I found a workaround (by writing some code) to bypass the internet filter at work.

Is that considered hacking? Or perhaps violating the company's rules.

Am I the one to be blamed for finding a loophole or is it the filter-team to blame since they didn't do a very good job blocking them.

  • 2
    Do you recall if there was something about murdering your boss? If they forgot to include it, maybe you'll get a free pass at it.
    – SJuan76
    Jan 30 '17 at 15:21
  • 1
    Well, it's not exactly the same idea. If they add a filter on Chrome but forgot to block those sites using IE, am I not allowed to use IE? The company installed IE on my computer. Jan 30 '17 at 15:24
  • 4
    "Writting some code" is not the same than using a browser. If nobody tells you "use Chrome", it is understandable that you may use IE and reach by accident sites that you should not have accessed. But "writting some code" implies that you know that there is a restriction there and that you are actively bypassing it; how easy that is is not relevant.
    – SJuan76
    Jan 30 '17 at 15:27
  • Your profile says New York, NY - is that the jurisdiction?
    – Sean
    Jan 30 '17 at 15:28
  • Yes. New York it is. Jan 30 '17 at 15:29

"I don't recall signing anything when I got hired stating that I won't be messing with the system."

The first thing to do is read your employee handbook and work contract. Chances are very good that your activities are against company policies - which can be widely defined as bypassing any part of the company network by known or unknown means to reach any other network that is off limits during work and while using the company facilities - and those documents will outline what legal actions the company can take against you. Like fire you.

Laws do vary from state to state, but employers have wide leeway in hiring and firing. Even if what you have done isn't explicitly against company policies, they can fire you for wearing a red shirt one day.

Or is it the filter-team to blame that they didn't do a very good job blocking them.

Someone leaving a door unlocked doesn't give you the legal right to walk into their house. Sure, they could be "blamed", but that's for the company to decide and action against them, and it is not a legal defense for your actions.

The company defines what hacking might be defined as on their network by their contract with you. But specifically writing code is a specific action taken to arrive at the result of bypassing the filter, and is not accidental. That's "messing with the system" which you can be very reasonably sure is not allowed under your work contract.


It's almost certainly violating the company's rules, and yes, you can get into trouble for that (in the sense of an internal disciplinary matter).

Whether it's a criminal hacking will depend on a) what you did; b) where you are ... but I wouldn't rule that possibility out.


Posting on workplace.stackexchange.com might have been better... If you use your hacking skills to access company data that you are not authorised to access, then it's criminal.

In all other cases, it's most likely something that your company can and/or will fire you for if you are found out.

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