Open Source assault on democracy?
Vandals break into congressman’s office, install Linux on PCs
A US congressmen has been left incensed after miscreants installed Linux on computers at his campaign office, possibly thrashing some data in the process.
Michael Grimm, a Republican who represents a district in New York covering Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn, has slammed the weekend break-in to his offices on as a “politically motivated” crime against the democratic process.
According to a statement by the Grimm campaign, large stones and concrete were thrown through the campaign office windows during or around the same time miscreants “corrupted and erased the hard-drive of the campaign computer server, which contains confidential campaign files and polling data”, by installing Linux*.
Grimm characterised the break-in as cowardly and suggested it might be part of some wider dirty tricks campaign.
But wait! The third comment to the article tells us
I quite like the stink this guy’s kicked up, especially when you see the follow up story explaining that an 8th grader broke the window, and a member of staff accidentally formatted the drive by using a Linux install disc!
and a later commenter links to the Village Voice:
The NYPD says today that an eighth-grader at a Staten Island junior high school told a school counselor that he and a friend broke the window. The boy, who has not been identified, has been charged with criminal mischief.
Grimm initially claimed thieves broke in using old keys and then smashed windows to make it appear like it was a just a case of random vandalism — which it was. He suspected that the burglars installed software on the hard drives of computers in the office designed to delete files.
Nope — a “police source” tells the New York Daily News that it “appears that a campaign staffer wiped the hard drives accidentally after mistakenly inserting a Linux system disc into a Windows machine.”
Of course, Grimm’s version is halfway round the world while the NYPD’s correction is still getting its boots on.