Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

What Do bitter Network Administrators Do When They Are Unemployed
by Doug Chick

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal authorities have cracked the case of an international hacker who broke into roughly 100 unclassified U.S. military networks over the past year, officials said.

A bored unemployed network administrator might be a hazard to himself. There are a lot of computer people that are out of work right now with little to do but scan the Internet. To go from running like a mad man for a bunch of imbeciles to suddenly being out of work because your employer wanted to reduce the cost of the IT department can sometimes leave a computer professional a very disgruntled hacker. 

When end-users ask me to do something as ridiculous as break into someone's mail or maliciously impregnate someone that they dislike with a virus, I always respond by saying, "I only use my powers for good." It's a nicer response than saying "I'd rather not risk jail for someone that I don't know or like." But if you're out of work, bored and see no prospects ahead of you, your value system may miraculously change over night. 

I know a couple of Networkers that despise SPAMMERS. They hate SPAM, people that send SPAM and go out of their way to make these people's lives a little more unbearable. I also know a network administrator / hacker that sends SPAM, he too used to hate unsolicited e-mail and anyone associated with it...that is until he found himself without a job. Having above average computer abilities and being interviewed for positions that are beneath you by people that don't have one-tenth your knowledge and then to not hire you because you are over qualified will change a person. It can turn a network administrator that only uses his or her powers for good, to a hacker/Spamer that manages the network for a porn site. I'm not suggesting that if you lose your job you'll be a smack junkie, Spam pushing porn pimp, striped from all of your certifications and cursed to wander the information highway like a hobo. (You may have to read that sentence again.) What I am saying is don't be too judgmental of other computer people in a bad economic market. 

I'm also not justifying the actions of the systems administrator in England whose headlines began this article. People like him are self-destructive and end their computer careers in jail playing spot the submarine in the men's lavatory against their will. Or not, I'm not judging anyone. But the potential to use your networking skills out of boredom or resentment is not going to make anyone's situation better. Unless of course, using the hot squat sit down dance as a means of travel every time you exit a prison shower is your bag. 

An experienced Network Administrator has the tools and knowledge to do a lot of damage if they were so inclined. Many network administrators will joke around with the idea or may even find his or her happy place in moments of stress by thinking about all the possibilities, but rarely do they ever act on it. Those that do act on their evil side cause a lot of other computer people overtime that they would rather spend with their families. 

Overnight it seems the world got more complicated than it should have and we are all unwilling participants in a political game that I somehow lost sight of, and it makes me a little nervous. Because of today's global tensions, hacking corporate and government computers just for the fun of it will carry serious penalties. If you are a bored or disgruntled computer person, you better think twice before you end up like the bored bloke that's going to get deported to the states. 



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