back to article Holy smokes! Ex-IT admin gets two years prison for trashing Army chaplains' servers

A former system admin for a US Army contractor has been sentenced to two years behind bars for trashing his employer's network on his way out the door. Barrence Anthony, 40, of Waldorf, Maryland, was given the sentence by US District Judge Leonie Brinkema in the Eastern District of Virginia court after pleading guilty to one …

  1. Old Used Programmer

    Where is god when you need him?

    Shouldn't the chaplains have just appealed for divine help to fix everything? Can't the omnipotent creator of the universe do something simple lijke that?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      He's too busy turning fish into wine or drowning swine or something important like that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where is god when you need him?

        Ever noticed how the two main interested parties in Religious wars NEVER, EVER show up?

        There would be no need for millions (or billions, by now) of deaths if the sky fairies in question ever got of their omnipotent butts and put in an appearance...

        Anon because I don't want to annoy the hordes of super-powerful beings who are solely responsible for everything on Earth and in the Heavens...

        Hail Eris! All hail Discordia!

        1. Mattjimf

          Re: Where is god when you need him?

          Being Omnipotent, they know who you are regardless of perceived anonymity.

          1. steviebuk Silver badge

            Re: Where is god when you need him?

            I wish I was a Q

          2. Daytona955

            Re: Where is god when you need him?

            You mean omniscient. Omnipotent means he/she can smite you wherever you are...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where is god when you need him?

        Never cast your pearls before wine.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Where is god when you need him?

          According to folklore, pearls should be crushed and finely ground, then dissolved in a glass of wine in order to prepare a healing potion capable of treating poison and intestinal problems.

    2. Bite my finger

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      > "Shouldn't the chaplains have just appealed for divine help to fix everything?"

      God doesn't work that way, at least not these days.

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: God doesn't work that way, at least not these days.

        Is this an IR35 thing?

      2. Jimboom
        Trollface

        Re: Where is god when you need him?

        >"God doesn't work, at least not these days."

        FTFY

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: Where is god when you need him?

          He only worked 6 days, then would you Adam & Eve it he subcontracted out the facilities & estates management, then went off to play golf.

      3. OssianScotland Silver badge

        Re: Where is god when you need him?

        "The difficult, He*, does at once, the impossible takes the full 7 days (including a rest day)"

        *Other genders are available, including pasta

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Where is god when you need him?

          In the unlikely event that God does turn out to be real and the even more unlikely event of a visitation down here I really hope they self-identify as female. That would put the wind up a lot of priests and their ilk :)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Where is god when you need him?

            >In the unlikely event that God does turn out to be real and the even more unlikely event of a visitation down here I really hope they self-identify as female. That would put the wind up a lot of priests and their ilk :)

            Better still would be one of the LGBTQ+ categories. That would see half of the USA selfcombust (other religious places are also available).

          2. EdFX

            Re: Where is god when you need him?

            .... And gay!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      Ah yes, one of those still blaming your professors for not teaching your courses bettererer. Couldn't be the case of ignoring lessons and failing to do the homework...

      Stop shaking your fist at the sky and look in a mirror.

    4. jason_derp

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      My understanding was that he can but won't.

    5. Douglas Wardle

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      He removed God Mode usr

    6. Mr Dogshit

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      Because "we learn through suffering".

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy.......

      (can't believe I'm the first to get that one in.....)

    8. jmch Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      "Shouldn't the chaplains have just appealed for divine help to fix everything"

      Shouldn't the chaplains have forgiven him?

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Where is god when you need him?

        They may have - wasn't it his direct employer complaining about him messing up a valuable contract?

        In other words, the guys who got the money from the pastors...

    9. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      God hasn't done mainframes for years -- since Moses' day, everything's been done on tablets.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Angel

        Re: Where is god when you need him?

        LOL.

        But why so few upvotes??

      2. Chris King Silver badge

        Re: Where is god when you need him?

        And the Commandments came down from a cloud ?

    10. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      It's never going to be that easy...

      Priest: Hey boss, can you sort out this sinning SOB for us ?

      God: Okay boys, plague of haemorrhoids coming right up...

      (I'll try not to make a "Grapes of Wrath" pun here... oops...)

    11. HellDeskJockey
      Angel

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      They did God sent a prosecutor and a judge.

    12. Nightkiller

      Re: Where is god when you need him?

      Only if the divine was responsible in the first place.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    He wanted to be caught?

    Why else would put he put everything in his name and leave himself as sole admin?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: He wanted to be caught?

      His genetic heritage was shaped by a long history of close familial intimacy ?

    2. tekHedd

      Some people just don't get it

      I thought everyone in IT knew that, while you can go to jail for trashing the servers, incompetence leaves you untouchable. Create byzantine, undocumented systems that only you understand, systems that require weekly or daily manual tweaks to continue running that only you can perform. Sure, that's all fine. Nobody can touch you. But do...what this guy did, yeah no.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Some people just don't get it

        Back in the 90s one of the guys I worked with did this. We were in a situation where only he had any idea how the system worked, no documentation etc. He used it to leverage promotion after promotion. When a new senior manager started he queried it and chief exec shot him down. He then asked why we couldn't just buy a replacement system, lots of looking around the room then the chief exec laughed and said "Buy it, then sack the f*cker."

        I honestly never understood why none of them thought of this before, it was basically blackmail!

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
          Coffee/keyboard

          Re: Some people just don't get it

          Ah the Wally approach, better than a BOFH approach (Or Mordac the preventor of information services for another Dilbert reference), as that was outsourced from under me.

          1. baud Bronze badge

            Re: Some people just don't get it

            The BOFH also add a layer of blackmail on top of it to prevent any loss of power through outsourcing. He also knows where all the bodies are buried.

            1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: Some people just don't get it

              I wasn't BOFH for long (So the boss got to enjoy the BOFH perks), so I was more Mordac and https://dilbert.com/strip/2013-08-24 actually happened to me.

              1. Chris King Silver badge

                Re: Some people just don't get it

                At least it didn't end like this

                1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

                  Re: Some people just don't get it

                  :O well tbh I brought a load of 4250's cheap so everyone had one even if they didn't print much (Ended up with users asking for smaller printers and meant I could replace the invoice and despatch note printers every 1 million prints when they started wearing out).

      2. big_D Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Some people just don't get it

        Yep. In my first job, there was a guy around 60 and the company looked for voluntary redundancies. He put his hand up, got a payout for around 40 years of service (and he was on good terms, one month's money per year of service).

        The company failed to do due diligence and booted him out with a gold plated boot... Only to realise at the next financial quarter reporting that he was responsible for around 40 different, undocumented systems... They tried to cancel his redundancy, but failed and ended up getting him back as a high paid contractor for 6 months to train up someone else to look after the systems!

        Paris, because there is no PHB icon.

        1. boltar Silver badge

          Re: Some people just don't get it

          "ended up getting him back as a high paid contractor for 6 months to train up someone else to look after the systems!"

          Probably his plan all along - a nice extra whack on top of his redundancy to retire on.

          1. the hatter

            Re: Some people just don't get it

            After having a nice little break from the daily grind first, no doubt, and being treated with great reverence upon his return.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He wanted to be caught?

      Isn't that what God did (allegedly)?

    4. big_D Silver badge

      Re: He wanted to be caught?

      I've been made redundant a few times and each time I've been especially careful to ensure that I do everything by the book, so that I can ensure that if there are any claims for compensation, they come from me for unfair dismissal...

      Twice I managed to get a decent supplementary payout, because the company messed up big time in letting me go. If I'd done something stupid like this guy, I'd have ended up paying out and sitting in jail, as opposed to sipping cocktails, sitting on a beach...

      What a plonker.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Army Chaplains Gotta Eat Too

      Our chaplains have to have bigger and better online prayer books than the infidel idol worshippers

      You can't let a missal gap develop

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Amazing the lengths people will go to to make themselves unemployable.

  5. Blockchain commentard Silver badge
    WTF?

    Trash servers = jail. I get that. Nearly $50k to his former employer who fired him? Why?

    1. whitepines Silver badge

      Perhaps that employer had to clean up the mess at their own expense (terms of contract)?

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "Anthony went on to delete" . .

    . . all possibility of him ever finding work as a sysadmin ever again.

    Welcome to your new position, Mr McDonalds French Fries Manager.

    What a fuckwit.

  7. Mayday
    Devil

    Everybody knows

    That you use a generic local admin/L15 account, login to each router and:

    erase startup-config

    format flash:

    reload in <<arbitary time a few weeks after you leave, but different for every device>>

    Icon chosen for effect.

  8. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    A Family Affair

    God, there were so many times in the Crimean War when the chaplains of the half dozen denominations there couldn't offer succour to dying soldiers and sailors because they couldn't log in for instructions from a computer server.

    In the British case, run from Wales by one of Lord Raglan's nephews.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No data loss as everything could be restored from a backup ....because Jesus saves

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Happy

      Jesus might save, but Lu-Tze makes back-ups

    2. AndrueC Silver badge
      Joke

      Jesus saves!

      ..then Linneker gets it in on the rebound.

      Oh, wrong joke. Sorry.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Joke

        Linneker??? Man, you're older than sin! 8^)

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          <sigh>I remember the first time I saw that sticker, it was Coppell who was scoring on the rebound.....how old does that make me?

          1. Borg.King

            how old does that make me?

            George Best in my day.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "....because Jesus saves"

      Not on my pension, he won't!!!

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Holmes

        "....because Jesus saves"

        but never tests the restore.

  10. jmch Silver badge

    Trashing

    "for trashing his employer's network on his way out the door."

    I think it would have been far more therapeutic, and possibly less costly, if he had done the trashing with a baseball bat

    1. baud Bronze badge

      Re: Trashing

      He couldn't do any trashing with a bat, it's all in the cloud now

  11. JohnG

    Considering the intent, the damage done and the period of time over which he carried out his plan, the sentence seems a bit light. Hackers have received worse sentences for less.

  12. adam payne Silver badge

    I understand he was angry at being fired but trashing servers on the way out is a no no.

    Legal action, possible jail time and damages/fine.

    Good luck getting another job in the field as no one going to touch you.

  13. Petergwilson

    So they don't really practice what they preach. I thought they were supposed to 'turn the other cheek'.

    1. stiine Silver badge
      Devil

      It was the Army. They should have used artillary.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Madness

    He could of argued it was an act of insanity, it appears to get people off assault or murder charges. After all, he could claim "Why would I possibly do all this in my name. I was always going to get caught doing it in my name. It was just a moment of insanity".

    Having said that, if you're in a position where you can't do it in anything other than your name then you need to do it in a way that can't have you criminally charged but have a similar, less destructive effect. Like deleting all the documentation you've ever created, no one else's, just your own, then recreate blank copies, so on the next backup, they should overwrite the originals. And all those videos guides you've created you delete, because they are going to end up being deleted anyway when they delete your account and forget they allowed the use of YouTube video guides so most of the Intranet will now be full of No Longer Available video guides, you can just make this happen sooner.

  15. tiggity Silver badge

    Mental Health plea

    That was so monumentally stupid that IT person must have been in a dubious mental state to do something where guaranteed to get caught.

    Must assume the IT guy had bad lawyers not to go for some temporary mental incapacity defence (quite reasonable as some people get really distraught at being sacked)

  16. STOP_FORTH
    Holmes

    Strangers on a train

    I have a modest suggestion for all you disenchanted sysadmins out there in Commentard land.

    Swap all of your passwords/logins/remote access with another, similarly dischuffed, sysadmin and trash each other's systems when you both have alibis.

  17. Morrie Wyatt
    Devil

    He should have known

    That he didn't stand a prayer of getting away with it.

  18. doug_bostrom

    "He specifically targeted his actions to do harm to one of the company’s most lucrative contracts with the US Army Chaplain Corps..."

    Structural graft might be the next worthy target of investigation.

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