Adobe on Thursday admitted that hackers broke into its network and stole personal information, including an estimated 2.9 million credit cards, illustrating the lucrative target that software-by-subscription providers have become to cyber criminals, analysts said today.
"Even before they went to the cloud, bill-you-monthly firms have been a target," said John Pescatore, director of emerging security trends at the SANS Institute, and formerly a Gartner analyst focused on security. "This has been an issue for [Web] hosting providers for years. There are two reasons why. First, they have a trove of credit cards. And second, you know that the cards are good."
Adobe, long a powerhouse in the software industry, has been aggressively promoting Creative Cloud, its software-by-subscription offering, a shift it hopes will "transform our business model and drive higher revenue growth," according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this year.
Like all software-as-a-service (SaaS), Creative Cloud relies on recurring payments -- monthly or annually -- which for most customers, means providing a credit card. The provider stores that card information so it can charge the customer without sending a traditional bill, and most importantly, waiting for payment. Read more...
BlackBerry this weekend defended its ability to continue serving enterprise customers with smartphones and secure mobile management software, responding to a Gartner report recommending that its corporate clients stop using the Canadian vendor's products.
"We remain steadfast in our mission to deliver the most secure and powerful mobile management solutions and smartphones to our customers," BlackBerry said in a statement emailed to Computerworld on Saturday.
The BlackBerry statement called the conclusions by Gartner analysts in the report "purely speculative."
In the eight-page report released on Friday, Gartner urged its enterprise clients to find alternatives to BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service servers within six months. Read more...
With Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s mobile business for $7.1bn, the Redmond software giant has finally become a phone and device maker.
The deal gives Microsoft Nokia’s global handset engineering, manufacturing, sales and distribution business; the family of Windows-Phone-powered Lumia smartphones; a war chest of 8,500 Lumia and Asha phone patents while licensing 30,000 utility patents; and a standing army of 32,000 Nokia employees. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
Interestingly, it's not Microsoft’s biggest purchase: it’s second to the $8.2bn purchase of loss-making internet chat biz Skype in 2011.
The Nokia acquisition also potentially gives Microsoft its next chief executive officer: Nokia boss Stephen Elop who was once a senior suit in Redmond.
Announcing the deal on Monday night, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called it a “bold step into the future”. Nokia has talent in hardware design and engineering, supply chain and manufacturing management, sales, marketing and distribution, Ballmer told his employees. Read more...
Its taken five years but changes to patent legislation have finally passed into law.
The Patents Bill passed its third reading yesterday, 117 to four, with only the Maori Party and Mana dissenting. The Bill had been introduced by Labour in 2008.
There was wide agreement on the version of the Bill reported back from the select committee but there was a further delay when Commerce Minister Craig Foss proposed changes to allay concerns it might breach WTO conventions. The addition of the words as such to the end of a clause stating a computer program was not a patentable invention raised concerns that it would in fact make software and code patentable.
The issue around as such has now been clarified by using English case law. Read more...
What do you call a computer program that uses big data to write jokes? Basic, judging by the list of groan-worthy gags generated by this new wisecracking software.
Eggheads at the University of Edinburgh have developed code dedicated to spitting out quips along the lines of: "I like my men like I like my monoxide - odourless" and "I like my women like I like my gas - natural".
The system was tested on a group of volunteers who claimed the witty algorithms made them chuckle a few times, although not as much as similar, human-penned jokes chosen from Twitter.
It uses 2,000,000 noun-adjective pairs of words to draw up jokes "with an element of surprise", something the creators claim is key to good comedy. The one-liners were produced by searching for connections between pairings of words using Google n-gram data and Wordnet's part-of-speech tags. Read more...
Apple has finally explained why its Dev Center has been mysteriously shut down since last Thursday: An intruder broke in to the company's developer site in an attempt to steal registered developers' personal information. While Apple says it's in the process of "completely overhauling" its developer systems, updating its server software, and rebuilding its entire database, a Turkish security researcher named Ibrahim Balic emerged on Sunday claiming credit for the successful hack -- and claiming he had only the best white-hat intentions.
Balic's claims are not verified, and several news organizations such as the Guardian U.K. and AllThingsD have questioned his claims to be the hacker that caused the shutdown. Apple told AllThingsD is not able to comment about whether it knows the hacker's identity "at this time." Read more...
Revelations of US spooks monitoring the internet have freaked out consumers so much that privacy protection software will be The Next Big Thing.
That's according to antivirus firm AVG, which reckons the market for products that safeguard online freedoms will be huge.
Siobhan MacDermott, chief policy officer at the company, said AVG was preparing for a future in which privacy software is a big part of its business alongside its malware-busting tools. The security expert was astonished by the reaction to the scandal of the web-snooping NSA PRISM project, which left consumers feeling "violated". Read more...
Lenovo is expanding software partnerships as it tries to break into a server market dominated by Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Dell.
Its first such partnership expansion, announced Tuesday, is with VMware on virtualization products. Lenovo will bundle ThinkServer products with VMware's vSphere with Operations Management.
The servers with VSOM are targeted at customers of small and medium-sized businesses who want higher performance and server utilization rates, said Sean Gilbert, senior alliances manager at Lenovo.
Lenovo has been pursuing the server market for a few years now with single- and dual-socket rack and tower offerings. However, Lenovo offers only basic hardware while competitors and market leaders like HP, Dell, and IBM sell servers that combine homegrown hardware, networking, storage, and software products. Read more...
Due to Forbes the number of Internet connected devices reached 8.7 billion in 2012. There are a number of estimates out there by others, but they are generally in the eight to ten billion range. This number would include traditional computer devices, mobile devices, as well as the new industrial and consumer devices. This amount is growing rapidly. In 2010 there were 5 billion devices connected to Internet. There will be about fifteen billion devices connected by 2015, and around forty billion devices by 2020.
According to Leichtman Research Group (LRG) nearly 90% of US households that use a laptop or desktop computer at home currently subscribe to a broadband Internet service. Five years ago, 65% of households with a computer subscribed to a broadband service. 91% of all households with annual incomes over $50,000 subscribe to a broadband service at home. Only 2% of all online households say that broadband is not available in their area -- compared to 6% in 2008.
The “Global Village” will become the reality says the “Internet World Stats”. 33.3% of world population were Internet users in March 2012 and this number reached 38.8% in March 2013.
Due to Wikipedia 73% of the developed world are Internet users and 77% are expected in 2014.
Online activations and license management becomes the most handy and efficient approach for handling software licenses in the Internet era.
(Source: activation-cloud.com/blog )
Sources whispered to Bloomberg that Google was interested in the navigation firm - which is, of course, seeking a price tag of more than $1bn. What kind of tech company are you these days if you don't ask other tech companies to fork out at least $1bn for you?
Google told The Register that it doesn't comment on rumours or speculation.
Earlier this month, other sources claimed that Facebook was also interested in snaffling Waze and was unfazed by the billion-dollar price tag. Since Facebook was outed as an interested party, Google and other tech firms have approached the firm about a possible deal. Read more...
Controversial Chinese software vendor Qihoo 360 has its eyes on world domination after controversial founder Zhou Hongyi told the local press he wants to turn the firm into the planet’s biggest web security biz.
Qihoo made its name flogging free AV to bargain-seeking Chinese punters and has since gone on to build a successful business around products in several related areas including web browsing, search and internet portals.
Never one to resist an opportunity to engage in some blatant self promotion, Zhou was quoted in the Changjiang Daily News late last week arguing that just as products made in China are now sold throughout the world, so his firm should take the freemium web security model global. Read more...
Ring in open source and cloud apps, ring out old packaged software. That's the message relayed by Peter Yared, CTO for CBS Interactive, at this week's open source-focused Open Business Conference in San Francisco. And on a related software front, broadcasting giant CBS says it is not caving to patent trolls and is instead choosing to give them a fight.
"We love open source" and run a ton of it, Yared said. CBS Interactive, which includes CBS Web properties, has utilized open source software including the Apache Hadoop distributed computing system and the MySQL database. Read more...
Microsoft Office is the planet’s most ubiquitous productivity suite and Word and Excel still set the standard on personal productivity apps.
The way the software suite is embedded in each office's day-to-day business means that with each new update, Microsoft finds itself struggling to convince people to upgrade. After all, the enterprise in general is known for its tendency to cling to what it's used to.
This time, there’s a new challenge - and it’s not Google Docs: it's the web. Microsoft released Office 2013 with an updated Office 365, a package of webbified Office apps such as Word and Excel combined with Microsoft hosted versions of Exchange, Lync and SharePoint once found in the old Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS). Read more...
Home, which became available for download April 1, alters Android's look and feel but isn't a full-blown fork of the OS.
Google would not take negative actions toward Home, such as removing it from the Play app store, Schmidt said Tuesday during an onstage interview at the AllThingsD Dive Into Mobile event in New York.
"It would be counter to our public statements, our religion," he said. "The answer is no. It's called open source. They read the manual, they read the rules and adhered to them." Read more...
Mobile device security startup Averail makes its debut today with its "containerization" software and service intended to give IT managers control over mobile-device apps and their content.
The product, called Averail Access, is only available as client software for the Apple iPad at present but the company plans to add support for Google Android and the Apple iPhone in the second half of the year, with additional mobile platforms possible. Marc Olesen, Averail president and CEO, says the company's focus isn't specifically on mobile-device management but what's often called "containerization," the ability to place restrictions on mobile content down to the document level through policy settings. Read more...