January 18, 2013

Employee makes outsourcing work for him

Los Angeles Times

It's a worst-case scenario for most employees: There's someone in China who can do your job quickly, efficiently and for about one-fifth of your salary, and your boss absolutely loves his work.

But one U.S. software developer turned this nightmare on its head and actually benefited from outsourcing, a report says. Without his bosses' knowledge, he hired a Chinese developer to do his job -- allowing him to take home impeccable performance reviews while actually spending the day watching cat videos and shopping on eBay.

According to Andrew Valentine, who works on the Verizon Risk Team investigating data breaches, the employee, whom Valentine calls "Bob," had pulled off the stunt for some time, allowing him to relax and earn a good salary while someone in China did his job for him.

Valentine was hired to investigate when the company, a Verizon client, saw that someone from Shenyang, China, was logging in to its computer network every workday. The breach was traced to Bob's virtual private network, or VPN. When Valentine's staff looked more closely at Bob's computer, they ultimately found the smoking gun.

Bob had PDFs of hundreds of invoices from a third-party contractor in Shenyang for developer services.

Bob had paid the contractor $50,000 a year, while he made hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Verizon spokeswoman Janet Brumfield confirms the story.

Valentine says it would be easy for other companies to ensure their employees aren't outsourcing their own jobs to China.

"Organizations need to routinely and aggressively monitor their security logs," Valentine said.

"This could have been prevented if the organization had simply bothered to look."

Suffice it to say, Bob is no longer working for the company.

 

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