Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Troubling IT Oriented Development

This man was named KT Ligesh and he lived in Bangalore India, where he created software and owned a company called LXLabs. Among other things, his company made a product that enabled VPS'es- that's "virtual private servers". Without getting too geeky, it was a platform primarily for hosting websites. It was well regarded, and his business had been doing quite well.

Then some hackers found a vulnerability in the code he created and were able to destroy something like 100,000 websites. Totally gone. There are businesses that use the software to manage hosted websites- tens of thousands of websites, and they are sort of up a creek now, but that's looking comparatively like small potatoes.

You see, KT Ligesh was found dead yesterday. He hanged himself.

Now, things are not as 'cause and effect' as this may appear. He had apparently been unable to reconcile the suicide of his mother and sister, and had been drinking heavily. However, I think it's safe to say that he was certainly troubled by the security breach that has caused so much pain and anger among the web hosts and their customers.

Here's the odd follow up / twist- while there are 24 known serious bugs in the software he created, the means by which the hackers did all this damage was probably unrelated to any of them. According to this site the baddies had previously compromised the systems and had been recording passwords and (they say) credit card data. Is their account credible? Could they be spinning this tragedy to ameliorate their guilt? Who knows?

The bottom line is that (to my awareness) this is the first time that a malicious action has caused (my interpretation) the death of an IT colleague. It gives me pause. I take pride in my work, but it's not my life. I hope the same is true for all the rest of us in the wire trenches.

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Blogger Cheesy said...

How sad to think people don't realize just how fubar'd their actions of web terror are..

9:08 PM  

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