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Malware Destroyed a Man’s Life

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Michael Fiola had been an investigator at the Department of Industrial Accidents in Massachusetts up until child pornography was found on his work laptop. Of course he was immediately fired from his job, and was criminally charged in August 2007. It was only recently that an IT forensic investigator that was hired by the man’s wife found that Fiola had been the victim of malware.

The former state employee always said that he had no idea that his computer had stored child pornography all this time, but the court and the DIA never believed him. After the forensic investigator announced her findings, Fiola was cleared of all criminal charges. However, his former employee seems reluctant to hire him again, probably out of fear that their image could be tarnished.

It seems that the laptop was so poorly configured when it was given to Fiola by the DIA, that its antivirus could not offer any kind of protection. It wasn’t long before the computer was badly infected, and one of the malware that attacked it was downloading child pornography content in a file that Fiola had no idea existed.

Michael Fiola said that he doesn’t want his job back and he is suing the state of Massachusetts for the estimated $250,000 that represent the amount of money he should have earned from work if he had not been fired, and the money he spent on lawsuits. Because of the accusations, Mr. Fiola also lost most of his friends and family, and his wife, Robin, has experienced stress-related illnesses.