Computer programmer fired for outsourcing his own job to China

17 Jan 2013

Somewhere out there, a US computer programmer might be looking for a new job now that he’s been sacked from his previous one for outsourcing his own work to a company in China.

The scam, which his former company’s records suggest had been going on for months, at least, began to be uncovered when the man’s former employer grew suspicious about repeated remote logins to the company’s server from Shenyang, a city in northeastern China.

The man’s employer, worried about the company network’s security, then brought in Andrew Valentine, a computer forensic investigator at communications firm Verizon Business.

In reality, the employee, referred to only as Bob, had sent by FedEx his RSA token to China so the third-party contractor could use Bob’s credentials to log into the company’s system.

Bob, who has been described as being in his mid-40s, quiet, inoffensive and efficient, received performance reviews that credited him as being the best developer in the building, Valentine had noted in a blog post.

When investigators examined Bob’s web-browsing history, however, a clearer picture emerged of how he generally spent his workday:

Bob's day

During his tenure at the company, Bob reaped an annual salary of about US$250,000 (€188,083).

“Evidence even suggested he had the same scam going across multiple companies in the area. All told, it looked like he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about 50 grand annually,” Valentine wrote in the blog post.

Shenyang, China image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza
By Tina Costanza

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic. She came to Ireland from Canada, where she had held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. When she wasn’t saving dangling participles, she was training for 10K races or satisfying a craving for scones.

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