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01/16/2013

Employee fired after outsourcing his own job to China

An American man is out of a paycheque after he was busted for outsourcing his job to China for about a fifth of his six-figure salary.

The software developer outsourced his work to a third-party contractor overseas, and he even went to great lengths to make sure they would be able to access secure computer systems from outside the country.

The whole scam came to light when a security audit on Verizon flagged access from an unusual location.

What investigators found was that someone was accessing the company's virtual private network from a foreign computer, located in Shenyang, China.

The employee actually mailed his RSA key – a special security token – to China. This way, the outsourced contractor would be able to log in and get the work done without a hitch.

The Chinese also logged on at the same time he would usually log on to get work done in America, 9-to-5.

While the American man's company was shifting more of it's staff toward “telecommuting” - working from wherever you are remotely using a computer, this took it to the whole next level.

And instead of working on, well, work, the BBC reports that the man was looking up cat videos, reading stories on Reddit and browsing eBay. He probably also spent some more time with his kids, considering that he was described as a “family man.”

What's more is that the man in his 40s wasn't just scamming Verizon – but possibly other companies as well. According to Net-secuirty.org, logs on his computer suggested “he had the same scam going across multiple companies in the area” where he lived.

So if he paid the Chinese contractor about about $50,000 to do the work, and the reports say that sum was one-fifth of his salary, this personal outsourcer was likely pulling in $250,000 a year.

If only he didn't keep PDFs on his computer with the invoices for the outsourced work.

Would you outsource your own work to China for a fifth of your salary?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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