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Fired IT guy puts porn in ex-boss' PowerPoint, gets sweet revenge

A guy who slips porn into a CEO's PowerPoint presentation isn't the kind of computer nerd you'd expect to spend his off-Internet hours making homemade gun silencers. But disgruntled IT guy Walter Powell, 52, apparently wasn't in it for the lulz.

Sentenced this week to three years probation and a 100 hours community service for crimes connected to the the aforementioned porn prank, the former IT director for Baltimore Substance Abuse Systems still faces federal charges connected to the guns and homemade silencer supplies cops found when they searched his home for evidence of hacking.

Powell's road to arrest started in September 2009 when he was fired from his position at BSAS. Why he got canned, we do not know. But what he did next was creepy. 

According to court records, Powell spent at least 32 days hanging out on BSAS's computer system post-canning, using his still-active passcode to install keylogging software to steal employee passwords and generally wreak havoc.

Powell accessed at least five employee email accounts, forwarding some of their emails to other employees — which no doubt resulted in a lot of awkward office encounters the next day (as anyone ever emailed smack about fellow employees can imagine). Pretending to be BSAS CEO Greg Warren, Powell also composed a fake email in Warren's account and sent it to the entire BSAS distribution list. Hilarity, most likely, did not ensue.

Then came Powell's coup de grace, the PowerPoint prank. Here's how it's delightfully described by the Baltimore Sun:

"It happened one day last year, as more than a dozen board members of a Baltimore substance abuse center had gathered around a conference room. The CEO was giving a PowerPoint presentation on his accomplishments.

Suddenly, his computer shut down, then restarted, replacing the latest slide with an image of a naked woman onto a 64-inch screen. The board members include city officials and foundation heads and is chaired by Baltimore's health commissioner."

Surpise pr0n — you've got to appreciate the classics. People have been tricking others into looking at naughty pictures since the Internet began. (Granted, back then it was ASCII, but still.) It's universal. It's illegal, It's hilarious — as long as it's among adults of course, and it isn't preceded by the darker actions of a gun silencer-making dude digging through the emails of his former coworkers and possibly ramping up to do who-knows-what evil.

You know, in a security software poll a couple of years back, one in three IT workers admitted to snooping around employee email and other private company info, just because they could. But no matter how many hours they've lost asking us if we've tried turning the computer off, then on again, most aren't actively plotting against us. Still, in our increasingly service-oriented society, there are two survival skills we must always remember: Never mess with people who handle your food; and never, whenever possible, enrage the IT guy.

More on the annoying way we live now:

Helen A.S. Popkin goes blah blah blah about the Internet. Tell her to get a real job on Twitter and/or Facebook.