Most of the team deployed to the 2 departments and started emptying wastebaskets in the ‘wastebasket audit‘ exercise, collecting all the trash in large carts on wheels.
Two others were posted as look-outs in the main hallways outside the target department.
I carried my black bag of tools and approached THE door.
I pulled out my favorite flat-head screwdriver. Originally, I was going to remove the closing arm at the top of the door and then pry the hinge pins out of the hinges.
But as I looked closely at the door handle and the lock, I noticed a larger than usual gap between the door and the door jamb. I selected a smaller screwdriver and inserted it into the gap. I was able to position the screwdriver so that it caught the latch bolt and pushed it back into the door lock.
Then I easily pulled the door open.
Shaking my head in disbelief, I stepped into the room, and shut the door quietly behind me, wondering how I was going to tell which server contained the database I was after.
As I turned around, my eyes were amazed again. All 3 servers were logged on under an admin account and ready to go. No screen saver, nothing.
All I had to do was look through all the desktop icons until I saw what I was looking for. Fortunately, all those years as a system administrator, which included some database training, came into play.
I quickly shut the database down, copied it to a network drive, started the database up again. I also deleted a few log files, just in case anyone looked. But given the ease I got through the door and into the server, I doubted anyone would look.
As I exited the office, my watch indicated the whole operation took only 20 minutes, and most of that was copying the database across the network.
I notified the team that I was done, and that they should tidy things up and go home.
I met Leeda in her office and helped her and a security analyst that she had hired (through my recommendation) connect to the copy of the database. They were going to spend the night reviewing the data.
When I came in the next morning, the VP of the target department was on administrative leave.
I never did see that VP again. Neither did anyone else.
Leeda never told me any of the details.
But that’s okay. She was happy that we managed to get the database so fast, and she let management know it.
And our team never told her any of the details of our operation. Nor how incredibly easy that database was to steal.