back to article Sysadmin 'fesses up to wrecking his former employer's IT systems

A former sysadmin with HP-spinoff Agilent has pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging the company's systems after he was laid off. Kenneth Kezeor, 47, worked for Varian from 1997 until 2010, when it was bought by Agilent. Two years later, he was laid off as part of a general staff reduction. He did not take the news well, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 years?

    He'd have been better off killing the boss with his car - easy jail time

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 10 years?

      He'd have been better off killing the boss with his car - easy jail time

      He'd be better off joining the police and confiscate some assets in the executive car park.

    2. TimePilot84

      Re: 10 years?

      He should have raped his boss. They only give 6 months to first time offenders down there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 10 years?

        6 months at most, but that's only because that rape was in accordance with their Christian values.

        If a man was the victim of the rape, I will guarantee you that the judge would be possessed by the Lord himself and smite the perpetrator in His holy name (death penalty for him and at least every family member one removed)!

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    3. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: 10 years?

      The government here takes breaking to a computer system very seriously. The only ones who don't g to jail are the TLA's and certain friendly FLA's. Oh.. and Norks. Can't forget them.

      The cynic in me wants to add "and certain OS makers who force crap upgrades".. but that would be a digression.

    4. FuzzyWuzzys
      Facepalm

      Re: 10 years?

      The 10 years he's going to serve, he could have learned to be a markets trader and pissed billions of his bank's money up the wall on a whim and still only done 3 months and a slap on the wrist!

  2. Jim 43

    He's probably better off in prison for the housing, meals, and new career training.

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      1. cd / && rm -rf *
        WTF?

        Don't forget, more sex than he ever wanted. ;)

        Er, have you seen his pic?

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Er, have you seen his pic?

          Have you seen Bubba's pic?

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. Autonomous Cowherd

            Prison rape

            Rape is indeed very funny. Well done all of you.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Prison rape

              Careful as you get down off your moral high horse, don't want to arouse it in any way.

            2. Bloakey1

              Re: Prison rape

              "Rape is indeed very funny. Well done all of you."

              OK, what if we change that aggressive word rape and call it surprise sex. Is that better?

              Personally I love a bit of black humour and those who ride moral high horses have further to fall than those of us in the gutter as it were.

              1. zappahey

                Re: Prison rape

                Make it a comment about female rape and see if it's still "black humour" or simply offensive.

                1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

                  Re: Re: Prison rape

                  We've been trying to crack down on the social misfits infesting our comments sections with their prison rape fantasies. If you see them, hit 'report post' and they'll be dealt with.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Prison rape

                    aww. I had a great joke about gang rape. Apparently this isnt the place...

                    I'll get me coat....

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            4. rtb61

              Re: Prison rape

              The intent is the legal system in the US consider raping a computer more dangerous that raping a human being. Computer rape 10 years and 200 thousand dollar fine, rape an unconscious person in need of medical treatment 6 months (yes, when you come across an unconscious and unresponsive person you should seek or provide medical assistance, not leave them their to die or rape them in the interim).

              It is called satire and apparently in the US rather than just write satire that actually play it out in the courts. What their satirical message is, hmm, affect corporate profits and receive maximum penalties, don't affect corporate profits and receive minimal penalties, apparently the laws as you would expect corporations to write them.

              1. TRT Silver badge

                Re: Prison rape

                I know! I've never had a comment rejected before. And all I did was add a letter to penitentiary.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Security?

    Maybe I should file a class-action lawsuit against Agilent seeking damages from their lax security (not to be confused with LAX security)

  4. ecofeco Silver badge

    No mystery why he was laid off

    I'm sure his work attitude was all sunshine and rainbows, right? /s

  5. Likkie

    Competent?

    Surely a competent sysadmin could cover his tracks adequately. Any wonder he was laid off!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could have been a lot worse

    judging by the career summary on his LinkedIn page:-

    March 1987 – June 1993 (6 years 4 months)

    Fire Control Technician - Weapons Directional Center Supervisor

    US Navy

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He was laid off and for the next four months sabotaged their systems?

    I think some more people should be laid off - oh, wait - maybe those people WERE laid off, allowing this to happen.

    1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      I thought?

      The normal routine when getting rid of employees with admin rights was pretty much kill their access to everything once they have the news and put them on gardening leave?

      It's what happened to all of my logins from the last couple of jobs that I left of my own accord and without incident or hard feelings on both sides.?

      1. kain preacher

        Re: I thought?

        Um he use some co workers account. So lets say he did not do it from his house how did he get caught ? Also if that co worker was still working there he should be fired.

      2. Medixstiff

        Re: I thought?

        The fact of the matter is, not once have I ever thought to try log back into my ex-employer's network even just out of curiosity, because quite frankly, I'm not an idiot.

        I like what I do, I like the people I work with - except for management outside the ICT department, half of them are w*nkers trying to build their own little kingdoms rather than work with us to sort problems out and keep everything going smoothly - and with ICT being such a small industry in Western Australia, therefore word gets around quickly, I would rather continue working in ICT thank you very much.

        Plus I don't doubt that I would not do well in prison.

        So in my book, this guy's an idiot for even trying. I expect his idea of being a "Penetration Tester" will take on a whole new meaning in prison.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      3. Bloakey1

        Re: I thought?

        Indeed. I was made redundant from one job and I refused to touch any of the computers and told the guys how to lock me out. It was funny walking around various servers, firewalls etc. and telling the guy how to do it, it was like face to face phone support.

      4. MonkeyCee

        Re: I thought?

        "The normal routine when getting rid of employees with admin rights was pretty much kill their access to everything once they have the news and put them on gardening leave?"

        I thought it was to lock their accounts when they went into the meeting to get the news.

        There shouldn't be any point where they can use their standard accounts to fuck with you.

        You should also be making an offer sufficient that the various shadow IT/colleague/backup accounts they know won't be used to fuck you, and that when you call them in six months to find something critical they'll answer the phone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I thought?

          > and that when you call them in six months to find something critical they'll answer the phone

          This. My recent ex-manager has some production problems but the only currency he's got to trade is goodwill. And unfortunately he pissed all of that away in the 12mths or so prior to my departure.

          "Oh, hi. Sorry, not my problem any more. Suggest you get your new supplier to look at it".

          1. pgm

            Re: I thought?

            The real clinker is some termination contracts say you must support them for up to 6 months without pay or you won't get your severance package.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I thought?

          Indeed that -should- be the policy of any half arsed HR dept, but when I was recently made redundant, I had to ask if I was on garden leave, I was told "no you are not but you are not working on any projects", then when I asked for a clarification I was told "yes you are on garden leave" but all of my accesses, laptop and everything still functioned fine, and then into 2 weeks of the garden leave they tried to rehire me for a higher position but working for the same wanker, with the same salary, but more responsibilities and more work and I had a very entertaining "interview".

          There are a lot of incompetent HR depts.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I thought?

            "...they tried to rehire me for a higher position but working for the same wanker, with the same salary, but more responsibilities and more work and I had a very entertaining "interview".

            And you're just going to leave us in suspense as to your decision?

        3. Fatman

          Re: I thought?

          <quote>You should also be making an offer sufficient that the various shadow IT/colleague/backup accounts they know won't be used to fuck you, and that when you call them in six months to find something critical they'll answer the phone.</quote>

          I am of two minds on that quote, so let's dissect them.

          1) This section (in italics) I am in full agreement with. Have the departing employee advise/provide the information needed to effect transfer of responsibilities.

          2) This section (in bold), I do not agree with IF I am the 'released' employee. Once YOU (the employer) decide that you do not want/need/desire to continue to employ me, I NO LONGER HAVE ANY LOYALTY TO YOU!!!! You are on your own. This is MY PROTECTION from manglement attempting to foist blame on me for things that occur after I have left. If YOUR INCOMPETENCE has gotten things fucked up, then YOU deal with it.

          Good Bye MEANS GOOD-BYE!!!!

      5. IglooDude

        Re: I thought?

        Presumably #1 he saw it coming, and #2 after well over a decade there, I'm sure he learned plenty of service account passwords and colleagues' account logins, to say nothing of knowing where the unpatched vulnerabilities, weak spots, and security checks were. The greatest hacker in the world generally doesn't hold a candle to the individual that starts with familiarity and access and then gets (inadequately) locked out.

      6. Dave K

        Re: I thought?

        Yeah, pretty much. The only time that's not happened to me was when I handed in my own notice (due to a better job offer elsewhere). But for anyone I've worked with who's been let go, their access is immediately curtailed and they are removed from the premises. It's for their own good as much as that of the company's.

        Happened to one of my managers a few years back shortly after a takeover (I was tasked with revoking his access whilst he went to the interview of no return). He took it fine afterwards and simply told me "It's a business decision, you can't take these things personally. You just have to accept them and move on".

        One month later he had a much better job at another company anyway.

      7. Chris King

        Re: I thought?

        Unless you're dealing with a place that's never had to fire a sysadmin before.

        I've had to write "exit procedures" for such situations, if only to protect myself when it was time to go - I like to make sure that, even if no-one else thinks about it, that I've been removed from EVERY system before I depart the building the final time.

        I also build systems to what I call the "V'ger Rule" - if you've seen "Star Trek: The Motion Picture", you'll understand. Put simply, the "V'Ger Rule" states:

        "A System must continue to operate in a correct and safe manner in the absence of its Creator".

        Remove my accounts. and it carries on running as though I was never there.

        Or, to put it another way:

        • No blowing up any spaceships ;
        • No joyriding in Carbon Units ;
        • Fat, balding starship captains are to be shot on sight, especially ones that follow the "If you can't eat it, drink it, steal it, spend it or have sex with it, blow it up" mantra.

  8. x 7

    ten years AFTER a plea bargain???? What could he have got otherwise?

    1. MondoMan

      UP TO ten years -- it'll be a lot less.

      Reading the details makes you (sound) wise.

    2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

      He hurt a business, and that's far more damaging than killing someone..

      Maybe that's why the BOFH had gotten away with for so long?

    3. Christoph

      It's the American system of justice. Either you plead guilty and get a long sentence, or you plead not guilty and get an enormous sentence and probably never leave prison.

      Very efficient, and avoids having to fiddle about with trivial little details like whether you actually committed a crime or not - even if you are totally innocent you can't risk the longer sentence so have to plead guilty.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        The federal government and some state governments have standard ways to determine sentencing of those convicted (or who confessed). Other state governments, in particular California, do not have uniform sentencing standards, leading to greater variability and occasional public outrage over sentences considered either too long or too short.

        Paul Cassell, a former federal judge, wrote on this in the context of the Stanford case a few days ago in the Volokh Conspiracy blog. He noted that under federal law (on federal/non-state territory) Turner's conviction could have carried a life sentence, and federal sentencing guidelines are for 97 - 121 months imprisonment. He also links to a Washington Post article reporting that the average state sentence for a rape is 11 years

        It may be the real lesson in this is that there is not a US system of justice, over 50 of them: 50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, various territories, federal, and military. There may be more. States are largely sovereign and likely to show a considerable range for any offense.

  9. Kernel

    What 's his crime again?

    Having worked with Agilent's NetExpert product in the distant past, it's hard to imagine how he could have made things any worse than they already were.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Silly man

    To properly get things screwed up and receive praise for so doing, Mr Kezeor should've just arranged for CSC, Accenture or even HP Enterprise to take over all support and administration. The slow and unstoppable car crash would've been a joy for him to behold and his promotion would've led to a welcome increase in funds.

  11. AustinTX

    We need to use his name, Kezeor to refer to something in his honor

    Sort of like "santorum" but in a complimentary way.

    "Agilent was completely kezeor'd for four months"

    I salute you, Mr. Kezeor!

  12. Potemkine Silver badge

    It's funny to sse how it is widely accepted that a company lays off 'redundant' staff and possibly destroy their former and loyal employees' life but any retaliation is a capital crime.

    I don't justify this guy's actions, however there are attenuating circumstances that should mitigate his sentence.

    1. Bloakey1

      "It's funny to sse how it is widely accepted that a company lays off 'redundant' staff and possibly destroy their former and loyal employees' life but any retaliation is a capital crime."

      <snip>

      The Owner of a small company has to make a hard choice, to whit lay off Jack or Sue who are his employees.They are both superb workers, but the company has run into hard times.

      He decides that whoever drinks from the cooler first will be laid off the following morning.

      That day nobody goes to the cooler.

      The next day he decides that whoever comes in late will be laid off but they both arrive at the same time.

      Eventually he can't contain his secret anymore and he decides to confide. He walked up to her as she was leaving one night and tells her "I either have to lay you or Jack off."

      Turning to face the Manager, Sue smiles and says "Please can you jack off, I need to run for the bus.

    2. Christoph

      Depends on the particular circumstances of course, but in general a company that has a downturn in business may not be able to justify keeping all its staff. Should they destroy the company and all the jobs rather than lay some off? What if business gets better? In that case they hire more staff - same thing. If a firm isn't allowed to make staff leave, should staff also be forbidden to leave a job to get another?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My company doesn't pay me to be loyal. My company pays me to do a damn good job.

      And this isnt anywhere near,

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " attenuating circumstances"

      That's a new one, but I can see where they might attenuate as he left - especially as he moved further and further away.

  13. Seajay#

    Maximum vs probable sentence

    Every time there is a crime related story someone compares the maximum sentence some white collar criminal could face with the typical or even the lowest sentence someone has received for a violent crime. Every damn time.

    Compare apples with apples.

    Either it's max: 10 years for this vs max 51 years for recklessly killing someone with your car.

    Or it's probable: which I'm not qualified to answer but I'd guess a large fine or a short sentence.

    The info is all here if you're interested http://www.ussc.gov/guidelines/2015-guidelines-manual

  14. The Vociferous Time Waster
    Stop

    No jail time

    He won't get jail time because:

    A) he entered into a plea bargain, the entire purpose of which would have been to avoid jail time in exchange for lawyers fees and a big fine

    B) he's white

    God bless America, if you can afford it.

  15. Wolfclaw
    Stop

    Sad when a crime involving financial loss to a company results in a longer prison time, than taking a life or turning somebody in to vegetable, but hey, shows that big business spending all that money on lobbying corrupt politicians was worth it !

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      "

      Sad when a crime involving financial loss to a company results in a longer prison time, than taking a life or turning somebody in to vegetable,

      "

      Sad when you only consider the consequences of a crime rather than also taking the criminal's intent and motives into account. Unintended consequences usually attract a smaller sentence than intentional consequences even if the former consequences are worse. Killing someone to steal their wallet is considered worse than killing someone because they raped your 8 year old daughter. Etc.

  16. Dadmin
    Pint

    Another career-limiting move!

    When I first became a little-admin back at Sun Micro in 1988 I started with this other guy, and we took care of separate groups in different buildings, but all from the same IT support group. We were little SunOS admins, and we liked it! We'll I guess we all didn't like it as my "partner" got some hard time for stealing brand new SPARCstation 1 workstations, I think three of them, from one of the groups he supported and tried to sell them at a local VAR, with disastrous consequences! Those systems have serial numbers, and it just took one phone call to find out who the real owners were. We'll, the way I found out was when I came into work one morning, my "partner" was being escorted out by two FBI agents, or some such more-than-just-a-police-person types. And that was the last I saw of that guy. :)

  17. pgm

    Let me take a wild guess .he was laid off ,had to train his replacement H1B or wouldn't get severance package plus agree not to file suit for wrongful termination.

    Wrong person going to jail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wild Guess

      Wow. That is a whole bunch of wild guesses based on nothing in the article.

      Hate to see you on a jury: "Your honor, I have my own theory of what happened, and find the plaintiff guilty."

      1. pgm

        Re: Wild Guess

        A lot of these wild guesses are based on what is becoming the norm in IT these days.

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