Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Would you like some privacy with that?

One of the first posts I wrote on this blog was "Can you trust your IT guy (or gal)? " and I guess this is a bit of a follow up / throw back to that.

On our mail server, we have a basic transport rule set up to stop people swearing in emails, it blocks emails that contain certain words, and there are only a few choice words in the list these days. Most regularly it catches an email between mates where someone calls the other one a fuckhead, or something similar, occasionally you get some pearlers in there where a couple are having a domestic over email and it makes for great reading over a lunchtime sub. I do however have the word 'penis' in the list, its a throwback to the days before we had a proper 3rd party spam solution implemented and we used to get thousands of emails a week about penis enlargement. I just never thought to take it out once it stopped catching spam.

Basically, this rule has two functions:

  1. If the email (incoming our outgoing) contains a word in the list, either in the subject or body. It will make a copy of it into a specific email inbox, which is only viewable to the IT team.
  2. It will then send an NDR to the person who sent the email. The intended recipient does not get notified that the email was ever sent. NDR stands for Non-Delivery Report (or Non-Delivery Receipt) ... these are those lovely emails you get occasionally - that users refuse to read properly - telling you that your email hasn't been delivered.
Today I opened the spam inbox as I occasionally do to see an email in there from an online auction site. I instantly assumed this was a spam email but upon closer inspection it appeared I was wrong. Someone who works for us (a manager, relatively high up I might add) had used his work email address as his contact on this site and after making a purchase it emailed him an alert he had won the item.


The beauty of it is, he will never know that the email was caught, he'll just realise that he never got the alerts.

This goes back to my #1 tip from "Can you trust your IT guy (or gal)? " which was:

     "... Use your gmail/yahoo/hotmail email address for your personal emails. ... "

To add to this, it should be noted that #5 was:

     " ... Don't piss off your IT guy ... "

The fact is, this particular person has been a bit of a thorn in the IT departments side, requesting things which aren't viable and after being told 'no' has gone over our heads to kick up a fuss, which has made things very difficult for the team. I had a conversation with him once explaining all the reasons why the thing he was requesting wasn't financially viable, and in the end if we were to implement it, we would just spend a lot of money to implement a process that would not be used. In the end he got his way, wasted our time, and spent quite a bit of money, all on something that has now been shelved ... bell end.

If he hadn't broken rule #5, had he been a top bloke that the team loved, I most probably would have deleted this email the second I saw it, unfortunately for him this wasn't the case. Its still sitting there in the spam inbox, for the other IT guys and girls to see, which I made sure they did.

I know I'm an asshole, we've been over this before, but at least I'm an asshole having fun.

Cheers, The ITG.


  1. seems the blood rushes to this guys head alot

  2. C'mon Guy, you can do better than that!!

    Seems revenge really is a dish best served cold, hey ITG?

  3. Hey ITG, if a ... friend of mine has some questionable material sent to their gmail address, and they check it at work, does the ITG see it?

  4. haha, thats great... If your "Friend" was just reading some text content i'd say they've be fine, but i assume here that you're talking about image and/or video files that were attachments that you opened. Obviously when you open a file, or view a page on the internet it will make a copy in your local cache, generally you can get around this by emptying your temporary internet files and you're all sorted. Some companies (like mine) restricts users from being able to empty their temporary internet files. If that is the case then whatever you opened and looked out in your internet browser will be sitting in a folder somewhere in your local profile. Not allowing people to empty their temporary internet files isn't really all that common though so you should be fine. Having said all that, even if the files are there, there has to be a reason for an ITG to go looking for them, surely your nose is squeeky clean? they have no reason to doubt your work ethic no? and also, im sure you'd be friends with the ITG, you read my blog, you know #5!!!