Now you can outsource your job, but you might get caught

You can outsource your unwanted development work to ChinaAn extraordinary story here from the US about how a computer programmer outsourced his job to China and continued to go into the office, but did not a shred of work. Instead he surfed Reddit, watched cat videos spent time on Ebay, update his social networks and then after emailing management he went home.

This wasn’t a junior guy but a family man in his 40s, working at a “US critical infrastructure company”, who appears to have gone quietly off of the rails and settled on a plan to hire cheap contractors in China to do his job for him. Not a problem until his bosses called in US mobile giant Verizon to investigate.

The Verizon Risk Team was asked to investigate some “anomalous activity” that had been witnessed in the company’s Virtual Private Network logs. The VPN allowed people to work from home as the organisation was moving to a teleworking model. However, as it looked at its network logs it found an open and active unauthorized connection from Shenyang, China.

The developer whose credentials were being used was sitting at his desk in the office and yet the network showed him logged in from China. Malware was suspected, but after Verizon was called in this isn’t what it found.

They found that that family man “Bob”, mid-40’s software developer versed in C, C++, perl, java, Ruby, php, python, had hundreds of .pdf invoices from a third party contractor/developer in Shenyang, China, on his PC.

“As it turns out, Bob had simply outsourced his own job to a Chinese consulting firm. Bob spent less that one fifth of his six-figure salary for a Chinese firm to do his job for him. Authentication was no problem, he physically FedExed his RSA 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 9 to 5 work day. Investigators checked his web browsing history, and that told the whole story.

A typical ‘work day’ for Bob looked like this:

9:00 a.m. – Arrive and surf Reddit for a couple of hours. Watch cat videos

11:30 a.m. – Take lunch

1:00 p.m. – Ebay time.

2:00 – ish p.m Facebook updates – LinkedIn

4:30 p.m. – End of day update e-mail to management.

5:00 p.m. – Go home,” from the Verizon security blog.