Cyber-security investigators are continuing to assess the damage in the aftermath of the massive Yahoo password breach that occurred in 2014, in which scores of Yahoo users had their password data stolen. The concern of investigators now is that the data could potentially be used to hack other websites, such as banks and email accounts.
According to Shuman Ghosemajumder, Shape Security's chief technology officer in California, cybercriminals often use this data for "credential stuffing". This is a process in which they use stolen usernames and passwords on various websites to access confidential information. Today's software makes this process almost instantaneous for cybercriminals, although it is only successful approximately 2 percent or less of the time.
Edward Snowden's revelations about the extent of NSA snooping activities led to a strong clamor for greater transparency. The giants of Silicon Valley have had to cooperate with the government whenever there was a request for data but now they are emboldened to push back. They demand clearer guidelines on what can constitutes a legal request. They also want to be able to reveal the exact number of US surveillance requests, their nature, and the scope of their effects on users.
In a landmark deal, the companies and the government agreed on a compromise solution in which the public may be informed of information requests but only under layers of obstruction.
The figures cannot be given in exact form but rather in a range that is narrowed down to the nearest thousands. The kinds of data being asked cannot be revealed. There will also have to be a significant delay between the sending of the requests and the publishing of these quantities. Right now, this stands at six months.
Yahoo Ends Work From Home Program
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer recently ended the companies work-from-home program requiring all employees to work in the office or leave the company. Hundreds of employees are to be affected when the program ends. The news has caused an uproar across the business world from plenty of work from home employees who don’t see their status as being less productive but more productive.
Yahoo! headquarters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Copyright remains a hot-button issue in information technology, internet theory, and pop culture, and it will for some time to come.
The overreaching anti-infringement acts SOPA and PIPA were defeated in large part by the collective outcry of private citizens, but the impulses that were driving the legislation remain as strong and far-reaching as ever, and they will give rise to more such efforts.
This isn’t just a conflict between law enforcement and a system that enables theft. If the associated copyright issues were limited to straightforward theft of intellectual property like films and songs, there would be relatively little controversy. Then the entire subject would indeed be just a question of where to draw the line on enforcement so as to do no harm to the structure and freedom of the internet.
What’s the next strategy if you are Silicon Valley’s most infamous, yet most persistent, ‘also-ran’? Just having moved its paid ads over to Bing, and with early reports that it will layoff roughly 5 percent of its workforce (Merry Christmas!) as early as December 14, it seems that Yahoo! is all set to undergo yet another restructuring.
Reuters reports that, Yahoo “plans to lay off more than 600 employees as early as Tuesday,” December 14. Most of these cuts will reportedly be in Yahoo’s product group. Reuters notes that, “(t)he layoffs come two years into Chief Executive Carol Bartz's tenure, as Yahoo works to grow its revenue amid tough competition from Google Inc and Facebook.”
MySpace Searches for Ad Revenue
With MySpace losing customers at a 13% pace over the past 52 weeks, they now face the difficult task of selling their advertising space to one of the big ad networks. Their last deal was made in 2006 with Google for $900 over the course of four years. But since then, their viewership has eroded as Facebook has overtaken the social web space. They currently in talks with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo but will most likely receive a significant reduction in revenue for this contract compare to the last one.