Company Wants to Keep Botmaster Criminal as SysAdmin After Time Served

As if this story could get any worse…

John Schiefer, an employee of human-powered search engine Mahalo, was sentenced to four years in prison this week for operating a botnet. This would be the same Mahalo that hired Schiefer without even a Google search, let alone a background check. They would have learned that Schiefer had just pleaded guilty to four felonies counts, including accessing protected computers to conduct fraud, disclosing illegally intercepted electronic communications, wire fraud and bank fraud.

Even after learning that Schiefer confessed to extensive botnet crimes just 16 months ago, they are continuing to trust him with system root passwords and other sensitive company information. Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis, a former general manager of Netscape, knew about the crime but failed to fire Schiefer. In a heartfelt post on his personal blog, Calcanis said that he hadn’t known about the crime at the time of the hire, and had decided to keep Schiefer on after he discovered it.  “Almost all talented developers push the envelope when they’re young. Anyone in technology knows this dark, dirty little secret,” he said, adding that he hoped to give Schiefer a job when he left jail.

I really hope that you avoid Mahalo’s search engine. Information security is obviously not important to this company, and keeping convicted computer criminals in sys admin jobs is important.

Calacanis  should remember the old old cliché:
 Don’t let the fox guard the henhouse