The man held in jail accused of launching a cyber coup against San Francisco gave up the passcode to the city’s computer system during a secret prison visit by mayor Gavin Newsom.
Terry Childs, a 43-year-old computer technician with the city, had allegedly blocked access to a new computer system. He was arrested at the weekend and held on $5m bail.
But following a press conference at which Newsom said Childs was “very good at what he did” but had become a “bit maniacal”, the technician’s lawyer contacted the mayor’s office to arrange a meeting.
Without the knowledge of police or his own city attorneys office, which is prosecuting Childs, Newsom visited the technician and the password was divulged.
A spokesman for the mayor said that he, “figured it was worth a shot, because although Childs is not a Boy Scout, he’s not Al Capone either”.
Probably not any loonier than the average network administrator, either.