Background Checks

I had posted about Roger Duronio in June of 2006. He was convicted by a federal jury and found guilty on one count of securities fraud and one count of computer fraud. The details can be found here.

Duronio was a systems adminstrator for UBS PaineWebber. He was angry because his bonus was not as large as he expected. He disseminated a logic bomb which took down 2,000 servers. His actions cost the company over $3 million dollars.

Turns out that he was hired without a background check. According to Information Week:

Using only publicly available information, Hershman found three incidents, including drug-related charges from 1980, the disposition of which is unclear, and a tax violation, within 24 hours. Within three or four days, he says investigators found information on a conviction and incarceration from the early 1960s related to aggravated assault and burglary charges. A presentencing report from the Probation Office in U.S. District Court also lists charges against Duronio from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

“This is one of the most egregious examples that I’ve seen of behavior that probably could’ve been predicted had PaineWebber known about the background of this individual,” says Hershman. “If I was a potential employer, based on our searches that took place in less than 24 hours, I would’ve had enough information to have said I’m not sure this is a good hire for us.

Putting an individual in a trust position for a financial services company warrants a background check. The cost is about $500. Cost cutting without due consideration of the potential impact is the new reality in business today. In this case, UBS did selective background checks presumably to save a few dollars. Duronio wasn’t checked.

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