Author Topic: The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync  (Read 14778 times)

ilconsiglliere

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The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync
« on: March 07, 2014, 02:18:36 AM »
Don't know if you all use MS Lync or not. Lync is an IM application that comes as part of MS Office nowadays. Many companies are using it. It does a lot more than IM though - you can share screens and make phone calls, etc...

It has some nefarious functionality that many people are not aware - besides the obvious ability to see whether someone is at their desk or
not via the status (green being available and yellow being that you are away from your desk (including for how long) it also provides the
ability to "tag" someone when their status changes. What that means is if you are green status and than go to the bathroom for 10 minutes it
shows you as away for 10 minutes AND it will send a message to the other person that your status changed. Its like insta-surveillance.

Microshaft's original purpose of the tagging feature is so you could get a hold of someone who is busy as the system will tell you when
they are free. But that is not what it is being used for by micro managing bosses. They use it to keep track of people. This way they
get a little pop up every time you walk away from the computer or are just sitting there staring at the screen or not touching the mouse or
keyboard.

By default Lync changes your status to idle and away after 5 minutes of you not being on the computer. There is an option buried in the
panel to increase the minutes to a max of 360 minutes (6 hours) before it changes. But of course some companies lock the value via policies.

Than it comes back to the mouse jigglier. The mouse jigglier is a piece of software that moves mouse back and forth 2 pixels so it prevents the computer from going to sleep. If you put in in Zen mode you can't see the mouse move and it just sends the signal to prevent it from sleeping.

Be careful out there.

The Gorn

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Re: The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2014, 05:28:23 AM »
The offshoring/outsourcing service www.odesk.com has what amounts to a surveillance program that a contractor is supposed to install while they are working for their client. The program takes screen shots of the contractor's desktop at intervals and provides them to the client as a way to see what the contractor is working on. This sounds like it could be used for something similar, to conduct remote spot-checks.

I once hired one guy who used the program for awhile and I waived its use. The screen shots were boring my ass off and they didn't really show anything useful.

Mouse jiggler, found it. Ha ha!  :laugh:
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benali72

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Re: The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2014, 07:16:21 AM »
I just hope that you have a laptop with video cam in the bathroom so that when you say you've gone there, others can verify that.

TRexx

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Re: The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2014, 09:03:12 AM »
The offshoring/outsourcing service www.odesk.com has what amounts to a surveillance program that a contractor is supposed to install while they are working for their client. The program takes screen shots of the contractor's desktop at intervals and provides them to the client as a way to see what the contractor is working on. This sounds like it could be used for something similar, to conduct remote spot-checks.

Whatever happened to managing your employees? You assign them a task, agree on when it will be completed and at that time if it isn't done, does it really matter what they were doing?  If you have a programmer who needs a whole day to write a simple query, is that any better than someone who spends that day updating his Facebook page?  Either way,  I'm going to replace him with someone who can do the job in the time allocated.

   

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Re: The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2014, 09:13:16 AM »
Whatever happened to managing your employees? You assign them a task, agree on when it will be completed and at that time if it isn't done, does it really matter what they were doing?  If you have a programmer who needs a whole day to write a simple query, is that any better than someone who spends that day updating his Facebook page?  Either way,  I'm going to replace him with someone who can do the job in the time allocated.

Go click through the link for odesk that I provided. That should clear things up.

ODesk is for remote gig based contracting. Very low rates. Very small, generally very cheap clients. At that tier (very small micro businesses,) there is absolutely no management or oversight expertise. Your average small business outsourcing a chunk of tech work is absolutely clueless.

I am positive that ODesk provides this functionality as a selling point for its clients. You not only get an ultra low rate contractor in hand but you can spy on him periodically, because who knows what all this code stuff does?
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I D Shukhov

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Re: The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2014, 03:52:27 PM »
It was the same deal at my last job with IBM/Lotus Sametime.  You logged onto it at the start of the day and could see the status of everyone you normally worked with.  When the computer went to sleep an "offline" status would be displayed.   It was an unwritten policy that you showed your location as "Working from Home" when you worked from home.   Being "offline" for a long time while WFH didn't look good.

Be Prepared.

David Randolph

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Re: The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 09:18:58 AM »
Here is an article on the six ways that employers can spy on you.

http://www.recruiter.com/i/6-ways-your-employer-can-legally-spy-on-you/

1. They can monitor searches and social media posts.
Here is an interesting statement: "If you’re on company bandwidth, they can check up on your internet activity."
2. Keystroke monitoring
3. Listening to phone calls
4. Your hobbies can be monitored
5. Use of company equipment off site (cars & mobile devices)
6. Medical records

pxsant

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Re: The Nefarious Nature of Microsoft Lync
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 09:58:46 AM »
Seems to me that these corporate HR and Security types are looking for ways to justify their existence and build empires.  Build enough dirt files and you control the corporation, or at least your destiny.