The Yahoo! Data Breach Post

Yahoo! had a data breach in 2014, it declared the breach to consumers on September 22. This isn’t the first large data breach breach that Yahoo! has had over the past few years just the largest.

In 2012, there was a breach of 450,000+ identities back in 2012. Millions of identity records were apparently being sold by hackers in August 2016 that the media initially linked to the 2012 breach. It would be speculative to assume that the records for sale in August was part of the 2014 raid.

The facts so far:

  • 500 million records were stolen by the hackers. Based on the latest active email account numbers disclosed for Yahoo! many of these accounts are inactive or forgotten
  • Some of the data was stored unencrypted
  • Yahoo! believes that it was a state sponsored actor, but it has offered no evidence to support this hypothesis. It would be a bigger reputational issue if it was ‘normal’ hackers or an organised crime group
  • There are wider security implications because the data included personal security questions

The questions

Vermont senator asked the following questions in a letter to Yahoo!:

  • When and how did Yahoo first learn that its users’ information may have been compromised?
  • Please provide a timeline detailing the nature of the breach, when and how it was discovered, when Yahoo notified law enforcement or other government authorities about the breach, and when Yahoo notified its customers. Press reports indicate the breach first occurred in 2014, but was not discovered until August of this year. If this is accurate, how could such a large intrusion of Yahoo’s systems have gone undetected?
  • What Yahoo accounts, services, or sister sites have been affected?
  • How many total users are affected? How were these users notified? What protection is Yahoo providing the 500 million Yahoo customers whose identities and personal information are now compromised?
  • What steps can consumers take to best protect the information that may have been compromised in the Yahoo breach?
  • What is Yahoo doing to prevent another breach in the future?
  • Has Yahoo changed its security protocols, and in what manner?
  • Did anyone in the U.S. government warn Yahoo of a possible hacking attempt by state-sponsored hackers or other bad actors? When was this warning issued?

Added to this, shareholders and Verizon are likely to want to know:

  • Chain of events / timing on the discovery on the hack?
  • Has Yahoo! declared what it knew at the appropriate time?
  • Could Yahoo! be found negligent in their security precautions?
  • How will this impact the ongoing attrition in Yahoo! user numbers?

Additional questions:

  • How does Yahoo! know that it was a state sponsored actor?
  • Was there really Yahoo! web being sold on the dark web in August?
  • Was that data from the 2014 cache?
  • How did they get in?

More information
An Important Message About Yahoo User Security | Yahoo – Yahoo!’s official announcement
UK Man Involved in 2012 Yahoo Hack Sentenced to Prison | Security Week
Congressional Leaders Demand Answers on Yahoo Breach | Threat Post

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Microsoft’s Internet Business Gets a New Kind of Processor | WIRED – FPGA computing – interesting move

Imagination 2.0 Update Ships | EE Times – interesting turnaround plans

Deloitte Mobile Consumer 2016 – peak smartphone

Why Samsung’s recall of Galaxy smartphones threatens its universe | SCMP – it marks cultural shift, less sure about it threatening Samsung in the smartphone business yet

Google Car: Sense and Money Impasse | MondayNote – ins and outs of autonimous driving

Is this the creepiest use of facial recognition tech yet? | TechCrunch – feels like a law suit ready to happen

Palmer Luckey’s politics were hiding in plain sight | Fusion – is it just me or does all feel a bit ‘Ready Player One’

Modern PR impact and consequences

Jessica Lessin wrote a great piece in The Information about her perspective as a journalist on how the practice of (tech) PR had changed (at least in Silicon Valley). The New PR Reality and What it Means outlines a number of traits emblematic of modern PR:

  • Press release as op ed piece on corporate or executive blog to promote one “story of record” about whatever you want to announce
  • Lessin considered exclusives with a friendly publication to be another variant of the same strategy
  • Lessin laments the demise of the press conference and the access that it brings to corporate executives for journalists.

Lessin also warns that the lack of information and dialogue reduces the variations and reflections on would see on the story in terms of analysis. The audience needs to have a greater capacity for critical thinking and a certain amount of cynicism to ask why?

The silicon valley bubble

Lessin and peers like Kara Swisher got to see an industry mature over time. They were in the right part of the world to build face-to-face relationships with the people that mattered.

The reality for journalists outside the Silicon Valley area was generally less access. 80 percent of the time when I arranged media access to my clients it was a ‘down-the-line’ telephone interview.

As an outsider who has had the opportunity observe public relations and media relationships in silicon valley I was surprised by the cordial differential aspect of it. There generally aren’t that many challenges, dissenting voices are usually shrill and stifled through a lack of access. The classic examples of this are Apple’s relationship with The Register, the 2009 blacklist of CNet by Google over Eric Schmidt’s opinions on privacy or Peter Thiel’s role in putting Gawker Media out of business.

This constriction of debate and access the Lessin cared about is in keeping with wider trend of silicon valley hubris and ego.

The reasons why public relations has changed

In the late 1990s through to the early 2000s the mass media was the best way to talk to the end consumer. Through advertising and PR. PR had a relatively low cost barrier to entry, but was relatively inefficient from a cost-per-reach and campaign impact point of view.

Online advertising offered new dynamics that changed the way marketing money was spent. This meant that you had to do more with  a static or declining marketing spend, this had a number of follow on factors:

  • Less budget for out-of-pocket expenses. The first agency I worked in launched Hitachi Data System’s Skyline Trillium range of IBM-compatiable mainframes. (I know, I know you want to sleep). We took a whole pile of journalists on a helicopter flight over London’s financial district as part of the launch, so they could see the iconic skyline (I know, groan at the crushingly twee creative concept). You just wouldn’t do that now.  There isn’t the money for decent gift bags or cleverly presented press packs either
  • Mid-and-senior agency staff salaries have been static for at least the past decade, which affects the quality of the thinking and the work done

There was also a corresponding change in the way PR was done in order to improve campaign impact. It used to be that you made a big bang  and hoped that the deluge of coverage would provide a 360 experience of sufficient reach, frequency and impact that client commercial goals would be achieved.

That theory fell down. Not only had PR spend changed but publication advertising spend had changed as well. There were less publications and less journalists writing for them. Those that wrote for the publications had to write more content.

That mean’t more time writing, less time research, thinking and networking. Less time to turn up at press conferences. Press conferences became a relatively high risk tactic for the agency PR to recommend; unless you had a landmark event.

What if you throw a press conference and few people show up or don’t stick around. Angela Eagle’s disastrous launch of her campaign to become leader of the UK Labour Party is a case in point.

Through little fault of Eagle’s campaign team, the Conservative leadership competition collapsed leaving Teresa May as prime minster. Eagle ended up with a poorly attended press conference with few questions from the media. Now imagine if a similar scenario happened to a Silicon Valley leader like Larry Ellison.

From an agency perspective this ‘journalist scarcity’ became a catalyst to change the approach to try and drive greater impact of coverage generated. It’s what agencies call ‘story-telling’; you work with a publication to craft all the right conditions including executive access – so that a story will run.

Working with a large corporate means that this takes a lot of time:

  • Building the story first of all, this is your product that you then reverse-engineer the journalist ‘journey’ through. It takes into account areas of interest that they journalist has previously written about, the publication style. The likely word count (a bigger canvas is better)
  • You pitch this to the client. This would include a complete plan including what you hope to get from the publication (likely headlines and synopsis), how this rolls up to business objectives
  • The pitching process to the journalist is a high touch process. The journey that they are taken on might take months based on executive and resource availability (such as lab tours)

With one agency client I worked with, my back-of-a-cigarette-packet maths had some disturbing numbers. Placing a story in the Wall Street Journal cost roughly the same as buying a full page of ad space.

Secondly stories need heroes: people. Bill Gates was framed as a superman – which was torn to shreds in the Judge Jackson anti-trust trial testimonial videos. A more cynical interpretation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would be having at least some role in rehabilitating Gates’ profile as a statesman of the technology sector.

Many of the heroes are drawn from the bench below the CEO; Microsoft used former research head Rick Rashid in that role for a number of years. Google had highlighted Marissa Mayer in a similar role – neither executive now work for those employers.

So how do you make the storytelling process develop greater agility and  become more  scaleable to improve campaign impact and frequency? Social media offered part of the answer for prominent technology companies. Corporate channels became de rigour and new media channels like The Verge and Buzzfeed news sprang up.  The technology sector even bankrolled some of these titles, notably Sarah Lacy’s Pando.

Hubspot have turned this into an industry as this approach is emblematic of the content marketing methods and tools they sell to businesses around the world. Codifying the PR techniques of silicon valley for a wider audience.

More information
The New PR Reality and What it Means | The Information (paywall)
Hitachi (finally) releases Skyline Trinium Nine high-end mainframe | ComputerWorld

Oprah Time: The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu

The Dark Forest is the second book in Cixin Liu’s Three Body Problem trilogy. I reviewed the first book here. In the second book the tone changes from being a hard bitten conspiracy story to a fully-blown space opera.

The Dark Forest of the title is a metaphor for a philosophical thought experiment. The universe is thought to be teaming with life. Each civilisation is like a hunter in a dark forest. Revealing oneself, leaves one open to being killed by another hunter. Since you don’t know a hunter’s intention it seems better to be quiet. Conversely if you become aware of another civilisation there is a strong incentive to get them before they get you.

Unlike the first book, The Dark Forest takes place over centuries as the protagonist is put into cryogenic hibernation and then woken centuries later. Living in the future provides a warning for readers against the perils of having all parts of our life automated and connected – it delves into similar themes as Michael Crichton’s Runaway.

Liu deals with complex arguments and grand societal change in a masterful way. I am waiting to read the last book in the trilogy Death’s End.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Snapchat’s 10 second video glasses are real and cost $130 – TechCrunch – Feels like something they picked in the Brando catalog but not quite as douchey as Google Glass, more sad hipster

iOS 10: Security Weakness Discovered, Backup Passwords Much Easier to Break « Advanced Password Cracking – Insight – I wonder if this was added as a US legal requirement, a la the San Bernardino case?

Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric For Two Years – WSJ – Ad buying agency Publicis Media was told by Facebook that the earlier counting method likely overestimated average time spent watching videos by between 60% and 80%, according to a late August letter Publicis Media sent to clients that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal

Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency to get 40 percent more spies: BBC says | Reuters – probably for Brexit trade negotiations as well as terrorism

Everyone in Europe is getting free roaming—except Brits | Quartz – Europeans will be able to make calls, use data, and send texts without any additional roaming charges anywhere in the European Union once new rules come into force next June

Apple in talks with luxury carmaker McLaren – – could be interesting from a wider manufacturing and systems point-of-view. Less convinced about complete cars, hence the McLaren denial

The Fantastic World of Professor Tolkien | New Republic – great review of Tolkien and his works

Burberry goes digital | The Economist – good read despite being four years old

Bot wars – Marginal REVOLUTION – fascinating, maybe there won’t be the production uplift that one would have thought of

Anime girls will keep you company as you eat your instant ramen with new AR promotion | RocketNews24 – interesting augmented reality technology,  creepy execution but shows the way for bots and virtual friends

macOS 10.12 Sierra: The Ars Technica review | Ars Technica – great review and detailed write up

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

My friend Doug switched me on to the Infinite Jukebox – it goes all Danny Krivit on your favourite track giving you an endless edit

NoMBe vs Sonny Alven – California Girls (remix). Great song and a tripped out kaleidoscope video to go along with it

Kevin Beadle is famous for his jazz funk tinged DJ sets. He has compiled a number of great albums and even produced music. He is a peer of Paul Oakenfold, Pete Tong and Giles Peterson. He did everything from put together Lou Donaldson compilation albums to commissioning Armand van Helden’s remix of the Sneaker Pimps – Spin, Spin Sugar. I can recommend the albums that he has compiled for BBE Records and there are more in the pipeline. However, it looks like this will be his last club DJ set (for a while). Enjoy!

Korean beauty brand Innisfree created a VR experience ‘Someday in Jeju’ featuring Korean star Lee Min Ho and then used a heart rate monitor to show the effect of the installation. If you want to convince a client to use a VR activation, this is probably a good case study to show them

Tangerine Dream cover the Stranger Things theme tune, which was created as a homage to their kraut rock synth-driven sound track heyday. As you’d expect it sounds epic

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Wolf Richter: Why Hanjin’s Zombie Collapse Won’t Be the Last One | naked capitalism – more shakeout expected in the global market for container shipping

Viceland UK opening night ratings – Business Insider – things can only get better

Hasselblad unveils slick and modular V1D concept camera – ok so its a computer render, but a rather nice computer render

WSJ City – Unilever Buys ‘Green’ Products Maker Seventh Generation – Unilever is getting into the market for

Xperia™ Ear – Official Website – Sony Mobile (Global UK English) – looking forwards to this finally launching

Google’s new Trips app takes the stress out of planning vacations | TheNextWeb – bit of a threat to Foursquare

Study: Texting is the Most Preferred Channel for Two-Way Business-to- Millennial Communications – Mobile Marketing Watch – the study is self-serving but interesting. SMS is the lowest common denominator of OTT messaging service for marketing communications and two-factor authentication

ARM Launches New Chip Design for Automotive, Health and Robotics – Bloomberg – surely this would be of interest for servers as well?

The Infinite Jukebox – amazing

Fixing email the Apple way

Despite millennials and social networks email is still the killer app of the web. But all is not good with email. I look at friends home screens and see thousands of unread emails in their inbox. They use search to find what they need.
Email bankruptcy
It gives me heart palpitations just looking at the photo above. It was apparent for years that something needed to be done for email. Identity for e-commerce and social platforms still hinges on email addresses. For networks like Quora and LinkedIn, much of your interaction is driven in response to email prompts.

Email is a mature technology that works across a range of platforms and generally does a good job. It’s searchable, it has a permanence. Alongside the address book app, its a database to many aspects of your life from concert tickets, friend’s news or interaction with the government.

There has been a renaissance in quality email newsletters such as Azeem’s The Exponential View or The Hustle. Email marketing continues to be an effective marketing channel for e-commerce businesses.

Apple’s iOS 10 and MacOS Sierra have tweaked the email experience on their default
Apple has managed to detect the unsubscribe function in many email newsletters and give users control over their subscription at the top of each email.

Using the beta version of Sierra and iOS10 I found that I unsubscribed from many marketing emails. This seems to hold out in some of the anecdotal feedback I’ve heard from friends as email campaigns have reported a surge in unsubscribes since it rolled out from beta to general availability. This has been the same on both b2b and b2c clients.

However many of these people will be unengaged subscribers who hadn’t gained sufficient momentum to cancel without Apple’s assistance. Google takes a different approach, Gmail masks these emails in a separate folder – out of sight, out of mind.

A second part of this was that I found I was prepared to take a chance on new interesting newsletter subscriptions. The content that I did have, I engaged with more because it was easier to get rid of meh content.

I think this is an exciting development, it is a palette cleanser, an opportunity for email marketers to raise the quality of content and engagement. An opportunity to get direct immediate feedback through subscriptions and cancellations. A confident email reading consumers is a fantastic opportunity for agencies and progressive clients. However this will only happen if they chose to look beyond the dip.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

The Internet of Things is looking for its VisiCalc – Beep Networks Blog – VisCalc was a spreadsheet and the first useful application for personal computers, people bought them to take into work because of VisiCalc – what my university lecturer would have called a ‘killer application’

The cypherpunk revolution | Christian Science Monitor – great history on the impact of public key encryption

How showbiz stars and pretty boys came to the rescue of China’s version of Twitter | South China Morning Post – bread and circuses – interesting skew towards female users though

WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer) – hypocrites (paywall) and Don’t just pardon Edward Snowden; give the man a medal | TechCrunch

Tech Talent: How the UK lost six potential titans – BBC News – interesting to see ARM Holdings included in this, not the kind of narrative that they would like around their brand
Africa’s Naspers Takes Aim at Craigslist | WSJ – interesting move by Naspers

Larry Ellison demos a chat bot with a joke about his salary – Business Insider – chat bots as programming interface

Rush of Chinese Investment in Europe’s High-Tech Firms Is Raising Eyebrows – – and sketchy business dealings

Oprah time: The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia by Bill Hayton

Hayton sets an ambitious goal for himself to try and unpick the claims and counter claims on territory in the South China sea. It is a massive convoluted story that encompasses colonial powers, oil companies and a plethora of Asian countries.

In the end no one comes out of it with glowing colours. China is easy to paint as a villain and it has played to type. But other countries and major powers have made constant mis-steps and it has become an intractable problem. The more hawkish may see the inevitability of war with China.

On the Chinese side, it makes sense for them to escalate a fight with one of their neighbours; as a Chinese idiom puts it ‘kill a chicken to scare the monkey’ and distract from the pain of change at home.  The history is wrapped up with rising nationalism and aspirations of China and its neighbours.

From the American perspective, it makes sense to have the war with China further away from the Homeland, so the South China sea rather than the Pacific ocean.

Hayton doesn’t take a standpoint one way or the other leaving the reader to decide.

From a reading perspective, the tangled nature of the claims makes the book more difficult to read in small bursts. I tried reading it as a commuting book and it took a while to get it done.

More details on The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia

Links of the day | 在网上找到

The site was down for all of Saturday, but Media Temple managed to put it back online:

The rise and fall of Mode Media – Digiday – is this the end of blog ad networks and the rise of social network advertising over everything else?

The Wall Street Veteran Who’s Helping Google Get Disciplined | Fortune – the person wielding the knife at Alphabet. Making Camelot just like any other large corporate isn’t something I’d boast about

Survey reveals why Japanese players quit Pokémon GO, and it’s likely not for the reason you think | RocketNews24 – battery issues underscores the issues with much modern technology

WSJ City – Unilever Is in Talks to Acquire Jessica Alba’s Honest Co. – Unilever is in talks to acquire Honest Co., the consumer-products retailer – green / organic products aimed at new parents

Prepare for a Big Road Trip With The “OSMEAC” Military Convoy Technique – really nice model for briefing teams

EU’s digital market rules land vowing free Wi-Fi, 5G tech, and copyright overhaul | Ars Technica UK – free Wi-Fi in every town, village, and city in the European Union, in the next four years

China’s influencers are the world’s most effective marketing platforms, says Ivy Wong – Mumbrella Asia – that’s a big claim to make

Half of America isn’t downloading smartphone apps anymore, but some demographics are still avidly downloading away — Quartz – which begs a question, is a smartphone a smartphone if it’s used like a feature phone? What does this then mean to upgrade cycles etc?

Android Wear hopefuls call timeout on smartwatches – CNET – I suspect that the problem is that the devices had a high price point for low utility. Huawei’s devices in particular were ridiculously spendy

More people care about movies and shows than immersive 3-D games | MIT Technology Review – passive consumption trumps interactivity, does this mean that VR threatens big TVs? Makes sense give the kind of housing challenges many of us face

Coach’s Millennial Magnet | Fashion Show Review, Ready-to-Wear Spring 2017 | BoF – repackaging Americana

Fyber Forma | Tyvek® Clothing & Bags – really interesting Taiwan based design house doing interesting things with Tyvek

UK supermarket chain takes on Amazon Lockers | TelecomTV – interesting move by Morrisons and you Argos doing pick up at store for eBay

Controversial Chinese teaser for film on Korean war revives debate on China’s role in the deadly conflict | South China Morning Post – just wow

Europe’s top court has made merely linking to stolen material on the web a crime | Quartz – Websites that link to pirated material could be in trouble for copyright infringement, the European Union’s top court has ruled. The European Court of Justice notes in a controversial ruling (pdf)

Saudi Millennials Don’t Use Their Phones Like We Do | Backchannel – what socials apps people preferred (Skype, Instagram and Path are popular; Facebook and BBM are fading out)

French PM: More terror attacks coming, 15,000 under surveillance | Ars Technica UK – The newly-revealed total of 15,000 being monitored by the authorities is even larger than the previously-estimated figure of 11,000, which the Washington Post suggested would need 220,000 officers in order to provide full surveillance. By contrast, the US newspaper believed that there were around 3,000 people being watched in the UK. Although considerably smaller than the number in France, this would still require half of the police officers in England and Wales in order to monitor them properly.

Primed for pumpkinpalooza? Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte is back | The Seattle Times – and after Pumpkin Spice Latte comes eggnog latte :-)

Two Xiaomi handset explosions in five days in mainland China | HKEJ Insight – it could be third party chargers or a battery problem, but its not going to help

KKR growth equity fund – Business Insider – going after Silicon Valley opportunities, probably a sign that phenomenal growth is over

I, Cringely What Carrie Underwood’s success teaches us about IBM’s Watson failure – I, Cringely– really interesting debate on IBM, check out the comment section

With the iPhone 7, Apple Changed the Camera Industry Forever – The New Yorker – I don’t think that this is true. Agreed that point-and-shoot cameras continue to be threatened by smartphones. The issue lies in higher end cameras, Apple and the like are pushing the limits of compact lens. Secondly, as large as the pixels are on their sensors, they’re still small compared to a full frame camera. Finally there is the tactile experience of holding a camera. The smartphone is likely to become the gateway drug to proper photography

The tide of globalisation is turning — – Globalisation’s future depends on better management. Will that happen? Alas, I am not optimistic. (paywall)

Technology is taking jobs away from men—and reviving a pre-industrial version of masculinity — Quartz – the training debacle is the crucial piece in this and its a hard nut to crack

On Hanjin – Flexport – Because Hanjin was a member of the CKYHE Alliance, a vessel-sharing agreement that also includes Cosco, K Line, Evergreen, and Yang Ming, it will be far more complicated for those companies and their creditors to figure out exactly which cargo should be held, and who owes whom for what

Report: New Feinstein-Burr encryption effort in works | TheHill – trying to legislate weaker cryptography for consumers, not the smartest move; but that won’t stop them

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

I was laid up for much of the week but these are some of the things that impressed me | The Essence of Tokyo. Illustrated by Those Who Embody it.

Snapchat storytelling – YouTube – via Matt

New Synths & Pianos at Roland’s ‘909 Day’ 24-Hour Product Launch Event | KeyboardMag – amazing global around the clock launch by Roland complete with activations cascading around the world in a 24-hour period

A great documentary on the transient lives of the jet-set

Inside ‘Stranger Things’: The Duffer Bros. on How They Made the TV Hit of the Summer – The Daily Beast – will need to check out Elfen Lied anime

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Chinese Billionaire Linked to Giant Aluminum Stockpile in Mexican Desert – WSJ

Mettle Studio | Proximity – interesting project for dementia patients

Apple Plug – neatly skewers the iPhone 7

Instagram lawyers tell owner of anti-litter app to change its name | The Guardian – interesting move, will this open the door for them to go after the likes of Telegram (messaging app) later on

WeChat and Brands | WeChat Blog: Chatterbox – Caesars Entertainment and interesting concierge bot trial

Cisco’s Network Bugs Are Front and Center in Bankruptcy Fight – Bloomberg – and there is the opportunity for other vendors to get in

Veggie Pret Is Here To Stay | Pret A Manger UK – interesting how the pop-up ended up being product development / business case

University of California Hires India-Based IT Outsourcer, Lays Off Tech Workers – Slashdot – interesting that it is extending into the public sector, expect other governments to take note

Montblanc launches connected pen and paper | Luxury Daily – interesting move

Burberry cuts Hong Kong prices by up to 20 per cent amid falling pound in Brexit aftermath | SCMP – which must hurt given the likely Made In China factor to the products?

Un-carrier Network List of Firsts | TelecomTV Tracker – summary of T-Mobile US rollouts

Extending the Power of OS X Photos – The New York Times – not thought of doing this

Facebook defeats BBM as Indonesia’s most popular platform | Techinasia – that’s the sunset of BlackBerry’s consumer business right there

Evolving App Store Business Models – David Smith – move to ads from payments or subscription pricing

The September 11 post

15 years ago I worked agency side in Haymarket in London’s west end  for Edelman. It was a normal day, well as normal is it gets when you are in the middle of the dot com bust fallout.

My job meant working on communications programmes for the European subsidiaries of technology companies. This was to reflect a ‘business as usual’ face to their customers. This allowed the subsidiaries to keep their businesses largely intact so that they could be sold off to help bail out the financial hole that the parent company had made.

The businesses had grown on generous venture capital payments, share placements and bank loans. The dot com bust suddenly meant that there was a surplus of servers, network switches, bandwidth, commercial space and Herman Miller Aeron chairs.

Due to the nature of the business I worked closely with colleagues on the finance team because I spoke ‘geek’ and understood how screwed these clients happened to be.

The financial and corporate teams worked for a number of clients, notably Cantor Fitzgerald. They were to lose two thirds of their personnel by the end of the day.

It was early afternoon, when I realised that something was up. We had TVs around the agency that often weren’t on. This time they were all turned to Sky News, which was running the footage. After the troubles and bombings in Beirut, it wasn’t a complete surprise to see another landmark attack – at least at first.

Once the scale sunk in, then the realisation of how different the world was going to be started to dawn on me.