Feeds

Cisco sets ex-CIA spook to hunt down leaking staffer

You can run, but you can't hide

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Updated Cisco appears to be rather annoyed that one of its staff has been leaking memos to the press, and its vice president of global labs (and former CIA operative) Michael Quinn has sent a chilling email to staff warning he will hunt down the culprit.

"The person or persons whom felt it was cool or correct to share this internal memo should now have the intestinal fortitude to stand up and admit that they did this, then resign," he said. "Now I know you do not have it in you to stand up and admit what you did, so I will now make you my 'hobby.' Ask around you will find out that I like to work on my hobbies."

The fracas kicked off after a report last month that Cisco had lost a ten-year contract with California State University after its bid to upgrade the campus networks. The contract was won by Alcatel-Lucent, who put in a bid for $22m, compared to the offer from the incumbent Cisco of $122m, according to university staff.

After the news broke, two Cisco executives who worked on the deal sent out an internal memo to staff denying that the proposed contract fee was almost six times the cost of the competition. The two said that they had been closely involved in the deal and didn’t recognize the figures involved, despite the fact that those figures came from CSU's IT department, which had reviewed the contracts.

"The alleged cost savings reported in the press are not at all familiar to those with detailed knowledge of the customer and their RFP process," the memo states. "We believe they are based on extrapolation of sample configurations and standard pricing, with no consideration of the value inherent in real world TCO, Cisco product capabilities, and Cisco's technical services and support."

The memo, marked "Internal Use Only" was then leaked to Brad Reese, an ex-military sysadmin who writes a blog on all things Cisco. This leakage got Michael Quinn sufficiently riled up to send out the warning email, which was promptly also leaked to Reese.

From the tone of what he said, Quinn is exceptionally pissed off. He reminds staff that "Cisco puts the groceries on your table every two weeks, not Brad Reese or other Slander Sheet Journalists," and vows to find the mole, no matter what their rank within the company.

Before joining Cisco, Quinn spent seven years as a CIA operations officer in the 1980s, a time when the CIA didn’t exactly cover itself with glory by funding Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua and selling arms to Iran.

For the record, Mr. Quinn, this is how you really threaten someone. ®

Update

Cisco has sent El Reg the following statement:

"Mike Quinn's statement reflected his passion, not an official corporate communication. Nonetheless, his comments reflect a legitimate concern about those who work at Cisco yet seek to damage the company. There are many appropriate channels to report concerns internally and externally if there are issues. Sending confidential communications to a blog site isn't one of them."

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'
$50k of PowerEdge servers? That'll be 85 coins in digi-dosh
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.