Software Developer Caught Outsourcing His Own Job To China

A security audit discovered that an American software developer with a six-figure salary was outsourcing jobs for multiple clients to Chinese firms—and used his free time to watch cat videos on YouTube.

An American software developer's amazing outsourcing scam where he paid 20% of his salary to a Chinese firm to do his job for him has been busted. Verizon recently went public about the case, which involves copious amounts of cute cat videos on YouTube and Reddit use. According to Verizon's Andrew Valentine, a developer at a "critical infrastructure company" had given his VPN login to a contractor in Shenyang, China, to do his work for him. The developer even shipped his RSA SecurID token to China to make the contractor's job easier. While the American outsourcer made a six-digit salary at his job, he spent most of his time looking at cat videos on YouTube and browsing Reddit, eBay, and Facebook.

Amazingly, the developer received glowing performance reviews from human resources while pulling his outsourcing scam. The "critical infrastructure company" discovered the scam after calling Verizon in for an audit due to the suspicious Chinese VPN logins. Before the scam was exposed, the unnamed developer apparently took on other programming jobs for area companies—which he also outsourced to China in exchange for 20% of his salary. While it's generally frowned upon for corporate employees to quietly outsource their entire workflow to unknown contractors, virtual private assistants are used in many office situations. Outsourcing programming is also common for American firms—but cases of workers outsourcing their own work in order to spend more time watching YouTube are largely unknown.

[Image: Flickr user crecher94]

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  • Snehasish

    You know the recent story of an American software developer scammed several companies by forwarding a fraction of his six-figure salary to a Chinese company that was doing his work for him while he sat in his office surfing Reddit and watching cat videos. Also he made money, some Chinese coders made money, the company got its code, everybody wins. They're just mad they didn't get to cut Bob from the loop.

  • Sagar Kasar

    Smart Guy. I think he is smarter than the company he is working for!! if he
    can save 80% out of his own salary through outsourcing, why cant his
    company? point to think!! I think his company should use his skills of
    'Vendor' development and use his talent to manage outsourcing partners,
    decrease operational cost and increase profit margins

  • Risk Management Anyone?

    I concur with his innovative idea, however, he is creating a security risk! He is most likely not authorized to grant access to one or many people by sending his SecurID token to China. The company is also not aware of the access being granted to potentially sensitive information or initiatives. When a company outsources its work, they will put contracts in place to protect IP, but he is most likely not authorized to grant access to company information and probably doesn't have the appropriate legal language in place. The outsourced company can gain knowledge of corporate plans and strategy that can be used for insider training. I'm surprised that most of the comments here are not focusing on the risk to the organization.

  • guest

    So, what's the real issue here? Unauthorized VPN use? He paid personal money for services delivered to the company? We all outsource something to somebody except when I do it the company pays for it, not me.

  • Neo Nguyen

    Nice. He is the one who is responsible for the final work delivered as he had to monitor the outsourcing jobs. As long as the results are good I think he is super :)

  • Neo Nguyen

    I support his idea, even he outsourced his job to China but he is responsible for the results. As long as they are good I think it is fine to outsource works. 

  • weekenddreams

    Although this is highly unethical, I would hardly call this a "scam."  He's just doing what entire businesses do all the time.  Personally I would have never done this but I also wouldn't be the one calling the kettle black.

  • Anand

    If I'm not wrong, isn't this what Steve Jobs did with Atari and outsourced the job to Steve Wozniak?

  • Dean V

    The software developer was pretty creative - but should not have given VPN access,

  • Epoxy

    Companies do this, they are lauded as smart businessmen that increase their shareholder's profits by cutting costs. Individuals do this and get fired and excoriated.