Spam Prank

I live for April Fool’s Day. I make a vow each and every year to find a new way to mess with my coworkers. Sometimes it’s way too easy.

This isn’t strictly an April Fool’s prank, but I thought I’d share it.

Remember how I told you not to trust IT people? I’ve known some real skunks. Once upon a time, I discovered that the network guy had developed a habit of reading other people’s e-mails. It made him feel important. He’d peek at anything that looked private or important going to the CFO, the GM, the CEO, you name it.

Most people don’t realize that IT people tend to have the keys to everything. The smaller the IT staff at your company, the more power each of them have. Because of this, you really have to screen them for a code of ethics. Or in geek-speak, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

I knew he was reading my e-mails as well. I’d only been at the company for a few months, so there was nothing private to any of my correspondence. Still, I decided to teach him a lesson.

That afternoon, I heard him screaming from the next room, “Aaaah! Something’s wrong with the e-mail server!”

I strolled into the server room, just a casual onlooker, and said it seemed to be working just fine. He told me that it was flooding people with e-mails. I asked, “Are you sure? You don’t mean my account, do you? I was just testing it out by sending myself some messages.”

What I had done, in fact, was to whip up a quick & easy PHP code to send an e-mail to my account that said, “Reading other people’s e-mails is a fireable offense.”

Then, to drive the message home, I added a quick For-Next style counter to send this message 40,000 times in under a minute.

He spent most of the afternoon deleting this message from his inbox. (I’d thought ahead and wrote a quickie Applescript to do the dirty work for my own machine.)

Peep not lest ye be spammed.

**I debated posting the code here, and decided against it. Message me if you’d like a copy.**

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