(Former) IT consultant confesses to SCADA tampering
'Multiple user accounts'
A former IT consultant for a California oil and gas company has admitted he intentionally tampered with its computer systems after he was turned down for a permanent position there.
Mario Azar of Upland, California pleaded guilty to one felony count of intentionally damaging a computer system used in interstate and foreign commerce, according to documents filed in federal court in Los Angeles. He was an IT consultant for Long Beach, California-based Pacific Energy Resources until around May 8, 2008, when he received his final paycheck.
Beginning on that date, Azar "knowingly caused the transmission of programs," codes, and commands that impaired the computer systems of the company, prosecutors said. Parts of those systems were used to remotely operate giant oil platforms from the company's offices. The systems were also used to detect gas leaks.
Such SCADA, or supervisory control and data acquisition, systems are frequently used to control sensitive equipment at dams, gasoline refineries and other large industrial sites. Security watchers have warned that they are vulnerable to disgruntled insiders or malicious hackers who figure out ways to exploit computer weaknesses.
Azar had set up parts of the Pacific Energy Resources computer system and had established multiple user accounts on it, according to court documents. They didn't make clear whether company administrators had deleted the accounts after the consultant left the company.
Sentencing in the case is scheduled for December 7. ®
Skinny Contrived Aristicratic Dolly Automaton
There are the consultants like myself that destroy all client-sensitive information in my possession at the end of each engagement only to discover on a subsequent visit that all my accounts are still there. Nobody bothered to delete them.......................................
Management are disposable
Tech is not, and really it should be obvious by now, that you need to hire tech that manages.
Tech needs to up their game, and study business and economics, and just replace the current management. And of course some in management could up their tech skills as well. There is no place now for either just a tech or a management person, tech and business are too intertwined.
The days of the blinkered specialist are over, it is about being an expert generalist nowadays.