Software Developer Sacked for Outsourcing Job to China


Ever heard the old saying “work smarter, not harder”? Well, if you happen to be an employer of some sort, you might want to think twice before you go proffering this kind of advice to one of your underlings…

The example of forty-something year-old software developer “Bob” is a fine case in point. Here we have someone who took this mantra just a little bit too far, when he decided to go the whole hog and outsource his entire job to a company in China – so that he could spend his time lazing around the office, surfing eBay and watching cat videos on YouTube.

According to the BBC, Bob successfully pulled off this little scam of his for more than two years and raked in a salary amounting to several hundred thousand dollars, all the while paying the Chinese firm he outsourced his work to a measly $50k a year.

The scam was only uncovered when one of the US firms that Bob was ‘working’ for asked Verizon to carry out an investigation into what it presumed was a security breach. The unnamed company had detected some anomalous activity on its virtual private network, and was concerned that hackers from China could be stealing the company’s data.

After carrying out some checks, Verizon discovered that there was indeed an open and active VPN connection from China, originating from the city of Shenyang. But, and this is the fun part, instead of being the work of hackers, investigators discovered that the VPN had in fact been set up and maintained by none other than Bob himself.

Verizon’s Andrew Valentine explains:

“This organization had been slowly moving toward a more telecommuting oriented workforce, and they had therefore started to allow their developers to work from home on certain days. In order to accomplish this, they’d set up a fairly standard VPN concentrator approximately two years prior to our receiving their call,”

“Central to the investigation was the employee himself, the person whose credentials had been used to initiate and maintain a VPN connection from China. Authentication was no problem. He physically FedExed his RSA [security] token to China so that the third-party contractor could log-in under his credentials during the workday. It would appear that he was working an average nine-to-five work day,”

Sadly for Bob, all good things come to an end, and the man who was once considered to be the company’s ‘star programmer’ now finds himself unemployed. Hmmm… perhaps he can forge a new career for himself as a talent scout?