Feeds

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

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

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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." ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.