing people gracefully if they're incompetent or unsuitable.

The H1B comment disgusts me as a professional and a human being. They're little more than slaves with the threat of deportation held over them. Forced to work slave hours for slave wages. All because some MBA shitcock can get his bonus. It's unethical and should be illegal.

H1B employees should be held to strict pay standards of prevailing wages PLUS 30%, incentive for business to hire local talent first. If you really want the overseas talent you should pay for it. Put up the money, or shut up because you're a fucking liar otherwise.

Re:Ashamed! (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 2 months ago | (#47061789)

Four years for causing a million dollars worth of damage isn't that harsh a sentence.

Not by the standards of our over-inflated prison sentences in the U.S.

But rationally it does seem like more than necessary.

If the purpose of a prison sentence is to deter somebody, then I think 1 year, or even 6 months, would deter others just as much.

People do these things because they don't think they'll get caught. I don't think anybody says, "Well, I'll do it if I have to serve 1 year in jail, but I won't do it if I have to serve 4 years in jail."

If the purpose of a prison sentence is revenge -- well, do you believe in revenge? If somebody fires me unfairly, am I justified in getting revenge?

Re:Ashamed! (5, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 months ago | (#47060699)

He ruins our IT/Ops names...

He doesn't deserve the term "Pro"

Right. "Pros" don't get caught!

Ashamed! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060751)

Well, one could argue this "Pro" is now a "Con".
Sorry, couldn't resist.

Re:Ashamed! (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47060931)

Well, one could argue this "Pro" is now a "Con".

/sunglasses

YEAAAAAH!

He's lucky (4, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 2 months ago | (#47060559)

If he had hacked in from outside the company and done that much damage, he probably would have gotten more than 4 years.

Re:He's lucky (3, Informative)

Wintermute__ (22920) | about 2 months ago | (#47061291)

He did. He "hacked in to a protected computer". Also:

"Mitchell is no stranger to computer-related controversy. In high school, he was accused of planting more than 100 viruses on the school's systems, according to a report in the Charleston Gazette newspaper."

Great choice, let's hire him!

Re:He's lucky (3, Insightful)

pkinetics (549289) | about 2 months ago | (#47061543)

Accused is not the same as convicted.

However in his case, he admitted to do it, but wormed his way into being allowed to finish out school. First failure of due process.

The second failure was the court deciding to drop the matter because he had already graduated, so nothing they could do about it.

He turned job termination into career termination (4, Informative)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 2 months ago | (#47060571)

And likely life termination as well. What a complete and utter moron.

Re:Ethics (4, Insightful)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 2 months ago | (#47060655)

I was talking to an employee who was fired, but still around for a couple of days to clean up her stuff. She asked if I had backups, because she wanted to delete all of the projects she was working on. I told her that she was paid to do that work and I doubt if other people will go through her work that much anyway. Why go the unethical route when it just makes you look bad?

I bet this guy could have just left, and assuming he was useful, the company would soon be feeling the pain anyway.

Re:Ethics (5, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 months ago | (#47060787)

Why go the unethical route when it just makes you look bad?

Because humans are herd animals, and corporate politics purposefully try to reinforce this - it's what "team building" and "commitment to job" is ultimately all about. This means that getting fired tends to register at the emotional level: you are being banished from your tribe. Add any actual or perceived injustice, and revenge becomes a factor.

Modern economic system is pretty perverse, as far as human needs are concerned, so people caught in it tend to act irrationally.

Re:Ethics (5, Insightful)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47061127)

Well put.

And not for nothing, as the grandparent's viewpoint is a sound one... Why be unethical even if you believe you've been done dirty? Hold your head high on the way out the door saying, "I was looking for a job when I found this one." Even if you don't feel it right then, you will be right proud of yourself later on.

+ to you both.

Re:Ethics (1, Redundant)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 months ago | (#47061527)

Because humans are herd animals,

Nope, humans are pack animals, you more or less said so yourself by mentioning tribes, teams, etc.

Re:Ethics (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 2 months ago | (#47061899)

Nope, humans are pack animals, you more or less said so yourself by mentioning tribes, teams, etc.

Please explain the difference between "herd" and "pack" and why it is relevant for this discussion?

Re:Ethics (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 2 months ago | (#47061869)

I was talking to an employee who was fired, but still around for a couple of days to clean up her stuff. She asked if I had backups, because she wanted to delete all of the projects she was working on. I told her that she was paid to do that work and I doubt if other people will go through her work that much anyway. Why go the unethical route when it just makes you look bad?

I bet this guy could have just left, and assuming he was useful, the company would soon be feeling the pain anyway.

The sad thing is that the people who think like this don't seem to be aware that this flaw in their character is probably why they got fired in the first place.

Re:He turned job termination into career terminati (1)

aphelion_rock (575206) | about 2 months ago | (#47060665)

Pretty stupid on the company's part too.
Certainly gives credence to the process of removing any passed and access then ejecting the individual out the door before telling them that they are fired.

Re:He turned job termination into career terminati (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060955)

I would argue that since none of us know anything that led to his dismissal, that is the number of qualified opinions that appear here. You can all spout whatever unqualified opinions you wish, but, yes, the company was at serious fault for handling his dismissal in the manner that allowed him continued access to their systems as much as one second after his firing.

Furthermore, if it was a company performing tasks similar to the ones that poisoned Charleston's water supply, I say 'good for him.' Anything to prevent one of those vandals from destroying our environment is worth doing.

the jail / prison has healthcare + room and board (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 2 months ago | (#47061215)

the jail / prison has healthcare + room and board

Re:He turned job termination into career terminati (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061839)

Guess you haven't worked in the pits of hell. Yet!

Does anyone actually think... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060573)

Does anyone actually think this shouldn't be a crime?

Re:Does anyone actually think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060867)

Yes. Oh-so-anarchic fifteen year olds that have never held a job. That's who.

Now I know (2)

NotFamous (827147) | about 2 months ago | (#47060575)

I always wondered what happens if you press the "Easy Button".

Re:Now I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060661)

Windows is starting....

Glue his fingers together so he cant use a pc (4, Interesting)

mpicpp (3454017) | about 2 months ago | (#47060583)

I've cleaned up messes and had to do data recovery after people deleted their work, reformatted machines, etc. and then quit. I have no sympathy at all for people that do this type of stuff...

man commits crime, goes to jail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060593)

good story

what a crock (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060605)

4 years in the federal pen for what essentially amounts to destruction of property?

Re:what a crock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060653)

the average time served for kidnapping is 52 months

Re:what a crock (1)

jasonrice22 (3458571) | about 2 months ago | (#47060775)

the average time served for kidnapping is 52 months

I can only imagine that the average kidnapping involves a parent that lacks custody or something more mundane than what we are use to seeing on TV. The damage this guy did is likely more comparable to burning the whole building to the ground. Well... maybe that's taking it a bit far, but it serves my point.

Re:what a crock (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47060957)

Yup.

Here in Arizona:

The elements of kidnapping are (1) knowingly, (2) restraining another person, (3) with the intent, (4) to place the victim in a reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury or to seize or exercise control over a vehicle.

So, when you argue with your girlfriend, and don't unlock the car doors, and she's scared you'll Chris Brown her -- kidnapping.

Re:what a crock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061327)

So my wife is kidnapping me when she tells me how to drive and suggests I pull out in front of the car coming down the road by saying "You can make it!" and then threatens to backhand me when I don't? (Unless the car doors are unlocked?)

Re:what a crock (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 2 months ago | (#47061339)

Missing the 3rd element, which is the hardest to prove or disprove.

Re:what a crock (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 2 months ago | (#47061767)

I didn't intend to go all Chris Brown on her?

Re:what a crock (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 2 months ago | (#47060669)

Well, yeah. It probably cost several thousand man hours to repair the damages he caused. That is real money lost fixing the mess. As well as the actual time lost for stopping business productivity of X number of employees who could no longer perform their work and sat around twiddling thumbs while the systems were down. We are talking potentially hundreds of thousands of damage.

Re:what a crock (1)

retchdog (1319261) | about 2 months ago | (#47060707)

uh, does destruction of property not merit prison time?

Re:what a crock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060929)

He also disabled cooling equipment for EnerVest's systems

Article doesn't say if this or was the office AC or the cooling systems in a natural gas processing plant or refinery. If it were the latter two, it could easily have killed many.

Re:what a crock (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 months ago | (#47061189)

So, I'm assuming you wouldn't mind me burning down your house/apartment, so long as I made sure there were no people endangered by the fire?

After all, it's just destruction of property, right?

That's fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060629)

But why don't bank and finance idiots who mess up markets all the time go to jail for life? Oh, that's right. The justice system is completely broken as is the whole society.

Re:That's fine. (-1, Flamebait)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 2 months ago | (#47061373)

Did they set out to mess them up or did they try something that turned out that way?

Did this guy set out to cause harm or did he do it accidentally?

Do you see a difference?

good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060639)

you don't get to destroy your employer's business when they fire you.

Crappy headline (4, Insightful)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 months ago | (#47060719)

This guy is no professional. A professional does his job. That's what he/she is paid to do. Since this person was getting fired, I'm guessing he wasn't meeting expectations. Even if it was a broader layoff, there's no reason to act so unprofessionally.

Not sure if he deserves jail time, but there is no reason to break stuff on your way out the door. I'm glad I know this guy's name. I will certainly never hire him.

Re:Crappy headline (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060789)

A professional is someone who gets paid to do his job and/or who does it as a career, not someone who necessarily does it well or morally. See "professional gambler" or "professional hit man".

Re:Crappy headline (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 months ago | (#47060841)

A professional is someone who gets paid to do his job and/or who does it as a career, not someone who necessarily does it well or morally. See "professional gambler" or "professional hit man".

Re:Crappy headline (1)

kwbauer (1677400) | about 2 months ago | (#47061385)

and the point is made by skipping the other 12 definitions how?

Re:Crappy headline (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 months ago | (#47061517)

and the point is made by skipping the other 12 definitions how?

My point is that the sense of the noun "professional" that I used is embodied by it. Since it isn't the first entry, does that mean that it's invalid?

water cooler guessing game (1)

epine (68316) | about 2 months ago | (#47061499)

I'm guessing he wasn't meeting expectations

You're never seen a person be fired because the ranks of management are equally vile?

Have you never seen a manager go to jail because he deliberately fired or drove away the company's most competent employee on fabricated allegations in order to exact revenge for a perceived slight, prior to his own dismissal or resignation?

No, I didn't think so. The master retributivist of eternal liberty sabotages human systems instead.

Re:water cooler guessing game (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 months ago | (#47061561)

I'm guessing he wasn't meeting expectations

You're never seen a person be fired because the ranks of management are equally vile?

Have you never seen a manager go to jail because he deliberately fired or drove away the company's most competent employee on fabricated allegations in order to exact revenge for a perceived slight, prior to his own dismissal or resignation?

No, I didn't think so. The master retributivist of eternal liberty sabotages human systems instead.

Okay. You could be right. Perhaps I shouldn't have made that inference. Regardless, Mr. Mitchell acted irresponsibly (and in the eyes of a Federal court in the southern district of West Virginia, criminally). Whether someone else acted inappropriately is, to me at least, unknown.

Are you suggesting that Mr. Mitchell's actions were appropriate or justified?

Re:water cooler guessing game (1)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 months ago | (#47061575)

...The master retributivist of eternal liberty sabotages human systems instead.

That's some sentence you have there. Have you considered entering this [bulwer-lytton.com] contest?

Re:Crappy headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061647)

Yeah. He's a hack.

Were he a real bastard the company a proper decapitation strike would have put his former employer out of business. If you're going to do something, do it well. Otherwise swallow your pride and exit gracefully.

di3k (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060725)

saLes and so on, and Michael Smith big 3eal. Death baby...don't fear

Yup (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 months ago | (#47060741)

That sort of thing tends to happen when you intentionally and maliciously fuck up someone else's shit.

The real question is, and I know I bitch about other people asking this myself, but why is this on Slashdot? He's not some IT rock star like Sergey or John, EnerVest isn't some major player in the IT world like Google or Apple, and the punishment meted out seems fairly appropriate.

Maybe the constant, mindless drone of 24-7 American media news cycles is finally starting to get to me, but this doesn't seem sensational enough to qualify as "news."

Re:Yup (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 months ago | (#47061273)

You're overthinking it, attempting to classify it as Famous IT person jammed up! or as Company you've ever heard of Rogue Employee Story.

This is a Classic Slashdottian morality play involving an otherwise intelligent IT worker who bewilderingly talks to the police and hands himself over to them.

Re:Yup (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 months ago | (#47061827)

Handing yourself into the cops after deliberately breaking the law is commonly called "having a conscience", it's not bewildering at all to someone who has one.That he thought industrial sabotage was justifiable in the first place is what I find bewildering. Thinking he would get away with it implies a lack of intelligence. Still, it happens everyday in every industry, not really newsworthy, more of a "human interest" story. The "interest" part is thatt we have all thought about doing something like this but our own conscience prevents us from putting those thoughts into action. The fear of getting caught is called guilt, it's an normal, healthy stress reaction that happens when you ignore your own conscience.

BTW: This is why people should be careful with anti-stress medication (especially if they like a couple of beers after work), it can remove the physical stress reaction (adrenaline rush) and turn an otherwise normal person into an unstressed arsehole, your body stops telling you to listen to your conscience, unfiltered thoughts become words and actions.

Re:Yup (1)

jxander (2605655) | about 2 months ago | (#47061653)

The story, imo, is simply "Computer based crime committed, appropriate punishment served."

That there wasn't some major freakout is newsworthy in an of itself. An "IT Pro" was tried, convicted and sentenced without (to the best of my knowledge) over bearing law enforcement trampling all over his rights or leaning on him so hard that he follows Aaron Schwartz is somewhat remarkable.

It shouldn't be, but it is.

And in jail.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060821)

"So, what have you done to get in here?"
"I just reset the system of my ex-boss, he was too stupid to recover a backup so he sued me and put me in jail"

Re:And in jail.. (3, Funny)

NotSanguine (1917456) | about 2 months ago | (#47060905)

"So, what have you done to get in here?" "I just reset the system of my ex-boss, he was too stupid to recover a backup so he sued me and put me in jail"

I couldn't resist...

And I, I walked over to the, to the bench there, and there is, Group W's Where they put you if you may not be moral enough to join the army after Committing your special crime, and there was all kinds of mean nasty ugly Looking people on the bench there. Mother rapers. Father stabbers. Father Rapers! Father rapers sitting right there on the bench next to me! And They was mean and nasty and ugly and horrible crime-type guys sitting on the Bench next to me. And the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one, the meanest Father raper of them all, was coming over to me and he was mean 'n' ugly 'n' nasty 'n' horrible and all kind of things and he sat down next to me And said, "Kid, whad'ya get?" I said, "I didn't get nothing, I had to pay $50 and pick up the garbage." He said, "What were you arrested for, kid?" And I said, "Littering." And they all moved away from me on the bench There, and the hairy eyeball and all kinds of mean nasty things, till I Said, "And creating a nuisance." And they all came back, shook my hand, And we had a great time on the bench, talkin about crime, mother stabbing, Father raping, all kinds of groovy things that we was talking about on the Bench. And everything was fine, we was smoking cigarettes and all kinds of Things,

--Arlo Guthrie

Criminal damage (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 months ago | (#47061287)

Open-and-shut case of criminal damage.

What's amazing, is that there are still neckbeards out where who think that just because they're techies, that norms of proper human behaviour don't belong to them.

Re:Criminal damage (1)

causality (777677) | about 2 months ago | (#47061457)

Open-and-shut case of criminal damage.

What's amazing, is that there are still neckbeards out where who think that just because they're techies, that norms of proper human behaviour don't belong to them.

When you hear about a street mugging, do you also say "What's amazing, is that there are still thugs out there who think that just because they're on the street, that norms of proper human behavior don't belong to them" too?

If not, what's special about "... with a computer!"

Re:Criminal damage (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 2 months ago | (#47061971)

This troll just wants to rag on whatever group he wants to dump on. Logic and rationality really have nothing to do with it.

Criminal Commits Crime - News at 11! (2)

Chucky_M (1708842) | about 2 months ago | (#47061417)

Seriously, read the article (and then I remembered where I was) he deserved to be banged up, changing jobs voluntary or not is a nasty fact of life in this economy. If you sabotage your ex employers systems then you should expect they will hire someone who isn't so stupid and is able to detect it. Business has money, what it doesn't have is patience. During a major problem they will simply hire temporary talent that will be smarter than you because they haven't spent the last few years doing a job with no destiny and can concentrate on one thing - what you did.

This trade for want of a better world is too small to even attempt to annoy not only your ex employees but more importantly all your ex colleges. This guy is clearly an idiot who should be taken away from a keyboard. On the flip side, frankly he is probably needing a better lawyer, to do something so stupid his defence should have been more mental or stress related assuming he even had a clue.

West Virginia, Division of Corrections - Take him home, where he belongs.....

Fair punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061583)

I believe he received a fair punishment for the amount of damage he caused.

What we should next examine is the damage caused by exploitative companies. I work in IT and have suffered through some things that should be against the law. Some of these things include being asked to work 24 hours a day, being asked to work weekends and holidays to the tune of 50+ days of consecutive work without a day off and also asked to perform duties of non-IT personnel in addition to my normal duties. I've had vacation requests which adhere strictly and fully to company policy be denied without reason. I've also had vacation requests be approved in writing, then yanked without good reason the night before the dates that were approved.

What sort of third world nation do we live in when any complaint about abusive treatment by an employer is met with the republican catch-phrase of 'if you don't like it, you're free to leave (preferably with some authority figure's boot in your ass)'?

Re:Fair punishment (2)

gabrieltss (64078) | about 2 months ago | (#47061835)

In some states their labor laws explicitly allow companies to make you work 2 weeks straight without a day off as long as they give you 1 day off before and after the 2 week shift. Been through that - and it's criminal in my mind - but legal. Companies have the money and power to do whatever they want and can get away with it. There are lots of things companies do and can get away with because they can payoff people to make things happen for them. Yet you rarely see company executives go to prison for some of the stuff they do.

ma83 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47061763)

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