A rather ingenious programmer, working for a critical infrastructure company in the US, outsourced his work to a Chinese contractor for a fraction of his salary. He then sat and played on Facebook, ebay and reddit and watched cat videos all day.
The unnamed programmer, dubbed "Bob" by the media, was earning a six-figure salary. He handed over his login information to a Chinese firm, giving them full access to do his work, then sat back and played, including watching cat videos, participating on Facebook and reddit.
His cover got blown by an audit, which revealed an active virtual private network (VPN) between "Bob's" workstation and the firm in Shenyang, China. Company executives, suspecting a breach in their security system, then requested an audit from Operations Verizon.
Andrew Valentine, a spokesman for Verizon, said, "Evidence even suggested he had the same scam going across multiple companies in the area,” adding that “he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about $50,000 annually."
According to Verizon, the employee had sent his security credentials via Fedex to the Chinese firm, giving them access to log on with his username during working hours. Verizon also uncovered hundreds of PDF files and invoices exchanged between "Bob" and the contractor in Shenyang.
Valentine said that, "Authentication was no problem. He physically FedExed his RSA [security] token to China so that the third-party contractor could log-in under his credentials during the workday. It would appear that he was working an average nine-to-five work day.”
Apparently the contractor in Shenyan had been working for "Bob" for several months and even had access to classified files of the “critical infrastructure company.”
All this just begs the question, what did "Bob" actually do all day?
The company had a look at his Internet browsing history, which revealed that he spent hours surfing reddit, updating Facebook and generally surfing the Web for cat videos.
CNN has posted a typical working day in the life of "Bob":
9:00 a.m. - Get to work, surf reddit, watch cat videos
11:30 a.m. - Lunch
1:00 p.m. - ebay
2:00 p.m or so - Facebook and LinkedIn
4:30 p.m. - Send end-of-day e-mail update to management
5:00 p.m. - Go home
The funny thing is, official performance figures for the company show that "Bob" was the most productive developer in the building. He was also described as “inoffensive, quiet” and talented, and is apparently fluent in several different programing languages. All sounds good, except, of course, he wasn't actually doing the work.
After the story broke in the media, there was a mixture of reactions, with some praising "Bob" for his ingenuity, and others, mainly in China, being more critical of his actions.
Users of the Chinese Twitter-style social network Weibo, were particularly upset with one commenter writing, “Learn English and let’s find work in US. Why do we have to do the dirty work for such a cheap price in China?"
While "Bob's" real identity is still unknown, it has rather unsurprisingly been reported that he no longer works for the company, and it is pretty certain that the Chinese company has been fired too.