Desperate IT Consultant

Had an interesting task yesterday. One of our new customers had a very serious problem. They have a PHP based website, which uses MySQL database for displaying the latest currency exchange rates. They update the exchange rates every day.

Their website was designed and maintained by another one-man company, whose owner/technical consultant has complete admin privileges to their webserver. Recently this customer gave us an order which involves completely rewriting their software and moving the hosting from the existing servers to their inhouse own servers. (Thanks to ADSL/SDSL everyone now thinks that they can do hosting internally.) Their existing software solution is very poorly written and does not serve any purpose.

The consultant who maintains their servers came to know this yesterday and this morning and decided to react in the worst possible manner.

We knew that this guy may do something. But we were not much bothered since we are doing everything from scratch and do not intend to use anything from the exiting system. But the customer’s business at present depends to an extent on the website and they were shocked today, when they saw their website.

You know what. This guy has completely brought down their database. In the morning the customer called and reported the problem to us. When I tried to click on the link which displays their exchange rates it came up with an error message that the “Password is invalid”. I logged into their server and when I tried to reset the password for their database account, I noticed that this guy has not just changed the password. He has also dropped all the tables for their website.

And not surprisingly, the customer did not have a copy of their database schema. Their new software solution may take another 3 weeks atleast before it will be ready for testing. So I decided to take a painful task of going through the existing PHP code and from the code I decided to recreate their schema. By the end of the day, I had successfully recreated their schema and within an hour we were able to re-enter all the data.

The customer should now be relieved that they have the site back.

Once I had the site up and running, there was still one more task that was pending. Yes you guessed it right, I made a copy of the schema and created a backup of the data. We will be moving everything to another secure server shortly.


2 responses to “Desperate IT Consultant”

  1. There is a saying that “All’s fair in love and war”. This man thought that his business loss is nothing but a war, so he choose to go this lowly. I appreciate your quick solution to the customer’s problem.