It's a hack!

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It's a few years after Y2K, and this pilot fish has overall responsibility for all things related to his company's website.

"Like most corporations, our company had a policy that computers and laptops were to be used only for company business, along with policies governing the appropriate use of the internet in the work environment," fish says.

"After arriving at work one morning, I opened my email to find a frantic message from our CEO to me and our internet security manager, stating that our website had been hacked."

The big boss knows this is the case because there are spammy images and text on the home page, among other issues. Not surprisingly, the CEO is adamant that this must be resolved ASAP.

Fish immediately opens his browser and goes to the company's home page. But he can't find the hackers' text and images, or any other sign that anything is wrong.

He tries viewing a few other pages. Still nothing. Navigating back to the home page, he clears his browser's cache and cookies and tries again. But it looks just the same as before.

Internet security manager has the same experience -- no indication of hacking. He digs deeper into the server logs. But he can't even find evidence of attempts at hacking the website.

Finally, the security manager decides it's time to make a visit to the CEO's office to get a firsthand look at the hacking the boss has observed.

It doesn't take him long to determine that something has been hacked -- but it's the CEO's browser, as a result of the CEO's son using this work laptop to look at some questionable websites.

"So much for policy," grumbles fish. "No apology, at least to me, and it was never spoken of again by the CEO.

"And for me and our internet security manager, it became our little secret."

Tell Sharky your little secret. Send me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com, and I'll file off the identifying marks before I use it. You can also comment on today's tale at Sharky's Google+ community, and read thousands of great old tales in the Sharkives.

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