All posts on October, 2016


Cybercrime

Odinaff Trojan Targets Banks, Financial Firms Worldwide

Symantec on Tuesday reported on a malware campaign that has targeted financial organizations worldwide for the past 10 months. Dubbed “Trojan.Odinaff,” it has infiltrated the banking, securities, trading and payroll sectors, as well as organizations that provide them with support services. Odinaff is used in the first stage of an attack, to get a foothold into a network.

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Mobile

Cyanogen’s Android Alternative Goes Modular

Cyanogen on Tuesday announced that it was going modular. Future releases of its open source Android alternative will not support a full stack of the Android OS. The new modular setup will bring a slew of benefits to phone makers and developers, according to Cyanogen. “The new partnership program offers smartphone manufacturers greater freedom and opportunity,” noted Cyanogen CEO Lior Tal.

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Vendors

Dreamforce Redux

Dreamforce for many years has been too big for a single person to cover. While I participate in covering events like this, inevitably I am reduced to the story of the three blind people and the elephant. You can’t experience enough of the elephant to describe it unless you can see it. Using your hands leaves you frustrated. In the case of Dreamforce, you can’t go to all of the sessions.

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Wall Street

Samsung Down, Galaxy Note7 Out

Samsung shares fell sharply on Tuesday after the company confirmed reports that it had halted production of its flagship Galaxy Note7 smartphone, just launched this summer. The move came after several replacement phones reportedly smoldered or caught fire. Shares fell 8 percent in the Korean market. Samsung had been working with the U.S. CPSC on a voluntary recall and replacement program.

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Tech Law

DoL Suit Highlights Asian Glass Ceiling in Tech

Longstanding concerns about hiring and diversity issues in Silicon Valley recently returned to the fore. The Labor Department last month filed suit against big data firm Palantir, alleging that it had engaged in a pattern of denying jobs to Asian applicants. Race is a greater impediment than gender when it comes to breaking through corporate glass ceilings, suggests research conducted by Ascend.

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Tech Buzz

All Systems Go for Andromeda

Although Google didn’t drop any new details on the progress of Andromeda at its Pixel event, that doesn’t indicate any tempering of enthusiasm for the new operating system. Andromeda reportedly is a mashup of Android and Chrome, with features from Chrome having been ported into Android rather than the other way around. It’s expected to show up next year in a new laptop, dubbed “Pixel 3.”

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Strategy

Bring Back the CIO

The cloud revolution has made an enormous contribution to the evolution of sales and marketing software, as well as to business software of all types. There’s a long list of benefits it’s conferred on users — from the ability to outsource security and maintenance tasks to the avoidance of manual upgrade processes, to the switch in payment modes, to a model more affordable for more businesses.

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Software

Google’s New Fonts Chip Away at Written Language Barriers

Project Noto, one of Google’s most ambitious undertakings ever, has reached a milestone: Noto now supports 800 languages and 100 writing scripts. Google and Monotype launched the open source initiative to create a typeface family that supports all the languages in the world, even rarely used languages. Both serif and sans serif letters with up to eight weights are supported.

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Mobile

Samsung’s Galaxy Note7 Assembly Lines Grind to Halt

Samsung has stopped production of its problematic Galaxy Note7 smartphones, according to multiple press reports Monday. The company had been offering replacements of the phone after issuing a recall due to defective batteries, but all four major carriers have stopped doing so, presumably because several of the replacements exhibited similar problems, including smoking and catching fire.

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Tech Buzz

Google Resurrects Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

This almost sounds like a plot for a novel. Microsoft creates a successful strategy called “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” and then promptly forgets it, resulting in a string of failures. Google, which up to now seemed happy to repeat Microsoft’s mistakes, accidentally picks up a successful Microsoft practice and uses it against Apple — likely taking out a number of its Android partners.

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Trends

AI’s Moment

There recently has been an increase in the talk — pro and con — about bots, AI and intelligent assistants. A lot of this talk has been percolating around the industry for decades. Silicon Collar, a book by Vinnie Mirchandani, a friend and truly gifted analyst, accepts that automation might be eliminating jobs, but it optimistically holds out for the silver lining.

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Tech Law

Backpage CEO Arrested for Pimping, Child Prostitution

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer is facing extradition to California on charges his company earned millions of dollars by promoting adult and child prostitution through escort advertisements run on the site. Ferrer’s arrest took place in Houston upon his return from the Netherlands to the headquarters of his Dallas-based company, perhaps the largest advertiser of adult escort services in the U.S.

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Enterprise Security

Newsweek Joins Growing Club of Possible Russian Cyberattack Targets

Newsweek is the latest media institution to get caught up in a series of cyberattacks that have targeted major government, political and media organizations, raising suspicions of links to Russia. The news magazine sustained a massive DDoS attack the day after it published a cover story about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s business activities in the late 1990s.

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Government

US Launches IT Contract to Spur Cybersecurity Purchases

The U.S. government plans to initiate an updated contracting vehicle for the acquisition of cybersecurity information technologies for federal agencies this month. The purpose of the program is to make it easier and more efficient for federal agencies to obtain cyberprotection services. Specifically, GSA will include cybertechnology providers on a major listing of approved federal contractors.

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