Man outsources his own job to China
on 18/01/2013 00:00:00
'Bob', as he has been dubbed in the media, had his cover blown when an external audit showed a Chinese company had been logging in under his name.
The audit revealed an active virtual private network between Bob's workstation and a firm in Shenyang, China.
Suspecting a breach in their security system, the firm's executives initially requested an audit from Operations Verizon.
Andrew Valentine of Verizon said "evidence even suggested he had the same scam going across multiple companies... he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about $50,000 [€37,365] annually".
The firm uncovered hundreds of PDF files and invoices exchanged between the Shenyang contractor and Bob.
Verizon said that the employee had sent his security credentials to the Chinese firm so they could log on with his username during working hours.
"Authentication was no problem," Valentine said. 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."
Verizon revealed the Shenyang contractor had been working for Bob for months, and had access to the classified files of the "critical infrastructure company".
So what did Bob actually do during his workday?
A look at his internet browsing history revealed he whiled away the hours on Facebook, Reddit, and searching for cat videos.
And at the end of every day, Bob would send an email to the management to safeguard his integrity.
Official performance figures for the company show Bob was the most productive developer in the building. He has been described as "inoffensive, quiet" and fluent in several programing languages.
The internet lit up with comments after the story broke, with some praising Bob's resourcefulness.
One blogger opined that he was an "American hero," worthy of a medal. "Where's the problem? He improved his personal profit and the quality and efficiency of his work."
However, Chinese users of Twitter-style network Weibo were more critical.
"Learn English and let's find work in US. Why do we have to do the dirty work for such a cheap price in China?" wrote one.