by Al Sacco

When Employee Blogging Goes Bad: Office Mobile Upgrade Leaked by Microsoft Staffer

Oct 01, 20073 mins
IT Leadership

Blogs, wikis and other Web 2.0 technologies are being used by enterprises more and more frequently as CIOs learn to manage and embrace them, but it’s wise to keep in mind that such technologies are potentially dangerous to organizations when misused or abused.

Case in point: Last week, a Microsoft staffer by the name of Jason Langridge posted an entry to his blog that detailed an upgrade to the Windows Mobile operating system (OS), and he included a link to a page where the upgrade could be downloaded, according to The only problem was the upgrade, Windows Mobile 6.1, was not supposed to be made publicly available for at least a couple more weeks.

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Microsoft promptly removed the download page, which it said was meant for internal use only, and Langridge, who works in the Windows Mobile group in the U.K., removed the post from his blog. But the damage—albeit relatively minor, in this case—was done. (On Friday, Langridge posted an entry about the leak, in which he wrote, “I’ve had a number of questions relating to what happened to the link and when the upgrade will be available. Microsoft will put out upgrades for Office Mobile to support the new Office 2007 file formats in the near future.”)

The Windows Mobile 6.1 page Langridge linked to revealed that the upgrade would address an issue that’s currently keeping Windows Mobile 6.0 users from viewing and editing documents created using Office 2007. It also said the upgrade would enable users to view and extract files from compressed .zip folders, according to Windows Mobile-powered devices have been on the market for months, and users have been unable to access Office 2007 documents unless they employ a third-party application. Following the leaked information, Redmond acknowledged Langridge’s post and said the official upgrade will likely be available within two weeks.

First of all, how many of you actively use blogs, wikis or social networking sites within your enterprises for marketing, information sharing, collaboration or otherwise? Do you set access restrictions on your pages, or do you have any other safeguards in place to prevent such leaks of confidential information? If so, what are they?

The leak in this case can be chalked up to good ol’ human error, so how do you protect your organization from something like that? Taking it a step further, should Langridge be disciplined?