Sleuth foils a wily culprit, an EMS network hacker.

Author:Logee, Steve
Position:Enterprise Metrology Sleuth

Eddie Haskins, a CNC machine operator on the second shift at Shifty Equipment Company, is a highly skilled, no-nonsense sort of a guy. His daily plan is to get all of his work done, square away his equipment, and launch himself out the door as fast as humanly possible to hook up with his buddies or spend some time with his girlfriend.

Recently, he was working on the horizontal mill to make prototype engine parts for the new Trailbounder Ill snowmobiles. At predetermined intervals, he also checked his work on a nearby CMM. One evening, much to his surprise, the CMM told him that the holes he'd been cutting were out of spec. This couldn't be true, because the holes lined up perfectly with ones in the same parts he made last week, and those parts had checked out perfectly.

If Eddie went by the book, he might have to work very late following the company's annoying procedures for trouble-shooting the problem. Instead, Eddie decided the problem must be with the CMM program. Having had a little training in that area, he got into the network, and rewrote the master CMM program for the part by changing the nominal data dimensions to compensate for the out-of-spec measurements. He downloaded the modified program back to his CMM once again, and his parts were checking out perfectly. At the end of his shift, he was out the door in a flash.

It all hit the fan the next morning. According to procedure, the CMM operators downloaded the master programs they would be using to check their parts that day. It wasn't long before several operators discovered that the prototype engine parts they had been testing successfully all week were being rejected. This caused a big stir, and it took quality manager Bob Sturgess many hours of troubleshooting to determine that the cause of the problem was a faulty CMM program on the server.

Back at work the next evening, Eddie encountered the same problem. His parts were not checking out using the measurement program he thought he "fixed" the evening before. Determined individual that he is, Eddie attempted to log into the CMM program area on the server and "fix" the problem again.

This time, however, the server was password-protected. No problem--Eddie knew where one of his buddies on the day shift--a guy with a higher level of security access--stored his passwords. Eddie purloined the access code, rewrote the offensive CMM program, and shot out the door on time as usual.

For Bob, next morning was like deja vu. After...

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