Domino theory

It's a few years back, and this pilot fish is trying out a piece of commercial software using a demo key with a license manager.

"The program came with a shutdown program for the license manager," says fish. "At one point I tried to run shutdown for the program I was testing. Suddenly, to my horror, I saw it shutting down every licensed program on our internal network: compilers, linkers, configuration management, everything.

"I sort of felt like the guy in a movie who leans on a bookshelf that falls over and causes a domino effect. I quickly called the help desk to tell them what happened.

"Next morning when I tried to log in, I found my account locked. I called the help desk and was told it was because of what happened the day before.

"I reminded them that I did not have root access and there was no way I should have been able to do what that program did, so the program clearly had a security flaw in it.

"They promptly unlocked my account."

Explain it to Sharky. Tell me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll get a stylish Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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