Feeds

HP 'routinely' uses email tracking

Web bug uncovered under Congressional spotlight

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Congressional hearings have revealed how HP made controversial use of email tracking technology in an attempt to identify the source of a board-level mole.

The mishandled investigation, during which private investigators acting on behalf of HP obtained the phone records and journalists under false pretences, involved an attempt to trick News.com reporter Dawn Kawamoto into fingering her source at HP using electronic trickery.

Kawamoto was leaked false information (purported HP documents) earlier this year in an email from a fictitious disgruntled executive, called Jacob. The documents were sent through an email proxy service called ReadNotify, which uses a variety of techniques to trace and record the IP addresses of any computer on which the file is opened. HP hoped that Kawamoto would forward the documents to her source, ultimately identified as HP director George Keyworth, for verification, thereby fingering him as the mole. In the event, the ruse failed to work.

HP chief executive Mark Hurd conceded he partly authorised the scheme. Hurd told a congressional hearing that he approved the content of the bogus information that would be leaked, if not the email tracer element of the scheme.

"I definitely knew about the content of the email," Hurd said, Computer Business Review reports. "At the time I agreed of content of email, it was appropriate to find the leak. With benefit of hindsight I wouldn't do it again.

"I agree there's a difference between legal and ethical," he added.

Use of the controversial email tracker approach by HP was far from isolated, it later emerged.

Fred Adler, HP's head of information technology security, testified that HP had used the technique dozens of times in the course of previous investigations into employees and others to tackle "issues such as theft, and assisting law enforcement", Dow Jones Marketwatch reports.

Adler added that use of the technique was still authorised, News.com (which explains how the ReadNotify service work in some depth) adds. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.