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Tales From The City: The Curious Case of Corner Cutting Carl

When most of the kindergarten students in Carl’s class were learning to tie their shoes, Carl was finding ways to not learn that skill. Flip-flops were the solution. There. Problem solved. When Carl was in his high school chemistry class, he cut a corner or two and added a little bit too much solvent to the solution. Oops, the fire department and his school principal were not amused in the least. While in College, Carl found a way to turn in those pesky paper assignments via some hungry freelancers he found on this nifty new app called Fiverr. That gig didn’t end well as Carl was kindly asked to seek his educational needs from another institution.

Carl wrapped up his education at an alternative educational institution and set out to apply his shiny new degree in Information Technology. His first stop? Kerfuffleville. Kerfuffleville is a quaint little town in a quaint little Florida county with quaint little picket fences. A real slice of America, Kerfuffleville even has a few little pink houses strewn along main street and one of those sweet sweet water towers. Carl got a cozy office by the IT closet with a shiny new swingline stapler, some newly sharpened crisp pencils, two monitors for maximum productivity, and the keys to some 20+ servers and flashy light type of devices. He was in his element. What more could an aspiring IT professional ask for? Carl’s job was to protect the city’s data and the IT infrastructure that kept Kerfuffleville running smoothly. He had made it and he couldn’t be happier.

Weeks went by, work started stacking up, patch updates and empty starbucks cups were becoming more and more prevalent. Server reboots, kernel updates, and router software updates all had to get placed on the back burner so that Carl could simply catch his breath and acquire his next triple foamed, quadruple pump, mocha java, pumpkin spice, vanilla latte with sprinkles. Carl was in trouble. The City of Kerfuffleville was in trouble. The data that lived on those servers was in jeopardy. Carl, wrestling with his workload, went home one evening to the WorkAround Apartments and ordered his usual Hawaiian Pizza with Extra Pineapple. Sitting down to feast he cracked a Natty Lite and got down to business. He remembered his college days and Fiverr, he remembered his shoe-tying hack as he glanced down at his camo Crocs, and he reminisced about his not-so-successful chemistry experiment. “Surely there’s a way I can hack my job and get stuff done quicker, there has to be a way!” he thought. 3 Natty lites in and it occurred to him. He could set all of the server and router updates to auto-install the patches and updates automatically, he wouldn’t have to do a thing! It was brilliant (in his mind) and he, quite proud of himself, continued feasting on his delectable Hawaiian Pizza with extra pineapple.

The next day, Carl raced into his office with vigor. It was going to be a big day. He was going to get all caught up, clean his desk up, finish that solitaire game he started, play a little minesweeper, sip on his latte, and be able to report to his boss that he had EVERYTHING under control. With excitement and caffeine coursing through his veins, he set each machine to auto-update, he set all versions of Windows Server to auto-update, he was on FIRE. After his triumphant day, Carl raced back home to catch the latest episode of Below Deck, The River Nile, his guilty pleasure. After a binge, it was time for Carl to turn in and get some sleep with the prospects of an easy-peasy, auto-update day ahead of himself for the foreseeable future. As he normally does, he plugged his trusty Android in to charge and easily drifted asleep. Just as he was daydreaming about extra black olives on his next pizza, his phone sprang to life jarring him from his slumber. It was his boss. “Hmmm, why on earth would he be calling me at 2:30 a.m.?” he pondered quickly before fumbling to answer his phone. “Ummmm, hello?” “Carl it’s Joe, we have a HUGE problem, you need to get down to the office ASAP.” “I’ll be right there” Carl squeaked out.

Carl hopped into his fire-engine red Miata and made his way through suburbia to the city’s offices. He was greeted at the door by Joe, his boss. “We’ve got a huge problem. There’s been a network penetration.” Carl always dreaded hearing those two words back to back. Rushing into action, Carl attempted to log in to one server and was denied. He tried another, and he was blocked, and yet another, and another. He was locked out of all machines. Shortly thereafter, his Android once again sprang to life with an email. An email that will haunt him for years to come. It was Cyrix The Cyberputz. He just wanted to alert Carl that if he wanted to regain access to all of his servers, he’d simply have to transfer 20 million of BitCoin to Cyrix’s super duper secret Bitcoin locker. The sleepy little town of Kerfuffleville was under siege by this notorious hacker.

That morning Corner Cutting Carl decided to call the IT experts at Advanced Systems Solutions to help get him out of this pickle and restore some previous backups. The ASSI team raced into action, knowing what was at stake for the data of Kerfuffleville if they didn’t regain control of the servers and data. After countless hours, the ASSI team was able to restore some order and help Carl regain control of the City’s sweet sweet data. At the end of the day, the automatic updates that Carl thought would free up his days and his workload ended up exposing several vulnerabilities that Cyrix the Cyberpputz happened to be hunting. Corner Cutting Carl no longer works for quaint little Kerfuffleville and is considering his corner-cutting retail options at the local big box store.

While this tale is fictitious, it happens in reality every day. The noncorner-cutting team at Advanced Systems Solutions offers several services to help ensure that this disaster never happens to your city. From network penetration testing to off-site backups and managed IT services, we’re on IT for your city. Reach out today to learn more and how we can help. Call (407) 414-6626, relax, we’re on IT.