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back to article Feds: IT admin plotted to erase Fannie Mae

A fired computer engineer for Fannie Mae has been arrested and charged with planting a malicious software script designed to permanently destroy millions of dollars worth of data from all 4,000 servers operated by the mortgage giant. Rajendrasinh Babubahai Makwana, 35, of Virginia, concealed the Unix script on Fannie Mae's main …

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Pirate

Peasants' Revolt!

In the good old days when the economy went titsup and folk protested, they'd break into the local administration's offices and burn all the tax and mortgage records. Then when the revolt got put down, they'd still be debt-free, Jubilee-style.

No-one else here gets a warm fuzzy feeling that this shows it could still be possible?

No-one working at Experian and fed up with it?

Ah g'wan......

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Paris Hilton

Immaturity..

...lol....fannie engineer...

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Bronze badge
Joke

@ Danny van der Weide

"4. The damage is still recoverable from backups. First the backup procedure has to be corrupted for a considerable amount of time."

Backups? Aren't those routed through /dev/null?

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Pirate

I am all for the peasants

+++

No-one else here gets a warm fuzzy feeling that this shows it could still be possible?

+++

Yep - there is hope: But to succeed you first have to smash one system of oppression against the other; get leading politicians onto pedo-databases and terrorist suspect lists, mess up the bookkeeping so neither the stock exchange, the stock broker you messed with nor the tax people for that matter will know whats what, confidence breaks, fighting starts and revenge is taken

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Admin Access.

Where there is admin access over the network then there is always going to be a risk.. always.

Lessons need to be learned from clustered solutions that lock down the data from malicious/accidental deletion.

Physical access to the media is a different thing altogether...

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Bronze badge

Great Depression

The mortgage meltdown by itself caused a stock crash that people fear may cause the equivalent of the Great Depression. A malicious act that could make something like this worse, causing untold harm to billions of people worldwide, should be treated as something very serious indeed.

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Happy

classic quote

"meltdown in the US housing market is reaching the boiling point"

Just sublime!

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Unhappy

Scam

"reduced if not shutdown operations at ABC for a least one week"

Shame he couldn't have written a better program that might have shut that abomination down permanently.

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@CJ

"Here in Holland we have at least 2 weeks (but more often 2 months) notice. It's impossible to terminate someone and kick them out the same day."

I think you'll find the notice period is the time they have to keep paying you, not the time they have to keep letting you into the building.

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Stop

@John Savard

"that could make something like this worse, causing untold harm to billions of people worldwide,"

Dude, he was going to zero the mortgages. Think of it as a bailout from the bottom up.

Certainly wouldn't have made things worse, since they already have no idea how much debt the banks are liable for. What's the nth derivative of zero?

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Stop

scapegoating

Hmmm... 60 comments so far and nobody is blaming the guy for the financial meltdown. Colour me suspicious but when I read the headline I more or less assumed that Fannie Mae wanted to blame somebody else for their dodgy business practices. Seems nobody is biting. Not here at least...

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Linux

@Ian Chard

Youre' quite right about how well known professional sysadmin organisations are, but it is tangential to the argument. FWIW, SAGE-AU is probably the one with the greatest relative success to date.

System Administration itself is a new profession and relatively unknown. We have to start somewhere building professionalism. Considering how important computers have become I expect we will see licensing of sysadmins within a few decades. Just as electricians are licensed today, so will sysadmins be in the future. The level of damage from abuse of the position will sooner or later require a step like this.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not sure...

...but I read "It was only by chance that a senior engineer at Fannie stumbled on to the script five days after Makwana's dismissal" as "BOFH gets employee sacked and subsequently frames him".

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Alert

Highlights the Dangers of SAN & NAS Backups

Imagine if you will this guy was successful. Imagine all backups being disc based with him having access. It could have been a nightmare.

If this company had no offsite, offline storage on tape etc, there would be no way to recover.

If the sysadmin has full access to all servers this is NOT good.

In a large company you need to separate the admins of the backup systems from the regular admins. That way, when one guy goes crazy and wipes out everything, you have a way out of the mess.

After plusnet erased data on their SAN because of a technician's mistake, they lost data and even with data recovery services, they couldn't get stuff back. Loads of ppl in the uk lost emails forever. If a sysadmin wipes out your SAN, you are unlikely to fare much better than them.

....looks to me like tape might be around for a while yet perhaps! (but how do you know that everything you need is being backed up. And that you have the keys for decryption, know the passwords for it etc)

So roll on huge govt systems being rolled out in the uk and think of how just one or two staff can mess up everything for the entire nation. Do you really want your life in the hands of a sysadmin who given the current downturn and lack of job security may very well find bribary attractive?

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Pirate

Hell Yes!!

@By Anonymous Coward Posted Saturday 31st January 2009 22:37 GMT:

<i>So roll on huge govt systems being rolled out in the uk and think of how just one or two staff can mess up everything for the entire nation. Do you really want your life in the hands of a sysadmin who given the current downturn and lack of job security may very well find bribary attractive?</i>

Hell Yes! Those "huge govt systems" are not there to benefit you & me; they are there so the government can screw us harder!! Therefore they must be destroyed and the very idea of a "huge govt system" become so discredited that no politician still in office after the scandal will dare come up with such stupidity for at least a generation!!!

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Alien

Art imitates life...

*fanboi* I'm reminded yet again why Adama refused to have networked computers on Battlestar Galactica ;)

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