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Yahoo NZ has broken its silence over Telecom's Xtra email security problems.
“We take security and our customers’ data extremely seriously," says Laura Maxwell-Hansen, General Manager of Yahoo New Zealand.
"We are genuinely sorry for the disruption this issue has caused and we understand that people want answers.
"This is a complex issue and we’re focused on continuing to work around-the-clock with our partners at Telecom towards a resolution.”
There is currently no evidence to support reports that access has been gained to any user information beyond the customer’s email address book, Ms Maxwell-Hansen says. "However, Yahoo continues to monitor the situation."
She adds, “Unfortunately, security attacks are commonplace globally and while we take every possible precaution to protect our customers, the fact remains that the criminals who undertake these activities are very sophisticated and no service operator is immune to attack."
Customers are advised to change their passwords, and make sure their antivirus software is up to date.
Ms Maxwell-Hansen's comments follow an announcement by Telecom earlier today that it is reviewing its email options, with the suggestion it might take its business elsewhere.
Confident of keeping Telecom's business?
Is the Yahoo NZ boss confident of keeping Telecom's business, NZ ONLINE inquired.
Ms Maxwell-Hansen says Yahoo is aware of Mr Quin's comments. "However we are currently focused on a resolution to the mail issues so have nothing further to say at this time."
Telecom owned 49% of Yahoo's NZ subsidiary at the time of the company's (rocky) switch to Yahoo email hosting in 1997 (a shift that took place soon after Telecom divorced itself from MSN, run by one-time Telecom shareholder Microsoft). The balance of YahooXtra was owned by Yahoo's Australian subsidiary, Yahoo7. Telecom sold its YahooXtra stake to Yahoo7 in 2011.
Alternatives are out there. Before its retail business was sold, Telecom's Australian subsidiary AAPT offered its customers Google Apps, which includes Gmail.
Beyond the problems of the past few days, Telecom customers have suffered multiple problems with the Yahoo Sydney-hosted Xtra email service - including a series of foul-ups in May and June last year. More recently, a problem with a cut submarine cable let to more email sending delays, and sniping between Telecom and Yahoo's bandwidth manager over who was to blame for a delay getting the news to customers.