“Large IT Governance Committee” hack

Observation: 

In an effort to reduce tool license fees, the IT governance committee is not only hounding developers with endless surveys, the department is threatening developers that their tools will be removed if surveys are not promptly being responded to.

The tension:

The tone of the emails is one of coercion. A similar tone is used while dealing with 2 year olds: “If you do not play nicely you are a bad boy, and your toy will be removed.”

How Frank exposes the tension:

One guy (lets call him Frank) in a team took offense at the emails, responding with

“Dear IT Governance Team, 

I certainly hope you will not cut the access to my tool independent if I answer the survey or not. Please note when I read this I feel someone has coerced me.

Thank you,

Frank

How Frank exposes the crack:

One would think that the threatening emails would stop, however they continued, targeting Frank in particular (and yes, including the red font and underlined text.)

“Warning Frank!

If you DO NOT respond to this survey we will assume that you do not need access to a tool of this type.  A future automated  client software check will remove unregistered instances of these tools.

 

REMEMBER: If you DO NOT respond to the survey it will be assumed that you do not need any database tools.

 

R&D IT Governance Team”

The art:  

Our hero Frank responded with a “copy-all” email to the IT Governance team, the entire development staff (2,000+)  initiating a barrage of similar “code emails” back to the IT Governance Team eventually causing the surveys to stop:

From: Frank
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 10:05 AM
To: IT Governance committee
cc: All
Subject: RE: REMINDER: R&D IS Database Tool Survey

 

cat “
boolean hasbeenagoodboy = hasCompletedSurvey(me);
boolean needsqltool = hasSqlToolInstalled(me);
int i_am_ok=0;
int no_more_sql_4me=1

 

if (NOT hasbeenagoodboy AND needsqltool) then
  goto YOU_WILL_BE_SORRY
fi
if (NOT hasbeenagoodboy) then
  needsqltool=false;
  goto YOU_WILL_BE_SORRY
fi
exit(i_am_ok);

 

YOU_WILL_BE_SORRY:
print ‘WARNING !  says you will be sorry!’
delete(sqltool, me);
exit(no_more_sql_4me);

| translate style=“optional”

int i_am_ok=0;
boolean needsqltool = hasSqlToolInstalled(me);
if (needsqltool) then
  pleaseCompleteSurvey(me);
  print ‘thanks’
fi
exit(i_am_ok);

$

The result:  

As the development staff was cc’d, this initiate a barrage of similar “code emails” back to the IT Governance Team eventually causing the surveys to cease.

This post has been anonymously submitted.

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