Extensive Spying Found At HP
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The Hewlett-Packard Co. spying effort that has sparked criminal investigations was wide-ranging and included physical surveillance, photographs and spyware sent via e-mail, and it also targeted wives and other relatives of HP board members and reporters, according to a consultant's report prepared for the company.
The Feb. 10 report, obtained by The Washington Post, summarized in eight pages how investigators, to identify an internal leak of confidential HP information, surreptitiously followed HP board member George A. Keyworth II while he was giving a lecture at the University of Colorado. They watched his home in Piedmont, Calif. They used photographs of a reporter to see if the reporter met with him. And they tried to recover a laptop computer stolen from him in Italy so they could analyze its contents.
The report, prepared by a consulting firm in Needham, Mass., hired to investigate leaks to the media, was sent to four HP executives, including HP's ethics director. That suggests that senior HP employees were aware of the spying tactics used as early as February. The report was sent to Kevin Hunsaker, senior counsel and HP ethics director; Frederick P. Adler, an HP information security employee; Vince Nye, a senior investigator; and Anthony Gentilucci, an HP global investigations manager in Boston.
The report, prepared by Security Outsourcing Solutions Inc., detailed extensive efforts it supervised to obtain calling records for home, office and cellphones and fax lines of various HP board members and reporters covering the company.
The report described how investigators sent an e-mail to a reporter for the online technology publication Cnet.com that contained spyware software in an attached file. If opened, the attachment was designed to install itself on her computer and track every keystroke.
The extent to which the Silicon Valley computer company would go to identify the person who spoke anonymously to a reporter about confidential company operations has scandalized corporate America, launched federal and state investigations, and outraged members of Congress, who have called a Sept. 28 hearing on the matter.
Larry Neal, a spokesman for the House Energy and Commerce investigative subcommittee, said yesterday that outgoing HP chairman Patricia C. Dunn, general counsel Ann Baskins and outside counsel Larry Sonsini are expected to testify. Ronald R. DeLia, owner of Security Outsourcing Solutions and the author of the confidential HP report, is also expected to appear but may choose to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, said Neal, the deputy staff director for the full committee.
Two others asked to appear before the committee -- Gentilucci, the Boston HP global investigator, and Joseph DePante, owner of a private investigative firm in Florida, have not responded to the committee's request, Neal said.
The House committee has also requested that HP turn over documents related to the investigation and has received "several thousand pages" so far, Neal said.
Another document reviewed by The Post revealed that HP's ethics chief in January was plotting ways to obtain information on board members and was being warned off those tactics by a colleague. On Jan. 28, Hunsaker asked Adler whether there was any way to "lawfully get text message content." Hunsaker wrote about HP board member Thomas Perkins, "Apparently, Perkins almost never uses uses his cell phone, and instead does just about everything via text message."
In an e-mail reply, Adler told Hunsaker "[e]ven if we could legally obtain the records, which we can't unless we either pay the bill or get consent, I would highly suspect text messaging records are not kept due to volume and expense. The only other means is through real time interception, an avenue not open to us."
HP has conducted two internal leak investigations in the past two years, the first dubbed "Kona 1" and running from March 2005 through the summer of 2005. The second, "Kona 2," ran from January to May 2006, according to sources familiar with the investigation.