HoS, reaches new low, consults with Labour on IT issues

via telkom.co.za

via telkom.co.za

As I reported yesterday, the cluster**** that is Yahoo!Xtra email continues to be a severe problem for both Xtra account holders that have had their accounts compromised, and the rest of us who are in some cases receiving a deluge of spam emails clogging up the normal daily routine.

It is only normal that the Herald On Sunday would run a piece on it.

One Telecom customer was getting 20 nuisance messages a minute.

Telecom’s troubled email service is suffering a fresh spate of problems just days after the New Zealand telco announced it would stick with Australian-based Yahoo.

Yahoo!Xtra account holders contacted the Herald on Sunday complaining accounts had been hacked or clogged with unusually high levels of nuisance spam.

Corporate communications boss Lauren Young said her Yahoo!Xtra home email account was under siege. Over a 72-hour period, tens of thousands of emails flooded into her inbox, peaking at 20 messages a minute.

The Counties Manukau District Health Board communications manager rang the Telecom helpdesk and changed her password, but the unwanted spam continued through to yesterday.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this and it still keeps going,” said Young. “I’m still under attack and have been since Thursday.”

Telecom is playing down the latest attack, saying it isn’t as severe as an incident in February where more than 80,000 Yahoo!Xtra customers had their accounts compromised.

Certainly sounds like a a problem when the nation’s largest ISP can’t guarantee to keep its email systems secure even after two previous incidents has given them ample chance to review and overhaul its security measures.

But here is where it gets weird, and the Herald on Sunday truly shows what a partisan rag it has become.

No, they didn’t ask TUANZ to comment on the issue.  No, they didn’t get their own IT guru to comment on the issue.  No, they didn’t even get a comment from some lame B-list bystander with a tenuous link, like Sam  Morgan or Seeby Woodhouse to make a comment on the story.

Instead, they exclusively went to the Labour Party.

That’s right.

A private company in New Zealand is having trouble, so the Labour Party clearly is the obvious place for informed comment on the story.

Labour Party communication and IT spokeswoman Clare Curran said Telecom should be transparent with any problems.

“The public are on reasonably high alert at the moment and it’s incumbent on Telecom to be upfront with their customers.”

Regular Whaleoil readers know Curran’s expertise in IT and Communications is embarrassingly shallow (“Has Margaret Thatcher died?”), and to get an opposition MP to comment on a commercial story like this is just unbelievably weird.

Certain Labour MPs are obviously easily accessible on speed dial.

I can’t think it will stop here.  There is lots more of this to come from the Herald On Sunday as they consider themselves National’s true opposition.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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