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BOFH: Grand Theft Auto

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Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Episode 5

"So what I'd like to know," the Boss seethes, "is what the hell took you so long?"

"What do you mean 'so long'?" the PFY asks, sounding a little hurt.

"You left here FIVE HOURS AGO to pick up a replacement toner cartridge!"

"Yeah but..."

"TWO OF YOU! IN MY CAR!"

"You offered it!" I add. "But in any case we needed to be sure it was the correct toner cartridge."

"You could have taken an old one with you. ONE of you! We've got dozens of them laying about the place!"

"We've got dozens of old ones for the Multifunction devices, but none for the CEO's personal colour laser," the PFY says. "And he wanted a new one today because the replace cartridge light..."

"Otherwise known as the 'make the toner manufacturer tons of money lamp'," I add.

"...came on this morning," the PFY continues.

"And we couldn't take his old cartridge out because then he wouldn't be able to print anything today," I explain.

"But why does it take FIVE HOURS to get a replacement toner cartridge?"

"We were shopping around for the best price," I say. "What with the current financial climate and all, we thought it best to establish a supply channel for the least expensive replacement cost - which involved stopping at a number of suppliers."

"FIVE HOURS worth of suppliers?"

"To get a representative sample of suppliers we had to do a bit of leg work. And a reasonable amount of driving around."

"Yes, It's funny you should say that. You are aware that my vehicle has GPS tracking enabled?"

"We are now," I respond.

"After the third hour I took a look on the web to see where you were. Would you like to see the routed mapped out?"

"I... suppose so," the PFY says.

"You can see your trip as the red line here, stopping, here, here, here, there, there, there and there," he says, pointing to the road map on the webpage on his screen.

"Like I said, shopping around," I counter.

"And it's just a coincidence that several of the locations you stopped at were next to drinking establishments?"

"This is LONDON! Everywhere's close to a drinking establishment!"

"You smell of beer," he counters.

"We stopped for lunch," I say, a little hurt.

"Twice," the PFY adds unnecessarily. "Diabetes - I need the blood sugar."

"I..." the Boss says, deciding to abandon this topic for the time being. "Well, what's this then?"

"What's what?" the PFY asks.

"Here. The car stops, then backs up for 6 metres, forward for 6.5 metres, back 7 metres and then continues on it's way."

"Oh, that," the PFY says. "We noticed our Symantec reseller walking along the footpath."

"It was a gimme," I say. "We had to take it!"

"You ran someone down in my car?!"

"Technically YOU did - or at least that's what it'll look like when the fingerprint evidence is analysed," the PFY says.

"I... Uh..." the Boss mumbles.

"Just after you ran those red lights," I add.

"And before you parked in that no-parking zone," the PFY finishes. "The last part of that red line is on the back of a tow-truck."

"You bastards!"

"But we did manage to get a replacement toner cartridge for 3 pounds cheaper than on our standard suppliers website," I reply. "So if we extrapolate the savings on expected replacements of toner cartridges out over the entire workable life of the CEO's printer, we've probably saved the company... oh... nine pounds - give or take."

"Three pounds, let's be honest," the PFY says, having created a Moore's law of his own about the replaceability of desktop printers.

"Nin... Three p... Where's my car now then?" the Boss asks, scrolling the webmap.

"Police Impound Yard," the PFY says. "I'd probably call it in as stolen before I went to collect it though."

"I'm not making a false statement to the Police. They'd find out"

"It's possible," the PFY replies, "but all I know is that we've been here the whole day - and we can produce the timestamped CCTV footage to prove it. Alternatively..."

"What?" the Boss asks, sniffing a ray of hope.

"For fifty quid and a couple of favours I'm pretty sure we could produce video evidence to prove that you were also in the building the whole time..."

"I bloody was!!!"

"That's not what the CCTV footage is currently saying..."

"I..." the Boss sniffles, realising his options are extremely limited. "What are the favours?"

"Fifty quid" the PFY repeats, holding his hand out.

. . 30 seconds and 50 begrudged quid later . .

"What are the favours?"

"We actually forgot to pick up the toner cartridge," I admit. "So we need to you grab the Director's car keys off his desk..."

"!"

"Chop chop!" the PFY says. "We need to get this sorted before the weekend!"

. . 1 minute and a set of car keys later . .

"And the second favour?" the Boss asks

"Wait 10 minutes and call the Bloke that sold the CEO that Lotus Notes based CRM package."

"And tell him what?"

"Whatever you like," the PFY says. "Just make sure he's waiting on the footpath outside his building."

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

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