Week in Review: Gmail fails, the world winces

Two hours of an email service going offline usually wouldn't cause that much of a stir, but this is Gmail we're talking about.

Thanks to an outage from an overloaded data centre, it's likely that millions of people around the world wouldn't have had access to Google's usually reliable webmail service.

Although Gmail is beta', millions of people have been using what they thought was a stable service for years.

Considering companies such as the Guardian News and Media Group have chosen Google Apps for their employees, it is a big concern that webmail can simply "fail" like this for many businesses, two hours without email could have very costly consequences.

Like buses, bad news seems to all come at once. Phishing attacks were soon targeted at Gmail using the Google Talk IM system as well as traditional phishing attacks.

As long as there are people willing to click on unknown links and use the same password for all their online services, criminals will continue to phish.

The Justice Secretary Jack Straw should be well aware of this. Thanks to his Hotmail account being broken into, Nigerian scammers sent phishing emails from his account to contacts that were reported to include government chiefs and council bosses.

Rik Ferguson of Trend Micro blasted the government politician for using a Hotmail account. As a high-ranking politician and one of the minds behind the Police Central e-crime Unit, he should know that getting an encrypted email account really should be a high priority for his correspondents join the debate on Slashdot.

The case of Gary McKinnon is being watched very closely by some in the IT community, and this week he suffered a very big blow as the CPS threw out his case to be tried in the US.

According to the judgement, the crimes in the US he was accused of would far outweigh the computer misuse charges he would face here.

One important aspect of the case though, is that the CPS did not take into account his Asperger's Syndrome when making the judgement, and this is one of the big arguments his supporters have when fighting against a US trial.

With a Judicial Review, he has one more chance. Otherwise extradition to the US will be a certainty.