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I would love to see a copy of that hard drive…

David Farr was once employed as a respiratory therapist at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind. He started there in October 2000 and was the only male respiratory therapist.

All of the seven respiratory therapists share a small office divided into individual cubicles with one computer in the center of the room. Each therapist is assigned a password, though it’s unclear whether logs are kept of each user’s individual activities.

In July 2005, Farr’s supervisor informed him he was suspended from work because pornographic entries were found in his “Favorites” file, apparently a reference to Web sites bookmarked. Farr denied being responsible and said he was rebuffed when he asked for details about the allegations.

Farr was fired in August 2005. An e-mail message from the hospital’s lawyer at the time claims to “have evidence that provides us with reasonable belief that he was accessing pornographic Web sites on his work computer.”

After losing his job, Farr went through the formal grievance process listed in the hospital handbook and met with no success. He filed a lawsuit after the grievance committee upheld his termination in December 2005.

What makes this case relevant to Police Blotter is that Farr claims that “St. Francis failed to install and update effective antivirus protection on its computers” and that any pornographic bookmarks were inserted by malware. He also claims that antivirus software was required by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Farr even retained a computer forensics specialist who concluded: “No one had intentionally loaded the list of Web sites on the computer. Rather, the list was placed on the respiratory therapists’ computer by a common and well-known Internet virus that promotes fee-generating pornographic sites.”

That is plausible. One of the malware programs known to inject porn bookmarks is CoolWebSearch, also called CWS or CoolWWWSearch, and it’s been around since 2003. Some reports have estimated that 5 million sites are infected with it and that more than 60 strains of it exist.

More here.

Alex Eckelberry
(Thanks Francesco)