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Fired IT manager hacks into CEO’s presentation, replaces it with porn

24 Jun

Imagine you’re giving a presentation to the board of directors at your company. You have your PowerPoint slides all ready, you’re projecting onto a 64 inch screen… what could possibly go wrong?

Well, what would you do if your carefully composed presentation was replaced on the big screen by images of a naked woman? My guess is that you wouldn’t know where to put your laser pointer..

52-year-old Walter Powell used to be an IT manager at Baltimore Substance Abuse System Inc, until he was fired in 2009. Clearly someone who believed that revenge should be served red hot, Powell used his computer knowledge to hack into his former employer’s systems from his home and install keylogging software to steal passwords.

On one occasion, Powell took remote control of his former CEO’s PowerPoint presentation to the board of directors, and projected pornographic images on the 64 inch TV.

Press release about Walter Powell's sentencing

According to media reports, Judge M. Brooke Murdock gave Powell a two year suspended sentence, and ordered him to 100 hours of community service and three years’ probation.

Cases like this underline the importance of having a proper process in place when staff leave your company. That means changing passwords, and removing access rights when an employee’s time at your firm comes to an end.

People do, of course, leave jobs all the time and most of them would never dream of logging back in to their old place of work to cause trouble. But it only takes one disaffected former worker to wreak havoc – so make sure your defences are in place, and that only authorised users can access your sensitive systems.

by Graham Cluley on June 22, 2011

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