Feeds

San Francisco's 'rogue' sysadmin still being paid while in jail

Mayor says bricked IT system won't affect ability to govern

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

San Francisco’s officials were squirming with embarrassment today as it emerged that they are still paying the salary of the banged-up sysadmin accused of locking down the city’s IT network and refusing to divulge the password.

The City has been forced to call in help from Silicon Valley, including engineers from Cisco, to help it access its own data after irate techie Terry Childs allegedly set a master password giving him exclusive access to the network. The city’s mayor says this could take up to eight weeks.

Terry Childs, a 43-year-old from the Bay Area city of Pittsburg, was arraigned yesterday on four charges of computer tampering, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. He was swiftly returned to the jail cell where he has been marking time since being remanded over the weekend in lieu of $5m bail.

Childs is accused of locking city officials out of their brand new FibreWan network, which stores around 60 per cent of the city’s data after a run-in with the city’s head of security, the Chronicle reports. When he was arrested, he allegedly gave the city a bogus code, and has now gone completely silent.

According to the Chronicle, Childs was asked to leave his post on July 9 for alleged insubordination.

But even though Childs has been locked up since the weekend, and is refusing to help the city get back into its system, San Francisco continues to pay his $126,000 annual salary, though it says they will convene a meeting on whether Childs should be place on “unpaid leave”, possibly as early as this Thursday.

Further embarrassment for the city came when it emerged that Childs is a convicted felon. According to the Chron, he was convicted of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary charges dating back to 1982, and was on probation or parole until 1987. Childs apparently disclosed his convictions to the city when he applied for his job five years ago.

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom sought to reassure the city’s residents and demonstrate his own technical expertise, insisting to reporters: "There's nothing to be alarmed about, save the inability to get into the system and tweak the system.”

"Nothing dramatic has changed in terms of our ability to govern the city," he added, something will be no surprise to anyone who’s had the joy of dealing with San Francisco’s politically correct but often self-serving municipal bureaucracy.

At least Newsom identified what makes BoFHs run amok: "He was very good at what he did, and sometimes that goes to people's heads and we think that's what this is about." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.