This Domino developer was trying to solve an off-line startup problem, but ended up causing quite a security scare at his company. Read more to find out how our hero stumbled on to secret files in the most unusual location.
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Sometimes the most innocuous, even altruistic, decision can trip you up.
I was developing and supporting Lotus Notes applications at a company with strong Domino engineering. The lead administrator was bothered by the company's custom Notes start page. Because it loads a screen from the server when you are in the "office" location, and users did not have the "Prompt for location at startup" setting set, they got a blank gray screen and an error message when they started off-line.
As a favor, I worked on an upgrade program for this, writing code to update each user's bookmark.nsf, while preserving individual settings. To test this, I needed a sample user desktop to work on. All the IT folks I knew (me included) had strange configurations. So after much thought, it dawned on me: the secretaries! I figured that since they aren't technologists, they're desktops are pretty vanilla. I loaded a secretary's bookmark.nsf as my own.
What I didn't realize was that the secretary had access to the same confidential databases as her manager. Now I had links to those confidential databases. At some point, I triggered a run through those links (probably when I edited the bookmark outline design element in Designer).
Now I did say the company had strong engineering, and that includes alerts on access errors. All of the IT managers, administrators, site managers and information security managers got a bunch of ACCESS DENIED e-mails, and within a day I got my own corporate access denied message.
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Every story in our bloopers series comes to us directly from a SearchDomino.com administrator, developer or consultant. For obvious reasons, some contributors -- including this tale's author -- choose to remain anonymous.