back to article Ah, I see you found my PowerShell script called 'SiteReview' – that does not mean what you think it means

Hi there, Reddit. The following tale appeared on Reddit some months ago, and the original poster then submitted it to us with some extra detail. Usually, while we're verifying submitted stories, we check that the yarns haven't been published elsewhere, and in this case we simply forgot to. The OP confirmed here that they …

  1. gryphon

    Was asked to do a review of files on servers across Europe for capacity planning, we didn't have disk quotas as such set up back then.

    e.g. How much was video, picture, Excel etc., free space and so on.

    Found a large porn stash on a users personal drive in Italian office. Going by the file names it was very hardcore.

    Passed findings on to my management who passed it on to this guys' manager who didn't see the problem. :-)

    We had to couch it to say he was taking up too much space on the servers which was leaving everyone else short then it got some action.

    1. knottedhandkerchief

      Casting couch?

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Try searching on Google and you'll get links to SlightReview, SightReview, SlightRevival and SlideReview. No, this is not a joke, it's simply the way things work these days.

  2. Potemkine! Silver badge

    When you create that kind of command, it's always a good idea to implement an answer to '-?', '/?' or in that case 'Get-Help'. Powershell provides an handy way to deal with that with its comment-based help functionality. Doing this a developer can always asks the user if it looked at the syntax and examples provided with the command's help.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge


      If the user cannot be bothered to check the adjacent README file, then he won't even try to access any help option either. And the story seems to star a particularly thick manager.

      1. KarMann Silver badge

        Re: help?

        Vincenzo hadn't bothered with a readme – those who needed to use it were trained on its use; it was just a handy bit of script.
        That is all.

        1. Sandtitz Silver badge

          Re: help?

          Me so stupid!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: help?

            Were you that manager?

      2. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: help?

        What's the point to create a README file when there's a mechanism in the shell to take care of help?

        It wasn't as bad as not doing any help at all. But doing so outside of the way it is intended to work is a mistake because anyone used to powershell would (should) use Get-Help <cmd> first.

        I agree it wouldn't have helped in that case either, but when developing scripts one must be rigorous and do it the proper way. Do the things right or don't do them at all.

        A good point for the developer is having thought to implement logs.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: help?

          My scripts dont need a /help or a /? because if you havent put the right parameters in the help comes up rather than an attempt at execution.

          I try to think of all the things a user might do wrong , but i dont think i'd have seen this one coming.

          what would you have had him put in his get-help section?

          "not for porn sites" ?

        2. Robert Grant

          Re: help?

          > Get-Help <cmd>

          Why? Why is Powershell so eyeball-rending ugly?

          1. J. Cook Silver badge

            Re: help?

            Because Microsoft.

            I'm assuming that answers that question?

      3. Tim J

        Re: help?

        If the commenter on a Reg article cannot be bothered to actually read said article...

    2. Sykowasp

      Would the manager have known that?

      The script was so basic was that even needed? Maybe it could have had a better name, but once people had been trained on its use that would have been unchangeable.

      In this case the input questions could have been a bit clearer, say:

      Your Email:

      Active Directory Site:

      Maybe add a scary message about authorised use, although most managers seem to think they should be authorised for everything.

      IMO the manager in this case wanted to whitelist the sites in whatever web blocking software their company used, and thought this would do it.

  3. Alan J. Wylie

    A few years ago ...

    much the same: Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame, including my memories of red faces when the contents of the squid logs were read out at a sales meeting

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A few years ago ...

      University department. Local DNS server. I checked logs: about 30% porn (based on 3-4 key terms). Mostly from 2-3 PCs...

      1. Joe Gurman

        Re: A few years ago ...

        The department chair and who else?

        1. Zarno

          Re: A few years ago ...

          I'd guess "Dean of Student Services" and maybe "Dean of Fine Arts and Filmography."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A few years ago ...

            Nah, back left pc in the 2nd floor lab. In other words, the one I used from 10p to 6a when I was the only person in the room/building.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A few years ago ...

      Mid 90s, customer site where we were responsible for the IT infrastructure. They were new to "the Internet" with just an on-demand ISDN connection. I'd set up a FreeBSD box to act as mailserver and Squid cache/proxy for the few people allowed Web access, mainly for the performance benefits of the caching. (everybody got email, but it was mostly used internally.)

      One day their quarterly phone bill came in and was eye-wateringly high, so I was asked to look into it, so went to the logs. There was a scheduled connection every half hour or so to let mail come and go, but the squid logs were a revelation. A fair bit of porn, probably less than I expected TBH, but the usage was mostly down to one salesperson in their own office who had discovered he could listen to BBC Radio 2 online from their website. So he did, all day every day, holding the line open continuously. He'd cost the company many tens of times more in call charges than buying him a top of the range radio would have cost.. Words were had, I gather.

      As soon as BT started offering package prices for unlimited dial-up connections, we strongly suggested it would be a good idea to switch.

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Easy way out

    > This is what he found:


    > Email: [Manager's email]

    > Site: [hardcore pr0n]

    > Error message: "Get-ADSite : Directory Object not found..."

    So the quickest way to get someone sacked at this company is to run the script, enter their email address and the name of a choice website and then report them!

    1. Shalghar

      Re: Easy way out

      "So the quickest way to get someone sacked at this company is to run the script, enter their email address and the name of a choice website and then report them!"

      But you would still have to fake several complaints of the "logged" person, if you stick to the story.

      After all, the log was only reviewed after the prospective researcher on excessive poverty (noone has any money for clothes and everyone does gymnastics to keep warm) complained about the unuseability of the script.

      Planted "evidence" rarely bears fruit. Especially when the victim is more competent on keeping records than the planter on creating made up "proof".

    2. b0llchit Silver badge

      Re: Easy way out

      Ehm, yes? Isn't that the BOFH way?

      Oh wait, you need to add an open window on the high floor towards the parking lot. Then it is pure genius.

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge

        Re: Easy way out

        > Ehm, yes? Isn't that the BOFH way?

        The BOFH would also ask for the users credit card details

        1. Zarno

          Re: Easy way out

          Then have flowers delivered to the CEO's side candy, addressed from the user, thanking them for "Continued discretion in these most trying times.".

          Maybe a nice vase of fire lilies...

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Easy way out

      I think the manger shouting something to the effect of "Me, me, me" might also have been a factor.

  5. adfh

    URL autocomplete

    Windows XP.

    Working on computer that belonged to senior person in recently merged branch of company I used to work for.

    Win+R happy tap colon slash slash autocompletes with porn video link :)

    I screen snapped the autocomplete, sent it to my boss (tech head) for a laugh, and moved on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: URL autocomplete

      I was going to show a colleague the latest xkcd on my iPhone. As he leant over, I brought up Safari, typed "x" in the URL bar and SwiftKey immediately helpfully suggests Thanks mate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: URL autocomplete

        That how i usually get there!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: URL autocomplete

      Not exactly the same, but a memory percolated up...

      I was working at a large international IT company, and an American colleague was over on secondment to work alongside me for a while.

      My manager was suggesting places she should see while she was in the UK, and showing them to her on the web.

      He was talking about a historic location in the New Forest where hangings took place, and so typed "Naked Man" into Google...

      Interestingly, the tree was on the first page of results.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: URL autocomplete

      "happy tap"

      Thanks for that. Stolen!

      1. TimMaher Silver badge

        Re: “Stolen”


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    indeed a bad person

    "Right up until the shouty email arrived, cc'ed to pretty much every bigwig in the company."

    First red alert of complete ***hole ! Then the rest, of course.

    "It was also lurking in a folder available to the company's management, which was our hero's downfall."

    Indeed, never put admin stuff, including inoffensive, in a mgmt accessible folder.

  7. Mooseman Silver badge

    We had a similar manager when working for /international package delivery company/

    Back in the days when internet access was not universal, managers had to apply to get internet access on their work computer (the drones had no such luxury). Newly arrived manager insisted he needed t'internet to assist him in customs clearance, etc, and the application was duly approved by his manager, so we set him merrily on his way into the world wide web. Log files of internet sites accessed were routinely kept in a folder on the server. Two weeks later the same manager arrived in very shouty mood at the IT office door, demanding to know why we had shut off his internet access, he was going to complain to the CEO who was a close personal friend, etc etc. Our jobs were on the line. So we showed him the list of, erm, inadvisable Russian pr0n sites he had been accessing in the wee small hours (it was a 24/7 operation), and the email revoking his internet access from his line manager. No more was said, although he was allowed access to the web again a few months later when a new customs system was implemented.

  8. big_D Silver badge

    Hands on...

    No scripts in my case.

    I was working in the office late one evening, along with 4 or 5 other people, when the Big Boss came round and asked us to leave... Immediately.

    We protested, that we had a deadline the next day. He said, it couldn't be helped and the customer would be informed, that it was management's fault that the deadline would be missed, now GET OUT!

    It turned out that one of the little bosses had gone up to the BB's secretary, opened his trousers and asked, what she could do with its contents... She immediately called her boss for a second opinion.

    After we left, he was allegedly marched to his desk, his personal possessions gathered, ID card removed and marched out of the building.

    I'm not sure how he explained to his fiance that he no longer had a job and why he was dismissed with no notice.

    I've absolutely no idea, what he was thinking, when he exposed himself... Probably not thinking, to be honest.

    My respect for the secretary for going straight to her boss and for him for not trying to "cover up" the problem, but tackle it head-on and dismiss the culprit.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Hands on...

      Well it must be said : kudos all around.

      Kudos to the lady who had the balls to go to her boss about it, and kudos to the boss who made a no-nonsense response with immediate effect.

      If only there were more people like that at Uber and other such places of despicable behavior.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Hands on...

        Kudos to the lady who had the balls to go to her boss about it

        Her balls weren't the issue...

        1. Shooter

          Re: Hands on...

          The guy's "tackle" was the issue.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hands on...

      That sounds similar to what happened at a place I worked, with a sales guy (why are they always sales guys?) being frogmarched out of the building for exposing himself to a colleague. A few years later I worked as a contractor somewhere else, and as I walked down a corridor the same guy was approaching in the opposite direction. The look on his face when he recognised me was sheer horror, so I assume he hadn't mentioned gross misconduct on his CV...

      1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

        Re: Hands on...

        I knew of a sales guy (yes, always the sales guys) who got fired before he started his job. He was invited to the pub the Friday before the Monday he started (the place had a good social crowd), got drunk and proceed to verbally attack the CEO and various other people.

        He was a nice enough guy when sober, although he had almost no morals (perfect for sales), but when drunk... just best avoided at all costs.

  9. trevorde Silver badge


    I was good friends with the sysadmin at one company I worked at. He had to do some routine maintenance on one of the sales droids laptops. Out of curiosity, he looked through his Internet Explorer cache... and that's how he got the nickname 'Mr Bestial'.

    1. MojoJojo

      Re: Nickname

      "But you f*** one goat..."

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Nickname

        "But you f*** one goat..."

        "Unto the Breach" by John Ringo

        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: Nickname

          If you’re breaching a goat, you’re doing it wrong.

          Not that there’s a right way, but some ways are less right than others.

    2. TimMaher Silver badge

      Re: Mr. Bestial

      If I am a necrophiliac, bestial, flagellant; am I flogging a dead horse?

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Mr. Bestial

        Only if you’re on 4Chan.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the reaction I was expecting

    About 15 years ago I was sub-contracted onto the manufacturing site of a large (then) multinational who made things with instant cameras.

    Anyway, we get a call to go fix a busted laptop that was issued to the son of the plant manager, who was a US expat.

    We get there and the lad is quite sniffy about us fixing it quickly and going on our way, and gets quite agitated when we open the browser.

    Well, said lad had been looking at some very illegal stuff, so we stopped what we were doing and said we were calling the police.

    He starts shouting, which attracts attention, and it all goes very shit shaped for him. Rumour at the time was his old man had been the one actually using that laptop, but he was the one caught holding the bag.

    I get a call that afternoon from my actual boss back at the place that employed me, wanting me to come in for a chat - he proceeds to get very loud and angry that we didn't call him before involving the police and the as he reckoned he could have had some leverage!

    I didn't work for them very long afterwards, can only wish bad things on that fella.

    1. Huw L-D

      Re: Not the reaction I was expecting

      When you say "holding the bag"... ?

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Not the reaction I was expecting

      It seems that the plant manager is the son's father or the son's mother. If the first, why doesn't he have his own company laptop? Is he too important for that?

      I was going to say "for his hands to touch anything that could be construed as a tool". But I decided not to.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A story from The Mill...

    A mate of mine used to be the IT manager at a textile mill up North. Anyway, he ended up under a manager who turned out to be a bit of a prat. Not evil as such; just a bit of an arse. Nothing my friend couldn't put up with. However, the company did log web sites visited, as pretty much all companies do, these days. On checking the logs for his manager, my friend found lots of access to a site called milfseekers. Neither of use had any idea what that meant but that's an easy enough gap in knowledge to correct. It turns out MILF definitely does not stand for Manchester International Literary Festival.

    Now, what a lot of the very none technical managers didn't realise was that my friend had all access. Every directory on the file server and further down the line, when my friend was being edged out in favour of another manager's mate, my friend could see all the correspondence, including some that quite misrepresented him. HR were quite surprised at how ready he was for that particular meeting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A story from The Mill...

      At a company I used to work for, a project manager was demonstrating the our new proposed TV STB GUI to the CEO and board. One of the slides was showing the new - ehrm - adult section of the pay-per-view menu. As a goof, one of the UX designers (though they weren't called that yet at the time) had snuck in to the Powerpoint deck that morning and added a new dummy image where every title in the menu and on the (blurred) posters included the term "MILF".

      When the CEO (with a mischievous smile) asked the PM what "MILF" meant, the PM calmly responded: "That's OK, CEO-bert, I don't know either" and carried on.

    2. hoola Silver badge

      Re: A story from The Mill...

      I would have thought that using one's privileged access to look at documents that were outside of his area working would also have been a disciplinary issue as well.

      He may have been well prepared but could very easily have ended up in a far worse position.

      Having been involved with internal investigations where data/emails/logs have to be collated as the technical resource to obtain the information for Audit/HR one has to ensure that you don't "see" anything.

      The shear stupidity of some people is mind boggling as is the fallout when things go pear-shaped. I hate doing these things and ensure that there is a cast iron paper trail in place and if a second pair of eyes is needed for protection, then someone from the requesting team has to sit there as well whilst everything is collected.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At my first employer that had Internet access, we dedicated a couple of older machines scattered around the building for web browsing during staff breaks. Being young and keen, I used to work fairly late and was wandering towards the canteen one evening when I spotted a light on in the sales department. This was odd, since the lights were triggered by movement so someone was definitely in there and the sales folk were noted for being out the door at dead on 17:00. So I walked in to find one of the sales guys "relaxing in the gentleman's way" to a screenful of low-res smut. On realising my presence (I think I politely coughed) he literally jumped out of the chair. I never reported him, but took to dropping as many double entendres as possible in any meetings we were both at.

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Did he shoot out of his chair, or just ejaculate (second meaning) in surprise, at realising that he was no longer solo in his game of 'solitaire'?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Some Years Earlier(Second Meaning)

        I remember reading that word in The War of The Worlds, wondering why the pub manager in the middle of a Martian invasion\attack, he was getting his jolly's.

    2. Daedalus

      Reminds me of the (probably exaggerated) tale from Spike Milligan's war memoir, concerning the night guard, the local girl, the rifle, and the Jehovah's Witness....

      1. vogon00

        Would that be the 'Armageddon' incident?

        1. markr555

          I can only assume he meant 'Armageddon out of here! ' - pure genius

  13. chrishansenhome

    Careful about leaving stuff on the printer

    I managed a testing department in the early 2000's. I was usually first-in. One day I had cause to print something (how quaint!) and when I went to the printer to retrieve the page, I was amazed to find that one of my staff had printed out his submission to a gay dating site, including a picture of his (impressive) membrum virile, and forgot to retrieve the printed page.

    I retrieved it, and discarded it. I've always wondered whether he noticed its absence and what he thought had happened to it.

    1. Steve K

      Re: Careful about leaving stuff on the printer

      It wasn't printed on A3 paper was it.....?

      1. Huw L-D

        Re: Careful about leaving stuff on the printer

        Probably pixellated if you've scaled it to that size.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Several things spring to mind.

    1) Working shifts, we were not allowed music (a rule we all ignored because, usually, there were no management around to complain on the graveyard shifts). Until one evening I am working away (de-batching prints for those of you old enough to remember when reports came out on fan-fold paper) and the boss comes in. We exchange glances, and he just grins and makes his way to his office. 10 minutes later his secretary turns up.....

    2) A new manager would not stop browsing sites of a particular nature. I warned him several times that the logs get audited and he really shouldn't be doing that sort of browsing from a company system. I was ignored - I am just an admin. So I went to see some associates and hinted that they might want to run an ad-hoc audit and see what turns up. Hilarity all round.

    3) One I was not directly involved in, but I was friends with the security team and I ran into one of them at the printer one day. He had a grim look on his face and what looked to be several reams of print. It was one person's browser history of all the dodgy sites he'd been surfing (and the list ran into hundreds and hundreds of pages). That person didn't stay for long.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We were a new ISP

    We had just set up servers, got things working and stable enough to sell it and in general things appeared to be humming along nicely. Subscribers were rolling in and even the install CDs (remember those? Not just from AOL) seemed to be doing their job.

    Until we got bored on Friday afternoon (it's always then, isn't it?).

    We allowed people to create their own subdomains for email and websites, but nobody ever really checked what was going on (also because in those days, the world was a tad more forgiving but there were some basic rules). And we, having sod all to do (I mentioned all was working well), decided to check what was out there, which names users had chosen.

    I think it took a grand total of about 5 seconds before we realised that a (mercifully) small percentage of our users needed a bit of help in understanding what we meant by "acceptable" in our Terms, which thankfully left us with enough control to take the most offensive ones immediately offline. We contacted the big chief of our division and told him that we possibly needed to do some weeding, which he readily agreed with once we showed him a couple of choice samples and we'd all finished laughing (mostly in disbelief).

    Even if the engines are humming nicely, it's still worth occasionally lifting the lid..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We were a new ISP

      That reminds me of a certain large press agency, where it was discovered that one of the sysadmins had set up a porn site on their servers. The guy had actually moved onto a new job by that point, so I think they just took the site down and no further action was taken.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We were a new ISP

      Anonymous because I had a similar experience working at an ISP back in those days when free webspace was offered, and having to explain to one particular customer that while his dog might really, really really like his wife, technically putting photos of that on his hosting space was in breach of the obscene publications act and he really, really shouldn't have that on there.

      Ah, innocent times. Well, not for them, obviously.....

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    proxy cache

    Somewhere back in the previous millennium, when a dual ISDN line was something most of us could only dream off, we had bundled ISDN as our office connection to the internet. We quickly realised that about 90% of our traffic was through the same websites, so set up a caching proxy [i think in our DMZ]

    This improved responsiveness a lot, and everyone was happy.

    I then realized that all the images downloaded were also being cached under the cache folder with some random name.

    At some point I thought it was a good idea to put something akin to webcollage (pointing to that cache folder) on the machine (ssh -X and all that) which would add the latest downloads to the display

    The first 10 - 15 minutes this was quite fun, as you would see news pictures flash by, and you could try to guess which wesbites people were looking at.

    And then other pictures started to flesh by ...

    1. BenDwire Silver badge

      Re: proxy cache

      And then other pictures started to flesh by ...

      Bravo Sir! That is the typo of the day!

  17. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    Way back when Smoothwall was the bees' knees, I installed it as our office firewall, and also added a couple of other things (like SARG etc).

    Got a bit curious one day to see what sort of sites was visited... this day I wish I haven't done that.

    Nowadays I prefer the "set it and forget it" option which will block pr0nz, but I will never, ever take a shufty at any sort of web filtering log again.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We did a large project..

    There is one occasion where we were developing a very large project, and requirements were still a tad fluid as we were doing something new, and at a very large scale.

    Part of this was keeping an eye on the backbone, which interfaced with the Internet via a proxy which we had left completely open - but that still meant it was logging what went through it (also because this was in the days before SSL became popular).

    Suddenly, one of the parties on the client side decided they wanted us to log everything that went "outside". Our problem: we had not budgeted for anything like that, and the "newness" meant we had scant information on how to calculate any costs so we couldn't even work out what to charge for it. In short, it was very much an unwanted idea, and we were wondering how to spin this out of our contract when I decided to take a look at the sort of websites that were logged.

    Before the next project meeting I had a quiet word with the client project leader after handing over 10 sheets with the sort of site data we were already seeing on the test platform.

    The requirement was quietly dropped, and we were ordered to disable logging..

  19. Sequin

    Examining the proxy logs at a satellite office, I discovered that one of the staff seemed to be accessing a site called - each to his own!

    Management suggested that I send round a generic warning, reminding people that browsing was logged and that disciplinary action might be taken if dodgy sites were accessed.

    Ads a matter of research, I visited the Rubbermaid website, to find that they were suppliers of things such as rubber mats and waste bins!

    1. John 110

      Rubbermaid also made some nifty cable management boxes that came in very handy at those PCs where people tend to sidle over and ogle - sorry - chat to the secretaries, dragging the cable about with their shuffling feet...

    2. Potty Professor

      Dangerous sites?

      In my capacity as Purchasing Operative, I used an engineering site called DTK Engineering. One day I was asked for their URL by another employee, so I went to his desk and entered instead of The resultant images are seared into my retina now, it was a link to Dangerous To Know, a BDSM supplies website. <Beats hasty retreat back to own cubicle>

      1. jtaylor

        Re: Dangerous sites?

        "so I went to his desk and entered instead of BDSM supplies website."

        Awkward and hilarious, a great combination!

        On that topic, I was in the security line behind a vendor as we entered an annual event. (You can't bring knives or weapons inside.) Said vendor worked in the adults-only BDSM section, where they sell equipment and give demonstrations. In the large roller bag, security guard found handcuffs, rope, whips, chains, and batons. "Yup, you're going to Leather Realm. Enjoy the festival!" Clearly not her first rodeo.

      2. Scott 26

        Re: Dangerous sites?

        in the late 90s, introducing my parents to the internet, and I explained they needed to be careful what they typed - after all there is a world of difference between and (not any more though, the 'wrong' domain is now parked)

      3. Shooter

        Re: Dangerous sites?

        Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and there were more than two major cell phone operating systems, I was researching which system I wanted to invest my electronic future in.

        Let's just say that when googling for Symbian, you *don't* want to leave out the "m".

        Glad to have made that particular error at home, and not at work!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a couple I've found during my two decades in various support roles.

    Head teachers laptop - full of pr0n, viruses etc turned out she let her 20 year old son borrow it at weekends "for uni work" in his room, Kid just saved it all to desktop in a folder his name - head teacher had never thought to check it.

    Fellow support staff - turned out he liked to kick start his torrents remotely from work for his pr0n needs. Went further several times and downloaded directly, was only discovered due to various file types flagging as unusual and his internet bandwidth use was #1 for a couple of weeks - not unusual for IT staff but the domains were.. all dodgy.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ver yearly in my support career

    I did a Saturday rota for the computer labs in the Uni I was working at. I walked in half an hour before closing and there was one guy looking at some very anatomically interesting pictures. Being a bit younger then I didn't really know how to deal with it and just said that we were closing in half an hour. He didn't react at all or guiltily close the browser or anything. I should have reported it - hence AC but didn't.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm aware of a number of people, over the years, including one distant cousin and a few of his colleagues, (hence AC) with Very Important Jobs - and the sorts of career trajectories that often ended with a title. But who'd been booted out of their respective roles for using dodgy sites on their work machines.

    I could understand surfing dodgy sites, as such. Folk do. It's hardly an unknown or uncommon activity.

    But these were people perfectly able to afford their own computers, internet connections etc.

    The incomprehension is why they would even consider doing this on a work machine and risking their careers. Even if they were so non-techie (though one or two were pretty techie) that they didn't know it could be traced, there was always a chance of a slip up. Just knowing that this is a career ending activity and a sprinkle of plain rational thought is enough to tell you that you don't take that kind of risk with your entire future.

    OTOH who'd want people with such poor judgement in such important roles - so this was probably a good result.

  23. General Purpose

    The front desk was run by volunteers, logged in as "reception" and covering for each other at short notice. One had a bad habit of not shutting down at the end of the day, even leaving browser tabs open. That's how I found she'd been looking for a steak-and-a-blowjob card design.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      That's hard to imagine and, now, hard not to.

      I may be imagining the wrong thing anyway, but for god's sake don't clarify it.

      1. General Purpose

        The only thing I was glad to know was that she didn't know I knew.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Always sanitise iPads before use

    My last job was at a fairly prestigious boarding school.

    Each boarding house had their own catering, and the chefs all had iPads for menu planning and food orders.

    For reasons no-one could recall, the iPads were on an unrestricted part of the WiFi.

    One day a chef leaves his iPad in the IT office as he was having trouble accessing the food supplier's website.

    As my colleague started typing addresses into Safari they all auto completed to sites of questionable nature, so he first washed his hands, then used a handy bottle of covid sanitiser to clean the screen before moving all iPads to a more closely filtered VLAN...

    1. Zarno

      Re: Always sanitise iPads before use

      "...Sir, may I advise against the lady eating clam chowder?"

      First thing I thought of.

      Along with "cream of mushroom soup".

  25. chivo243 Silver badge

    typical pseudo techie manager

    Knows all the words... but sometimes the combinations of professional nomenclature expands beyond their pay grade.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GP's "Paperwork"

    I was once leading a small team investigating why a GP surgery was having slow response issues accessing national services.

    We made it abundantly clear to the surgery manager and the GP's on-site what we were doing because our tests would be monitoring traffic, routing, response-times, etc.

    Having received specific permission from one of the GPs to use their connection "because I will only be doing some paperwork", one of my staff came to me rather embarrassed to tell me that he had discovered some "discrepancies", would I review them and advise what should be done.

    Needless to say that the GP's paperwork was not of the kind you would normally expect during office hours!

    A quiet work with the practice manager ensued and no more was ever said.

  27. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    The opposite issue

    Not this way, but the other way around.

    I once sat on a staff disciplinary panel where the subject was somebody whose job was booking activity holidays for the looked-after children we looked after, who was being disciplined for using employer computers and internet access for searching for and booking activity holidays for the looked-after children we looked after.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I stumbled across a stash of porn in a CEO's laptop about 15 years ago during a routine virus scan.

    I pointed out that malware was found in said folder and he told me to keep quiet about it. Offered me a not insignificant amount of cash to keep schtum and omit the findings from my ticket log. I refused the cash because it wasn't routine to include the paths to the virus / malware in our logs at the time (for privacy reasons).

    I wouldn't mind, but it was gay hardcore porn and he was a married man with kids. It also transpired that he was having a gay fling with his business partner.

  29. Sir Loin Of Beef

    Seen an office dweller on multiple pr0n sites when I tried to work on the PC. Somehow said office dweller didn't last very long.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    night shift

    At an old job, one of the night shift crew decided to print off some pictures for later enjoyment. The color printer was shared from a desktop PC. I don't know if this was a routine thing for them, but eventually they tried printing on a night when the PC sharing the printer had been turned off when day shift left.

    The next morning, day shift arrived, powered up their PC, and was greeted with an unexpected print job. For bonus points, it was child porn.

  31. aerogems Silver badge

    Not quite the same thing, but one time at a new job, while looking for documentation to help with an issue I had, I came across someone's stash of illicit SNES ROM files and a snes9x executable. Strangely enough, when I tried showing one of the IT admins, they didn't have access to that particular share. They didn't seem too interested in doing anything about it anyway, so guessing they were aware of it and just didn't care. I guess I am "old" enough to still think that putting illegal content on your employer's server isn't the brightest of career moves. Seems the youngins of today never stop to think about that.


    Asian "Adult" Sites


    In my very 1st year of my IT career (in 1997 to be precise) , I was tasked to setup a laptop with Internet Connection for the Big Boss of the University I worked at in London.

    He was supposed to click in the country he was in (which was in Asia) and then the Internet connection was setup automatically.

    I proudly completed the work and did show to the secretary on how to use the application.

    All was fine and The Big Boss went to his trip to Asia in order to introduce the University so Asian students could enroll to the degree .

    Few weeks later, the secretary came at my desk with the laptop and said " The Big Boss" had some problems using the laptop at the end of his travel."

    "Bizarre all was fine" I replied.

    I opened Internet Explorer and checked the browser's history to find out that "The Big Boss" visited "P0rn web sites" with Asian teens ... very young teens ....

    I made a copy of the web sites list and went to see my direct Line Manager and explained him the situation.

    He grabbed everything from my hands (including the laptop) and said to me:

    "I do not want to hear anything about this !!!"

    On the same day, I brought the laptop back to the secretary and said to her.

    "The problem is now fixed and I am keen to travel with The Big Boss for technical support" and walked away laughing.

  33. doesnothingwell

    "Stash of illicit SNES ROM files" Without distribution its copywrite infringement and not criminal. Besides he may own the physical copies as well, not a violation. Lighten up Francis.

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      It's "copyright" as in the *right* to perform an action, not write.

      1. rg287

        Don't have a COW man.

  34. Emir Al Weeq

    Keeping a stash is one thing...

    ...emailing it to all and sundry is another.

    Many football* world cups ago I received an email from my boss with an Excel spreadsheet attached. The spreadsheet was apparently just an electronic version of the wall-charts used to track who’s playing who etc.

    As someone who doesn’t find the Beautiful Game particularly beautiful, I was about to delete it when I noticed the spreadsheet’s size: even by Microsoft standards of inefficiency, it was huge.

    A bit of digging revealed that clicking on a country’s name, although not obviously a link, brought up a picture of a young lady wearing nothing but a body-paint flag of the nation in question. I carefully checked all other country names to see if they had similar images: they did. Some needed to be checked more than once.

    Looking at some of the names in the email’s “to” list it was obvious that my boss didn’t appreciate what he’d just sent out. However, he was one of the good managers who always watched our backs, so I had a quiet word. The look on his face when he first saw one of the pictures was priceless! The Recall button was his friend that day.

    *that’s “soccer” to left-pondian readers.

    1. Martin

      Re: Keeping a stash is one thing...

      ...emailing porn...that reminds me...

      I was quite quick off the mark when gmail came around, and I got my name as my gmail address. However, my name is not that uncommon, so I have received quite a few emails which were intended for another one of me (so to speak).

      One day, about ten years ago, I received an email addressed to about forty or fifty people, including me, none of which I recognised. Clearly, someone had added me to an email mailing list and mistyped another person's email as mine. The email contained a fair number of images of the unclothed female form.

      I sent the sender a quick email and pointed out what he'd done. Within about ten minutes, I got a grovelling apology...!

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Keeping a stash is one thing...

        All I ever get along those lines is emails intended for some barking mad American woman who has the same name. (My name can be used in the female version, though she's the only one I've come across that ends it with a "y"). It used to happen about once a month.

        I don't know how or why she gives my Gmail address instead of her own from time to time. I too have my gmail address with my name from back in the early days.

        It doesn't happen often that I get her emails like that, anymore, maybe just once or twice a year now . Especially since I got fed up politely pointing out that I wasn't her and this was my address, and started to send some rather angry/rude replies. I think she lived in a fairly small community and I might have caused her some embarrassment, I hope so. I did the polite thing for long enough.

        1. chrishansenhome

          Re: Keeping a stash is one thing...

          My name is the same (nickname included) as an American lawyer who exposes various dodgy people into pr0n and other things. I occasionally get emails that he should have gotten instead. And now that he's been caught at something nefarious, I am considering changing my name.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Keeping a stash is one thing...

          Sort of similar........

          Some old woman would misdial her daughter's mobile number once a week/leave voicemail messages (which I had to pay for at the time) for nearly a year. She fought it was hilarious that she had dialled the wrong number yet again, never apologised or anything.

          Had a bad day at work, and she called - and I lost my rag and swore at her (for the first time). She never misdialled again....

          Should point out, I started off the year polite, and was less and less polite as the weeks went on.....

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    While not internet related (you are welcome), I did have to do a legal hold on a hard drive of our head of legal once - by her request - because she had heard a rumor she was going to be canned. Which was true, for good reason.

    I imaged the drive appropriately and sent the original to the evidence locker of the local sheriff. I was tasked with giving the copy a quick glance for evidence and found her complete private company files she was still running while on our payroll (against the contract she signed). And, as a kicker, a video of her and her hubby "breaking in" the new conference table. Let's just say they were meant for each other and would not have had a starring role in any professional production. If I could only get the mind bleach to work...

    After our outside counsel got a quick brief on the matter, she was out the door and surprise surprise never filed that threatened lawsuit.

    Anon to protect the guilty.

  36. Caver_Dave Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Perfect job?

    Last century I worked for a company making a desk top box Internet access device for connection to your TV and a keyboard.

    Fine to start with, but then the boss decided that they needed a filter to reject sites with lots of flesh on display.

    We studiously worked out what to do, but we needed someone to test this.

    Cue the guy just out of Uni! He was knackered after the first week and one arm was visibly trembling, but he soon got into the swing of things. He left after a month to hook up with someone he met on one of the sites he used for testing!

    The icon is to represent the clenched hand that I'm not quite sure he could manage after a while.

    1. Martin

      Re: Perfect job?

      And Scott Adams thought this Dilbert strip was a joke...!

  37. Rob F

    A company I worked for back in the early 2000s

    Acquired a business that was owned by a guy that also owned the local video sex shop and was very relaxed on what could be on systems or openly watched.

    There was a grace period to get people to clear out anything that breached our business policies, but one guy was too far gone and not only kept about half a terabyte on the file server, but would also openly watch it.

    We ended up having to fire the guy after multiple warnings and I don't think he could reconcile that he'd done anything wrong.

    I found stuff in folders for months after that.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remote Access

    I was the IT manager of a national retailer probably 15 years or so ago. One of support team responded to a ticket that had been raised by dutifully logging into that store's admin PC through VNC or something to discover that maybe the problem wasn't that important - on her screen in the office in full view of everyone was a NSFW stream from the store PC.

    After asking me awkwardly what she should do, we took a screenshot of the 'evidence' to send on for any disciplinary action and then launched the camera system up to see who we'd throw to the HR wolves. The staff member in question was certainly having a pleasurable time until he went a bit limp as a message appeared on his screen "your activity is being watched and reported to HR"..

    Don't think he was in our employment much longer

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