It’s Payback Time: Angry employee shut down 90% of Citibank servers
“Often, the right path is the one that may be the hardest for you to follow. But the hard path is also the one that will make you grow as a human being” – Karen Mueller Coombs
As an employee at any job, you can’t help but feel sometimes that you are a victim of the unresolved issues of one boss or another – bullies. This leads to a lot of resentment in the employees, which in turn makes them take drastic steps knowingly or unknowingly.
Such, is the case of a Dallas man who worked at Citibank Regents Campus in Irving, Texas, in 2012 and 2013. On Monday, a Texas judge sentenced Lennon Ray Brown, 38, to 21 months in federal prison for intentionally deleting the configuration of nine out of ten Citibank routers, causing the bank’s entire network to go down for hours in December 2013. He has also been ordered to pay $77,200 in restitution.
Brown, who worked for Citibank first as a contract employee in Texas’s branch and then started working as a full-time employee from February 2013 pleaded guilty to an indictment charging one count of intentional damage to a protected computer in February 2016. Brown’s responsibilities in his job as a computer engineer were to manage the bank’s IT network.
According to court papers, on December 23, 2013, he was called upon by his supervisor earlier in the day and lectured by one of his bosses for his poor work performance. Later during the same day, authorities say that Brown waited for working hours to finish. At approximately 6:03 p.m. that evening, Brown knowingly transmitted a code and command to 10 core Citibank Global Control Center routers, and by transmitting that code, wiped out the running configuration files in nine of the routers. However, his intention was to wipe out all of the bank’s ten central routers, but the code executed only on nine of the servers. Approximately 90% of all Citibank networks across North America were affected due to the loss of connectivity. At 6:05 p.m. that evening, Brown swiped his ID card through the gate to exit the Citibank Regents Campus and went home.
The Court referred to Brown’s behaviour as “criminal vandalism” in the sentencing hearing this Monday. The authorities also read a text that Brown sent to a co-worker immediately after he shut down Citibank’s system, “They was firing me. I just beat them to it. Nothing personal, the upper management need to see what they guys on the floor is capable of doing when they keep getting mistreated. I took one for the team. Sorry if I made my peers look bad, but sometimes it take something like what I did to wake the upper management up.”