Computer Security: posting and mis-posting

This is what can happen at CERN if you don't lock your computer screen...


“Hi, I am looking for a partner either male or female to attend salsa lessons. I have a great body and enjoy rubbing it against other people on the dance floor. I would consider dinner after with the right person. If you think you can keep up with me and enjoy getting sweaty send me a reply. Stay sexy…”

This is the original text of a recent posting on the CERN Market webpage. Some people might find this appealing, some people think this is funny. Personally, I couldn’t care less. But professionally, we had to follow up as this text can be perceived as inappropriate and, thus, in violation of the Terms of Usage of the CERN Market as well as the CERN Computing Rules and its annex on private usage of the CERN computing facilities. We remind you that the CERN Market is a public website that can be used by people within but also outside CERN. All posts are visible worldwide. While this post might be borderline, we have had posts in the past which could have impacted negatively on the reputation of the Organization if spotted by, for example, journalists looking for a story.

If you regularly advertise on the CERN Market, if you host one or more webpages at CERN or about CERN, if you regularly post information about your work at CERN or your opinion on issues happening at CERN on Twitter, Facebook, etc., please use common sense. Publish in a positive and constructive way, respecting CERN’s Code of Conduct and the values contained therein. For more details, please consult the CERN Social Media Guidelines. And, finally, please also note that the CERN Market is meant for private sales and services only. Professional offers (dentists, removal services, etc.) are not permitted and will be promptly deleted.

P.S. This example was even worse than it first appeared. The post finally turned out to be a “joke” published under the name of one of our CERN colleagues by members of their team. They neglected the basic rule of locking their computer screen with a password when leaving the office. (Did you spot it? Two more violations of the CERN Computing Rules. Sigh.) Their colleagues took advantage of that, ignoring any adverse effects on the reputation and the moral well-being of the victim.

For further information, questions or help, check our website or contact us at

Do you want to learn more about computer security incidents and issues at CERN? Follow our Monthly Report

Access the entire collection of Computer Security articles here.

by Stefan Lueders, Computer Security Team