Computer horror stories

31 07 2008

Horror stories have been part and parcel of the IT experience since – well, a long time back. Most have been a breech of security in some fashion or other.

Rumors we’ve heard include:

  • A contractor who was not going to get paid for fixing a problem at his friend’s office, so the friend gave him a telephone number that basically let him call anywhere in the world on the dime of the company that the friend worked for. (Heard from a friend of a friend of a … who knew the guy. How true? Your guess is as good as mine, but odds are that it was somehow based in fact.)
  • A group of physicists, or computer guys, or some other member of geekdom, at Geek University, or Geek Institute of Technology, or some other variation of geek halls of higher education and prankdom, who were chastised by Men in Black for abusing the network (it would have been ARPAnet back then), or the phone system (if it was before ARPAnet, or maybe after), or some other form of communication. Then, upon graduation of the appropriately abashed – publicly anyway – nerds, the Department of the Men in Black promptly hired them to help improve the system.
  • A lowly worm at an IT savvy company who had the audacity to ask, at the question portion of the announcement of an expensive and thorough security upgrade of the computer center, whether they could no longer get into the IT center from the stalls in the men’s room. Upon a blank look by the head of the IT department, the worm followed up with, “You know, over the wall and through the ceiling?” Supposedly the laughter from the audience drowned out the Head’s muttering, but not the icy stare.

And there are more. Always more. Current versions can be found at this week’s SharkTank:

What are your rumors, innuendos or examples of breaches of IT security?

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