If you haven’t been following the story of the San Francisco network engineer, here’s the backstory: a CCIE working for the city of San Francisco set up the FiberWAN network with himself as the only person who had access to the network equipment. After a dust-up with his boss, he refused to disclose the password to access the FiberWAN routers. Even though he was arrested and facing years in prison, he refused to disclose the password….until the mayor paid him a visit.
After a weeklong standoff with a city employee accused of hacking into San Francisco’s government computer system, Mayor Gavin Newsom gained the suspect’s password after a rare jailhouse visit, according to authorities.
Newsom apparently made a secret jailhouse visit to Terry Childs, 43, who is charged with hacking the city’s computer system and creating a secret password that gave him virtually exclusive access to most of the city’s municipal data.
While in jail and held on $5 million bail, Childs initially refused to reveal the password that would give full access to the network back to city employees, city officials said. But that changed when Newsom agreed to meet Childs on Monday.
The mayor “figured it was worth a shot, because although Childs is not a Boy Scout, he’s not Al Capone either,” Newsom spokesman Nathan Ballard told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The meeting was apparently arranged without the district attorney’s knowledge. Several calls to the DA’s office were not returned.
Childs, an employee of the city’s Department of Technology, pleaded not guilty in court last week to four counts of computer network tampering.