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Disgruntled ex-IT employees are now considered national security threats.

Read the feds’ public service announcement on the subject here.

The FBI and that paragon of government bloat, the Department of Homeland Security, assert that IT employees who have been shown the door and who retain passwords to company systems can do serious damage. Havoc, in fact, that can impact the entire American economy.

According to the FBI’s PSA:


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“There has been an increase in computer network exploitation and disruption by disgruntled former employees. The FBI and DHS assess that disgruntled and former employees pose a significant cyber threat to US businesses due to their authorized access to sensitive information and the networks businesses rely on.”

The release illustrates the potential pitfalls of firing somebody who retains their password with unfettered access to sensitive and proprietary data. The feds define an insider threat as a former employee who has unrestricted access to company systems or data. That information, the feds said, if in the wrong hands, could end up for sale or be passed to foreign intelligence agencies.

Again, the feds’ release:

“The exploitation of business networks and servers by disgruntled and/or former employees has resulted in several significant FBI investigations in which individuals used their access to destroy data, steal proprietary software, obtain customer information, purchase unauthorized goods and services using customer accounts, and gain a competitive edge at a new company.”

The recommendation segment of the PSA declares that when axing an employee, you need to do it right. Have security load their stuff in a box and frog-march them out the door. And before that person is even out the foyer, walking to his or her car, have the IT people go in and change the password access to computers without delay.

Got somebody to rat out who fits the above description? There’s a website for that too.

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