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Sacked Intel geek wreaks terrible revenge

Chip shortages all down to one disaffected geezer?

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Should you, dear reader, be unceremoniously fired from your comfy job for life, would you feel any animosity to your former employer?

Of course you would.

So when Paul Barton heard the grim reaper tolling the death knell "could you just step into my office, Paul?" thoughts of revenge swam unbidden into his mind.
Paul Douglas Barton, 62 (sixty two? Blimey, he's almost old enough to be on the main board), of Beaverton [Don't even think about it - Ed] was charged with breaking into a computer at Intel's Fab 15 plant in California.

Appearing in US District Court in Portland, Barton pleaded guilty to one count of computer fraud, waiving his rights to a trial and to having a grand jury hear the allegations.

As a senior software engineer for Intel, Barton was responsible for maintaining an automatic tracking system called 'Workstream', which monitors the chip-making process.

Barton used a home computer to access the plant's computer in September 1997 and kept the live connection up and running for several days. On 1 October, Intel fired him for as yet undisclosed reasons and stripped him of his security privileges, but his home computer was still linked to the plant.

The next day, Barton accessed the Workstream system and deleted several files. "He intentionally accessed a protected computer without authorisation, recklessly damaging the program," said Kent Robinson, an assistant U.S. attorney. "This caused the plant to shut down."

The shutdown lasted about four hours, which Intel claimed cost $20,000 to put right.

Barton was released pending sentencing, which is scheduled for 12 September. He faces a maximum of five years in choky and a $250,000 fine. &reg:

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