back to article FBI: Your real SECURITY TERROR? An ANGRY INSIDE MAN

Disgruntled workers are causing more problems for their employers, the FBI warns. Employees, ex-workers or contractors with a grudge against their former paymasters are abusing cloud storage sites or remote access to enterprise networks to steal trade secrets, customer lists or other sensitive information. Insider threats …

  1. Frankee Llonnygog

    Jimmy Saville warned of just this

    Snowden, Snowden, Snowden

    1. LarsG

      In the US this theory is borne out by the increasing number of workplace shootings.

      Don't worry about the IT, worry about the employee who turns up to work with an assault rifle.

      1. Fungus Bob

        "In the US this theory is borne out by the increasing number of workplace shootings."

        No, it is actually the result of the new "Wargame Wednesday" rule that went into effect last October. Now everybody with a job has to show up for work every Wednesday with an assault rifle in order to "Rightsize" our respective organizations without increasing the number of unemployed people.

  2. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Cost of Snowden

    @Frankie L

    You beat me to it. "...costs ranging from $5,000 to $3m...". How much did Snowden cost?

    1. Ole Juul

      Re: Cost of Snowden

      Actually, Snowden should be counted as a gain.

  3. Alister

    Simple solution, Sack all internal IT staff, they're obviously far too great a risk

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re: simple solution

      And unplug the servers. And the "cloud" - wherever it is - find it and burn it.

      Don't need any of that old crap anymore anyway. We've all got iPads now...

      1. Adam 1

        Re: re: simple solution

        >We've all got iPads now...

        But will it bend?

    2. Fungus Bob

      And then sack the sackers who sacked the sackees.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A Møøse once bit my sister...

  4. Wensleydale Cheese

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    It's the age old question, isn't it?

    Who guards the guardians?

    1. dogged

      Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      Socrates' solution was to properly train their souls, if that helps.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        "Socrates' solution was to properly train their souls [...]"

        Socrates was condemned to death by the government of Athens for corrupting their youth. Judging by Alcibiades complaints about Socrates sharing his bed and just sleeping - the crime was not what our modern sensitised minds might think. The crime was teaching the youngsters to think for themselves - which upset the government who wanted the youth to maintain the system without awkward questions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

          "The crime was teaching the youngsters to think for themselves..."

          No, the crime was that of instilling anti-democratic attitudes into the youth. Socrates despised the idea of democracy and made no secret of it. Additionally he deliberately provoked the 500 citizen jury, clearly hoping to receive the death penalty, then refused to accept his friends' aid in escaping the execution. He wanted to tar the democrats with his own blood.

          The Athenian democracy had just gone thru a hideous and bloody (but short-lived) takeover by oligarchs, and they were in no mood to tolerate someone repeatedly advocating the end of the democracy they had just recovered. Too many had died at the hands of the dictatorship.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

          Socrates was executed because he questioned the legitimacy of... everything. As a citizen-soldier who showed tremendous courage in battle, he was criticized for his individualism (a quality that didn't work well in a Greek phalanx). After the Athenian military was decimated during a disasterous campaign to conquer Sicily (as part of a desperate attempt to save their empire), Athens was defeated by Sparta and subject to the rule of 30 "tyrants" chosen by the Spartans. Many of these were either followers or friends of Socrates, and in some accounts he gave their anti-democratic rule his wholehearted support (no surprise to anyone who has read The Republic). Socrates' trial and execution come after the overthrow of his friends and restoration of the democracy.

          The answer to the question ("who will guard the guardians") is, obviously, no one. Socrates idea that somehow his philiospher rulers would be so virtuous as they could be trusted to rule themselves is ridiculous, and flies in the face of human experience. The fear of being legally held to account for their misconduct is the only thing that can restrain the powerful, whether in a democracy or dictatorship. Then, as now, corruption takes over once that fear is removed.

    2. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

      Some suggestions

      1 : The Illuminati - It's obviously a conspiracy anyway.

      2 : The Vatican - Being God's right hand man he must be able to protect us ( just not the condom kind of protection).

      3 : The Mafia ( Same house as N°2 , just on different levels - although they have a no women AND a no children policy ).

      4 : The White House - Thinking Obama with an loaded 100 round AK47 here - he'll show the way.

      5 : Bono - A mixture of Jesus Christ and Chuck Norris, the difference being that Chuck knows it's only cinema.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        6. Vin Diesel. He guards stuff by killing every living thing. Simple, quick, effective.

        1. Elmer Phud

          Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

          7. Vimes

          1. Fungus Bob

            Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

            8. Techno Viking


      2. Suricou Raven

        Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

        I'm not so sure about Chuck. He caught religion a while ago, and has been of dubious sanity since. The last time I heard from him he was warning of a conspiracy (Headed by Obama, naturally) to cover up the Parkinson's-and-cancer inducing consequences of genetically modified foods. This is actually one of his saner columns.

  5. Warm Braw

    Next on the list...

    ... after communists, paedophiles and terrorists, it had to be employees - they're everywhere, inside every organisation. Not that their relative numbers should lead us to forget the shiftless unemployed who clearly have a motivation for destroying society. Or neglect the children sitting around learning dangerous ideas from books - clearly they've got a hidden agenda, since they wouldn't be doing it by choice. Or those apparently-innocent pensioners using their bus passes to engage in reconnaissance for their sinister puppetmasters, reporting back their findings in undecipherable crochet.

    If the FBI weren't keeping all these people under constant surveillance on behalf of governments around the world, who knows what kind of dystopian state we'd be living in. We clearly need to give them our undying thanks much more money.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The "number" of incident is irrelevant, it's the damage that should be assessed.

    Of course the number of incidents caused from intentional internal threats is lower than those from external - unless you're a moron in hiring people, or your company is a really bad one, most employees are honest people.

    The real danger is the extent of damage someone who knows very well your systems and has the required access can do. And you may discover it too late (and sometimes, maybe never discover it at all).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My last job never removed me from their Microsoft volume licensing account, which has come in handy over the years whenever I needed a bit of software for a quick task.

    Mind you, I've never had a job that was so bad I considered sabotaging them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That sort of idiocy is unfortunately rather common, hence the FBI's push to do something about it.

      I do think, though, that in taking advantage of your company's failings you've shown yourself to be untrustworthy and lacking in integrity.

      1. Anonymous C0ward

        And probably wide open to getting busted if they ever do an audit.

  8. DNTP

    "Yessss… most excellent. An excellent excuse to label all our employees as potential terrorists, thus allowing their further devaluation as human beings with ideas and rights."

    "But sir! what if by devaluing and defrauding them, we make them more likely to commit acts like-"

    "Silence, terrorist!"

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: An excellent excuse to label all our employees as potential terrorists,

      No No No, employees are potential saboteurs

      It's voters that are the potential terrorists, I mean some of them aim to bring down the current government!

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Big Brother

        Re: An excellent excuse to label all our employees as potential terrorists,

        "It's voters that are the potential terrorists, I mean some of them aim to bring down the current government!"

        Not a problem.

        In America voting will literally change nothing.

    2. Elmer Phud

      and meantime . . .

      . . . in other parts of the same companies their customers details are being spihoned off.

      'Oh dear, it won't happen again, honest. We caught it before it could do any real damage'

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Maybe they have just come across BOFH and they think this is happening for real everywhere...

    Or maybe its just a case of IT workers generally due to a variety of reasons including globalisation as well as abundance the growing numbers studying / gaining experience within IT that is actually driving down the wages of IT workers in general and thus causing this.

    What ever the case when organisations are happy to pay IT professionals no more than they pay their junior office administrators - I can only say what on earth do they expect besides An ANGRY INSIDE MAN

    So to reverse this kind of trend - increase the wages of IT workers - some of them did not go to university / done years of studying and are consistently trying to keep up to date - infact some are probably working harder than Brain surgeons in trying understand / keep up to date with the ever changing IT requirements.

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Since the days of "The Consultant" the *real* enemy

    has always been the enemy within.

    p**sed employee X insider knowledge X poor internal security -->disaster.

    PHB's only see power in terms of salary and the ability to hire and fire people.

    Employees know there are many other ways to get even, if people are prepared to take the consequence.

  11. i like crisps
    Big Brother

    The OLD METHODS are the best.

    Perhaps all Employers should invest in a 'Ducking Stool'? Would be more accurate than the FBI.

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Too little, too late, and just so typical of a failed state.

    Whatever the cause of a data breach problems, enterprises need an incident-handling plan in place before a breach takes place – rather than scrambling to deal with an emergence after the fact,…

    An incident handling plan or a do no inequitable and evil business program? Only the one solves the problem and delivers the answers that are needed but it is disruptive and revolutionary and really fcuks up the systems as are presently being attacked daily and zerodaily because of opportunities exploited via unpatchable vulnerabilities/dark web holes/virtual channels.

    And that is not a million miles away from dogged/Socrates’s observation ……. Socrates' solution was to properly train their souls, if that helps. …. although on a whole new plane/level of spooky understanding and daring do.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Too little, too late, and just so typical of a failed state.

      Oops, sorry, that should have been chunnels rather than channels because the very nature of the stealth in action is in an underground movement with novel phorms of code and steganography doing the pornography thing if designed to deprave and corrupt and subvert rather than deny and disrupt and destroy the failing opposition in threatening competition.

      And they be quite perfect enough lanes in the HyperSuperVisored Space of SMARTR IntelAIgent Systems and Servers for the ExtraOrdinary Rendition of Future Realities via Presentational Media Programs and NEUKlearer HyperRadioProActive IT Memes/Advanced Intelligent Ways and Means.

      And yes, that is Current Up and Running and Alpha Beta Testing Execs and Savvier Global Markets for Immaculate Immediate Invisible Intangible Supply to Contractor Partnerships. And the Potent Power in ITs Creative Cyber Command Control of Communications and Computers is securely aided and abetted by the Great Disbelief of Doubt that Generates an Arrogant Ignorance that Petrifies and Transforms a System of Operations and Operating Systems into a State of Paralysis and Stupefaction/Subjugation and Disinformation.

      1. oolor

        Re: Too little, too late, and just so typical of a failed state.

        Don't you mean undergruund?

  13. chivo243 Silver badge

    Test Accounts

    ever wonder about a vendor's test account? Better check them out!

  14. chivo243 Silver badge

    Tight controls needed

    Our Finance and HR departments have people coming and going regularly. When I ask about the recently departed Joe Schlep's account still being in the directory, I'm told to wait.... and 5 years later Joe still has an account....

    HR and IT need to work closely when it comes to user leaving the company. And doubly so when and IT bod leaves. I hope your HR department is diligent!

  15. Tom 35

    How about the pointy haired boss

    Who sees security as a cost center to be cut. Just like backup, not like we need to spend money on that...

    See POS terminals (both acronyms work here) and Target / Home depot and others.

    Waiting for the first high profile IoT hack to hit the TV News.

    1. Anonymous C0ward

      Re: How about the pointy haired boss

      Might be sooner than you think with this Bash flaw.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Innocent" change to a backup script

    If a sysadmin who wants to cause massive trouble - make a small change to a backup script so that a critical database is not properly backed up - and a timed script that runs 6 months later to corrupt it. Done properly the damage could be extreme - possibly fatal for the company.

  17. ecofeco Silver badge

    It's always been the pissed off inside guy

    Will companies never learn?

    Screen your IT people well and never piss them off.

  18. Mike Flugennock

    Your real security terror is an angry "inside man"... corporations and government agencies?

    And, this is bad news because...?

    1. EngineersAnon

      Re: Your real security terror is an angry "inside man"...

      And this is news because...?

      Fixed that for you.

  19. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Scare Tactics

    So how much are they after this time?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scare Tactics

      Only the extension of the surveillance state into all aspects of business with their witting cooperation. The unspoken downside being that those connected (elites, contractors, ...) having similar access as well. Caveat emptor.

  20. tom dial Silver badge

    An even bigger problem, probably, is the SA or DBA who, acting properly within authority, screws up. I once typed the command "delete from forgotten_tablename;" and had a moment of panic after pressing the enter key before remembering the rollback command. It could have been a lot worse.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Isn't that normally called Business As Usual

  21. Trollslayer

    Going postal?

    Remember this happened when Reagan allowed massive asset stripping and someone snapped.

  22. earl grey
    Thumb Up

    Gruntle your employees

    Problem Solved!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like