back to article That naked picture on my PC? Not mine. The IT guy put it there

Welcome again to On-Call, our Friday frolic through readers' experiences of being asked to sort things out in the office, or outside it and outside office hours. This week, a pair of responses to recent On-Call stories in which readers confronted secret directories full of decidedly Not Safe For Work images. Reader “Dave” …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Advice from an anonymous coward: Learn to keep these sorts of pictures in your head. Much safer (for now).

    1. frank ly

      The pictures and videos in my head could get me arrested in some countries.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The pictures and videos in my head could get me arrested in some countries.

        That's nothing. You can be subject to the death penalty in some countries (eg iirc Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malaysia) for not believing in things that don't exist. For example, if you're an atheist.

        1. Dave Harris Silver badge

          Re: The pictures and videos in my head could get me arrested in some countries.

          Wrong - there is no death penalty for atheists in Malaysia (I lived there as an atheist quite openly for nine years, with my muslim wife). Only PAS argues for the death penalty for apostates - it's not on the statute books at all.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Atheist/Wrong

            Quick search reveals this:

            http://www.reuters.com/article/us-religion-atheists-idUSBRE9B900G20131210

          2. Triggerfish

            Re: The pictures and videos in my head could get me arrested in some countries.

            Likewise never had problems in Malaysia as an atheist.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The pictures and videos in my head could get me arrested in some countries.

              If you are Malay you must be a Muslim in Malaysia, other races can be what they want. If you really lived there, surely you would know that?

            2. Triggerfish

              Re: The pictures and videos in my head could get me arrested in some countries. @AC

              I have never heard of anyone having problems in Malaysia and that comes from a lot of people I know who have lived and worked over there, or in the surrounding areas and have visited.

              There's no reports of religous police checking for girls in bikinis in Langkawi (tourist spot, good diving). Last time I was there I was in Penang, staying in an area that was definetly quite religous, the Muezzin used to do prayer call's usually about the time we were sitting out opposite the mosque with a beer discussing what to eat. The GF never wore a headscarf, didn't cover her arms, we were never hassled.

              My GF worked there for a couple of weeks on her own in KL, she never felt she had any problems.

              That Reuters report does not sit with my experiences I know of Malaysia anyway.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                2 points

                "Last time I was there I was in Penang"

                That's Penang. Head east, out to Sabah and you'll find things are _quite_ different.

                1. Triggerfish

                  Re: 2 points @ Alan Brown

                  Fair enough and I can't say, but I was under the impression places like Sabah, it was more issues with religous clashes like the Catholics wanting to out the name Allah in the bible, preaching to convert muslim by Chroistian organisations things like that. I was under the understanding Malaysia has freedom of religion in its law and its just those pushing for Sharia that cause trouble. I certainly have not heard of executions for apostay. (If I am wrong feel free to correct me).

                  Also AC, plenty of Malays born to Catholics and Christians as well, just because you are born Malay you are not automatically enrolled into the Muslim faith, and generally speaking Atheism comes about a bit older anyway as a lifestyle choice. A large part of the population is also Budhisst there's a large Chinese family influence in that part of SEA and so Buddhism is quite popular.

      2. Fungus Bob

        "The pictures and videos in my head could get me arrested in some countries."

        Then you'll want to stay out of Utah.

        1. Sherrie Ludwig
          Pint

          @Fungus Bob

          Utah is not so bad, Arizona is one of the worst for locking people up, suppressing voting rights, deporting people on suspicion of being brown (don't get too good a tan there, they'll deport you to Mexico). Now, you can even get a beer in Utah. See, here's one.

          1. x 7

            Re: @Fungus Bob

            " Now, you can even get a beer in Utah."

            really? I didn't think there would be a market, considering Utah is a majority Moron state

  2. chivo243 Silver badge

    Some rocks

    are smarter than these ijits. Really!

    1. Fungus Bob
      Coat

      Re: Some rocks

      Perhaps it's because the ijits in question got their rocks off....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I was once asked to unformat a WinXP laptop that a sacked director of a company had formatted to annoy the other directors. Mainly it was to recover the business information that proved he had been embezzling company funds. Not that the press was having any of that. He was as pure as the driven snow according to the journalists. He hadn't been merely pocketing company money though. There was an amazing amount of porn, mainly incest stuff. I imagine the police were as interested in prosecuting this pillar of society as the press were in pursuing him for his nefarious activities.

    1. fajensen

      I imagine the police ..

      It's the other way round: The police is maybe interested in the nefarious activities, to cover it up more effectively, while the press will want to "investigate" the Pedo-angle. That's the track record so far.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something similar

    Fairly "important" (at least in his mind) manager at work refused for a long time to have his Windows 95 (or possibly XP it was a long time ago) machine converted to NTFS partitions because he didnt have time for the conversion to be done.

    When he had to lend said laptop to someone in IT who needed one to use it was found full of rather unsavoury images for which police were called in.

    Said manager tried to blame IT for having a vendetta against him and must have remotely connected up to his machine to put images on.

    How much joy was had when it was pointed out that no-one could remotely connect to his machine because he hadn't allowed us to convert to NTFS.

    He was never seen again!

    1. Adam 1

      Re: Something similar

      How does the file system help or hinder your ability to remotely connect?

      I remember dialing into various Windows 95 boxes with pcanywhete and later on vnc.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Something similar

        Because when the file system is FAT or FAT32 you can't remotely connect to the C: share like you can with NTFS.

        When the machine doesn't have VNC/PCAnywhere/NetOp on it it is quite difficult to blame someone else!

        1. x 7

          Re: Something similar

          "Because when the file system is FAT or FAT32 you can't remotely connect to the C: share like you can with NTFS."

          so all those networked Win98 boxes I used to look after were running NTFS were they? I don't think so - they were on FAT32 and we had no problems with network sharing. Likewise nowadays I have no problems sharing FAT32 pen drives. Methinks someone is reciting old wives tales

          1. sjaddy

            Re: Something similar

            And I think you shared out the C: as an explicit share and not accessing the C$?

            If you were accessing the C$ on FAT32 on Win98 you should have patented the way you did it because you would have made a fortune because it wasn't technically possible according to everyone else.

            if you create a share on a drive then yes you can access it on Fat32.

            Maybe you don't actually remember what you did?

            1. x 7

              Re: Something similar

              nobody mentioned C$

              1. sjaddy

                Re: Something similar

                Nobody mentioned it was an explicit share either!

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Something similar

          "Because when the file system is FAT or FAT32 you can't remotely connect to the C: share like you can with NTFS."

          Really? So please explain why that old XP PC in the corner with the 40GB FAT32 harddisc is shared on my machine as Z:...

      2. Wzrd1

        Re: Something similar

        Did your keyboard break?

        Net use \\computername\c$...

        Or psexec -s \\computername cmd

    2. Cynic_999

      Re: Something similar

      "

      How much joy was had when it was pointed out that no-one could remotely connect to his machine because he hadn't allowed us to convert to NTFS.

      "

      Huh? All those remote sessions I carried out before NTFS was invented must be a figment of my imagination ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Something similar

      I'd say more likely some flavour of Windows NT (such as Windows XP), as NTFS never made it into Windows 95.

      1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

        Re: Something similar

        That's right, 95/98 do not have NTFS, nor administrative (C$ etc) shares. OTOH NT 4.0 does not have FAT32. First Windows to get support for all three together was 2000.

    4. Wzrd1

      Re: Something similar

      Having had something highly similar, although without the screensaver, well, initially.

      A user of a military system, on a military network, had been issued a computer for his exclusive usage. While running my weekly vulnerability scan, I took note of that week's systems that stubbornly refused to accept their patches and lined up my work for the afternoon, as the LAN/WAN and PC shops were short staffed and everything had to be patched by end of week.

      So, after wading through a few boxes remotely, repairing WSUS, SMS, etc, I come along to one box that had zero bytes free on an HD that was both recently imaged and quite generous for the image.

      Run the remove clear all temp script, still pretty full, run the clear old uninstall patch script, still bloody full. Check user profile size, most of the drive!

      Running a dir /s > listing.txt and parsing to see if there were some odd temps that were missed by the usual scripts revealed an extensive stash in My Pictures - many, uniquely named to suggest pre-teen pornographic imagery.

      At that point, it became a matter for the military police, who received a copy of listing.txt and a short report.

      Whereupon a helpful SCCM push changed his screensaver to display the imagery from My Pictures.

      We averaged one per year in the theater.

      All could have avoided prosecution by simply keeping their filth off of government computers and leaving them on their personal computers, which were prohibited from touching government networks.

      Our CERT ran annual "porn scans", as did CENTCOM. Something all users were briefed on before they were allowed to sign for their new accounts.

      Mindbogglingly dim!

  5. eJ2095

    Yup

    I get that now with peoples Phones and Tablet, they have downloaded a dodgy APK now they getting ransom ware pop ups appearing..

    You asked them how they got it and they deny everything!..

    The Mysterious SMUT Virus i call it, sits between screen and chair!!

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Yup Denial

      Ours was an idiot who, was last one in the office last thing on Friday, sent a very bad image to a colour laser printer. In the early days of colour postscript, the slow old printers would take an age to process the postscript and the guy just kept sending print after print when the first print didn't appear straight away. Eventually he lost patience and left the office.

      So the prints were sitting on the printer output tray on Monday morning when the staff turned up. It wasn't just a sacking, it was a police matter and he was traced by logs.

      1. YetAnotherLocksmith

        Re: Yup Denial

        And he was dumb enough not to be logged in as someone else? Wow. Double dumb.

  6. Yag
    Trollface

    Another reason...

    ... for NOT being an ass to people you might need.

    1. Dan McIntyre

      Re: Another reason...

      I've said to people for years "never piss off your IT people - they can make your life hell".

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Another reason...

        So IT people can be petty and vindictive. Wonderful.

        Why all the fake outrage? Nobody here watch porn?

        Or is it just a technical superiority complex - I'm better than you because I know how to cover my tracks.

        1. Oliver Mayes

          Re: Another reason...

          Maybe that people shouldn't be using work computers to browse and store that stuff? Keep it on your own machine so I don't have to deal with the inevitable viruses you've brought in. Not to mention having to replace your suspiciously stained keyboard that suddenly stopped working.

          1. MonkeyCee

            Re: Another reason...

            "Not to mention having to replace your suspiciously stained keyboard that suddenly stopped working."

            Power supplies coated with "candle wax".

            1. Chris King

              Re: Another reason...

              Sorry, but that really isn't a spillage of PVA glue !

          2. IsJustabloke
            Stop

            Re: Another reason...

            "Maybe that people shouldn't be using work computers to browse and store that stuff?"

            Absolutely correct but "Dave" was vindictive, he didn't report the guy until he realised the guy wasn't going to crawl to him

            1. lorisarvendu

              Re: Another reason...

              "Absolutely correct but "Dave" was vindictive, he didn't report the guy until he realised the guy wasn't going to crawl to him."

              I can kinda see your point here, but I suspect it's the way the article has been written, in the more jovial and laddish way that the Reg tends to like to portray "wacky" BOFH-style IT techs. Possibly "Dave" may have couched his original mail in more sober terms.

              An alternative way of looking at it (if you ignore the possibly "embellished" style) is that they tried to help the guy out without fuss, and he not only threw it back in their face, but also tried to accuse them of something that no IT techie would ever do (not only is it quite frankly beneath us - we're already clever enough not to have to resort to such nastiness - but we know that our tracks would also be recorded).

              In such circumstances Dave and co did what anyone would do, shrug and fall back on strict procedure - disable the offending user's account, requisition their equipment for investigation, and then inform their management.

              Anyway, if Dave is to be believed, then the guy accused them of planting the file themselves, when he plainly knew this was not the case, since he'd obviously downloaded it himself. I hope you're not implying that you consider his behaviour acceptable?

              1. Wzrd1

                Re: Another reason...

                "Absolutely correct but "Dave" was vindictive, he didn't report the guy until he realised the guy wasn't going to crawl to him."

                I've been in information security for government networks for quite a few years and have given that "don't do that anymore, it's bloody intimately logged" talk quite a few times.

                Some idiots do try that dodge and I then dump the idiot's traffic logs and ask him how he'd like his superior to see that high risk activity. I then assign them back for retraining on their annual end user security awareness training, which wouldn't have been insisted upon had they simply acknowledged the warning. Not because I'm being petty, but because a gentle warning wasn't acknowledged and I was certain more and likely worse behavior would endanger an entire bloody network.

                Endangering an entire network, all to get your jollies is a career ending error, take the warning, don't do it again and we'll forget about it. Do that crap on the civilian network, on your personal equipment.

                After all, if you get malware from that surfing, now I have to investigate, report on it way upstairs and some serious personnel actions are certain to follow, with an iron clad chain of evidence.

        2. lorisarvendu

          Re: Another reason...

          "Or is it just a technical superiority complex - I'm better than you because I know how to cover my tracks."

          No, but it is knowing that if you watch and download porn on a work computer, while you're at work, you're probably breaking your organisation's code of conduct (which you would have agreed to when you joined), thereby risking your job if you're found out, and risking the security of your organisation's data and your own. Porn sites are a notorious vector for malware.

        3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

          Re: Another reason...

          Did you actually read the article?

          Downloading porn at work is usually a misconduct offense. The older chap did the employee a favour by warning him not to do it again, and a sensible person would accept that and move on - strictly speaking the correct procedure is to immediately report it to their manager.

          Instead, claiming that 'IT did it' is trying to get the IT guy sacked. Planting data to get someone sacked is probably a criminal offence, too. At that point, would you do anything other than immediately escalate the incident as high as you could? If I was feeling extremely nice I might offer the person in question a final chance to reconsider, but if they persisted - escalation *and* if I ever ran into them at another firm, you can bet I'd recommend a scan of their IT equipment. Try to get someone sacked for something they didn't do? You can rot in hell for that one.

          1. lorisarvendu

            Re: Another reason...

            "The older chap did the employee a favour by warning him not to do it again, and a sensible person would accept that and move on - strictly speaking the correct procedure is to immediately report it to their manager."

            The exact scenario I found myself in about x years ago, after noticing videos with "interesting" names going past while backing up prior to a user's PC upgrade. I deleted the files and had a quiet word, along the lines of "you really shouldn't be doing that", but a year later I upgraded the same user again, and similar files were seen.

            In the first instance he was very apologetic and I felt that the matter could probably end there. However by the second instance we had implemented web-tracking so I had to make things official, not only to protect myself but also hopefully him from downloading something really unpleasant and getting a rollocking. He had a verbal warning from his manager and that was the end of it, but luckily for both of us our organisation was not very draconian, or he could have been sacked, and so could I for not reporting him the first time (something that was continually on my mind while making my decisions).

        4. djack

          Re: Another reason...

          "So IT people can be petty and vindictive. Wonderful."

          Umm, no. IT were just going to leave it with a quiet word so the guy can sort himself out.

          Instead it was the user that was being spiteful. He was accusing the tech of deliberately planting an image on the user's machine - an offence much more serious than looking at a bit of porn. Collection and presentation of evidence is very much warranted in case the thing blows up threatening the iccocent tech's job.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Another reason...

            There is actually the small possibility that he didn't in fact DL the image. I had a colleague many years ago who would regularly send cheeky emails or download things from other peoples PCs if they left them unlocked as a joke.

            Its probably why our company now has a mandatory locking policy when away from your desk. Some people still fail to do that though.

            Still harsh to blame the IT guy, could have been handled better by the pc owner.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Another reason...

              "There is actually the small possibility that he didn't in fact DL the image. I had a colleague many years ago who would regularly send cheeky emails or download things from other peoples PCs if they left them unlocked as a joke."

              No, what you're suggesting might be the case if it was just a single image, but the image trove they found and the browser trail they uncovered would argue strongly for a pattern of behaviour and not a single instance which might be attributable to a prank.

        5. MonkeyCee

          Re: Another reason...

          Not sure how you interpreted it as petty and vindictive, since both the stories involve:

          a) IT finding something that could get the user fired

          b) IT not reporting the user, but advising them to knock it off

          c) User then blames IT for said sacking offence

          d) IT then reports user

          Seems like the user is being vindictive here. Since watching porn at work seems to be OK by you, then imagine if it where say evidence of embezzlement that IT found.

          Can't really see any outrage, the superiority stuff is probably just people with common sense wondering why the hell someone would do their porn browsing at work (where it can get you fired) versus at home, or other private location. Or maybe it's just satisfaction at the fate befalling managers who are too lazy or dumb to use their own kit.

          As for "I'm better than you" it's less about covering tracks and more about work is for doing work. If I want to read my My Little Pony slash then I can do it on my own time, on my own device.

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: Another reason...

            @MonkeyCee b) IT not reporting the user, but advising them to knock it off

            I agree with everything you say, but I think "knock it off" is an unfortunate expression in this context.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Another reason...

            > Can't really see any outrage, the superiority stuff is probably just people with common sense wondering why the hell someone would do their porn browsing at work (where it can get you fired) versus at home, or other private location.

            Probably has better bandwith at work? OTOH, that's what you use your BYOD machine for; download on the office LAN and take home for later... "consumption"....

            Still a bad idea, as many companies track where traffic comes from and goes to, of course.

        6. Crisp

          Re: Nobody here watch porn?

          Not at work I don't.

          (expect for work on one website, and believe me, it's not the dream job that it sounds like.)

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: Nobody here watch porn?

            My vindictive comment was actually in reply to the "never piss off your IT people - they can make your life hell" comment, but ho hum.

            You've all assumed work time... nowhere is there any evidence of that.

            We had one of these incidents where I worked in the late 90s. The only reason the person who's PC it was found on wasn't marched out was because they were female. Turned out that the nightshift IT ops crew had been using her PC to while away the hours. That scenario clearly wouldn't have occurred to these two muppets.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Nobody here watch porn?

              "Turned out that the nightshift IT ops crew had been using her PC to while away the hours."

              Which would have been obvious from the timestamps in the logs

            2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

              Re: Nobody here watch porn?

              @Adam 52 - So the nightshift had her password, or the company wasn't using individual user names? Either should invalidate the "evidence".

          3. Wzrd1

            Re: Nobody here watch porn?

            Not at work, I don't. I monitor our networks, however my network is monitored by a remote shop.

            As I rather like my job, I'll not violate our company's regulations or our government clients regulations.

            And some people wonder why they get the sack...

        7. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Another reason...

          "Why all the fake outrage? Nobody here watch porn?"

          Not illegal stuff and not on systems paid for by $EMPLOYER

      2. Peter Simpson 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: Another reason...

        IT, Finance and the receptionist/facilities people.

        Remember them at Christmas, give them a nice word when you walk by, and treat them with the respect they deserve. They all do boring work, with a smile on their faces, every day of the year. They can make your life easier...or hell -- your choice.

        Aside from one facilities person who I seem to have somehow wronged in some obscure (to me) but irreparable way, that strategy has always paid off for me.

        1. Robert Moore
          Angel

          Re: Another reason...

          > IT, Finance and the receptionist/facilities people.

          You forgot the security guard.Low pay, and horribly boring job. I word or two of greeting may just make their day, and when you need their help, you usually NEED their help.

          1. DiViDeD

            Re: Another reason...

            Couldn't agree more. Except you missed out House Services/Facilities Management. I've always got to know those guys ever since, many years ago, one particular manager came into the office to discover his office door had been replaced with a blank section of wall, and a new access door provided from the bin store behind his block.

            As I remember, nobody ever owned up to that one. On the other hand, nobody got fired either. Happy days.

        2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: Another reason...

          "give them a nice word when you walk by, and treat them with the respect they deserve."

          Small courtesies do indeed work wonders. And it doesn't take too much effort to begin with.

          There is no need to confine it to specific lines of work - most human beings appreciate a nice word, or a piece of friendly banter, to lighten up a dull day.

        3. Wzrd1

          Re: Another reason...

          "IT, Finance and the receptionist/facilities people."

          As I'm the information security guy, I'll add in HR. I end up dealing with them over severe policy violations on a regular basis and honestly, that job really sucks. Boring most of the time, firing people, not a job that I envy them.

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Another reason...

        I've said to people for years "never piss off your IT people - they WILL make your life hell".

        There fixed it for you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Another reason...

          even if you don't piss them off - they don't like users at all

      4. John Sanders
        Angel

        Re: Another reason...

        Or my favourite, simply refuse to help, pretend with a very sorry pose that some problem is unsolvable (why help an asshole?)

      5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Another reason...

        > I've said to people for years "never piss off your IT people

        s/IT/IT, HR and Finance/*

        1. Dr Scrum Master

          Re: Another reason...

          > I've said to people for years "never piss off your IT people

          s/IT/IT, HR and Finance/*

          HR are there to be pissed off and brought down several pegs for the petty obstructive bureaucrats they are.

      6. Fatman
        Joke

        Re: Another reason...

        <quote>I've said to people for years "never piss off your IT people - they can make your life hell".</quote>

        That was a lesson painfully learned by a mangler who annoyed one of our networking people.

        His wired ethernet connection would randomly drop from 1Gbs full duplex down to 10Mbs HALF duplex without warning.

        Served the mangling asshole right.

  7. Elmer Phud

    What ?

    " and even had them in the same My Pictures folder along side his wedding photos.”"

    Someone actually uses 'My Pictures'?

    1. Archie Woodnuts

      Re: What ?

      My friend, that isn't the half of it. I have users that use My Videos.

    2. muddysteve

      Re: What ?

      "Someone actually uses 'My Pictures'?"

      I do - makes backing up easier.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What ?

      My Porn would have been too obvious.

      1. death&taxes

        Re: What ?

        ...'My Secret Files' then?

      2. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: What ?

        My Porn would have been too obvious.

        My God Pass The Eye Bleach ?

      3. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: What ?

        My Porn would have been too obvious.

        Not always.. sometimes it's self expression. I had a "My Porn" folder for HR stuff. I used "Piled Shit" for manglement stuff. Then there was "NSFW" folder for all IT work stuff. Being creative can be fun... One of the guys I worked with even more creative to the point that if he hadn't been in IT and managing himself, he might have been in serious trouble for his labels.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What ?

        I thought it was called YouPorn?

    4. Captain Queeg

      Re: What ?

      "Someone actually uses 'My Pictures'?"

      That's the sacking offence, right there!

      :o)

      1. John Sanders
        Pint

        Re: What ?

        You won the beer today!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, in t'mill

    A friend had an IT management job, in a textile mill (up north, of course), not too long ago. His manager was a bit of a bastard. Not a good idea when said friend i) has access to your browsing history and ii) you regularly visit a site called milfseekers, from your desk!

    1. TheProf

      Re: Meanwhile, in t'mill

      milfseekers

      Is that .com or .co.uk?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile, in t'mill

        I used to work for a bus company and I once found bustycoons.com on the bosses search history, needless to say I was shocked.

        1. Peter Simpson 1
          Thumb Up

          Re: Meanwhile, in t'mill

          Mmmm...raccoon porn...kinky!

          :-)

          // say it in Hedly Lamarr's voice from Blazing Saddles

        2. ElectricFox
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Meanwhile, in t'mill

          Is bus tycoons the sequel to transport tycoon?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meanwhile, in t'mill

      Sure it wasn't millseekers, textiles and all that

  9. joeW

    Its not every day I learn a new word from El Reg

    Now, to see if I can slip "traduce" into a sentence today.

    1. BenR
      Headmaster

      Re: Its not every day I learn a new word from El Reg

      I had to bloody well look it up!!

      Grammar Nazi - because.

    2. David Roberts

      Re: Its not every day I learn a new word from El Reg

      Traducer is sadly often mis-used to describe an electronic component.

      I blame these soft keyboards.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Its not every day I learn a new word from El Reg

        I call your traduce and raise you calumniate.

        With apologies to all the Calumns.

  10. trog-oz
    Headmaster

    When I was in a similar position...

    I work in schools and some time ago, a student came in asking me to look at his laptop, which had been loaned to him by the school. Finding it full of porn, I had to report it. Normally, this would go straight to the principal but in this case, the chap's mother worked at the school, so I told her instead. I doubt he'll ever look at porn again!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon
      Joke

      Re: When I was in a similar position...

      How did you recognise his Mum? ;)

    2. lorisarvendu
      Happy

      Re: When I was in a similar position...

      Years ago, working the helpdesk next to the IT rooms on the late shift. Nice and quiet, only a handful of students in. Then comes a knock on the door from a panicked student. He shows me the PC he's logged onto. He's been browsing some sites with nice topless photos on (nothing below the waist, all very Page 3), and he's obviously clicked on a picture to download it and accidentally selected "set as background". Student desktops were restricted to our standard logo and couldn't normally be changed by the user, but "set as desktop" was a loophole and worked. So he now had a proud set of boobs for his desktop picture and was terrified because he couldn't change it.

      After a stern talking to (while trying to keep a straight face) I sorted it out easily with my admin account, and then proceeded to tell everyone else in the IT team the next day.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: When I was in a similar position...

        Ooh, the panicked calls for help after accidentally clicking "set as background"!!!

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: When I was in a similar position...

        Combining this, and the above suggestion that IT can be vindictive...

        At my last company there was a mostly friendly run-in of some sort between IT and one department. Quite possibly some argument down the pub. So they sneaked in at lunchtime, and changed their screensavers and desktops to some very "interesting" images. The PC's being locked down meant that it was impossible to change them back without an admin password.

        At a less free-wheeling company that could have ended quite badly. But seems to have only resulted in something else to discuss at the pub...

        1. Havin_it
          Pint

          Re: When I was in a similar position...

          >So [IT] sneaked in at lunchtime...

          They left the pub? At lunchtime?

          Calling BS on this one.

      3. Chris King

        Re: When I was in a similar position...

        Back when I had to man the front desk, students knew that jumping the queue was a Very Bad Idea.

        One guy didn't, and he barged past ten other students queueing up patiently in front of him. Strike One.

        He then started talking down at me like I was stupid. Strike Two.

        That didn't get him what he wanted, so he started screaming insults at me. Strike Three, you're out !

        "Right then, let's see why your account is suspended..."

        <clicky clicky clicky> DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER !

        He was still screaming abuse at this point, so I decided it was time to shut this loon up. I raised my voice from "Normal" to "Everyone In The Building Will Hear Me"...

        "YOU ARE MASSIVELY OVER QUOTA AND YOUR ACCOUNT IS FULL OF JPG FILES WITH PORN-RELATED NAMES LIKE DOG-SCREWS-MILF-001.JPG. QUITE A CATALOGUE OF IT YOU'VE GOT THERE, SON !"

        Did I mention that all of the other students in the queue were female ? If looks could kill, he wouldn't just be dead, he would have been a rapidly expanding cloud of greasy particles.

        Chummy suddenly lost his composure, and I suspected that bladder/bowel control were about to go too, so I let him beat a hasty retreat - hey, I didn't want him soiling the carpets !

        "Next please !"

      4. HmmmYes

        Re: When I was in a similar position...

        Ahh yes. I can see IT - Things called 'Women' exist. And they have boobs - bigger than our moobs!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "in the same My Pictures folder along side his wedding photos"

    Maybe he wed a porn actress, thus it was just family photos?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some of the IT guys can be just as silly

    All I am going to say

    IT Manager

    Proxy Server (that he setup the week before)

    Public access to the proxy logs!!

    He no longer works here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some of the IT guys can be just as silly

      Last office I worked in made everyones downloads visible on the intranet complete with rankings for quantity. Seemed to be enough to keep the nasty stuff out and the allowed legal stuff under control.

      1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

        Re: Some of the IT guys can be just as silly

        Jolly good idea! Then everybody can see who's been slacking off :)

        1. Crisp

          Re: Some of the IT guys can be just as silly

          Jolly good idea! Then everybody can see who's been slacking whacking off :)

          FTFY

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some of the IT guys can be just as silly

      Did you used to work with my Dad?

  13. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Use your own fondleslab if you want to look at rympypumpylicious pictures and movies... safer that way...

  14. Paul Shirley

    I've got a degree

    I've got a degree but I'm only a Reg reader. Does that make me lower than a Reg hack?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've got a degree

      I got two and still only a reader. I don't think those two factors are correlated.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better left alone

    First role was at a multinational in head office working in deskside support in the late 90s. Dial up stopped working on this laptop so I set to work - having fixed it I fired up the modem and opened the internet browser to check it was working. Open favourites and at the top of the list were some... interesting.... websites. My naive 20 y/o self didn't realise nylon fetish was a real thing.

    Went to the boss to report it (porn on work laptop, using work dial up = bad) - was told the laptop belonged to the global head of legal, so delete the favourites and pretend it never happened. Probably sage advice.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Senior bods

    Years ago when stories in the IT press started to talk about employers being sued by irate female employees because male employees were smut surfing in the office, I was teaching a Unix security class and brought up the subject of content which could get the company into trouble. One of the students worked for a large well know IT consultancy business, which was of course a partnership.

    He related a case they'd had at work where they'd been told to introduce some basic porn filters to the proxy server. Said work was duly done over one weekend.

    First thing Monday morning his phone rang and a user starts berating him that they can no longer get to "www.MassiveTitsOrSomeSuch.com" so he patiently explained that the management had instructed the IT department to implement these filters. At which the the guy on the other end of the phone said "Well I'm a F*&^ing partner, it's my F*&^ing company and if I want to look at porn it's none of your F*&^ing business"

    Eventually they compromised by laying on a totally separate Internet connection for an isolated PC in the partners office so he could smut surf to his hearts content without troubling the corporate network.

    1. 's water music

      Re: Senior bods

      Yup, I worked at a large prof services partnership then-abouts and when SMS inventory was implemented we gathered shortcuts as a means of looking at installed software. This ended up capturing browser favourites. This raised some troubling issues and was swiftly disabled before Something Needed To Be Done

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Senior bods

      Why would you need to lay on a separate service? Just tell him to use google translate as a proxy:

      Translate (site) from (random language) to English. If the site's in English Translate will just proxy it through and read as Google Translate on the server logs.

    3. Havin_it
      Unhappy

      Re: Senior bods

      >www.MassiveTitsOrSomeSuch.com

      Must have been years ago, it's down now. I am epic disappoint.

      Might buy it myself...

  17. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. alferdpacker

      Are you trolling? Dave didn't "ignore it", he told the guy and the guy tried to get someone else fired to cover his own arse.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Belief

    It's the not believing that's the issue. The nonexistence is *ahem* immaterial.

  19. Captain Queeg

    Some time ago...

    ... we found around 75Gb of pictures on a file share, Nothing too racy, but certainly NSFW and the largest directory on the box by some way and all owned by a Senior Manager.

    The Service Desk Manager took advice from HR and it was decided to simply delete, issue a discreet warning and let it lie.

    The offender then elected to raise a formal grievance against the SDM for deleting his files.

    It didn't end well for him...

  20. x 7

    simple tip

    you can always tell who views porn on the corporate computer: they've always got "sticky keys" enabled.

    Or at least it feels like they have...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    some companies it's pretty causal

    when on work placement at a small stock brokerage they had a quite laid back at attitude to NSFW stuff. every one would share there smut pretty openly (men and women) but we also had good email filters. IT had a Naughty and nice list (given to us in part be the CEO in part those we liked) of who could see there stuff and who couldn't. as the new boy I had the job of showing those on the nice list the porn caught in the mail filter and coping it to a usb stick or CD for them. (and a copy to the IT porn server to which the CEO had access) after a year there my present when I left 3 cd's of porn from the server.

    (for the record the Women got the dirtiest stuff)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: some companies it's pretty causal

      In the late 80s I ran the shadow IT service for the dept I worked in a major computer manufacture (by the nature of our work we were always way ahead of the IT dept). One morning I noticed we were getting close to running out of space of a drive we expected to be OK space wise for at least another 6 months. A quick "du" revealed the creation of the alt.sex.pictures news group. Back then we had a full Usenet feed including the groups which would now be considered NSFW and would sure as hell get you fired in that company now. Apart from the technical issue of disk space I thought I'd better ask for some guidance on the issue of the new group (and it's parent too), so I asked the manager. He came back with "if you filter one group we could find we become responsible for filtering all the groups and that could become a full time job. So just let it be."

      The usage stats suggested that the women in the area where just as curious as the men.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: some companies it's pretty causal

      "(for the record the Women got the dirtiest stuff)"

      That gels with my early experiences working in a video rental place - women hired the most (and the most hardcore) porn.

    3. JulieM

      Re: some companies it's pretty causal

      I'm not surprised. Men's porn is boring.

      1. x 7

        Re: some companies it's pretty causal

        "I'm not surprised. Men's porn is boring"

        so how is women's porn different?

        uglier women?

        smaller less threatening penises?

        prettier men?

        more lesbian?

        more artful? (snigger)

        reduced colour palette (i.e. more grey tones)?

        I'm sure we'd all like to know as it'll help next time we're renting videos in preparation for a mucky night in

    4. x 7

      Re: some companies it's pretty causal

      did you mean "causal"

      or "casual"? Slight difference...

  22. Keith Glass
    Trollface

    Years ago, I ran the night-shift at a SOC for a US Federal Agency. . .

    . . . .and we started getting indications every Friday night, 10PM or so, about some malware transmission attempts. To the same IP. And only late on Friday nights.

    After 3 weeks of this (week three, we were waiting for it. . .), we captured everything going to that IP. First two pics were serious jail time material. At that point, we just let it spool to the directory and called the cops.

    Cops show up 10 minutes later, look at the evidence, and ask us to burn it to DVD. The FOLLOWING week, the cops were down in the SOC with us, waiting. As soon as it started, cop speaks into the radio, they arrest the guy. . . in mid download.

    But the best part was, I got invited to go up to the ground floor and see the scuzbucket walked out in cuffs. . .

  23. Alien8n
    Alien

    Been there - twice

    Before I went into engineering and the IT I worked for a small electronics firm making gaskets. The boss found out I was a bit of a geek and knew my way around a PC. So I'm on his PC in his office trying to fix whatever it was that he wanted me to fix (it was a very long time ago) and for some reason I needed to minimise all the windows. To find in the centre of his desktop a rather pornographic image.

    Shoot forward about 7 years (and 4 OS versions) and I'm now in the IT department (via engineering) at an optical electronics company. 3 instances at the 1 firm:

    Case 1) I'm informed that when the company first got internet access a certain IT manager wasn't aware that everyone's browsing history was logged. He acquired the nickname "Mr Wetty" as his browsing history was pretty much just porn.

    Case 2) IT is asked to investigate the browsing history on the supervisor's computer in the clean room. Lots of porn is discovered in the browsing history and temp files and the first thought is to sack the supervisor, but something didn't seem right, so we did a bit more investigation. This turns up that the browsing was done at about 2am, while the supervisor who was logged in works days. Turns out the night supervisor was logging in using the day supervisor's account to browse.

    Case 3) Mentioned a few times before, a senior manager was complaining that Outlook was running slowly. Immediate suspicion is video and picture attachments (there were lots being sent around, the usual cats and funny jokes). We were half right, turns out one of the production staff had been emailing porn to a senior manager. Not just the odd picture, but hundreds of images. All the images are of a daily innocuous nature, no worse than found in any top shelf magazine so the decision within the team is to delete the offending smut and give him a gentle reminder that as he and the production operative were about 2 months away from redundancy he might want to make sure he avoided any sackable activity. Interesting butterfly tattoo though ;)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give and take

    When a member of staff is sensible and tends to work, anything I find that is dodgy (within reason) get quietly deleted without comment.

    I have more interest in the staff that go off site knowing how to keep their laptop clean and working than what they do when off-site, as long as it is completely compliant when here, and going through any customs, we're good.

    One engineer took a picture of himself with his tackle out, no problem really, except the same guy was going to take us to court for unfair dismissal, once I learnt that I told the HR dept about the image.

    Strangely, not long after that was mentioned he dropped the case.

    Don't be jerk unless you have a spotless history because you never quite know what has been overlooked in the past.

  25. x 7

    never piss off the IT Team?

    If you're an IT company never piss off the help desk....in case they hack the security on the servers, and the managements & directors PCs and place caches of compromising images at key locations as blackmail.

    Yep, it happened at the Islamic Computer Company near Blackburn and Burnley.....The lowest paid had the highest technical skills and always managed to get round whatever blocks the Networks team imposed

    Also best to make sure all the technical records have backups (they didn't......scuppered intentions to offer tech support from the "new" company post bankruptcy).

  26. Jim-234

    When presented with a messed up computer operating system, I usually just tell the person to go back, copy all their data files off (if possible) and then bring it back to me. Then the first thing I do is erase the drive (or toss it if it's old), and reset the system from scratch. I tell them that's the only way I'll work on it, pretty much delete and start over.

    I find it's often quicker and makes the computer seem magically faster not having all the unwanted junk over many years, and also I don't have to worry about whatever they were up to in their private lives.

    Given the difficulty in truly being sure you have gotten rid of some of the really bad malware out there, the whole just wiping it out and starting from scratch is sometimes a lot quicker / easier / safer, and it avoids all kinds of "issues" that may arise.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having managed the IT for a company where most of the engineers were away from home most of the time and all had laptops I introduced a slightly more pragmatic approach to porn. I simply told them that I didn't want to find it on the company laptops... but they were free to connect their own personal external HDDs to store whatever they wanted such as movies even of the non-porn kind. This wound up "working so well" that the buggers would often be found in the workshop swapping content.

  28. MachDiamond Silver badge

    What happens in Vegas….

    There should be a class early on about not using one's work computer for downloading or storing files of a controversial nature. Warez, porn and things of that ilk should only live on a personal computer. Activities like searching for a new job are best done outside of ones current employer's system/hardware. I've seen stories of companies that have flags for email in the system that might indicate that an employee is shopping for a new job. Every employment contract I have seen gives an employer permission to monitor what goes on with company issued hardware and bandwidth.

    A newspaper in Chicago decided to eliminate their photography department and fired all of their photographers. All of them were required to return the (very nice) photo gear that was checked out to them leaving many without a camera since they just used what the newspaper had entrusted to them for everything. Some people do the same thing with laptops, tablets and smartphones by using them for both work and personal. Keeping personal stuff on one's own kit is prudent. Getting fired or laid off with no notice might mean having to turn in a laptop full of important papers without having the chance to copy and/or delete them.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: What happens in Vegas….

      > Activities like searching for a new job are best done outside of ones current employer's system/hardware.

      The first job I had as a Unix admin the department bought a LaserJet (original model, it was that long ago) just to make peoples CVs look better when they were printed out.

      Now that's looking after your staff

  29. Fritzo2162

    Netscape? Did this happen is 1998?

  30. Simon Lyon

    About 10 years I was on the skeleton Xmas/Boxing Day IT day shift - major bank so a few guys and gals had to be there.

    Since I was the email guy I had mail queue monitors running while I read a book - with a surprising number of traffic for countrywide empty offices.

    Took a closer look and found GIFs and JPEGs flying everywhere with interesting names. Took an even closer look and found traffic was 90%+ doginess being flung around between colleagues over remote dialup. Probably about 50 different people.

    "Favourite" - I use the term loosely - was someone doing something deeply unnatural to a stiletto shoe.

    Nothing arrestable but alerted my manager. He said there was no policy against it so just ignore it. Obviously not going to tell you which bank doesn't give a toss about their user's use of company equipment for porn-slinging.

    1. x 7

      "traffic was 90%+ doginess"

      I so hope thats a misprint.

      You need mean dodginess didn't you? Or was there really canine porn flying around?

      1. Havin_it

        Wow

        Much excite

        Lipstick is deployed

        So fetish

        Wow

  31. Chris King

    Oh, did the cleaner block your toilet as well ?

    The guy with the thing about older ladies and doggies who loved each other very much (mentioned earlier in this thread) wasn't the only Friend of Humanity I had to deal with in that job...

    Another bad-tempered specimen did the queue-jump thing and was sent packing, just as the head of the Estates Division walked in.

    "He's been annoying you as well, Chris ?"

    "Nothing I can't handle. What did he do to you then ?"

    "Seems he's blocked his toilet, and threw his toys out of the pram because we wouldn't send someone out that instant".

    "So you're going to make him live with it for a while then ?"

    "Oh yes, the lawns need tending to, that's a higher priority right now".

    "But it's the middle of winter and there's several inches of snow on the ground !"

    "True, but you can never start too early with lawns - toodle-pip !"

    Moral of the story: Pissing off the IT folks is one thing, but never EVER piss off the people who fix your plumbing. Not being able to flush sucks a whole lot more than not being able to print.

    1. JulieM

      Re: Oh, did the cleaner block your toilet as well ?

      Cultivate friendships with Buildings Maintenance and Janitorial staff, and anyone who uses the smoking corner.

      Anyone whose job it is to make sure you are able to do your job, is someone you want on-side.

  32. swm Silver badge
    Big Brother

    xxx.lanl.gov

    I used to visit xxx.lanl.gov quite regularly at work. I knew that the IT department had many net monitoring devices and wondered if they would take some action. I never heard a word about it though. (xxx.lanl.gov is now arxiv.org)

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