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Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Not Know Thyself, But Outsource Yourself

Developer allegedly outsources his whole job to China, fired

A developer in the U.S. thought he was being clever by ensuring his whole job was done overseas, so that he could allegedly take on more jobs which he secretly outsourced overseas.

Work is an overrated concept, created by those in power in order to subjugate those who are trusting or have several children.

This might, at least, have been the thinking of a developer who believed he had found a magical ruse to prevent him from being subjugated.

As The Next Web tells it, relying on a case study presented by the security team at Verizon,, the gentleman in question was very interested in Reddit, eBay shopping, and watching cat videos during working hours.

So he allegedly outsourced his work to China. Yes, all of his work. He did nothing at all -- workwise, that is, according to Verizon.

Nicknamed "Bob" by Verizon, the developer worked at a critical infrastructure company in the U.S.

However, the Verizon folks say he also attempted to perform this liberating ploy simultaneously on other companies -- presumably he was accepting freelance projects on the side.

What some might find amusing -- or even dispiriting -- is that his employers valued him highly, as the work was of an excellent standard.

Meanwhile, Bob's trousers were being handsomely filled, as he was paying the Chinese a mere 20 percent of what the work would cost in the U.S., Verizon said.

You might wonder how, given that everyone was happy, he was ever discovered. Well, apparently his company noticed in its VPN logs that there was odd and consistent activity occurring on a connection between it and Shenyang, China.

The developer had allegedly discovered a way to make log-ins appear that he was over there, rather than over here. Part of his ruse was to FedEx his RSA token to China. Yes, the actual thing.

Bob, you might think, was a bit of a lad, the sort of man who was loud at work and an excellent drinking buddy (before the third pitcher of beer, that is).

Not quite.

Verizon's report describes him as

Mid-40s software developer versed in C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, etc. Relatively long tenure with the company, family man, inoffensive and quiet. Someone you wouldn't look at twice in an elevator.

As my mother always warned me, it's the quiet ones you have to beware of.

Once the security people delved into Bob's computer, according to Verizon, they discovered invoices and all sorts of entertainments.

Though Bob was fired, it's unclear whether any steps were taken to retrieve the money he earned.

An enterprising manager might have decided that he had, in fact, performed an enormously positive service for his company.

Surely the wise thing to do here would be to offer the Chinese developers a permanent contract and hire no more Bobs.

Posted on 01/16/2013 12:17 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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