back to article Indian outsourcing giant Wipro confirms flushing phishers from systems

Indian IT outsourcing behemoth Wipro admitted this morning to falling victim to a "sophisticated" phishing attack. The outfit confirmed to Reuters: "We detected a potentially abnormal activity in a few employee accounts on our network due to an advanced phishing campaign." Security blogger KrebsonSecurity yesterday cited …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wipro

    For when your accountants tell you your bottom line is more important than being able to use your IT.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wipro

      Anyone who has worked with IT staff trained in India will understand the cultural difficulties in relying on the majority of such employees when it comes to pro-activeness and the reporting of problems.

      They simply won't say 'no' when asked if they understood what was just said, as they don't want to offend. They don't offer up ideas in case they are deemed 'wrong' and they certainly don't pipe up when they know something is broken as many of them rely on their work visa to be able to live in western countries - they fear they will be sacked.

      The problem isn't the people, it's the way they are trained. Unless you can adapt your own practices to take these factors into account you will always struggle to get what you pay for. On the other hand if you can work out how to overcome these differences in approach then they can be remarkably helpful and loyal - but that's a soft skill that doesn't translate well onto a CV.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wipro

        They simply won't say 'no'

        I would say "They usually simply won't say 'no'". About 1 in 10 times you get someone with a pair, some nouse and aptitude. The rest of the time, you are spot on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wipro

          Please note the 'majority' caveat in the first paragraph.

          When an exception is discovered, they are usually poached anyway.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wipro

        Or they'll realise as I discovered, that if they've worked with some outsourcing companies they are mostly new 'graduates' who have jack all IT experience and a 'degree' from a paper mill.

      3. jtaylor

        Re: Wipro

        "They simply won't say 'no' when asked if they understood what was just said, as they don't want to offend. They don't offer up ideas in case they are deemed 'wrong' and they certainly don't pipe up when they know something is broken as many of them rely on their work visa to be able to live in western countries - they fear they will be sacked.

        The problem isn't the people, it's the way they are trained."

        Great explanation. This has been exactly my experience. Many of the problems I've had (in the US) working with people in India can be traced back to those differences in culture and work situations.

        For example, if I reply to a request with "oh yes yes" that's a clear affirmation. In India, it's a polite way to say the request was too much. This phrase alone has led to much anguish.

        If I'm handed an impossible task, or I think I'm being asked the solve the wrong problem, I'll speak up. Better to clean up a misunderstanding before it goes too far. The Indian tech market is cut-throat. If asked to do the impossible, you will do it or your replacement will.

      4. TheVogon Silver badge

        Re: Wipro

        "They simply won't say 'no' when asked if they understood what was just said, as they don't want to offend. They don't offer up ideas in case they are deemed 'wrong' and they certainly don't pipe up when they know something is broken"

        Which at least makes it easy to get rid of them if you minute everything.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wipro

          at my last job before I retired, I had to train my replacement. They were all from India. Three of them to do the same job that I'd been doing...

          {it wasn't Wipro btw).

          I used to test their understanding by giving them a few failure sceanrios. Then a few days later I'd test them. Even the simplest ideas hadn't sunk in. The 'nodding donkeys' were useless.

          I did provide a full set of documentation for the system for when I left. Every line of code was commented and there was a full test suite with over 2000 test cases.

          They proceeded to ignore all that and write their own documentation and tests. Deliveries stopped. Bugs were not fixed and the customer was decidely unhappy.

          I was so glad to be out of it.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wipro

            Unfortunately many Indians feel the need to enter the IT arena not out of a love of the field, or even a mild interest—but because it's what everyone else is doing, and they see it as their best or possibly even only way out. Their infastructure relies so much on tech- and medical-trained employees that anything else seems like pipe dream. You make the most money in IT, people are always hiring for IT, companies are always springing up for IT. And when you make it for a few years, you can go do some overseas work, in a country with less polution and better amenities. It's a win/win for the employees if they can make it, but for everyone else it's terrible. Why do you think there's so many Indian tech scammers? Because there's tonnes of out-of-work and fresh-out-of-school IT bodies that either don't meet the criteria for more up-and-up companies, just got laid off and need quick cash, or are looking to make a lot of money for little effort. To them it's a way to put food on the table, which is the most important thing when you live in the slums, which is a very common place for small scam operations, and the idea that the poor granny that just got her identity stolen will die penniless is almost completely ignored due to that and other similar reasons. Take all of these reasons and apply them to Indian doctors and nurses, by the way; very similar scenario, though the wellbeing of the occupants of the country is also of great concern to your average Indian practitioner in addition to the other reasons stated above.

            It doesn't help that the Indian government, seeing IT and medicine as such huge markets, pushes for them constantly and re-invests much of its earnings right back in, be it in the form of new IT and medical schools and programs when there's already one down the street, to better Internet in your local crumbling 50 year old building. No matter how much can be claimed about the technical and medical advances of that country, the fact that it's over-polluted, decaying, often lacking in basic first-world amenities, and has a large population of people living in poverty does not bode well for its continued existence... Not to forget, a shocking number of actually well-trained people leave the country for good to practice their trade in other countries, adding more fuel to the failing to the fire.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wipro

      "For when your accountants tell you your bottom line is more important than being able to use your IT."

      Not sure it's even the accountants, as WiPro also provide outsourced at/ap/etc.

      My favourite WiPro negotiating tactic is skipping the discovery stage, negotiating directly with upper management and saying "how much would you like to pay?"

      And then there are the SLAs:

      Customer: "These SLA's are completely meaningless"

      WiPro: "Yes...but we met them all!"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wipro

        Like the time the second device in a redundant pair finally kicked the bucket and caused a shitstorm. Apparently the primary had been flagging red for months - but they were duly monitoring it and ticking it off their list as 'done' every day!

  2. batfink Bronze badge

    What goes around...

    It's a good thing that that none of these "outsourcing giants" are the sources of leaks of your customer information in the first place...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    Wipro victim to sophisticated phishing attack?

    "We detected a potentially abnormal activity in a few employee accounts on our network due to an advanced phishing campaign."

    My interpretation is some local call-center operatives were supplementing their income by running phishing scams, possibly even from the same facility. It would explain how valid customer details would end up in the hands of the scammers. One such case being phone-calls apparently from a valid TalkTalk helpdesk. The call being verified with correct security details.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But what gets me is....

    Those dumb-ass PHB's that decided, along with the accountants, that they knew what they were on about when they said they could get the job done cheaper and maintain the same level of service. I have personally seen this happen so many times now, and watched what used to be a slick operation turn into a complete mess. And its just not Wipro.

  5. PeterM42
    Facepalm

    Yep....

    Outsourcing is all about price and NOTHING about customer service.

    I was outsourced at an airline and remember explaining to the "nodding donkeys" that it was imperative that they didn't do anything that would cause an aircraft to remain on the ground (AOG) unnecessarily. Altogether quite an uphill struggle. Fortunately, my (Indian) boss usually listened to me.

    Agree with virtually all the above comments. Mainly nice people, but was quite glad when I retired.

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