There are a great many things that businesses choose to outsource today; from IT services to office cleaning. One area that many firms outsource is SEO, largely because of the greater exposure it can give them and, perhaps most importantly, the expertise provided.
However, a recent security check at a US firm has shown that one member of its IT staff was outsourcing his own work, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process.
A middle-aged software developer, took advantage of his company’s move to a business model more focussed on telecommuting, by outsourcing his personal work to China. Instead of completing the work he was paid an annual six-figure sum for, he spent his time browsing the web.
In its analysis, sparked by misappropriation of the unnamed firm’s VPN, Verizon discovered that certain search engine optimisation proved more effective for this individual than others. YouTube cat videos were a popular choice for the fraudster’s busy schedule.
Andrew Valentine from Verizon, who reported the findings on an internet security website, explained that VPN connections were set up to a number of Chinese companies. Explaining that the scam was found to be going back for a number of months, Valentine said:
“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.”
The cost to the employee was just a fifth of his annual salary, whilst it seemed to all the world that he was actually working a fairly regular nine to five day.