Memory-Lane Monday: Sneakynet

The legal mind at work.

Computerworld  |  Shark Tank
Computerworld / IDG

This contractor pilot fish is at a client site — and, as usual, he and his cohorts are dealing with issues that weren’t originally contemplated when they were brought in.

“The network was going crazy,” fish reports. “This was a big site, with lots of routers and subnets, all carefully segregated. Something was hosing this big time, and sniffers told us we were seeing ‘contamination’ between subnets.”

Fish and his team eventually pin down where the contamination is happening. It’s in two subnets in adjacent wings of the corporate building: the ones for the legal department and software development.

So fish and his team decide to walk the floor to see if they can spot anything out of the ordinary.

At first, everything looks normal. But then someone on the team sees an Ethernet cable snaking around a corridor.

The cable is plugged into two network jacks on the wall. And it doesn’t belong to fish’s group.

“We dug a bit,” says fish. “Turns out that legal was blocked from open internet access; development wasn’t. Some bright character in legal figured out if he plugged a cable into a development jack around the corner, they got out to the internet without filters.

“I never found out, but I really hope he got fired.”

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