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The Insider Scenario

It's Monday morning at the regional headquarters of a national brokerage house—and things are not going well. Employees reporting to work find that their phones are not working. The result: new orders cannot be received, open orders cannot be processed, and customer service reps cannot contact clients about the problem.

After some investigation by the MIS department, they find that the UNIX-based telephone switching system for the entire complex has been turned off. Even worse, the control of the system is no longer in the hands of the MIS personnel. Someone has effectively captured and closed off all access to the telephone system.

The head of MIS remembers a highly emotional and contested exit interview with one of the information technology contractors. The contractor did not perform his duties well and was told that his contract was terminated. The contractor, angry about the termination of his contract, had made veiled threats to the company on his way out the door.

After some investigation, it is found that the contractor had known early that he was being terminated and had sabotaged the telephone switching system. In addition, further investigation revealed that the contractor had a police record—two prior felony convictions.

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