back to article IT contractor charged over US oil rig hack

An IT contractor has been charged with sabotaging offshore oil rig computer systems. Mario Azar, 28, of Upland, California, allegedly damaged a drilling firm's computers out of spite after it declined to offer him permanent employment. Azar faces an indictment for unauthorised impairment of a protected computer, an offence …


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  1. darkmooink


    has he been granted bail? if so how much? it should be at least $3m like terry childs.

  2. Joe

    Throw the book at the wanker.

    Who the f&%* wants to convert from contractor to employee anyway ? What a tosser !

  3. Fred
    Thumb Down


    Some people never learn....

  4. DR

    Why oh why is it that

    I work for a small company and we fastidiously backup everything and can recover from massive losses and failures in a matter of days, possibly even hours. yet these big companies with shed loads of important data can't seen to have some sort of decent backup strategy that can recover data cheaply.

    I mean he deleted data FFS.

    put tape in drive,

    run restore job.

    how hard can it be?

    how does it take days, (or more importantly) how does it take millions for these companies to recover data?

  5. Anonymous Coward


    Right on.

    Many, many years ago, we had a customer running a mainframe that was administered by a non-techie (they had no IT staff), He head about a fast start (booting the machine took 15+ minutes). Saw a F option for the IPL (Initial Process Loader) one morning after downtime maintenance and tried it., The F option did not mean fast. It meant first. As in assembled-do-a-first-factory-start. He wiped the entire mainframe as a result.

    We booted the mainframe from tape, restored. Customer was up an running again less than a day after our engineers were on site.

    Mine's the tattered one with a JCL manual in one pocket and a Best Of The 80's music CD in the other.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @DR - Data Restores

    I can quite see how the bills rack up, the problem here, according to the company was that the engineer "caused damage by impairing the integrity and availability of data,", a DR policy would be fine for backup and restore, providing you know that something's amiss. The odd changed value in a data stream may be undetected for years, but may have a huge impact, at which point you need to start referring to data that was backed up a long time ago.

    On affecting the availability, if an oil company cannot reliably collect safety data from a remote plant, that plant must be shut down to ensure no issues occur. A non-functioning plant can cost thousands of pounds a minute in lost production.

    With the guy being an ex-networks engineer, he could have quite easily changed the configuration of a network router, and taken down both their network and voice comms. Try getting something fixed quickly when you have no access to the site, aren't quite sure what the problem is, and only have a sat-phone to talk to a non-IT person on site.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Yes, but if it were me, as well as mashing the data in the live system, the script would also be merrily expiring tapes and then knackering the backup environment in parallel... Not to mention blatting important boot files (regardless of OS) to ensure that a reboot of anything would make it worse not better.

    Mind you - I wouldn't be doing it to anyone who _didn't_ offer me a permie job... Offer me a crappy permie job instead of an extension though and you might get 'the treatment'.

  8. Roger Jenkins

    Maximum or up to?

    'an offence punishable by a maximum sentence of up to ten years' imprisonment.'

    Surely it's either 'an offence punishable by a maximum sentence of ten years' or 'punishable by up to ten years 'imprisonment'.

    Just trying for a shorter sentence.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The fact that one of your steps is 'put tape in drive' suggests that you've never really used anything like a big backup system. There are machines that do that now you know?

    As with all storage, if you want an estimate of how much something will cost, think of a number, then add a zero, two if you need it quickly.

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