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8/30/07

Monster finally acknowledges they have a problem with phishing emails

Okay for anyone who does happen to read my blog you'll notice I posted back in June about getting bogus "Job offers" through Monster.com and hotjobs.com. Monster FINALLY reported this past week that they were victims of malicious coders. I am sure Monster knew about this way before announcing it. Mainly because out of all the job seekers on Monster.com I really doubt I was the only one reporting the fake job offers that were coming through their system. I didn't hear one thing from Monster nothing like, "yeah we are looking into this" or "Thanks for bringing this to our attention." Oh no the only communication I get is a canned response saying "Ooops". I guess it's better than nothing. Below is the email I got from Monster.

Dear Valued Monster Customer,

Protecting the job seekers who use our website is a top priority, and we value the trust you place in Monster. Regrettably, opportunistic criminals are increasingly using the Internet for illegitimate purposes. As is the case with many companies that maintain large databases of information, Monster is from time to time subject to attempts to illegally extract information from its database.

As you may be aware, the Monster resume database was recently the target of malicious activity that involved the illegal downloading of information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses for some of our job seekers with resumes posted on Monster sites. Monster responded to this specific incident by conducting a comprehensive review of internal processes and procedures, notified those job seekers that their contact records had been downloaded illegally, and shut down a rogue server that was hosting these records.

The Company has determined that this incident is not the first time Monster's database has been the target of criminal activity. Due to the significant amount of uncertainty in determining which individual job seekers may have been impacted, Monster felt that it was in your best interest to take the precautionary steps of reaching out to you and all Monster job seekers regarding this issue. Monster believes illegally downloaded contact information may be used to lure job seekers into opening a "phishing" email that attempts to acquire financial information or lure job seekers into fraudulent financial transactions. This has been the case in similar attacks on other websites.

We want to inform you about preventive measures you can take to protect yourself from online fraud. While no company can completely prevent unauthorized access to data, we believe that by reaching out to job seekers like you, the Company can help users better defend themselves against those who have attacked Monster as well as other databases.

We are committed to maintaining an ongoing dialogue with all of our job seekers about Internet security and the steps Monster is taking to protect its job seekers. The Company has placed a security alert on Monster sites offering information to educate you about online fraud. This information can be found at http://help.monster.com/besafe/. We have also included information on Internet safety and examples of fraudulent "phishing" emails at the bottom of this letter.

Monster has launched a series of initiatives to enhance and to protect the information you have entrusted to us. Some of these steps are being immediately implemented, while others will be put into place as appropriate.

We believe these actions are the responsible steps to protect the trust you place in Monster. We are also working with Monster's hundreds of thousands of employer customers to ensure a safe and effective online job search. We will continue to share information with you about the enhancements we are making as we serve as your online career resource partner. We invite you to keep reading to learn more about how to use the Internet safely.

Sincerely,


Sal Iannuzzi

Chairman and CEO

Monster Worldwide

This email also came with tips on how to use the Internet safely. Here's a tip don't click ANY BANNERS on the Monster.com site. Since Monster has come clean maybe some other sites like Hotjobs should step up to the podium and join Monster. I doubt Monster was the only job site that was targeted.

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