- Alibaba fires employees for hacking their way to free mooncakes. From ArsTechnica.
Alibaba offered its employees one free mooncake each—complete with a plush Alibaba mascot hidden inside, rather than the traditional duck yolk. Additional cakes were sold at cost to employees for friends and family through an internal e-commerce page. The four employees—software engineers at the company—were able to surreptitiously insert additional software into the website, directing extra mooncakes to themselves. Alibaba’s internal security team detected the hack and found that the four were “cheating using technology” to amass 124 boxes of the cakes (with four cakes per box). All four employees were dismissed.
One alleged cake hacker confessed on the question-and-answer site Zhihu (a Chinese equivalent of Quora). He claimed he had been unable to buy a cake through the internal website and created his own “plug-in” to hack for cakes after he discovered others were doing the same. The individual claimed that while he shifted his attention to other tasks, the hack he had created ordered 16 boxes of free cakes. Within two hours, he claimed, he was caught by corporate security and was asked to leave.