A former IT administrator for the city of San Francisco has been fined nearly $1.5m after locking down the city's government network for 12 days.
In 2008 Terry Childs, an IT administrator on the city's FiberWAN network, which carries 60 per cent of the local government's network traffic, reset passwords after a disagreement with management.
Childs claimed that he was asked to hand over confidential master passwords in front of staff without security clearance. He had spent the previous five years helping to build the FiberWAN network, and said he was trying to protect it from damage by unqualified staff.
The jury didn't buy it, however, and last year Childs was found guilty of tampering with the city's network, and was sentenced to four years in prison. He has recently been released, but has been handed a bill for $1,485,791. The figure represents the cost of repairing the network, which was considerably higher than first estimates.
As an initial cost, San Francisco Superior Court judge Teri Jackson ruled that Childs must forfeit the $11,000 he had on him when he was caught by police. IT administrator salaries are good, but not that good, and it could be some time before his credit score gets out of single figures.
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