Cast Your Vote: Dubious Dweeb, Courageous Crusader, Or Tech Terrorist? - InformationWeek
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IT Leadership // CIO Insights & Innovation
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10/17/2007
01:06 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Cast Your Vote: Dubious Dweeb, Courageous Crusader, Or Tech Terrorist?

Readers are expressing a range of views about the disgruntled IT worker who, as we noted last week, bungled his resignation process and thereby forfeited his last two weeks' salary, inspiring him to hack into and wipe out his ex-employer's payroll and personnel files. What sentence should he receive? Read on and cast your vote.

Readers are expressing a range of views about the disgruntled IT worker who, as we noted last week, bungled his resignation process and thereby forfeited his last two weeks' salary, inspiring him to hack into and wipe out his ex-employer's payroll and personnel files. What sentence should he receive? Read on and cast your vote.The maximum sentence the 26-year-old man could get is 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Here's a quick overview of what happened, as originally reported by our sister site Dark Reading:

"[Joseph Patrick] Nolan, a 26-year-old IT worker, resigned from Pentastar on Jan. 15 of this year, according to court documents. He was told that he would not have to work during the two weeks' notice he had given the company -- as long as he signed a separation agreement by Jan. 26, which he failed to do. On Jan. 30, Nolan called Pentastar's human resources department, inquiring about his final paycheck. Nolan was told that he would not receive the check, because he hadn't signed the separation agreement. On Feb. 1, the disgruntled Nolan gained unauthorized access to Pentastar's computer systems and effectively obliterated a drive that contained all of the company's payroll and personnel records, according to court documents.".

So here's what some of you have had to say about Mr. Nolan's actions, motivations, and thought processes: ---from "Jeff Baeden, CIO" comes a warning for his own and other companies: "In my company, there are those employees who have way too much access and should they get ticked, could probably lower the boom on our organization. This is very eye-opening."

---from "bs from company" comes an expression of heavy empathy: "This honest, hardworking IT guy is just trying to get what he has sweated for. it is just pure bs from the company to refuse his cheque. his company sets themselves up for the attack"

---from "lesson learned" comes a similar sentiment: "Next time, give the man his check"

---from "phonemage" comes a possible silver lining: "Yes, he was totally in the wrong. But think of the $30k as a security audit."

---from "drew" comes mixed feelings: "I feel sorry for the guy -- he was probably in the right (at least morally) but he went about it in the wrong way."

---from "IIEMike" comes a question of balance: "Looks like the company has severe rules about resigning. Do they have any security rules? Or like a lot of places: something that they just talk about a lot."

---from "BigDeuce" comes a call for maturity: "He threw a tantrum like a 2-year-old spoiled brat. If he had put two minutes of actual thought about consequences into the decision instead of only thinking of ways to get even or to get ahead, there is a good chance he would have his money now."

---and from "BS Reply" comes a comment that might be aimed at the perp and might be aimed at this writer: "Obviously an honest, hardworking IT guy would not have done this bs. Seems like you have your head up your a$$."

So what do you think -- what's the right sentence for Nolan? Vote now -- link to poll page here -- click on your choice and we'll share the results on Friday.

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