ONTD Political

Outsourced: Employee Sends Own Job To China; Surfs Web

1:10 pm - 01/18/2013
What began as a company's suspicion that its infrastructure was being hacked turned into a case of a worker outsourcing his own job to a Chinese consulting firm, according to reports that cite an investigation by Verizon's security team. The man was earning a six-figure salary.

The anonymous company, identified only as a critical infrastructure firm, asked Verizon's Web security personnel to look into data that showed its virtual private network was being accessed from China — even as the employee whose credentials were used to log in from overseas was sitting in the company's offices, using his computer.

As Emil Protalinski writes at The Next Web, the company's security measures included a coded fob which, the investigating team learned, a code developer had shipped to Shenyang, China, so that a company there could perform his assigned work.

And it turns out that the job done in China was above par — the employee's "code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building," according to the Verizon Security Blog.

It seems that Verizon has removed the page publishing this "case study" — either that, or it has merely become unavailable for some other reason. But a cached version of the story offers more details. The report, which assigns the inventive employee the fictitious name of "Bob," described him as a family guy in his 40s, with extensive software knowledge.

After they were called in to look for rogue software that allowed hackers to perfectly mimic an employee's log-in, and maintain an active and secure connection, the investigators instead found "hundreds of .pdf notices from a third party contractor/developer in (you guessed it) Shenyang, China."

The Verizon team even found that "Bob" kept a regular schedule at his office:

9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos
11:30 a.m. – Take lunch
1:00 p.m. – Ebay time.
2:00 – ish p.m Facebook updates – LinkedIn
4:30 p.m. – End of day update e-mail to management.
5:00 p.m. – Go home

And as they learned, his schedule also included sending less than one-fifth of his salary to the Chinese firm. Verizon's investigators say the evidence they uncovered suggests "Bob" might have had similar arrangements at several companies.

"All told, it looked like he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about fifty grand annually," according to the Security Blog.

It is not yet clear whether "Bob" has read former kickboxer Tim Ferriss's book The 4-Hour Workweek, which explores ideas that include "Outsourcing Life" and "Disappearing Act: How to Escape the Office."


This feels like the sequel to Office Space.
perthro 18th-Jan-2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
This is one of those times when I am alllll about seeing if those programmer dudes want a green card, for free, and a guaranteed job in that position (for more pay than this douche was giving them!). Why? Because if they did the work better, by all fucking means. Or just let them stay there and telecommute like they have been. We have Skype for a reason.

All this just to watch cat videos.
communion 18th-Jan-2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
crossfire 18th-Jan-2013 07:02 pm (UTC)
This article caused quite a stir in our internal memegen. :D
squeeful 18th-Jan-2013 07:11 pm (UTC)
I've known or of a few people who have done similar, outsourcing part of their coding job. It wasn't so they could watch cat videos, but because they didn't want to/couldn't work 100 hour weeks.
chaya 18th-Jan-2013 07:40 pm (UTC)
Did they have an NDA and a fob?
mary_pickforded 18th-Jan-2013 07:47 pm (UTC)
Genius tbh.
chaya 18th-Jan-2013 07:53 pm (UTC)
If he'd outsourced to someplace less flag-raising than China, then I'd have to agree.
kitanabychoice 18th-Jan-2013 07:48 pm (UTC)
I read this yesterday and was like... "must be nice." I guess. He was making a killing doing that, I bet.
nesmith 18th-Jan-2013 08:05 pm (UTC)
Proving that it's totally okay for corporations to do it, but not for anyone else. Double standard much?
chaya 18th-Jan-2013 08:11 pm (UTC)
Considering he had an NDA and was allowing someone onto the VPN with falsified identification, not really.
tsu_ 18th-Jan-2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
I don't understand why he couldn't just get the code sent to him separately and he/the empolyee would just update it directly. If not, scrub the IP and stuff before uploading. It's simple enough to do, and less likely to get caught. It just seems so lazy... if you want to cheat/outsource, then do it properly!!
chaya 18th-Jan-2013 09:03 pm (UTC)
That's what I was wondering actually. Unless all the code is in that 'tree' software where it wouldn't be easy to export, send, receive, and import? I'm no programmer though so idk.
bestdaywelived 18th-Jan-2013 10:25 pm (UTC)
I have a lot of friends in the IT industry, and they're universally angry about what this guy did and that the story hit the media. Outsourcing is the biggest danger to their jobs, and if more companies start doing it, the industry in the US is dunzo.
littlelauren86 18th-Jan-2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
First thing I thought.
(no subject) - Anonymous
louisiane_fille 19th-Jan-2013 02:33 am (UTC)
And it would be hilarious.
jesskat 19th-Jan-2013 04:07 am (UTC)
When I first heard about the story, my first thought was to assume it was about an employee who was doing this "ironically" to protest big companies' outsourcing practices. Unfortunately turns out he was just greedy and lazy and wasn't trying to teach anyone a lesson.
redstar826 19th-Jan-2013 05:07 am (UTC)
are we no longer doing shenanigans friday?
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