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Cisco System's ex-CIA man to hunt down employee's leaks

Cisco vice president Mike Quinn, a former CIA operations man, has vowed to hunt down the employee who leaked an email over an overpriced quote of switches for California State University’s to blogger Brad Reese.

That angry email from Mr Quinn, which was supposed to confidential, was also leaked to the same blogger.


 But for Quinn, it was an egregious violation of company policy.

He dashed off an angry e-mail — cc:ing “all” — to the leaker-in-chief saying that he — or she — “disrespected everyone else at Cisco” and should resign immediately. “Cisco puts the groceries on your table every two weeks, not Brad Reese or other Slander Sheet Journalists,” he added.

“Now I know you do not have it in you to stand up and admit what you did, so I will now make you my ‘hobby,’” Quinn said. “Ask around you will find out that I like to work on my hobbies.”

The original leaked email highlighted how Cisco lost out to Alcatel-Lucent for the California State University deal because the networking giant charged US$100million more than Alcatel-Lucent.

The rule of thumb is that when you are angry, it would be best to count to 10. Paul McNamara at Network World has great advice on why those at the top should not send angry email.

Wrote Paul,

"Angry interoffice email is almost always a bad idea fraught with risk, but that inherent risk fairly screams - 'Don't hit send!' - when the purpose of your rant is to scold an unknown employee who leaked a memo to a blogger. I mean this unknown employee, who has already demonstrated a willingness to air company laundry, is certain to receive your rant; that's the point. And he's almost certain to pass it along.

"So you might as well post the angry email on your own Facebook page and cut out the middleman.

"Unless, of course, passing it along is exactly what a former CIA operations officer would want his target to do."

Cisco also send a confidential email explaining the alleged overcharging, but that email was also leaked.

Not a good day for Cisco Security.


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