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US software engineer outsources his job to China
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Jan 17, 2013


"Bob" the software engineer was becoming a modern workplace legend on Thursday as word spread that he had secretly outsourced his own job to China and sat at his desk watching cat videos.

The tale of Bob blazed across the Internet after being told in a Verizon security team blog post about the most "memorable" case investigators handled last year.

What started as a look into a mysterious secure connection from China to a US-based company's network ended with the discovery that a worker was idling away time at his desk while a Chinese consulting firm did his job at a fraction of his salary.

Evidence even suggested he had the same scam going at other companies, according to the blog post by Andrew Valentine of the Verizon RISK Team.

"All told, it looked like he earned several hundred thousand dollars a year, and only had to pay the Chinese consulting firm about fifty grand annually," Valentine said.

"The best part? For the last several years in a row he received excellent remarks. His code was clean, well-written, and submitted in a timely fashion."

Bob's quarterly performance reviews consistently described him as "the best developer in the building," according to Valentine.

Bob provided secure access to his company's network so Chinese consultants could work on computer code while he was at his desk, giving the appearance he was doing his job, the investigation determined.

Examination of Web browsing history showed that a typical work day for Bob consisted of surfing Reddit and watching cat videos online before going to lunch.

He spent afternoons at online commerce site eBay as well as social networks Facebook and LinkedIn, and then end his "work" days with an email updating bosses on projects, Valentine said.

Verizon did not identify the company or the worker, describing him as an inoffensive, quiet family man in his mid-40s who had been with the company a long time and whom "you wouldn't look at twice in an elevator."

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China Mining Corporation to list in Hong Kong this month
Hong Kong (AFP) Jan 17, 2013
China's Chinalco Mining Corporation said Thursday it hopes to raise up to $435 million in a Hong Kong initial public offering this month, the city's first major IPO of the year. Chinalco, a unit of state-owned Aluminum Corporation of China, will sell 1.76 billion shares at a range of HK$1.52 ($0.20) to HK$1.91, and will list on the Hong Kong stock exchange on January 31. The group focuse ... read more


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