ScanSafe publicity hogs make hay over IndiaTimes malware

A popular Indian news and entertainment web site http://www.indiatimes.com is said to be serving malware to visitors to some sections of its site. Guess what – the PR firm of the security company, that detected the threat, is busy contacting journalists to write about the attack and presumably about the company, ScanSafe. They were even offering interviews with their researchers.

Thanks ScanSafe, but you would be doing everyone a service by contacting the Times of India group instead, and helping them resolve the problem !

Instead your folks are apparently trying to squeeze out mileage in the US media from somebody’s misfortune. All in the name of getting your advisory across to users of http://www.indiatimes.com in India !!

ScanSafe’s cynical interest in publicity reflects the state of public relations these days in the corporate sector.

A few hours after a call center employee in Pune, India was raped and murdered by the driver of the cab dropping her home, another security company circulated a release informing people that this kind of crime will be avoided if call center companies deploy their technology that monitors staff and taxi activity.

I am sure the technology is worth looking at. But don’t you think it is in bad taste to take advantage of someone’s misfortune to push your product, and that too soon after the murder ?

When I was young, my parents always told me that charity had to be voluntary, and discreet, to respect the dignity of the recipients of the charity. The PR industry has broken that norm too. Most companies follow every little act of charity with a press release and media coverage, sometimes with snaps of the beneficiaries.

For those wanting more information on the malware at IndiaTimes here is a link to ScanSafe’s blog.

Update:

We heard from Mary Landesman at ScanSafe, and it appears that they tried to reach out to IndiaTimes on Thursday. India Times indicated it was a holiday and they would be unlikely to take action until Monday. “Our reaching out to the media is merely an effort to ensure people are protected in the interim,” she added.

Our apologies to ScanSafe – you folks are evidently not one of the cynical manipulators of the media I was talking about.

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One Response to ScanSafe publicity hogs make hay over IndiaTimes malware

  1. We did reach out to IndiaTimes on Thursday. They indicated it was a holiday and they would be unlikely to take action until Monday. Our reaching out to the media is merely an effort to ensure people are protected in the interim. I am sorry if that caused any confusion.

    Regards,

    — Mary

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