Last Wednesday, RICOH eDiscovery informed customers that it would disable all external access out of “an abundance of caution” following what “may have been unauthorized access.” As of Tuesday, RICOH still had not restored service. That’s almost a full week, or to put it another, more entertaining way: RICOH hasn’t worked since last year!
The vendor announced this morning that it would be back online at 8 a.m. tomorrow. That marks a full week to resolve what was… well, actually, we don’t really know what it was.
On the morning of New Year’s Eve, the company wrote:
We can confirm that based on forensics analysis, our investigation, and the report from our cybersecurity services partner SecureWorks, there is no indication that data has been accessed or compromised in association with this event. Furthermore, as of today, DBA analysis of the databases reveals no signs of unauthorized access, unexpected log entries or the creation of any new accounts.
Encouraging news! It does leave unanswered what did happen that scared the company, but at least everything is safe. Then on the evening of the 31st, while everyone was alternately watching football or CNN transform one of its few good programs into an utterly unwatchable mess, RICOH conveyed this message:
Our investigation reveals no indication that data has been compromised in association with this event, and, as of today. analysis of the databases reveals no signs of unauthorized database access, unexpected database log entries or creation of any new database accounts.
Which is an awkward phrasing shift from “no indication that data has been accessed or compromised” to “no indication that data has been compromised… and no signs of unauthorized database access.” Carving it out into two issues is curious. Maybe it’s an innocent quirk of multiple wordsmiths at the helm, but the general rule when dealing with lawyers is to avoid rephrasing messages in a way that turns straightforward claims into qualified ones.
But at least RICOH gave customers a doctor’s note to hand judges wondering why document productions are delayed
It strikes me that any judge unsympathetic to the firm merely representing that the database was down is not going to become sympathetic with a note from Epstein’s mom (anyone get that reference?).
But it’s the thought that counts, right?
The answer is no, by the way.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.