Feeds

HP told WSJ to, 'Go say nice things'

;-), barked reporter

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.