Websites fog up as office passions rise

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So the rest of the team are battling their way to Euston or Paddington, or sitting somewhere on the M40. You're the last one in the office – again – you know someone's left a crucial project unfinished, and you've got four hours to nail it down before you get to enjoy your Christmas.

Still, it could be worse. Your website could be fogged in. Fogged in? A website? Rubbish.

Not so, say we. BAA has the honour of being the first website we've ever written about that has been brought low by fog. Strictly speaking it's the volume of traffic hitting the site because of the fog blanketing the UK's airports. But let's face it, when an airline operator's web presence disappears every time there's a crisis – ie, when people need to use it to check information – you've got to think to yourself "maybe I'm not doing such a bad job after all".

If Scrooge were alive today...

He'd probably be working in the IT services market. The ghost of Christmas present seems to have knocked off early this year at the likes of CSC and Atos-Origin. Staff at the former felt like Christmas turkeys this week, though it was their bonuses that got the chop. This capped off a generally crap year that has seen layoffs and pay freezes.

Staff at Atos Origin weren't feeling much happier, with the news the firm would not be bankrolling Christmas parties, Christmas drinks, er anything at all really. The firm came up with a justification worthy of a Christmas cracker – it's planning to lay people off in the New Year, and it might be upsetting for them to have a final booze up with colleagues. Now that warms the cockles of our...

Cap Gemini gets a little something under the tree

It wasn't all lumps of coal in the stocking though. HMRC has been dithering about exactly what its contract with the services vendor should cover. As a result the deal is now worth £8.5bn over ten years, rather the £3.5bn originally expected. Nice going – don't bother wrapping it.

Net Vikings toy with Hamleys, and Woolies gets in a twist

Presents of a more traditional kind are being enjoyed by shoppers at the Hamleys and Woolworths sites. The toy superstore's website was ransacked at the weekend when deal hunters exploited glitches in an online voucher scheme to strip its shelves at discounts of up to 60 per cent.

This was just days after Woolworths saw its website downed as bargain hunters scrabbled for LCD TVs after a misplaced decimal point saw a £1,500 model priced at £150.

Yes, it's the season of goodwill for consumers ready to exploit the slightest mistake by the marketing department junior.

Security scares

Cockles warmed again? Don't get too comfy. While you're scoffing mince pies and quaffing port for the next four/six/ten days, the scammers, spammers, and malware writers of the world will be conducting a Herod-like assault on your innocent systems.

Spammers will, of course, be flooding your inboxes with rubbish. In the meantime, bugs aplenty will be catching the unaware, giving bot controllers expanded networks for the New Year, no doubt.

Blimey, it's enough to make you extend that holiday right through till Easter...

Someone who may just be going for an extended holiday is the New Jersey man accused of planting a logic bomb in his employer's IT system. Prosecutors allege the logic bomb had the potential to destroy critical databases on more than 70 servers. The worker was arrested this week, and will be in court on 3 January.

HSBC – out for the next half century

Someone at HSBC also seems to be set for a long stretch out of the office. A Reg reader who reported a potential scam to the bank's anti-phishing department received an auto reply saying the department was out - till 2050.

Well, it's been a busy year.

Office romance flounders on laptops

Perhaps they went on honeymoon. If they have just married, it'll be no thanks to that renowned passion killer – remote network access. Seems that researchers have discovered that the onset of mobile working is putting the kybosh on romance in the nation's offices. Yes, as notebooks and phones have become sexy, we've inadvertently traded reproductivity for productivity.

Is that a new footer in your Christmas stocking?

Looking wistfully at that sprig of mistletoe? Don't. You've got important work to do. Like changing all your companies' email heads and footers, not to mention contact details, business cards, stationery, etc. New company law rules require a raft of regulatory info is posted on websites and in email footers as of 1 January. Stuff like company number, registered office, that sort of thing. Oh, what's that? Only accounts know what sort of stuff and they're all down the pub? Except for that good looking credit manager...

Well, never mind. It is Christmas after all. You deserve a break.

We'll be taking a break as well. See you same place, first week in January. ®

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