HackerReverse Hacker Shawn Carpenter was recently awarded 4.3 million for wrongful termination. He worked at Sandia National Laboratories as an intrusion detection analyst and ended up fired for a probe that he did over a network security breach.

The breach occurred in 2003, and after discovering the attacks and reporting them to his superiors, he went to the FBI and the U.S. Army because what he discovered was sensitive documents found hidden on a server in South Korea, and information associated with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He was fired for “inappropriately sharing confidential information.”

Representing Carpenter was Attorney Phillip Davis who says that the recent verdict is “vindication of his decision to do the right thing and turn over the information he obtained to the proper federal authorities in the interests of national security.”

Did he do the right thing? Well, that’s for you to decide. I’d say absolutely.Carpenter says he probably won’t ever see the money, and if he does, it’s coming from taxpayers anyways.

I’ll leave you with a few interesting comments I came across over at Slashdot:

Comment by Short Circuit

What he did was arguably in a gray area…on his own time, he used “hacker techniques” (not my preferred wording, sorry. Read the article.) to track down stolen data on foreign sites. That he turned his results over to the FBI is good, even if it screwed over Sandia.

Comment by crush

On his own admission Carpenter performed the following un-ethical behaviors:

  • Disobeyed orders from his superiors
  • Worked with army intelligence [time.com] in direct contravention of federal rules
  • Cracked other people’s machines in order to obtain information.

Comment by Mysticalfruit

This is what we know.
1. This guy found an intrusion on his network, which because he was their network guy he was being employed to do.
2. He informed his employer that sensitive data was being stolen.
3. His employers did nothing because they’re incompetent nitwits.
4. He, being a good American did what he was supposed to do and tracked down the people who stole the secrets and reported it to the FBI.
5. His bosses, now with egg all over their faces, fired him because he showed they were in fact incompetent nitwits.

Source: Computer World