Insider Threat Story #29: A Threatening Note

Insider Threat Story #29: A Threatening Note

Imagine this… You arrive at your office, preparing for the day, when you stumble upon a folded piece of paper tucked under your keyboard.

Curious, you unfold it to reveal a threatening message scrawled in bold letters: “Your time is running out.”

Your heart races as you wonder who could have left it and what it might mean for your business.

You look around, scanning the office for any signs of unusual activity or suspicious individuals. The usual hustle and bustle of co-workers doing their tasks seems unchanged, but now, every glance and movement feels tinged with suspicion.

Your mind races with questions. Who could have written this note? Is it one of the co-workers, management or something more sinister?

The words “running out” echo ominously in your mind, sending a chill down your spine.

You search your memory for any previous discussions you might have had with management and colleagues, but nothing emerges that raises concern.

You glance at your phone, contemplating calling security or the authorities, but hesitation grips you.

What if it’s a prank, a misunderstanding? You don’t want to cause unnecessary panic or disrupt the workflow unless absolutely necessary.

You courageously ask your neighbouring colleagues to see if someone came to your desk while you were away.

One by one, they shake their heads in response to your question, their faces devoid of any hint of recognition or knowledge.

Who could it be?

Hours pass, and the day continues with an undercurrent of tension. The note is on your desk, reminding you of uncertainty and unease.

As evening falls and the office empties, you find yourself alone with the note. The weight of responsibility and concern presses down on you.

What would you do?

This leads me to the following story of how a former employee of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was arrested for making bomb threats to the company.

What happened?

The former TCS employee in Bengaluru made a bomb threat as a form of retaliation against the company when she found out that she wasn’t going to be rehired once completing her master’s degree. She harboured such resentment towards TCS after losing her job and allegedly carried out the threat to express her anger.

She called TCS’s transport helpdesk and claimed to have planted a bomb in building 2 on the corporation’s property and that a blast would occur in the next five minutes and demanded the evacuation of the building.

What were the consequences?

The call made the staff frenzy, and the police were immediately called. Every person who was working at the time was evacuated to a secure area.

The police were alerted, and a team of bomb disposal units swiftly reached the campus. During the thorough check of the facility, nothing suspicious was found by the bomb disposal and dog squads. No explosives were discovered despite an exhaustive search by the police.

Key takeaways

  • Insider threats: The incident underscores the potential risks posed by insider threats within organizations, where individuals with access to internal systems and information can misuse their privileges to cause harm or disruption.
  • Motivation: The motivation behind the bomb threats was reportedly personal resentment and anger towards TCS after losing her job. This highlights the impact of personal grievances on professional conduct and the potential consequences of not addressing employee concerns effectively.
  • Ethical conduct: Engaging in activities such as making hoax bomb threats violates ethical conduct and professional behaviour. It emphasises the importance of upholding ethical standards in the workplace and the severe repercussions of unethical actions.
  • Trust: The incident highlights a significant issue of trust within the organisation. It reveals a breakdown between the employee and the company, leading to questions about communication, accountability, and mutual understanding within the workplace.
  • “A Threatening Note”: Such a note is a stark warning of what could happen if you do something careless or illegal, like making hoax bomb threats. People need to take care of their complaints in a legal and moral way. This encourages an openness, responsibility, and conflict-resolution attitude within organisations. This shows how important it is to follow professional rules and be honest to avoid similar problems and keep the workplace safe for everyone.

You can read this article here

Something to think about

My question to you: Have you ever experienced a breakdown in trust or expectations at your workplace, and how did it impact your perspective on communication and accountability within the organisation?

Other examples

  • A Heathrow Airport worker leaves a threatening note on his computer. You can read about this here.
  • A threatening note was discovered at the site of a fatal jet crash, adding a mysterious layer to the investigation as authorities worked to uncover the cause of the tragedy. You can read this interesting story.
  • Threatening note forces employee evacuations at Boeing plant in Ridley Park. You can read this story here.