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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Prevents Fraud?

I had an amusing conversation with some of my coworkers.

Q: "What prevents someone from editing the position table and stealing billions of dollars?"
A: "Absolutely nothing. The DBAs could edit the database and nobody would ever know."

There are suspicious anomalies in the database. Is it gross negligence or intentional fraud?

A few months of trading data may have disappeared.

They have a policy that passwords automatically expire every 3 months. However, it's a huge bureaucratic hassle to get your password renewed. You'd be unable to work for a week while they process the paperwork. So, they created generic accounts that don't expire and everyone uses them instead. That means that you can't figure out who's doing what. That entirely defeats the purpose of having a login and password.

From what I can tell, the DBAs are typical parasite scum, but I don't work directly with them much. Surprisingly, my group has mostly competent people.


Anonymous said...

I have an encounter with a database guy in an investment bank once. To spare embarrassment I won't name the bank.

I was attending a job interview for the position of Java Software Developer. My interviewer was a database administrator that had been promoted into management.

During the interview he asked me what version of Java I was using at work.

I told him version 1.xy.

He didn't follow that up with anything.

Then a few days later the recruitment consultant telephoned me to say the manager absolutely liked me, thought I was very bright and would love to have someone with my background working there. However I could not be offered the job because at the bank they use version 1.xy.5 of Java and I only used 1.xy.4 of Java!!!!!!

In fact if this fool had looked things up he would have found out there was hardly any difference between these versions of Java and in fact the only difference was in a library, that in fact I was already using because you could use more up to date libraries with the Java runtime if you wanted.

So I had a day of my time wasted.

Scott said...

Insightful and fascinating post, belongs on the DailyWTF. I could get rich working there.

FSK said...

Anonymous: The interviewer probably wanted to reject you and came up with that excuse. "Anonymous is unqualified" would have required too much cognitive dissonance, so he said "You don't have experience with Java 5".

If he really wanted to hire you, he would have accepted your explanation.

"Wasting time on interviews" is one of the reasons I don't usually look for a job while already employed.

Anonymous said...

Actually I don't think I gave that explanation to him. I would have just spoken to the recruitment consultant.

Most times if you don't get the job nowadays you don't even get told.

I interviewed at one famous tech company and was told at the end of my interviews, that it is up to me to contact them for the result. They would not necessarily even email me. Given many interviews are spread over multiple days, I was a little shocked at this.

Anonymous said...

>Surprisingly, my group has mostly
>competent people.

Well perhaps this is less surprising. A group full of incompetent clowns would not hire FSK, because they might be scared he/she would show their lack of work up.

Incompetent clowns only hire incompetent clowns that are even more incompetent. So the race to the bottom rages on.

Smart people only hire smart people.

Stupid people hire stupider people.

However this doesn't explain the fact that FSK has worked for clowns and jokers before.

I've worked for thugs and clowns and I don't think I'm that stupid.

A friend of mine once said that our problem might be that we are too clever to be hired by clowns but are too stupid to get into the really good places. I wonder how right he is.

Are there any really good places?

Maybe in technical areas such as 3d graphics.

You can fake finance, but you can't fake a 3d film!

Do good software developers work for banks? Is FSK one of the few that have accidentally got in.

FSK said...

"OMFG! The financial system almost fell apart!" means that my employer waived their usual "Don't hire competent people." policy.

I have worked for jerks, because the vast majority (if not all) corporations/businesses are run by jerks.

"Start my own business" is on my list to do, but the State makes that hard. My job is good enough for now, but not super-awesome.

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