CHICAGO — A disgruntled employee who tried to sabotage the Encyclopaedia Britannica by secretly rewriting parts of its 1988 edition was thwarted by a sophisticated computer, the company said Friday.
"Our system possesses built-in safeguards against tampering, so the attempt was quickly spotted," spokesman Norman Braun said.
"Within a matter of hours of the discovery, we not only had identified the range of errors but the person responsible," Braun said. "It's the first time this has happened."
Braun refused to identify the nature of the changes made in the text or their number.
The Chicago Tribune, quoting unidentified sources, said that some of the more vivid changes included substituting Allah, the Muslim name for God, for the name Jesus Christ.
Can Identify Changes
Braun said the encyclopedia's computer data base allows a proofreader to "identify all changes in copy, the person who made the changes and the date the changes were made."