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BOFH: The wild smut chase

Ensuring data safety

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Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Episode 9

Scene: The rooftop of the building at dusk

"Ahhhh smell that," I say to the PFY as we look out at the London skyline. "The fresh London air tinged with a touch of diesel, a hint of autumn chill, and a liberal dash of the kebab shop down the road."

"Greatest city in the world!" the PFY says.

"And you know, standing up here, I can't help but think of the fateful words that Hillary said all those years ago."

"'What's Monica doing?'"

"No, EDMUND Hillary."

"Oh HIM," the PFY nods.

"Yes, the words he spoke as he at last reached the summit of Everest."

"Oh, you mean 'Pop down and get me a roll of bog paper will you Norgay, I think the devil's brew you whipped up has given me the runs'?"

"No, now you're thinking of Prince Philip. No, when he said those words, 'One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!'"

"I think you'll find that's Armstrong."

"Louis Armstrong said that?!"

"JUST GET ON WITH IT!" the PFY snaps.

>toss<

.. ... ....

..... ...... ....... ........

>crash!< >weeoh< >weeoh< >weeoh< >weeoh< >weeoh< ...

"You were right, the thing just vapourises!" I say, looking at the debris of the laptop six floors below.

"Told you," the PFY says. "Pay up."

I hand £10 over and we go back to the office...

...The next day...

"I'm sorry," I tell the Boss. "We were running some tests on your laptop and it failed."

"Oh, well I suppose I can make a warranty claim!" he responds.

"I think you'll find the warranty was voided when you tampered with the protective devices from the machine."

"I didn't remove any protective devices!"

"You mean you didn't take the plastic layer off the screen?"

"The protective layer?" the Boss asks.

"Exactly."

"But you can't see the screen properly otherwise!!"

"Still, a void is a void."

"Can it be repaired?"

"Uhhmmmmmm, not really," the PFY says, handing over a shopping bag with the pieces we retrieved.

"What the hell did you do to it?"

"We tossed it off the building."

"WHY?"

"Because it had to be fully tested."

"That's not a real test!"

"Of course it is - it's a test to see if your device would survive being tossed off the top of a building - as we're now required to do because of the new 'Security of Workplace Data' directive which requires us to ensure that machines don't fail during normal work practices and/or lose data which may be of value to the company."

"It's not a normal work practice for me to throw my machine off a roof!"

"Ah, but isn't it?" the PFY counters.

"It's NOT!"

"What about in the situation where a zealous operational type was taking a backup of your machine - in line with the 'Security of Workplace Data' directive' - and notices that there is a file locking error in the backup. Being the professional that he is, he investigates the error and finds that the affected file is a video and that the cheap playback system installed on the machine - presumably because it's one of the few that doesn't report back what you're looking at - has locked the file for read. Say this professional, having not seen the video hotchickbj.mpg PRESUMES that it's a workplace safety video for instance and remotely forces the application to close so that he can get the backup system to open the file before it's viewed again. Say all that happens, and this zealous operational type realises that and offsite backup of this user's data would be a good option and sends the DVD backup to the person's home address. And maybe his wife chucks it in the DVD player thinking it's a movie and the only thing renderable on their DVD player is the safety video. And she decided to confront you at work and look at your laptop."

"Fair enough," the Boss says, realising he's both cornered and busted. "In THAT situation, MAYBE I would want to test my laptop for it's ability to fall from the roof of a building, but that's hardly li.."

"Oooh look, it's your Mrs!" I say, pointing behind the Boss. "...Made you look."

"Did you send a DVD to my home."

"Of course I did, I was ensuring data safety. What time does the post come round your way?"

>SLAM!<

...two hours later...

"You're for it now!" the Boss wheezes, all pretence gone after his cross town dash. "Why the hell would you want to take a copy of my porn - it's not data of value to the company?"

"It is if they want to fire you," the PFY says.

"Not when I do THIS," he says, snapping a DVD sized envelope in half.

"Why?"

"Because now there's no evidence - no laptop, no backup."

"What about the onsite backup?" the PFY asks.

"What onsite backup?"

"Well there's two really - the one we keep in the tape safe and the one that I must have accidentally put in the Head of IT's DVD drive..."

>SLAM!<

"...or was it the AV system in the boardroom - I can't remember exactly."

"Never mind about that now," I say. "I need your help testing the duplexing Multifunction printer with the additional stapling and perfect binding unit."

"Is that a computer?"

"It has a hard drive..."

"Oh yeah..."

"And get a jiggle on, the Boss is in the 30 minute parking zone."

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