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Ciscom employee fined £1000 for abusive email

Holds on to his job despite guilty verdict

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

An employee of Middlesex-based reseller Ciscom has been fined £1000 for sending a sexually abusive email and hacking into a network to disguise his identity. Neil Campbell sent the offensive note to a female employee of Shropshire-based TNS Distribution earlier this year. The email included the phrases "I hate you" and "you horrible little c**t". He was found guilty of "malicious communication" by Oswestry Magistrates Court, Shropshire, last week. He was ordered to pay two fines of £500 -– one to the woman who received the message and one to the man he impersonated -– plus costs. According to a TNS representative, Campbell -– a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) -– hacked into the TNS network in March and pretended to be Keith Morris, a salesman at the distribution company. Ciscom claimed it was taking the matter very seriously and had issued a written warning to Campbell. Yet despite his offensive and unlawful behaviour, Campbell has not been dismissed by Ciscom. Criticism has now been levelled at the reseller, alleging that it condones Campbell's actions. A TNS representative said the woman, who is in her mid-20s and asked not to be named, had been caused "horrendous offence" by the act. Campbell, a former employee of TNS himself, is still working at Ciscom's Manchester office. A TNS representative said: "By still employing him, Ciscom is condoning the act." "We don't condone his behaviour," said a Ciscom representative. "We are annoyed he [Campbell] used our server to send the message, and he will be very closely watched." But Campbell will keep his job due to his qualifications. "CCIEs are a very rare commodity. We are willing to give him a chance for the other business benefits the CCIE bring to the company and customers," she said. "But he knows he is on thin ice." Despite his impressive qualifications, Campbell was undone by the TNS network security system, which detected the hack and discovered that the message originated from Ciscom’s email server. The matter was then reported to the police. ®

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