Monday, September 15, 2003

Good Samaritan Saves Bank's Behind

A good Samaritan who buys computers from eBay saved the Bank of Montreal's behind. According to this story:

"Geoff Ellis, a 26-year-old masters student living in North York, purchased the computers last week from Ecosys Canada Inc., a computer asset-management firm in Mississauga. He paid $400 each for two powerful IBM Netfinity servers that would have cost about $5,000 new.

Ellis buys, fixes up and then resells used computer equipment on He had posted the two machines on the popular online auction site for six hours before he noticed, after turning one of them on, that it contained an operating system that let him access file folders from the bank without needing a password.

He immediately removed the items from the Web site, he said."

I bought a handful of servers from eBay a couple months ago. I have since installed new operating systems on each one, but maybe I should have checked to see what was left behind by the previous owners? Market pressure won't change an organization's behavior when it comes to disposing of computers, but perhaps regulation and inspection would make a difference.

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