Is it pretty? No. But safe? Yeah, pretty much.

It's a few years ago, and this office needs an expedient way to send documents to another office in the same building, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

"Office A's fax machine was often quite tied up, and email implementation was still a ways off," fish says.

"Having worked for both offices, I installed a small unmanaged switch in office A and ran Cat-5 through the ceiling to a printer on office B's network.

"I gave office A its own network card on the printer on B's network, thereby isolating the networks but allowing A access to B's printer.

"Then office A went under new management. Their new IT chief had a fit about the 'connection.' I tried to explain, but hit a brick wall.

"I then called on a consultant I knew who was waaaaay over my head. He informed us that, yeah, someone could use a buffer overflow and bridge the two networks via the printer's OS, but maybe just a few in the entire U.S. might be able to pull it off. Both networks had 'to' and 'from' firewalls set up. Result: Almost nil chance of a breach.

"Office A's IT chief didn't like being one-upped by someone he considered beneath him. After that, he wouldn't even give me the time of day, poor fellow."

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