Yung-Hsun “Andy” Lin, a former systems administrator at Medco Health Solutions, pleaded guilty to planting a “logic bomb” on the company’s computer network because he suspected he was about to be laid off.
The malicious software, a string of coding that would have wreaked havoc on the company’s systems, was set to detonate on Lin’s birthday, April 23, 2004. When the bomb failed to go off because of a coding error, Lin reset it for the same date in 2005. A fellow systems administrator discovered the bomb before it could launch, but it still cost Medco about $120,000 to clean up its data and computer systems.
Lin told the court he re-triggered the bomb because of continued pressure from layoffs. In the month before the layoffs, Lin sent numerous e-mails expressing anxiety over the prospect of losing his job.
Advice: Don’t ignore warning signs of employees under stress. Medco might have been able to sidestep the entire problem if it had immediately responded to Lin’s concerns by offering counseling.