An inexplicably motivated San Francisco city computer engineer is in the middle of a bizarre Thermopylaean stand-off against city officials, with his total and complete control of the city's FiberWAN network as his own personal Hot Gates.
According to the SF Gate, Terry Childs — a 43 year old network admin who lives in Pittsburg — created a password that gave him exclusive and total control to the FiberWAN system, which records such data as official city emails, payroll files and law enforcement documents. Childs apparently put together his ace-in-the-hole after he was disciplined a few months ago for poor performance, and was almost fired.
Once suspicion started to mount against Childs, the police were called in and he was asked for the master password. He gave them several dummy codes, then flat-out refused to give police the real one, prompting his arrest. He's facing four felony charges and a $1 million bond.
His motives are inscrutable. City officials are worried that he's going to somehow send the password to a co-conspirator, who will then go on a massive purging sweep of the FiberWAN network, deleting hundreds of thousands of incriminating files and bringing the network to its knees. But except for his own hubris, Childs seems like he has everything to lose by not giving back the password: as a deterrent from being fired, it seems like the scheme has epically failed.
Are we looking at one middle-aged network admin's own personal, Dr. Strangelove-esque Doomsday Device? If so, awesome