When in doubt, claim the account was hacked. That appears to be the reasoning of a Network Solutions Technical Support Representative. Normally I do not write about other companies but this is an interesting case. As professionals we view being hacked as something we defend against. While some breaches are out of our control, it’s still something we frown upon and wish to avoid. In this case, it’s just the opposite. It’s seen by a Network Solutions Representative as an easy way to close a technical case that could not be solved (initially). Since this is the first instance of using “You were hacked” as an excuse for lack of knowledge, thought other professionals may also find this intriguing. So, here’s a brief background.
Yesterday I received a call from a family member. It appears that around 3000 emails stored in the Sent Items folder and dated from prior to 12/30/2009 (but not after) all of a sudden just disappeared from their web based interface. Yet, the total used storage space was still at 95%. Upon calling Network Solutions and describing the problem, the family member (before I was asked to assist) received the following email reply:
We have resynced the mailboxes to the server, many times this restores lost mail, but it can also remove mail that was left behind as “ghost” messages. These messages are typically left when a POP client downloads messages from the mailbox but doesn’t complete all the way. After repairing [your] mailbox it is completely empty, meaning someone at some point likely POP’d the mailbox and removed the contents. We apologize but we recommend keeping a more secure password as it appears someone has access to your mailbox other than you.
The issue you reported to Network Solutions on 1/4/2010 02:32:36 PM and assigned to Service Request 1-432797685 has been completed and closed.
Now, this clearly doesn’t make sense when you analyze it.