- Courtesy of Tanium
Another unsettling accusation has landed at the feet of Orion Hindawi, the CEO of security startup Tanium. He has allegedly been giving prospective customers a view into a hospital’s live network for years and no one seems to remember giving Tanium permission to do so, The Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler reports.
Hindawi was using the hospital in various product demos from 2010-2015, sources told the WSJ. Tanium software was installed in the hospital by one of Tanium’s partners.
The hospital, El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California, sent us this statement:
“El Camino Hospital was recently made aware that Tanium, a former third-party vendor that provided a desktop management program, had been using hospital desktop and server management information as part of a sales demonstration. El Camino Hospital was not aware of this usage and never authorized Tanium to use hospital material in any sales material or presentation. El Camino Hospital is thoroughly investigating this matter and takes the responsibility to maintain the integrity of its systems very seriously. It is important to note that Tanium never had access to patient information and, based on our review to date, patient information remains secure.”
The videos of the sales demos were posted on YouTube. However, after the WSJ started investigating, the videos were reportedly removed.
Tanium published an open letter to its customers in which is promised them it does not have access to their networks unless they explicitly give the company such access and said “we take responsibility for mistakes in the use of this particular customer’s demo environment.”
Tanium makes what’s known as end-point security, meaning it ensures that all the PCs, smartphones, tablets, and other devices connected to the network are patched and secure and can’t be used as gateways for hackers.
Just to put in context how big a deal something like this is, the whole reason a company buys security software is to make sure that people who aren’t authorized cannot crack open a network and peek inside. It’s a little like discovering your building doorman had been bringing strangers into your apartment to prove that he’s capable of guarding an apartment building.
What’s worse is that this report follows one published last week by Bloomberg’s Lizette Chapman and Sarah McBride, in which employees complained that Hindawi is a CEO allegedly known to humiliate them and fire people right before their stock options vested. The company denies the allegations.
Tanium was founded by Hindawi and his father a decade ago. It came to prominence after raising $287 million of venture investment at a valuation of $3.7 billion, much of that coming from the VC powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz after urging from former Microsoft executive Steven Sinofsky, an adviser for Andreessen Horowitz who once called Tanium’s technology “magic.”
Today it is one of the highest-valued security startups in the tech industry.
For more on the allegations against Tanium and the executive exodus it’s currently facing, head on over to The Wall Street Journal.