Top Stories for the Week of January 19, 2016

  • From Category5 Technology TV S09E17
  • January 19, 2016
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Tuesday January 19, 2016

AT&T has chosen Canonical's Ubuntu operating system to power its systems, and a new partnership between the two companies raises some interesting possibilities for the future of the Linux OS.

AT&T is moving away from proprietary systems and stepping toward Canonical Ltd.'s open-source operating system Ubuntu.

AT&T is moving away from proprietary systems and stepping toward Canonical Ltd.'s open-source operating system Ubuntu.

Canonical announced the news in a blog post, saying it is joining forces with AT&T to provide its Ubuntu OS and engineering support for the carrier's cloud, network and enterprise applications.

The companies disclosed that the partnership is significant in coming up with Ubuntu-based apps across the internal and external systems of AT&T.

John Zannos, Canonical's vice president of Cloud Alliances and Business Development, believes that the collaboration with AT&T "provides the opportunity to innovate with AT&T around the next generation of the software-centric network and cloud solutions."

Zannos also said that teaming up with one of the leading carriers in the United States could enable the company to bring its expertise on Ubuntu, cloud and open source to AT&T.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that Canonical's new relationship with AT&T could allow it to pursue its plan to build the Ubuntu-powered smartphone that could come packed with desktop-grade apps. The phone could also be connected to keyboards and large displays.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

Who is responsible if a company is compromized by credit card thieves, and then after the malware is removed, they are compromized yet again? We'll take a look at how one Vegas casino is suing the company they hired to perform forensics after they were assured the attack was contained.

A Las Vegas-based casino operator has sued security firm Trustwave for conducting a "woefully inadequate" forensics investigation.

A Las Vegas-based casino operator has sued security firm Trustwave for conducting an allegedly "woefully inadequate" forensics investigation that missed key details of a network breach and allowed credit card thieves to maintain their foothold during the course of the two-and-a-half-month investigation.

In a legal complaint filed in federal court in Las Vegas, Affinity Gaming said it hired Trustwave in October 2013 to investigate and contain a network breach that allowed attackers to obtain customers' credit card data. In mid January 2014, Trustwave submitted a report required under payment card industry security rules on all merchants who accept major credit cards. In the PCI forensics report, Trustwave said it had identified the source of the data breach and had contained the malware responsible for it. More than a year later after Affinity was hit by a second credit card breach, the casino operator allegedly learned from Trustwave competitor Mandiant that the malware had never been fully removed.

Trustwave had said the last breach activity occurred in October 2013. Mandiant's later PCI forensics report, by contrast, said it happened again in December of that year while Trustwave was investigating. The report also noted that the breach "occurred on a continuous basis both before and after Trustwave claimed that the data breach had been 'contained.'" Trustwave allegedly failed to detect several pieces of malware infecting network servers or that the breach was ultimately the result of people who were able to access Affinity's virtual private network and install backdoor software.

"Mandiant’s report also concluded that the various recommendations Trustwave had presented to improve Affinity Gaming’s data security were pointless," the complaint alleged. "None addressed the source of the data breach, and none would have prevented the attacker from again accessing Affinity Gaming’s data systems (for instance, through the backdoors that Trustwave failed to find and close)."


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

A Twitter outage today comes at a pretty bad time for the company as their shares continue to fall, hitting an all-time low this morning.

Twitter's outage comes at a pretty bad time for the company as their shares continue to fall.

Some Twitter users had to do without early today after sporadic outages knocked the social media site offline in the U.S. and Europe.

Reports of malfunctions began to appear in the U.S. as well, but it was unclear how widespread the outages were. By mid-morning on the East Coast, desktop and mobile versions of Twitter appeared to be working, though the company wouldn't say if they were back to normal.

A company spokeswoman also wouldn't reveal any details as to the possible cause of the outage, declining to comment beyond Twitter's tweeted statement.

Twitter Inc. which has 320 million active users, tweeted that it is aware of the issue and is trying to fix it.

Twitter's mobile app was partially functioning for some users but its timeline updated new tweets sporadically. Third party services, such as the TweetDeck and Hootsuite services also encountered errors.

The outages come at a time when Twitter and its executives are trying to convince Wall Street that they can deliver bigger revenue and profits. Meanwhile, the company's stock continues to languish at an all-time low. Twitter share have lost 66 per cent of their value since peaking at $52.87 in April.
In morning trading today, Twitter shares fell another 35 cents to $17.59.


Microsoft will no longer allow users to update Windows versions less than Windows 10 on next generation hardware. Yes, you heard that right - they're not cutting out the old hardware... they're cutting you off if you have new hardware! Stick around and we'll tell you what's up.

Microsoft will no longer allow users to update Windows versions less than Windows 10 on next generation hardware.

If you own a system with an Intel 6th generation Core processor—more memorably known as Skylake—and run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you'll have to think about upgrading to Windows 10 within the next 18 months. Microsoft announced on Friday that after July 17, 2017, only the "most critical" security fixes will be released for those platforms and those fixes will only be made available if they don't "risk the reliability or compatibility" of Windows 7 and 8.1 on other (non-Skylake) systems.

The full range of compatibility and security fixes will be published for non-Skylake machines for Windows 7 until January 14 2020, and for Windows 8.1 until January 10 2023.

As far as Microsoft is concerned, next generation processors will only be supported on Windows 10. Going forward, the company says that using the latest generation processors will always require the latest generation operating system.

Along that vein, allow me to introduce you to Linux.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

Netflix is soon going to block proxy access to its content.

Netflix is soon going to block proxy access to its content.

Subscribers of videostreaming service provider Netflix will no longer be able to use proxies to watch content not available in their home country.

Subscribers often resort to proxies, or servers that facilitate access to internet content not available locally, to watch Netflix’s popular shows.

The company said it would clamp down on these proxies or unblockers in a few weeks.

It's not all bad news though. Netflix’s vice president of content delivery architecture wrote in a blog that their goal is to provide the content in more countries, rather than users needing to utilize third party proxies.

The announcement comes just a week after Netflix went live in more than 130 countries, covering almost the entire globe except China.

Netflix said that not all of its shows would not be available immediately to subscribers in certain countries, but that it was working towards resolving that.

However, there's no word yet about their intent to bring non-Netflix programming such as blockbuster movies to other countries.

A Netflix spokesman told Reuters “Ultimately, the aim is to provide a service around the world that is more similar than not. Using VPNs or proxies to virtually cross borders violates Netflix’s terms of use because of licensing restrictions on TV shows and movies”.

India, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia were among the 130 countries where the service was launched last week.



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