Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
News

University of Twente NOC Fire Arson 343

Posted by Hemos
from the bad-bad-leroy-brown dept.
Lars writes "A 26-year old man from Hengelo has admitted to deliberately setting fire to the Network Operations Centre of University of Twente, last Wednesday. The fire gutted two wings of the building and devastated one of the fastest networks in Europe. The arsonist is an employee of the University, which must come as quite a shock to those involved. The University released a short statement to the press. It mentions that the total damage caused is roughly 40-50 million euros (about the same in dollars) and that the guy was caught last Friday, when he tried to set fire to one of the faculty buildings."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

University of Twente NOC Fire Arson

Comments Filter:
  • Umm... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by GeckoFood (585211) <geckofood@@@gmail...com> on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:39AM (#4751406) Journal
    Wouldn't going on strike have been a little more effective than burning down the office?
  • Punishment (Score:4, Funny)

    by Mr Guy (547690) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:39AM (#4751410) Journal
    The Stake, obviously.

    I guess those Euro's don't go for that sort of thing though, do they?
  • wow.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by 3.5 stripes (578410) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:40AM (#4751413)
    Now that's a dedicated luddite.
  • Any idea why he did it? The article is slashdotted already.
  • In English (Score:5, Informative)

    by sql*kitten (1359) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:41AM (#4751427)
    The arsonist is an employee of the University, which must come as quite a shock to those involved. The University released a short statement to the press

    English text here [utwente.nl].
  • I guess.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Fapestniegd (34586) <.james. .at. .jameswhite.org.> on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:41AM (#4751428) Homepage
    They should have let him keep his red Swingline Stapler...
    • by McFly69 (603543) on Monday November 25, 2002 @12:07PM (#4751640) Homepage
      Here is a link to the movie [imdb.com] you are refering to.

      Somethign tells me this guy who burnt the place down, will not go to the tropics to meet woman. Instead he is going to prison and meet Bubba; the A$$ Plow.
      • Instead he is going to prison and meet Bubba; the A$$ Plow.

        Federal "pound me in the ass" prison!
      • Re:I guess.... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Traa (158207) on Monday November 25, 2002 @01:32PM (#4752326) Homepage Journal
        This happened in The Netherlands. He will be judged by a single judge, no jury. Having full access to lawyers who are not capable of making any money out of this beyond their reasonable salary. He will maybe even go to prison (not that likely though). Single person in a room. 4 Nice painted walls, a door with a friendly window. TV in the room. Possibly a window for a decent view of the outside world. 3 Good meals a day. Sports facilities and libraries. Guards without guns. Lots of therapeutic little jobs....so he doesn't f&^%#ng hate society when he gets out next month!

        My name is Dam Backer. I am from The Netherlands and I switched to the US 6 years ago.

        (all of the above might not be perfectly accurate, but it schetches an idea of the philosophy of the Dutch punishment system)
        • Re:I guess.... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Aapje (237149) on Monday November 25, 2002 @05:53PM (#4754296) Journal
          I wanted to point out that more complex trials are handled by three judges instead of one (I'm not sure about the exact rules on that matter). The punishment will probably depend a lot on his past criminal record, motivation & current regret/willingness to be treated. In the best case it might be low (community service). It has been proven that (more) jail-time will increase the chance of someone becoming a repeat offender, so we try to reduce jail-time in favor of more educational approaches (and reduce the load on our jails + save money).

          I also want to point out that judges aren't elected, so they aren't forced to punish harder to appease the people* that believe the "Crime is increasing"-mantra that the media like to perpetrate (and have for hundreds of years. They complained about it during roman times and ever since.).

          *True democracy is the average man deciding who is smart enough to govern them. It's not the average man making decisions on complex matters which they cannot (be expected to) understand in detail. The people should choose the goals and judge the elected men and women on the results they achieve. Politicians should be allowed to try and achieve these goals with a coherent set of decisions. That's why I don't like these micro-management elections or referenda for that matter. </rant> Sorry, had to get that off my chest.
  • by ccoder (468480) <ccoder.shiznor@net> on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:41AM (#4751431)
    A few non - european services were affected as well - namely ALL security updates for Debain (the primary mirror anyhow) were offline for a while.

    Brings up a good point in disaster recovery: How many organizations have machines at various places that they can't recover from a total loss?
  • by Mac Degger (576336) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:42AM (#4751439) Journal
    The article basically says: he dun-it and he's an employee. What it doesn't say is why he dun-it, though.
  • by Joshuah (82679) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:42AM (#4751443)
    I mean, he's 26. He now owes the university and several companies 40-50 Million Euros (dollars). Its just arson so thats what 3-5 years. To me, thats way to easy to get off. Even if he makes $50k after taxes, it will take him 800 years to pay off 40million. Thats just messed up.

    So, this guy gets out when he is 30yrs old, can find a job and move on with his life looking for more buildings to burn down. isnt there something wrong with that?
    • by krray (605395) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:46AM (#4751470)
      I wonder if we could get him a job over at that place in Redmond?

    • A kidney is worth how much?
    • by Zathrus (232140) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:55AM (#4751538) Homepage
      So, this guy gets out when he is 30yrs old, can find a job and move on with his life looking for more buildings to burn down. isnt there something wrong with that?

      Well, presumably he'd be required to disclose his conviction to potential employers. I sure wouldn't hire him at that point - if he's a disgruntled employee then I don't want to hire him and possibly piss him off. If he's a fire bug then I just don't want him around, period. He could not report that he was convicted, but unless he gets an entirely new identity a routine background check will show the conviction. This is why more and more companies are doing background checks now.

      As far as paying back the damages, it's the insurance company that's going to have to suck up the cost of replacement. Yeah, I know - it means everyone who uses that insurerer will have to pay higher premiums for some time. But they're the ones that would have to sue for damages. And they very well may. But getting repaid is obviously not going to happen.

      The idea of debtor's prison is long gone, and for a good reason. The idea was that if you caused material harm then you could be thrown in jail until you repaid the harm. But it's rather difficult to earn money when imprisoned, which leads to a rather vicious circle. Debtors prison was often used to perpetually incarcerate political or business opponents. Let's not even think about bringing it back.
    • He now owes the university and several companies 40-50 Million Euros (dollars).


      Actually he already owed that much in student loans from going to school in the United States.

    • MegaMillions

      Of course, what the Dutch equivalent is, I couldn't tell you.

    • So, this guy gets out when he is 30yrs old, can find a job and move on with his life looking for more buildings to burn down. isnt there something wrong with that?

      You're right! 40 million Euros is too much for him to ever pay back! Let's kill him! Yeah! I'll start the chant! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Come on everyone, join in! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Those Euro weenies will probably just say he's mentally unstable or something, and give him a few years in jail and a nice psychologist to talk to. Losers! Kill him! Kill him!...

    • I mean, he's 26. He now owes the university and several companies 40-50 Million Euros (dollars). Its just arson so thats what 3-5 years.

      Depends if he's considered sane or not.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:43AM (#4751444)
    Ralph: "That's where I saw the Leprechaun. He tells me to burn things!"

    Leprachaun: "You've done grand, laddie! Now ya know what ya have ta do! Burn the house down! Burn 'em all!"
  • Hhhmmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by solostring (620535) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:43AM (#4751445) Homepage
    They obviously didn't have enough firewalls.

    (Sorry... couldnt resist)
  • by PhysicsGenius (565228) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .rekees_scisyhp.> on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:44AM (#4751450)
    Information wants to be set on fire.
    • Y'know, even though PhysicsGenius is a famous troll, I have to admit that I think "Information wants to be set on fire" is actually pretty funny.

      I saw the /. story a couple of days ago that said they had "things back up and running." Does anyone know if this is at full capacity? I've been holding back from updating my Debian distros because I don't know.
  • In English (Score:5, Informative)

    by octover (22078) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:44AM (#4751455) Homepage
    the press release in English [utwente.nl]


    Press release Twente Police 25 November 2002


    Confession concerning fire UT


    The 26-year-old man from Hengelo detained on Friday afternoon has confessed that he also started a fire on the grounds of the University of Twente on Wednesday morning 20 November 2002. In this fire two wings of one of the buildings on the grounds were completely destroyed and damages caused of between 40 and 50 million euro.
    The 26-year old was detained Friday afternoon after witnesses had observed the start of a small fire in another building. On the directions of these witnesses the 26-year old could then be detained.


    On the how and why of the arson on the 20th no further announcements can be made at this moment. The suspect will be undergo further questioning on this.
    We can announce that the 26-year old is an employee of the University of Twente. The University staff has been informed of his confession by now.
    He will be brought before the magistrate in Almelo today.

  • That's not what they mean by Firewire.
  • DOS attack (Score:5, Informative)

    by borft (526119) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:46AM (#4751467) Homepage
    Stupid idiots.... the whole infrastructure was burnt down, and we're trying to rebuild it as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, www.utwente.nl is used as a central point of information towards students and employees. Which n00b put the link on slashdot, _AGAIN_? Thanks for ruining our just revived webserver, thanks for nothing!
    • Re:DOS attack (Score:2, Informative)

      by the_machine (168692)
      Well, excuse us for caring. Had it not be for Slashdot, there would be a lot of people who didn't even know about your little mishap. Even Google News [google.com] lists Slashdot as the major source. So, please forgive us for showing interest and wishing you well.
    • Usually, the moderators "get it" much better than the repliers. But this mod total is just schizoid:

      Offtopic=1, Troll=2, Interesting=1, Informative=6

      While I'm glad that "Interesting and Informative" have outweighted "Offtopic and Troll", I think the modders are missing the point.

      I interpreted "Thanks for ruining our just revived webserver, thanks for nothing!" as sarcastic humor, not as a literal slam of the Slashdot effect. So if I had mod points (see my journal for obligatory newbie whining), I'd have given it +1, Funny.

      Note to self: remember to enclose all sarcasm in <SARCASM>proper HTML notation</SARCASM>.
    • Meanwhile, www.utwente.nl is used as a central point of information towards students and employees. Which n00b put the link on slashdot, _AGAIN_? Thanks for ruining our just revived webserver

      Hmm, that person would be you, seeing as how you just posted the link yourself.

      You know, I would think that most web administrators would check the referring site and if the person is coming from Slashdot they would redirect to a low-graphics version of their site. Either that or deny the Slashdot visit with a page explaining bandwidth issues. I know it is tough to prepare for every eventuality but I don't know of many sites other than Slashdot which could cause such a flood of people to visit a site.
  • by greechneb (574646) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:46AM (#4751471) Homepage Journal
    (25-11 1345) Plead guilty within prickly UT Politiepersbericht Plead guilty within prickly UT ( university Twente ) Enschede: The vrijdagmiddag jl. aangehouden jr. spouse out of Fishing rod , has zondagavond well-known who he too the prickly has institution in the field of the University Twente worn woensdagmorgen 20 November jl. Towards this prickly went two wings with one with the buildings worn the shunting yard wholly ruin and went one pity raise with between the 40 and 50 million European currency. The jr. wax vrijdagmiddag aangehouden after through give evidence wax seen who towards one other edifice worn the Universiteitsterrein one young prickly wax sping up. Worn pointer with this give evidence might the jr. subsequently turn aangehouden. Via the the and why with the incendiarism worn the 20e November jl , may worn this one moment not one draw near information turn given. The suspect will about this yet nearer turn hearing. Well-being pitcher turn medegedeeld who the jr. one cooperator is with the University Twente. The personnel worn the University Twente is yet worn the altitude brought with one's plead guilty. Today is being he pre-gummed towards the master - superintendant within Almelo.

    Can anybody make more sense of this more than the original?
  • by mcneight (61095) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:46AM (#4751473) Homepage
    First a massive fire, now a thorough slashdotting. What's next, Mecha-Striesand?
  • by Klerck (213193) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:46AM (#4751474) Homepage
    According to the mIRC home page [mirc.com], their message boards and mailing lists were destroyed in the fire as well. It appears to have affected a large number of people.
  • Politiepersbericht Bekentenis in brand UT (Universiteit Twente) Enschede: De vrijdagmiddag jl. aangehouden 26 jr. man uit Hengelo, heeft zondagavond bekend dat hij ook de brand heeft gesticht op het terrein van de Universiteit Twente op woensdagmorgen 20 november jl. Bij deze brand werden twee vleugels van een van de gebouwen op het terrein geheel verwoest en werd een schade veroorzaakt van tussen de 40 en 50 miljoen euro. De 26 jr. was vrijdagmiddag aangehouden nadat door getuigen was gezien dat bij een ander gebouw op het Universiteitsterrein een beginnend brandje was ontstaan. Op aanwijzingen van deze getuigen kon de 26 jr. daarna worden aangehouden. Over het hoe en waarom van de brandstichting op de 20e november jl., kunnen op dit moment geen nadere mededelingen worden gedaan. De verdachte zal hierover nog nader worden gehoord. Wel kan worden medegedeeld dat de 26 jr. een medewerker is van de Universiteit Twente. Het personeel op de Universiteit Twente is ondertussen op de hoogte gebracht van zijn bekentenis. Vandaag wordt hij voorgeleid bij de rechter-commissaris in Almelo. I ran this thru googles translator as French, German and Italian, and they all stayed the same! Is this the new Universal Language© that I've been hearing about?! :)
  • by TheConfusedOne (442158) <the,confused,one&gmail,com> on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:49AM (#4751486) Journal
    It turns out it wasn't arson, but merely a misunderstanding.

    They asked him to install the new "firewall"...
  • by StefMeister (219044) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:50AM (#4751493)
    Here's a summary of the statement in English (from Dutch):
    --
    A 26-year old man from Hengelo admitted sunday evening that he started a fire on wednesday 20th of November that incinerated 2 wings of the University of Twente building.

    He was arrested after witnesses saw him at another small fire on campus.

    Police can make no statements about why and how he did it. However the police confirms that he works at the University.
    --
  • Arsonists are usually psychotic and often admit to anything. I know of one guy who confessed to setting fires that were set when he was 3 years old!

    This is probaly true -- but he may not be the guy without cooroborating evidence.
  • by SweenyTod (47651) <sweenytodNO@SPAMsweenytod.com> on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:53AM (#4751518) Homepage
    an o to a O.

    o - arse before jail
    O - arse after jail.

    :)
  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They do say that > 70% of malicious attacks on computer networks come from insiders. And that network security starts with physical security.

    I guess that this has been a painful learning experience for the SAs.
  • When I was a student at SUNY Stony Brook in the 80's, the University had a rash of unexplained fires. At first, they tried to pin them on a "radical" student group. Eventually, they figured out that the school's fire chief was the culpret.

    The worst part was he burnt down the warehouse with toilet paper and lightbulbs. The insurance company refused to pay, because the school didn't perform even a basic background check which would have given away the man's background.

    The worst part was taking exams in rooms to dark to power the solar-powered calculators. Some professors resorted to carrying lightbulbs from room to room.

  • The Real Enemy... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by airrage (514164) on Monday November 25, 2002 @11:57AM (#4751563) Homepage Journal
    In talking with a Disaster Recovery, quote EXPERT unquote, he said a little fact that quite surprised me: 62% of all technology disasters are premeditated by disgruntled employees, honest administrative mistakes, or lack of change control procedures. We build our moats around the castle, but we never think to install smoke alarms in the kitchen!?!?

    If I don't post again before Thanksgiving, Happy Turkey day ya'll.
    • Actually, we installed smoke alarms in the kitchen, but they went off every time we made dinner so we removed the batteries.
    • by mseeger (40923) on Monday November 25, 2002 @12:39PM (#4751904)
      Hi,

      it's a well know fact, that the worst enemy of all (high) availability resides on OSI layer 8. I think 62% is a pretty low number, the reality is higher. In all cases where the unlucky bastards manages to cover his tracks, technology will take the blame. Other than the people involved it doesn't argue about it.

      Yours, Martin

    • 62% of all technology disasters are premeditated by

      It doesn't suprise me. With those 3 causes, you've covered 3/4 of the possible causes, with only random failure left over.

  • by photonic (584757) on Monday November 25, 2002 @12:03PM (#4751602)
    You guy's are really considerate: fire destroys network, they do all their best to get it somewhat back to work and then you slashdot it back into oblivion.

    Though the arsonist takes a huge part of the blame, i think the university also made some faults. Why put your servers in a building that burns that well? If you have so much expensive equipment, you should consider everything, including arson! A few days ago they were happy that no asbestos was released because it was removed shortly ago. But isn't asbestos a fire retarder??

    Anyhow this fire is a huge problem for the university. When i was studying there 2 years ago, their biggest trouble was the financing of new buildings. They were supposed to build a new combined building for Physics, Electronics and Chemistry. When the drawings were almost finished they had to scap the whole thing. Right now several buildings are way beyond their lifetime and could technically be shut down to regulations any moment. Most buildings are already extended with temporary containers (Portacabins). And now this..... If they were a company this would certainly be their bankruptcy.
    • by BorgDrone (64343) on Monday November 25, 2002 @12:42PM (#4751927) Homepage
      Why put your servers in a building that burns that well?

      They were already planning a new NOC, which should have become operational in a couple of months.
    • by bartjan (197895) <bartjan@vrielink ... minus herbivore> on Monday November 25, 2002 @12:51PM (#4751985) Homepage
      You guy's are really considerate: fire destroys network, they do all their best to get it somewhat back to work and then you slashdot it back into oblivion.

      Don't worry about that. The temporary www.utwente.nl website is hosted at a temporary site just across the street (but it sits at the same subnet as some of our own servers, never had a /. effect that nearby....)

      Though the arsonist takes a huge part of the blame, i think the university also made some faults. Why put your servers in a building that burns that well? If you have so much expensive equipment, you should consider everything, including arson! A few days ago they were happy that no asbestos was released because it was removed shortly ago. But isn't asbestos a fire retarder??

      I think it's partly because of historical reasons. The building was built in 1974 and even back then it was already called the TW/RC building because it came with a computer room.

      I believe the University is assured against fire, but I'm afraid that these researchers who lost years of their research in the flames have no other option that to do it all again :(
    • by Sabalon (1684) on Monday November 25, 2002 @01:43PM (#4752394)
      Yup...that is the reason I like working at the university I work at - the infinite funds to spend to do everything 100% right!!!
  • Let's show our sympathies regarding the loss of one of the fastest computer networks in Europe by Slashdotting their web servers!
    • Let's show our sympathies regarding the loss of one of the fastest computer networks in Europe by Slashdotting their web servers!
      Of course, to find out that they were slashdotted, you clicked on the link, didn't you?
  • Fire Code (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Detritus (11846) on Monday November 25, 2002 @12:07PM (#4751639) Homepage
    What sort of fire code (regulations on fire safety) do they have in the Netherlands? If a single arsonist could cause that much damage, I suspect something was wrong with the design of the buildings or the way the equipment and cabling were installed.
    • well.. it isn't clear how he managed to make the fire that big.

      for all we know he could have been placing magnesium/whatever on the critical places.. shutting down the emergency systems & whatever..

      no one was killed.
      so the system wasn't all s*****.
      (i'm taking a guess that halon is banned in netherlands. and halon's no good if you don't have walls around the computer room anymore!). a fire started big enough would have caused significant water damage even if the building hadn't burnt down..
  • by wilkinsm (13507)
    Looks like the Scotty/Tkinetd pages [utwente.nl] are still up - I guess that they are hosted in another building, thank goodness.
    • by Rukapul (547373)
      Actually those servers are located in the Computer Science building, which means that they would also be gone if the arrested man succeded on Friday when he also tried to set the Computer Science buildin in fire! Just the fact that somebody (my co-worker) saw this man close to a small fire in the stairway of the Computer science building on Friday, caused that man to be arrested and the Computer Science building including its servers not to burn down to ashes too.
  • Security (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Andrewkov (140579)
    My company is so paranoid about security on the main frame, all the local IT people are locked down to the point they almost can't work. Instead of worrying about logical security inside the system, I should send them the link to this story. This is what an employee would do if s/he were seriously pissed, not hack into the system. This sort of thing would be a mission critical disaster to any company. It really made me re-think my offsite backup storage scheme!
  • by stienman (51024) <adavis.ubasics@com> on Monday November 25, 2002 @12:33PM (#4751869) Homepage Journal
    Let's develop a manual, GUI router software.

    The PC has 2 or more network cards, and one program on the system. The only interface is a mouse.

    The delinquent sees as many windows on the screen as there are NICs in the computer. They manually route packets by identifying a packet header in hex in the window, and dragging that packet from the window it's coming from to the window it should be routed to.

    They would be checked by an automatic router in operation in the background, and would be given further punishment if they route packets incorrectly.

    Their sentence term would simply be to route as many packets as were lost due to their actions.

    -Adam
  • They should not have taken his red stapler...
  • He was just trying to overclock his Athelon.
  • by dackroyd (468778) on Monday November 25, 2002 @02:38PM (#4752715) Homepage
    Hmm, I wonder if he'll actually be brought to trial or will get judged to be a nutter and sent to a mental hospital.

    When I was at primary school in Colchester(UK) there was a spate of school fires in my area which the police believed to be arson. They got extremely excited when they realised that the headmaster(principal) of my school had visited each of the schools just before the fires. Obviously they questioned him quite closely but then couldn't find any evidence against him, so they started secret surveillance on his movements.

    A couple of days into the surveillance, my school got burnt down completely and what the police saw was another teacher torching the school. Apparently this guy had flipped and he was trying to assasinate the headmaster by burning down any buildings that he visited. Not really the most efficient way of taking someone out, but that's madness for you.

    I'm pretty sure he was judged to be clinically insane and sent away pretty much permanently....

If God is perfect, why did He create discontinuous functions?

Working...