One of the reasons I use unique email aliases for my jasondunn.com email is that it enables me to control and track who’s using my email address, who’s sharing it, etc. Once I start getting spam to a certain alias, I block it. It’s not a perfect system; there are still people who take my “real” personal email address and share it with online services (greeting cards, etc.) and people who have virus/spyware problems on their PCs, so I still get spammed now and then. But I get perhaps 3-5 per day, so it’s easy to manage.
I was surprised then when I received an email from a site called “Oroom” and it was addresses to my unique Elance email address. Here’s what I sent to Elance:
“I use unique email aliases, and for Elance the email address on file is *******. Imagine my surprise when I received an unsolicited email message from Oroom, promoting a new service/site. I didn’t give Elance permission to share or sell my email address to any other companies. Please explain how this happened.”
And here is their response:
Thanks for contacting us. In the last day or so, we’ve learned that OutsourcingRoom.com and its parent company CyberBionic Systematics has illegally obtained and posted information about Elance members and sent out unwanted solicitation emails. We have confirmed that no financial information such as credit cards, tax id numbers, or other financial records were compromised. The stolen data was limited to name, city, state, phone number, and email address.
Elance treats the security and privacy of our community members with the utmost seriousness. We have already mobilized an international team to investigate and respond to this issue and have demanded legally that they cease and desist. We have taken immediate steps to remedy the cause of the security breach, and have secured all areas that were discovered to be vulnerable. We are also in contact with the parent company and are pursuing all avenues available to us to have the data removed and destroyed.
Elance has made demands on OutsourcingRoom.com and its overseas hosting services. We have filed an international criminal complaint. And we are contacting the law enforcement officials in the relevant countries presently.
We continue to take this issue very seriously and will update you when we have more relevant details to share. We extend our sincere apologies for any inconvenience or disruption that this has caused anyone. If you have a specific question, please contact Elance by email at *******, and we will attempt to answer with whatever information we have.
Manager, Customer Relations
Seems that the outsourcing industry is quite competitive if one company is willing to risk getting caught hacking into another company’s customer database.