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IT Admin "Was Fired" But... Was it a GOOD idea?

By Yowye ·
There was an IT Administrator who had been fired from his Company, do to deliberate mismanagement of the companies network systems in order to acquire new products and software for which they proposed - was the best solution in order to fix the problem, however, A.S.A.V.M operates an internal investigation department... one which no employee had been aware of.

They found in there investigation, that this IT Admin, deliberately mismanaged the net work to obtain software and hardware for both personal use and for personal private transactions.

Now there is a new IT Admin running the show, which just became a circus... The old IT Admin, apparently created personal encrypted passwords which have locked in all essential files, and has been unsuccessfully decoded... now the company has become paralyzed by and Admin who no longer is with them.

The first question is... If you were this new IT Admin, what course of action would you take?

And the second question is... Do the companies you work for have back up plans for the unexpected... what ever the unexpected may be?

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They sacked him

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to IT Admin "Was Fired" But. ...

beore they obtained access to their own kit and a secured it from him ?
I'd want to leave and go work for someone with a brain cell.
You've only three options, rebuild the entire system, get the passwords off the ex-admin, or hire some people who can break in. The middle option is still the easiest.

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Totally agree with Tony

by Neil Higgins In reply to They sacked him

if someone had done something no doubt totally against company policy,I'd expect them to be hauled up before the "top dogs",and ordered to unincrypt the system,even if they'd been fired.Other than that,the "idiot" who'd set this chain of events in motion,so that the company ended up in this mess,should also be fired.Me,I'd be off to work for a more sensible bunch.

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one for the lawyers

by john In reply to Totally agree with Tony

Either use hacking software to pull the passwords from the registry or run brute force software on the passwords and get them that way. You can even take the discs to a data recovery firm and have them obtain the data. Document everything and give those docs to the legal team. This is probably a federal offense.

Inviting him back in to unlock the files is asking for trouble, no telling what he will do while he's there! He could steal, corrupt or just break your systems, or commit any number of malicious activities.

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I just went through this ...

by In reply to one for the lawyers

I just went through this, I own a consulting firm in Scottsdale, AZ, where we offer outsourced IT services for companies. We act as their Chief Technology Officer, and they rely on us for everything from phone service and systems, to computers and servers, to copiers, etc.

We recently had a run in with a client, where we would not release a password, until payment was made in full on the last invoice for service, as we didn't think we were going to be paid. This client went nuts, and ended up calling other clients, making false statements to federal agencies, etc., so we decided that we weren't going to be paid for the invoice, so why would we give up the password? It's their fault for not demanding to know the password while we were all on good terms, I figure.

Anyway, everyone always says that this is a federal case, when one won't give up a password. I'd love to see the statute one is in violation of when they refuse to simply tell someone a password which they know? I don't believe there is anything that can be done, except maybe a civil law suit, but proving that is a difficult thing at best to do.

My 2 cents worth, anyway.

Incidentially, we signed Non-Disclosure agreements will all of the rest of our clients after this client acted up, and we canned him, included in there, is an agreement about how the last invoice is handled, and how the password is handed off, if the relationship ends, so all works out in the end.

-Toby Alan Dion

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by TonytheTiger In reply to I just went through this ...

That's the equivalent of the landlord locking out the tenants for not paying rent, which is illegal in most if not all states. Though there may be no statutes now, I would not be surprised to see some pretty soon.

It's just a personal opinion, but I think you were wrong to not turn over the password, instead you should have taken the client to court for payment.

"It's their fault for not demanding to know the password while we were all on good terms, I figure.

A company that takes intentionally takes advantage of its client's ignorance is not a company I'd recommend to my associates...

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Good analogy

by mgordon In reply to Wow.

Pretty good analogy. Another is a mechanic's lien; if you take an automobile in for repairs, they do not have to give you the automobile back until you pay. Am I wrong? Anyway, I looked it up; it appears that in Texas, landlords can lock you out, in Hawaii, they cannot. This suggests that it depends on whether you are in a "red" (republican) or "blue" (democrat) state.

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Further study...

by mgordon In reply to Good analogy

I see that even Texas makes a distinction between legal and illegal lockout. See paragraph 8, near the bottom of or in other words, lockout is permitted if certain procedures are followed. However, it also includes a rather bizarre requirement that even after being locked out, a former tenant can demand a key and get it within two hours or the landlord faces penalties.

Now then, whether a contractor more closely resembles a landlord or a mechanic is something we may wish to explore. The landlord receives payment from the tenant, but the tenant has special protections because it is his domicile. In cases where this special case does not exist, I believe a mechanic's lein is a better analogy.

In the state of Washington, a mechanic's lien requires only the provision of, and acceptance of, a written estimate for the cost of services. This creates temporary "ownership" by the mechanic; the titled owner of an automobile can be charged with theft for removing his car from the mechanic without payment. In this case cited on this page, the mechanic failed to provide a written estimate and thereby lost his rights under the mechanic's lien.

The application of these concepts to information services is fairly straightforward. the contractor is the mechanic and temporarily owns not only the contractor's own work, but such of the client's hardware and software as is being worked on (including passwords).

Full disclosure: I'm not a lawyer, but maybe I'd be pretty good at it.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to Good analogy

I don't know. I was just offerring an opinion.

I was most concerned with the "so we decided that we weren't going to be paid for the invoice, so why would we give up the password?"

and then "It's their fault for not demanding to know the password while we were all on good terms, I figure."

The two statements seem incongruous to me. If he was entitled to the password "while you were on good terms" then it should have been provided to him then. Blaming him for something you failed to do seems "unbusiness-like".

It also seems illogical to do something to damage someone's ability to pay because they won't.

Red State/Blue state? You give 2% of the population (the difference between 51 and 49) too much credit. Laws are enacted because situations arise requiring intervention by the government, nothing more.

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Good Lawyer?

by TonytheTiger In reply to Good analogy

maybe. Profitable? probably.

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I am with...

by Eternal Confusion In reply to Wow.

You say things like "Takes advantage". Exactly how does the consultant/contractor watch out for himself? This is a world where the burden of proof is almost always on the innocent. I would cover my arse the same way. Going to court, been there done that and it took over 6 months of never ending BS before it was settled and guess what, they do not pay you for time lost going to court!

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