[ISN] Exclusive: HP's printer team in espionage drama

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Thu May 29 2003 - 02:50:26 PDT

  • Next message: InfoSec News: "Re: [ISN] Microsoft Pulls XP Update Over Glitch"

    By Ashlee Vance in San Francisco
    Posted: 28/05/2003 
    Hewlett-Packard's top secret printer labs are under attack from an 
    audacious rival using the art of deception to gather confidential 
    A group of engineers working on HP's next-generation network laser 
    printer have come under siege from a competitor, The Register has 
    learned. Employees have received calls at work and at home from faux 
    members of the HP team, asking for details on a new 9500 series 
    printer code-named Nozomi. HP has fingered the culprit, we are told, 
    although the company's identity cannot be released at this time. 
    The calls started to come into HP's Boise, Idaho labs close to one 
    month ago. The spies would pretend to be supervisors from another part 
    of HP. They would grill engineers about ink cartridges and Nozomi's 
    design. Some workers were also called at home with the spy pretending 
    to take a survey about technology and, yes, ink cartridges. 
    "They know the projects people are working on and where they live," a 
    source said. "They pretend to be someone from another office and ask 
    various questions. They're very smooth in their delivery." 
    An HP spokeswoman declined to comment for this story. 
    HP suspects that a competitor has backed the espionage campaign with 
    close to $1 million in funding. An HP executive flew to Boise to 
    instruct employees on what to do when the enemy (or the press) calls. 
    Placards with directions have been placed throughout the well-guarded 
    HP has a number of fierce competitors in the printer space, including 
    Lexmark, Canon, Epson. and new rival Dell. 
    Corporate espionage is a somewhat common practice in the IT industry. 
    Oracle admitted to keeping an eye on Microsoft by hiring a lobby 
    group, IGI, to buy garbage from pro-Microsoft lobbyists. 
    One of HP's competitors appears to have taken a similar course. HP 
    dominates the printer market and makes a killing in the process, so it 
    stands to reason that rivals want to be in the know. In its last 
    quarter, HP's printing and imaging business generated $918 million in 
    ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org
    To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn'
    in the BODY of the mail.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Thu May 29 2003 - 05:26:59 PDT