Published in News

Hacker had criminal conviction

by on17 July 2008


Anger management

The computer engineer who is holding San Francisco's computer network for ransom has a history of aggravated robbery.

According to the San Francisco Chronical, Terry Childs is still being paid his six-figure salary while he sits in jail, refusing to divulge the password he created to hijack the computer system that stores 60% of all city government data, including e-mails, law enforcement records, and payroll documents.

Miffed at people trying to get rid of him, Childs, who works for the city's technology department,  locked out other system administrators. He is keeping mum about passwords that would unlock the system, which remains operational. At the moment everything is okay, but if there were a major crash of the inaccessible FiberWAN that Childs helped build the city could shut down.

But questions are arising how Childs could have that job at all when his bosses knew he had a 25-year-old felony criminal record in Kansas. He was convicted of aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary stemming from charges filed in 1982. Childs was on probation or parole until 1987. Childs had admitted the felony conviction when he applied for the San Francisco job five years ago. He was highly regarded in the technology department until he became a "rogue employee that got a bit maniacal."

Apparently, he started taking photographs of the new head of security after she began an audit of who had password access to the system. He scared her so much that she locked herself in an office.

Last modified on 17 July 2008
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