Editorial: Telecom users bearing brunt of email failures

Call needed on future of relationship with Yahoo

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

How much inconvenience and disruption will it take for Telecom to realise it is letting down its internet customers through its association with Yahoo and its internet security weaknesses?

For the fourth time in a year, individuals and businesses who use the Telecom Xtra service have found their email system compromised by hackers who have used Xtra's connection to Yahoo to spam contacts and spread malware-infested emails.

Each time, users have either suffered email outages as lockouts have been used to quarantine the hacked accounts or have had damaging messages sent to their contacts. While the percentage of Xtra customers affected in each outbreak was relatively contained, the total numbers are high and the level of violation of vital business information is enough to drive users to distraction.

Yet Telecom continues its association with the weaknesses of Yahoo. Account holders are asked to change their passwords but cannot be assured the spamming of their contacts will cease, or the high risk of exposure to cyber crimes can be controlled.

To inconvenience your customer base once, twice or three times might be careless and uncaring. To see it happen again must give pause at the executive levels for decisive action to prevent this pattern occurring again. In an age where email connection is in some estimation ranked alongside healthcare and education as a necessity of life, repeated system failures and security compromises require more than platitudes. Telecom customers deserve better than Xtra or Yahoo have delivered. Time to reboot, permanently.

- NZ Herald

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