Feeds

HP told WSJ to, 'Go say nice things'

;-), barked reporter

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

We've always wondered how elite reporters at publications such as the Wall Street Journal handle their communications with public relations drones. Thanks to HP's savvy investigators, we must wonder no more.

An HP spy probe document released by investigators shows a lovely February 2006 chat between HP spokesman Michael Moeller and WSJ reporter Pui-Wing Tam. HP managed to record the instant message discussion between the flack and hack thanks to some spyware it planted on Moeller's computer.

"The new monitoring system that captures AOL Instant Messaging is now up and running and deployed on Moeller's computer. It instantly began to pay results," bragged one HP spy.

In the first snippet, we find the reporter fretting over competition from BusinessWeek star scribe Peter Burrows. Questions from Burrows during a conference call about sales and attach rates make Tam "VERY uncomfortable." Moeller reassures the reporter by saying that BusinessWeek is not a competitor. "Oh, that's what I was thinking," Tam writes.

Screengrab of IM textMM: nope.

PWT: k

Phew. Crisis averted.

From there, Tam goes on to cheer HP's quarterly performance, saying "nice results." As any good PR would do, Moeller emphasizes the point by declaring "real nice," "shit" and "nice guidance."

The verbose Tam agrees. "Yup."

Both the flack and the hack express surprise about HP's rise in net income. Tam calls it "crazy," while Moeller chips in with "INCREDIBLE" - an "increase in net income for h-p?????"

Screengrab of IM textEasy, Mike, stay on the party line.

The pair exchange a couple more pleasantries about HP's stellar results and then Moeller issues a parting command. "Go say nice things."

We've yet to run across a Tier 1 flack willing to dish such a line our way. Usually, it's just third rate PRs that stoop to begging for cheery coverage. Anyway, the request is enough to make any journalist cringe. Well, except for Tam.

;-) - was the reporter's response.

About a month after this chat session, HP's then senior counsel Kevin "I've been sacrificed" Hunsaker ordered more spying on Tam.

"Can you please do some monitoring on incoming and outgoing calls to Pui-Wing Tam, and keep a really close eye on her IM traffic with Moeller," Hunsaker asked one of HP's internal security staff. "There is going to be a special telephonic board meeting next Tuesday to discuss a very important topic, and PWT called Tom Perkins a couple days ago asking about the precise topic the board will be discussing. According to Perkins, he told PWT 'I don't know.'

Anyway, this is yet another major opportunity for a leak to occur."

We'll be bringing you some more of Hunsaker's greatest hits tomorrow. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.