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Developer outsources job to China, watches cat videos

A "top developer" has been fired after it was discovered that he had been outsourcing his job to a company in China.

Kitten in a Hamster Ball. (Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

A "top developer" has been fired after it was discovered that he had been outsourcing his job to a company in China.

According to Verizon, the top developer of a US infrastructure firm had found an easy way to do his job: outsourcing. The US telco and the company's service provider was asked to investigate when the company discovered some strange activity on its VPN — a connection to Shenyang in China over a period of time.

Verizon's Andrew Valentine told Help Net Security:

We received a request from a US-based company asking for our help in understanding some anomalous activity that they were witnessing in their VPN logs. This organisation had been slowly moving toward a more telecommuting-oriented workforce, and they had therefore started to allow their developers to work from home on certain days. In order to accomplish this, they'd set up a fairly standard VPN concentrator approximately two years prior to our receiving their call.

Since a physical authenticator is required to log in, the company feared a malware attack.

It turned out that the developer, who is in his mid-forties, had sent his authenticator to a third-party company in China, as well as his log-in credentials, so that they could do his job for him — and for their efforts, he paid them less than a fifth of his six-figure salary.

What about all that spare time he had? Surely he did something useful with it? If you count browsing eBay, Reddit and cat videos on YouTube, and hanging out on Facebook and LinkedIn as useful, then sure.

But because he submitted clean code on time, the company considered him one of their best developers.

Well, if he doesn't have work ethic, he certainly has moxie. According to Valentine, he may have also been contracting to several other companies in his area and outsourcing the work to the same company in Shanyang.

"Evidence even suggested he had the same scam going across multiple companies in the area. All told, it looked like he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about 50 grand annually," he told Help Net Security.