Bob gets busted bypassing business security
It comes as no surprise to anyone that it is typically much cheaper to have programming performed in China rather than in the U.S., as the work can typically done for a fraction of the cost. A security case involving this interesting dynamic between the U.S. and China has surfaced that’s both funny and disturbing at the same time.
A developer for a U.S.-based critical infrastructure company simply called “Bob” was busted for outsourcing his programming job to China. Obviously, his employer had no idea what Bob was doing despite the fact that he had been receiving glowing performance reviews.
Bob was caught during a company security review of VPN logs. Security personnel at the company discovered that there was an unauthorized VPN connection coming into their system from China. Since they are a U.S. critical infrastructure company, having an unauthorized VPN access from China was a big deal.
Making the problem even scarier for the security personnel was that the company had implemented two-factor authentication for the VPN using a rotating token RSA key fob. An unauthorized Chinese connection to the VPN meant that whoever was accessing the system from China had also been able to bypass a security token, or at least they thought this was the case.
Making things even more puzzling for the investigators was that the developer whose credentials were being used was sitting at his desk in the office when the live VPN connection from China was discovered. On further investigation, it was discovered that Bob had physically mailed his RSA key fob to China and had hired developers to do his work.
Bob was reportedly making several hundred thousand dollars per year while paying roughly $50,000 per year to the Chinese developers who were doing his work for him. Bob was spending his day watching cat videos, surfing Facebook, and messing around on eBay according to evidence the security researchers later found on his computer. Bob was also storing invoices from his Chinese developer on his work computer.
Bob had a good thing going, but unsurprisingly, his company wasn’t too fond of his antics and fired him.