Fannie Mae SysAdmin Booby-traps IT Systems With Logic Bomb

A Unix engineer who was recently fired by his employers, Federal National Mortgage Association, popularly known as Fannie Mae, has been arrested and accused with planting a “logic bomb” on the company’s network so as to destroy all of the data on its all 4,000 servers.

A federal court indicted Rajendrasinh Makwana, 35, from Virginia, for planting malicious code into the company’s network servers that would have ended up in damaging and destroying the entire data on Fannie Mae’s networks, according to the court documents.

The logic bomb was integrated with genuine code and all set to launch on 31 January, but was held up when another engineer from the company found the malware several days after it was placed.

Makwana, a worker at Omnitech Systems Inc., was terminated from Fannie Mae’s data centre contract position on 24 October, after he had created computer script that altered the settings on Unix servers of the company, according to a complaint sworn by Jessica Nye, a special agent from FBI.

However, after termination from the company, Makwana’s access to the company’s computer systems was not promptly terminated, and he kept full rights until around 10pm that evening, the FBI affidavit notified.

This extended time was used by Makwana to wipe out all the logs that could reveal his access to the computer systems, removing any “footprints” of his malicious act on 24 October.

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Our Comments

The plight of the US mortgage's firm highlights the real danger caused by the so-called insider threat. Rajendrasinh Makwana's acts were clearly motivated by revenge, not financial motives. Had the logic bomb gone off tomorrow - Saturday - Fannie Mae would almost certainly have faced the prospects of further woes.

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