Guilty verdict in case of rogue network admin

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Guilty verdict in case of rogue network admin

Could face up to five years in prison.

A former San Francisco network administrator has been found guilty of tampering with the city government's computer network.

Terry Childs was found guilty of felony denial of service, a charge that can carry a penalty of up to five years in prison.

He will be sentenced on 14 June.

In what would become a textbook case of dysfunctional security and management practices in IT, Childs made headlines in 2008 when he locked city officials out of their own networks following a dispute with management.

A five-year employee who had spent much of his time building and managing the city's FiberWAN infrastructure, Childs responded to the dispute by locking down the network and refusing to hand over passwords.

The resulting standoff saw Childs arrested and San Francisco left without access to some 60 percent of the city's stored data.

Childs argued that he was protecting the system from possible damage at the hands of fellow administrators unfamiliar with the FiberWAN deployment.

More than one week after the crisis began, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsome was able to diffuse the situation by visiting Childs in jail and retrieving the needed passwords to regain access.

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