The ticket Bruce found in his help desk queue seemed innocuous enough on the surface. A user in the Finance department complained about not being able to create a file named “Wire Transfer” in their network folder. Being in finance, they did this many times in the past, but suddenly it no longer worked. Bruce assumed the user was doing something wrong, and that it would be resolved in five minutes.

Bruce navigated to the Finance network share, and attempted to create a new file named WireTransfer.txt. A big, ugly “ACCESS DENIED: Security Policy Violation!” message box stared back at him. “That’s odd…” Bruce muttered, knowing he had write access to the directory. “I’ll bet Duane had something to do with this…”

Duane was the resident security “expert”, which always made him Public Enemy #1. He was a kooky old-timer, with a short temper and a low tolerance for human interaction. Duane spent most of his time researching everything but the threats their systems were likely to face. Bruce slinked up to Duane’s office, took a deep breath, and said, “Hey, Duane, I got a ticket for…”

Duane held up a hand to silence him, and continued staring at his screen. “I’m reading the FBI cyber-security threat assessments for the week. This is more important than your helpdesk crap.”

“Well, this is a critical issue, Duane. Finance needs to make this multi-million dollar wire transfer…”

“Hey!” Duane interjected. “I’ve been thinking that one of our janitors looks suspiciously like D.B. Cooper.” He pointed at the “America’s Most Wanted” printout on the wall. “If you see him, or anyone else on this poster, let me know immediately! These criminal types can be anywhere. Even you could be one!”

“Uh huh… sure. Listen, is there any strange reason why no one can create a file named ‘Wire Transfer’? They need to do that to process wire transfers.”

Duane rolled his eyes and threw his bald head back. “Ohhh, no. No. That is strictly forbidden. I’m not cleaning up after another wire transfer virus again!” Duane explained that a month ago, a dozen employees received an email with a zip file named It claimed to be from “YOUR BANK HERE”, and said to open the attachment to claim the spoils of a “bank error in youre[sic] favour!” Despite Duane’s constant warnings about suspicious attachments, several users opened the file and infected their computers.

“You see, Bruce, I deal with these attacks every day! This is my life. I flexed my security muscles and I took care of the problem. The network won’t allow anything with the words ‘wire’ and ‘transfer’ in the name. That virus will never get through here again! Now, toddle back to your little help-desk station, and explain to our users, in small words, that they need to figure out another way to do transfers.” Duane waited a beat, and when Bruce didn’t vanish as quickly as he wanted. “You need to leave my office. I have to go traverse the building perimeter to look for physical vulnerabilities!” Duane leapt out of the chair, pushing Bruce ahead of him, while leaving his workstation unlocked.

Back in his own cube, Bruce contacted the user to see if they could name the file something different. Unfortunately, the inflexible, in-house application they used to process transfers only accepted files with names styled WireTransfer20141023. Bruce resigned himself to a bleak future, where he escalated this to his manager, who then escalated to the finance manager, who would then go above Duane’s head to the IT director, who would then force Duane to remove this “fix”. Duane would then catch wind of Bruce’s betrayal and vengefully pull some strings in the security community to get Bruce’s mug added to that “America’s Most Wanted” poster, right next to D. B. Cooper.

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