Microsoft Office Space: A SQL With Flair – Answers and Winners


Thanks again to Tom, Ed and the folks at Intelguardians. Tom has plowed through all of the entries and has picked out the best technical and the best creative answer. And as always the fancy coin toss has produced yet another lucky random winner. All three will get signed copipes of Ed and Tom's book, Counter Hack Reloaded.

Tom, never one to be predictable, has a new way of presenting the answers. As fans of our Skillz Challenges know, the author usually presents his answers and then reveals the winners. In fact, the last time Tom revealed answers, he did it all in rhyme (Netcat in the Hat)! But this time, we had such a thoroughly great answer submitted by the creative winner, that Tom felt it was better than anything he could put together. Read on to see just how good this one is.

Active Image Active Image SlashdotSlashdot It!

Discuss in Forums {mos_smf_discuss:April 07 – Microsoft Office Space}

Sponsored by ChicagoCon 2007

Microsoft Office Space: A SQL With Flair
Answers & Winners

In Tom Liston's own words:

"Once again, it's time to publish answers to our last Skillz Challenge, Microsoft Office Space: A SQL With Flair. First of all, I'd like to thank everyone who wrote in and tried to come up with an answer. I'd also like to give a nod to Josh Wright, who contacted me a couple years back with a little puzzle that we worked out together that I further adapted into this challenge. Finally, kudos to Balazs Attila-Mihaly, our "Technical" winner and Andrew Laman, our "Most Creative" winner for their superb efforts. Balazs did a wonderful job detailing the problems with Initrode's accounting system… even sending in source code that could be used to create the "additions" necessary to match the CRC32 checksums on the "new and improved" SQL statements. Andrew did such a wonderful job of answering the questions in a manner and style that fit with the original Challenge, that I thought it only fitting to present his answer here with only a little touch of editing. Great job, Andrew!"

As a reminder, the questions to the challenge were:

1) Aside from hating their jobs, what impending action might be another reason for the boys to try this plan?

2) Why was Peter smiling? What mistakes had Initrode made in their accounting system design?

3) Give a working example of a forged transaction using the values in Peter's second example.

4) How should the transaction system be fixed to avoid this kind of problem in the future?


So to give the winners the proper EH-Net treatment: 

Our Technical Winner is…

Balazs Attila-Mihaly. The guy sent SOURCE CODE… how cool is that?  His solution is here.

Our Creative Winner is…

Andrew Laman.  A solution so good, it is the offical answer to the challenge.  Very, very nice!  His solution is here.


In the random draw category, the winner is:

Jason Rowe.

Congratulations to all and thanks again for all of your efforts and the work production killed by playing along with these challenges. You will each get signed copies of Ed and Tom's book, Counter Hack Reloaded and, of course, the infinite respect of your peers… and I'm sure the corporate world thanks you as well!


Microsoft and Office are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp. All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2022 Caendra, Inc.

Contact Us

Thoughts, suggestions, issues? Send us an email, and we'll get back to you.


Sign in with Caendra

Forgot password?Sign up

Forgot your details?