Thought this might raise a few smiles for those that haven't seen it.
I do apologise for it being on the stinkpile Reddit though!
My Little GPOny: Schadenfreude is Magic, Part 2 : talesfromtechsupport
There are some bits of Reddit still fighting off the stench that is the hivemind. TFTS is one of them, so you're allowed to go there
BritishProblems is also acceptable.
(Reddit's blocked. Grumble. Anyone care to mirror?)
Last edited by Garacesh; 15th November 2013 at 10:19 AM.
Two weeks had passed since the tablets went out to the students, and sure enough, one student - one clever, clever kid - had figured out how to get a local admin account on the devices with a WinPE flash drive with NTPWEdit on it.Now, normally, we wouldn't be able to see that he was using it without a lot of work, and since we'd since run a script with net user ACCOUNT_NAME /active:no every two hours on every single tablet via psexec @assetlist.txt due to the imaging company screwing up anyways, the rest of the company didn't think that the damage was there. I was a paranoid bastard, though, and I set up an alert in Computrace. The tablets would call in every two hours and report a bunch of stuff, like their IP address, software installed, et cetera. My alert would text-message me if anyone logged in using a non-domain account when the device called home.
Fortunately, the idiot kid used it to make himself another local admin account, this one with his Internet handle as the user name, which tripped the alarm and texted me when it called home.
Apparently, subtlety wasn't his strong suit.
The next morning - a Friday - I had the tech who goes to the campus confiscate his tablet. He called me with the kid in the IT room, just for me to explain. Being that I was on a bit of a DBZA kick, I decided to talk over the phone using Mr. Popo's voice.
"We know what you did. I hope you enjoyed it."
"Um... can I have my tablet back?"
"... uh, am I in trouble?"
"You'll find out on Monday."
"Are you going to contact my parents?"
"You'll know by Monday."
The tech booted the kid out of his office at that, and after a quick discussion with me about the kid (parents were wealthy as can be, kid was a gamer with an iPhone and time and money to burn, got a full ride to a certain ultraconservative Texas college for engineering, et cetera), he hung up the phone. I pulled out the PDF of the school handbook, and after perusing it, confirmed what I needed, and repeated the process with some paperwork I had archived.
Monday afternoon rolled around, and sure enough, the kid's parents were sitting in the principal's office with him and the campus tech. I knocked discreetly on the door after a few minutes and apologized to the principal for being late.
"I don't think I know you. You're not the campus tech. Who are you?" the kid asked, with far less fear in his voice than one would expect. I guess he figured that his dad's money and status (exec in a certain computer company) would protect him.
"I'm the senior network administrator," I replied, sitting down and smoothing my slacks.
"Forgive me," his father announced. "I don't see why we need to be here. So he got caught misusing a computer. What's the big deal? Just take it away from him for a while."
I shook my head. "Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Were it that easy, we'd just take the tablet away and refund your insurance check. However, there's several things that we need to factor in to this. First off, your son was using illicitly obtained administrative access to create backdoor accounts on the tablet in question. Secondly, we have heard from various students that he decided to spread this method around and show other kids how to do it."
"Quite. And when we called him on it, he asked us if he was in trouble, and if we were going to contact you. I don't think he was sorry about it, more like sorry he got caught."
At this point, his parents were glaring at him, but not seriously, and he leaned back in his chair, confident that any punishment would be something light.
"So at this point," I continued, "there's precious few things we can do. We would LIKE it if your son put an apology in writing to us for this, but that's really a formality at this point. Given the severity of what he did, immediate expulsion, with failing grades in every subject, is the punishment we have in mind for him."
Their faces went slack, his jaw dropped, and even the principal looked over at me with an arched eyebrow. However, the campus tech nodded, and the principal kept quiet.
The principal had an inkling. The campus tech... well, he KNEW what I had in mind, and he was impressed.
"EXPULSION? You can't be serious!"
"Oh, but I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." The joke was ill-received, so I continued on. "There's an acceptable user policy. It's in the code of behavior in the student handbook that he signed off on when he started the year. You signed off on it too, since he's a minor. You all signed the forms AGAIN when we gave him his tablet. It states in there that an offense of this severity is punishable by means up to and including expulsion. Quite frankly, given how confident your son made these kids with his methods of getting administrative access, an example needs to be made."
I turned to the kid. "And don't forget what this means. You get expelled, your free ride to STATE_COLLEGE goes away as well. I'm sure that you could get in by other means - though why you'd go there in the first place, I haven't the foggiest - but a full year of failing marks is kind of an eye-raiser to even the most permissive college, and if they see 'expelled for attempting to defeat computer security measures' on your transcript... well, I don't think that it would end well."
The hyperventilating started, and I leaned back in my chair, letting it sink into everyone's heads that I well and truly hold a banhammer over some kid's future, and crossing me while it was over his head... well, it wouldn't end well at all, since I appeared to have the campus tech and principal on my side.
"YOU CAN'T - "
"Of course," I smoothly said, cutting the red-faced father off before he could reply, "we may have an alternate solution that's far more preferable. Back in my day, kids that were as... creative-minded... as he were regarded as possibly having a future in the information technology field. In fact, the administration would even give such kids extra training and knowledge, in hopes that they would use their skills for good. As a matter of fact, that's what my high school did for me when I did something far worse than what your son did. Given the level of skill required to do what he did, I'm certain that we could find a place for him in our new technology internship program here for the rest of the term, if not the year."
The hyperventilating slowed, and the father looked pensive, while the mother was glaring daggers at the kid.
"Of course, your son would have to realize that being granted his privileges again would come with a price. He will leave all of his cellphones at the office in the morning, and the only computers he's allowed to use on school grounds will be our provided devices. Any further attempts to circumvent security or perform malicious acts - or even ones that we perceive as malicious against our systems and networks - will result in immediate, uncontestable expulsion." I glared at the kid, throwing him a lifeline. "Is that eminently clear?"
He nodded assent, and his father agreed.
"Be in the campus tech's office tomorrow morning, 7:30 AM." I rose, shook the father's and mother's hands, and walked out with the campus tech.
"I can't believe you pulled that off," he said, walking beside me. "I expected them to go ballistic."
"Quite frankly, so did I," I replied, checking around the corner to make sure we weren't being followed. Once we were back in his office with the door shut, I sat down in the comfy chair and kicked my feet up.
"So, any plans for your new PFY?" he said, raising his Mountain Dew in a salute.
"Oh, we can't trust him with anything, especially local admin. He's going to be doing a LOT of triaging, diagnostics, and gruntwork, perhaps some reimaging. Good, honest tier 1 helldesk work. In fact, I think I'm going to make his cellphone our out-of-hours contact for any non-server-related stuff for the campuses, with an expected acknowledgement time of 15 minutes to respond to the ticket."
Our maniacal cackles rang out through the office, and he clinked his Dew bottle against my Doppleganger.
There you go...
That is brilliant.
That's just.. perfect
I think I'd get fired if I tried my hand at that :P
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