Report: SF officials looking for hidden network device

San Francisco officials can't locate or get access to an apparent router allegedly left on the city network by a network administrator in jail for refusing to release passwords.

Elinor Mills
Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.

San Francisco officials are trying to find a device on the city's computer network that was allegedly left there by an IT worker who was jailed for refusing to divulge passwords to the city network, the IDG News Service reported on Thursday.

San Francisco network administrator Terry Childs was arrested in July on four felony charges of taking control of the city's computer network and locking administrators out. He remains in jail on $5 million bail despite giving up the passwords to the mayor in a secret jail cell meeting a week later.

The device, which appears to be a router providing remote access to the city's fiber Wide Area Network, was discovered on August 28, the report says.

However, officials didn't know where the device was located and didn't have the user name and password to access it. When they tried to log in, a message was displayed that said the system was the "personal property of Terry S. Childs," according to a screenshot officials filed with the court.

Updated at 5:45 p.m. PT to correct that network is wide area (as in WAN), not wireless.