Harvard University officials scrambled Monday to contain the fallout from a damaging report in The Boston Globe over the weekend disclosing how administrators secretly accessed email accounts belonging to 16 resident deans at the university.
In a statement Monday, Harvard Deans Michael Smith and Evelynn Hammonds acknowledged that the search described in the Globe report had happened. However, they maintained the search was done in an extremely limited and thoughtful manner to identify an individual who shared a confidential email with an unauthorized person.
Though the specific email was inconsequential, the fact that it was forwarded word-for-word to someone else was concerning, the deans said in their statement. The disclosure prompted concerns that other information, especially sensitive student information, was also at risk of similar disclosure. Read more...
The percentage of targeted attacks aimed at small businesses doubled in the first half of 2012, an indication that hackers are dedicating more resources to what they see as the most vulnerable marks, a major security vendor said.
In the first six months of the year, more than a third of targeted attacks on businesses were pointed toward companies with fewer than 250 employees. That was twice the percentage of attacks aimed at similar sized companies at the end of 2011, Symantec said in its mid-year Intelligence Report.
A targeted attack is one that's tailored to a specific company. Cyber criminals customize malware to particular vulnerabilities and use information gathered publicly -- or stolen from other companies -- to create emails with malicious attachements that have a higher chance of being opened by employees. That type of social engineering has proved successful despite corporate efforts to bolster security training and warn workers away from opening potentially dangerous emails. Read more...
It would appear that Twitter is gradually rolling out a new format for emails alerting you when you’ve received new followers.
Just a couple of weeks after introducing a new weekly digest email featuring a list of stories shared on Twitter, along with a sampling of the people that shared those stories. Read more...
More than a decade after Peter Fenton reported on the phenomenon of receiving email from the dead, a new story about messages from the beyond is burning up the Internet.
"One night in November, I was sitting on my couch, going through my emails on my phone and it popped up, 'sender: Jack Froese.' I turned ghost white when I read it," Tim Hart of Pennsylvania recently told the BBC. "It was very quick and short but to a point that only Jack and I could relate on."
"I'm Watching" read the subject line to the email that went on: "Did you hear me? I'm at your house. "
Thing is, Froese, 32, had died five months earlier of a heart arrhythmia. Read more...
Emails between Apple, Adobe, Intel and others are making them look bad as the US Justice Department mounts a case against them for setting up "anti-poaching" deals in which they allegedly agreed not to hire each other's people away.
The emails are part of the Justice Department's evidence in its class action suit that accuses the tech firms of agreeing not to steal each other's staff so that they could artificially lower employees' wages by killing competition.
The defendants, who also include Google, Pixar and Lucasfilm, are trying to get the case dismissed on the grounds that there was no conspiracy between them all, the agreements were all just separate deals that made no reference to each other.
A redacted document filed with the court before the scheduled case management conference on January 26 details evidence of emails and phone calls between the defendants organising the anti-poaching and anti-bidding-war deals.
The DOJ claims that in May of 2005, Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen emailed Steve Jobs forwarding an internal email from Adobe's senior VP of human resources about the recruitment of Apple employees. Read more...
People now receive on average 110 emails per day, according to a study from research company Radicati. My own figures suggest the European trend is nearer 70 emails.
Whatever the precise number of emails you receive daily, the chances are it's still far too high and you end up failing to process them all properly.
Add to this problem the expectation of 25 per cent of business users for an email response within an hour, and it's little wonder that last year held its usual share of email disasters.
For example, in June the Information Commissioner fined Surrey Council £120,000 for breaching the Data Protection Act by sending sensitive emails to the wrong people. And of course famously we had the mother-in-law's email to her future daughter-in-law which, while not involving business email, highlights how quickly hate email can go viral.
Then we had the Blackberry Crumble server problems in October, which left many users bereft of email and climbing up the wall in frustration.
These are just some of the more prominent email disasters, some of which have cost organisations dearly. In addition over the past year I have seen organisations losing up to 75 minutes per day per person simply through trying to process too much unnecessary email. Read more...