This past weekend, the hacker, called thedarkoverlord, began posting the sale of the records on TheRealDeal, a black market found on the deep Web. (It can be visited through a Tor browser.)
The data includes names, addresses, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers – all of which could be used to commit identity theft or access the patient’s bank accounts.
These records are being sold in four separate batches. The biggest batch includes 9.3 million patient records stolen from a U.S. health insurance provider, and it went up for sale on Monday.
The hacker used a little-known vulnerability within the Remote Desktop Protocol to break into the insurance provider’s systems, he said in his posting on the black market site.
The three other batches cover a total of 655,000 patient records, from healthcare groups in Atlanta, Georgia, Farmington, Missouri, and another city in the Midwestern U.S. The hacker didn’t give the names of the affected groups.
To steal these patient records, the hacker used “readily available plain text” usernames and passwords to access the networks where the data was stored, according to his sales postings.
Using an online message sent through the market, thedarkoverlord declined to answer any questions unless paid. The hacker wants a total of 1,280 bitcoins for the data he stole.
Just a decade ago, power usage at data centers was growing at an unsustainable rate, soaring 24% from 2005 to 2010. But a shift to virtualization, cloud computing and improved data center management is reducing energy demand.
According to a new study, data center energy use is expected to increase just 4% from 2014 to 2020, despite growing demand for computing resources.
Total data center electricity usage in the U.S., which includes powering servers, storage, networking and the infrastructure to support it, was at 70 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) in 2014, representing 1.8% of total U.S. electricity consumption.
Based on current trends, data centers are expected to consume approximately 73 billion kWh in 2020, becoming nearly flat over the next four years. “Growth in data center energy consumption has slowed drastically since the previous decade,” according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “However, demand for computations and the amount of productivity performed by data centers continues to rise at substantial rates.”
Improved efficiency is most evident in the growth rate of physical servers.
From 2000 to 2005, server shipments increased 15% each year, resulting in a near doubling of servers in data centers. From 2005 to 2010, the annual shipment increases fell to 5%, but some of this decline was due to the recession. Nonetheless, this server growth rate is now at 3%, a pace that is expected to continue through 2020.
The reduced server growth rate is a result of the increase in server efficiency, better utilization thanks to virtualization, and a shift to cloud computing. This includes concentration of workloads in so-called “hyperscale” data centers, defined as 400,000 square feet in size and above.
Energy use by data centers may also decline if more work is shifted to hyperscale centers, and best practices continue to win adoption.
A San Francisco law slated to take effect next month requires companies like Airbnb to verify that rentals have a valid registration number issued by the city. The ordinance would impose on the company fines of up to $1,000 per day for each offense.
Airbnb’s lawsuit claims that the ordinance violates federal communications laws and asks a judge to block it. The law cannot fix San Francisco’s housing crunch, the company said in a blog post.
“This legislation ignores the reality that the system is not working and this new approach will harm thousands of everyday San Francisco residents who depend on Airbnb,” the company said.
Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for the San Francisco city attorney’s office, said nothing in the ordinance punishes Airbnb for their hosts’ content. Rather, the ordinance is intended to facilitate tax collection, he said.
“In fact, it’s not regulating user content at all – it’s regulating the business activity of the hosting platform itself,” Dorsey said in an email.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Airbnb Inc vs City and County of San Francisco, 16-03615.
Intel has run out of ideas about what it is going to do with it its security business and is apparently planning to flog it off.
Five years ago Intel bought McAfee for $7.7bn acquisition. Two years ago it re-branded it as Intel Security. There was talk about chip based security and how important this would be as the world moved to the Internet of Things.
Now the company has discussed the future of Intel Security with bankers, including potentially the outfit. The semiconductor company has been shifting its focus to higher-growth areas, such as chips for data center machines and Internet-connected devices, as the personal-computer market has declined.
The security sector has seen a lot of interest from private equity buyers. Symantec said earlier this month it was acquiring Web security provider Blue Coat for $4.65 billion in cash, in a deal that will see Silver Lake, an investor in Symantec, enhancing its investment in the merged company, and Bain Capital, majority shareholder in Blue Coat, reinvesting $750 million in the business through convertible notes.
However Intel’s move into the Internet of Things does make it difficult for it to exit the security business completely. In fact some analysts think it will only sell of part of the business and keep some key bits for itself.
Blackberry is hoping to pull its nadgers out of the fire by licencing its mobile software to other outfits.
However BlackBerry CEO John Chen had to admit that there has been zero revenue from the endeavour, which he started off last month.
Chen said he’s been in discussions with some phone manufacturers and set-top box operators who have expressed interest and “anything was possible.”
He added he’s not opposed to licensing BlackBerry’s security software either if the right deal comes along. He expects BlackBerry to break even or record a slight profit in its new mobility solutions segment, which includes device and software licensing sales, during the third quarter that in November.
Making the segment profitable this fiscal year is one of the company’s top goals, Chen said.
It’s too soon to project how much revenue the software-licensing venture can garner, Chen said, so to achieve the goal by the end of November, BlackBerry will have to ensure its devices are on track for profitability as well.
The company’s newest phone, the Android-powered Priv, has moved slower than hoped. In fact it moved slower than a student who had been up all night playing counterstrike.
During BlackBerry’s first quarter — the second full quarter to include Priv sales — the smartphone segment generated US$152 million of revenue and had a US$21-million operating loss. Chen promised that loss would be significantly smaller in the next quarter.
The company sold roughly 500,000 devices at an average price of $290 each, he said, which is about 100,000 smartphones fewer than the previous quarter and about 200,000 fewer than two quarters earlier. BlackBerry previously said the company needs to sell about three million phones at an average of $300 each to break even, though Chen indicated that may change as the software licensing business starts to contribute to revenue.
Chen said the Priv has proved unaffordable to most people, except for top-level executives.
The company plans to release two mid-range, Android-powered phones before its current fiscal year ends Feb. 28, 2017, he said. More information on the devices is expected next month, but Chen said one will only have a touch screen rather than BlackBerry’s traditional keyboard.
The company is trying to reach the market in more innovative ways. It’s currently hosting a pop-up shop in New York City, and Chen said he’d consider more of them around the world if the trial is successful.
“I really, really believe that we could make money … out of our device business,” he said during a conference call with analysts Thursday morning.
Chen previously indicated the company will stop making smartphones if the device business remains unprofitable. While he said he doesn’t believe that will be necessary, the software licensing plan could help make the transition smoother if the time comes.
BlackBerry reported a $670 million net loss in the first quarter of its 2017 financial year, but said its recovery plan for the year remains on track.
Revenue was below analyst estimates at $400 million under generally accepted accounting principles, or US$424 million with certain adjustments.
Japanese messaging app firm Line Corp has held off on setting a tentative price range for its initial public offering (IPO) by one day, until Tuesday, the company said in a regulatory filing, citing the “market environment”.
The IPO price range was originally scheduled to be announced on Monday. Line still plans to list in New York on July 14 and in Tokyo the following day, the filing showed.
On Friday, the S&P 500 fell 3.6 percent, its biggest one-day drop in 10 months, and Japan’s broad Topix index slid 7 percent after Britain voted to exit the European Union.
The equity market in Japan recovered somewhat on Monday as the Topix closed up 1.8 percent, but the delay will allow the company to assess the market in New York and London on Monday before setting the tentative price range, a Line spokesman told Reuters.
Earlier this month, the company announced plans to sell 35 million new shares in an IPO, which would raise 98 billion yen ($963 million) at its initial reference price of 2,800 yen per share.
Line’s listing will go ahead according to its planned schedule, the company said on Friday.
Companies around the world are wrestling with the aftermath of the Brexit vote, which is likely to delay or disrupt upcoming takeovers and initial public offerings. Companies with direct exposure to the British economy are more likely to see their deals scuppered compared with those who are just caught up in global market volatility.
Line has little direct exposure to Britain or Europe. Its main markets are Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand.
Line delayed its IPO by two years, buying time to fix weaknesses in weak financial reporting controls, bolster staffing and develop its business plan. But in doing so, it left billions of dollars on the table as its valuation shriveled.
The revamped EU-U.S. Privacy Shield was sent to EU member states overnight, according to a report from Reuters. Privacy Shield would govern how multinational companies handle the private data of EU residents.
Member states are expected to vote on the proposal in July, unnamed sources told Reuters. Representatives of the EU and the U.S. Department of Commerce didn’t immediately respond to requests for comments on the reported deal.
Critics of Privacy Shield, including European privacy regulators, have said the deal is too complex and fails to reflect key privacy principles.
The new language sent to member states includes stricter data-handling rules for companies holding Europeans’ information, Reuters reported. The new proposal also has the U.S. government explaining the conditions when they would collect data in bulk, according to the report.
Negotiators on both sides of the Atlantic have been rushing to craft a new trans-Atlantic data transfer agreement since the Court of Justice of the European Union struck down Safe Harbor, the previous transfer pact, last October.
The court ruled that Safe Harbor didn’t adequately protect European citizens’ personal information from massive and indiscriminate surveillance by U.S. authorities. Safe Harbor had been in place since 2000.
The Intel Security business came largely from the company’s acquisition for $7.7 billion of security software company McAfee. Intel announced plans to bake some of the security technology into its chips to ensure higher security for its customers.
With the surge in cyberthreats, providing protection to the variety of Internet-connected devices — such as PCs, mobile devices, medical gear and cars — requires a fundamentally new approach involving software, hardware and services, the company said in February 2011, when announcing the completion of the McAfee acquisition.
Intel has been talking to bankers about the future of its cybersecurity business for a deal that would be one of the largest in the sector, reported The Financial Times, citing people close to the discussions. It said a group of private equity firms may join together to buy the security business if it is sold at the same price or higher than what Intel paid for it.
“I could see them selling a piece of the service, but not all security capabilities,” said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.
“Intel has a decent security play right now and security is paramount to the future of IoT,” Moorhead said. “Hardware-based security is vital to the future of computing.”
Intel is declining to comment on the report, a company spokeswoman wrote in an email.
Basically this means that the hardware can be used by the OPNFV collaborative open source community to accelerate the delivery of cloud-enabled networks and applications.
Nokia said the OPNFV Lab will be a testbed for NFV developers and accelerates the introduction of commercial open source NFV products and services. Developers can test carrier-grade NFV applications for performance and availability.
Nokia is making its AirFrame Data Center Solution available as a public OPNFV Lab with the support of Intel, which is providing Intel Xeon processors and solid state drives to give communications service providers the advantage of testing OPNFV projects on the latest and greatest server and storage technologies.
The Nokia AirFrame Data Center Solution is 5G-ready and Nokia said it was the first to combine the benefits of cloud computing technologies to meet the stringent requirements of the telco world. It’s capable of delivering ultra-low latency and supporting the kinds of massive data processing requirements that will be required in 5G.
Morgan Richomme, NFV network architect for Innovative Services at Orange Labs, OPNFV Functest PTL, in a release. “NFV interoperability testing is challenging, so the more labs we have, the better it will be collectively for the industry.”
AT&T has officially added Nokia to its list of 5G lab partners working to define 5G features and capabilities. It’s also working with Intel and Ericsson.
Apple announced that is will discontinue its Thunderbolt Display, the high-resolution external display that users of the MacBook and other Macs could use to get a better picture and work with more apps.
The company said Thursday that the 27-inch widescreen display with LED backlight technology will be available on Apple’s online store, in Apple retail stores and from authorized resellers while supplies last.
The Thunderbolt Display currently retails on the Apple online store at $999. It has a 2560 x 1440 resolution.
It isn’t clear whether Apple plans to follow with newer versions that use 5K resolution displays at 5120 by 2880 pixels, which is the display technology Apple uses on its high-end iMac. There was speculation earlier that a new version would be announced at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference this month.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Apple planned to offer a refresh to the display.
Apple said in an emailed statement that “there are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users.”
Safari 10 was introduced earlier this month as part of macOS Sierra, this year’s operating system upgrade.
Apple typically supports its newest browser on three editions of macOS: The latest version and its two predecessors. The now-current Safari 9, for example, receives updates, including security patches, on last year’s El Capitan, 2014′s Yosemite and 2013′s Mavericks.
Safari 10 will be supported on Sierra, El Capitan and Yosemite. Meanwhile, Mavericks will remain on Safari 9.
The Safari 10 preview is currently available only to registered Apple developers, who pay $99 annually for access to early builds, development tools and documentation.
The general public will get its first look at Safari 10 next month after Apple opens up its broader-based public beta program for Sierra. Those who have signed on to the beta preview will also be able to download preliminary versions of Safari 10 for El Capitan and Yosemite, running the preview browser but sticking with their older, more stable operating systems.
Some of Safari 10′s signature features will be available only within macOS Sierra, including web-based Apple Pay — where payment is authorized with an iPhone or Apple Watch — but others will be supported by older versions of the operating system. Among the most notable are the new ability for developers to distribute and sell Safari add-ons in the Mac App Store, and easy portability of iOS content blockers to macOS.
If Apple replicates last year’s beta schedule, it will release the first public preview of macOS Sierra and Safari 10 around July 14.
Mobile World Congress, considered by many experts as the most important tech trade show in the world, is coming to the U.S. Trade groups GSMA and CTIA are joining forces to bring a smaller version of the event to the U.S. in 2017.
GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas will debut Sept. 12 to 14, 2017, in San Francisco and will replace U.S. trade group CTIA’s Super Mobility conference. Super Mobility will continue this year in Las Vegas from Sept. 7 to 9.
The new conference will be the “first truly global wireless event” in the Americas, CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker said in a statement.
The new trade show, however, will apparently be more focused, spotlighting the leading innovations from the North American mobile industry, John Hofman, CEO of GSMA, said in a statement.
The trade groups expect about 30,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors at the 2017 trade show, similar to the numbers from CTIA’s Super Mobility conference.
GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this year drew more than 100,000 attendees and 2,200 exhibitors. The 2017 Barcelona event will take place from Feb. 27 to March 2.
The new Mobile World Congress Americas will feature C-level speakers, exhibits featuring the latest mobile technologies, and a regulatory and public policy program.
For Google Fiber, which has typically worked with cities in planning and building a fiber network from scratch, the acquisition will give the Alphabet business a headstart in many markets, particularly in dense urban areas.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Google did not immediately comment on the acquisition.
Webpass in San Francisco owns and operates its Ethernet network, thus removing its dependence on phone and cable companies. It has operations in San Francisco, Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, San Diego, Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Chicago and Boston. The company offers business connections from 10 to 1,000 Mbps and to residential customers service from 100 Mbps to 1Gbps.
Google is already working in San Francisco, where Webpass also operates, and is negotiating with property owners and managers in buildings near existing fiber infrastructure to explore connecting their residents to gigabit Internet.
Webpass will help to further expand that coverage as it will remain focused on the rapid deployment of high-speed Internet connections for residential and commercial buildings, mainly using point-to-point wireless, Webpass President Charles Barr said in a blog post Wednesday that announced the proposed acquisition.
“Google Fiber’s resources will enable Webpass to grow faster and reach many more customers than we could as a standalone company,” Barr wrote.
“The device business must be profitable, because we don’t want to run a business that drags onto the bottom line,” Chief Executive John Chen told investors at the company’s annual meeting. “We’ve got to get there this year.”
Chen has previously said a decision would be made by September on the future of the unit, which has suffered a sustained drop in sales in recent quarters.
But at the meeting, attended by around 100 people, he said he sees better opportunity in providing services that enable increasingly commoditized hardware to do more.
“I don’t personally believe handsets will be the future of any company,” he said.
BlackBerry, once the smartphone market leader before being displaced by Apple Inc and competitors run on Alphabet Inc’s Android platform, has worked to reposition itself as a software and service provider focused on device management for large organizations.
In its presentation to investors, the company said it expects the broader market for types of software it is producing to expand to $17.6 billion by 2019, from $525 million in 2012 and below $4 billion in 2015, powered by growth in medical, legal, financial and automotive industries.
But some of those in attendance were skeptical about BlackBerry’s ability to deliver on its strategic pivot.
“The first word that comes to mind is lackluster,” said one shareholder at the meeting who declined to give his name. “Time is running out.”
Chen reiterated that BlackBerry wants to grow its software revenue by 30 percent in this fiscal year, which he estimated would be double overall market growth, and to notch positive free cash flow.
BlackBerry is due to report first quarter results on Thursday.
Chen took up the CEO role in 2013 with a reputation as a turnaround artist. But the company’s stock has only risen modestly since then, with many investors waiting for signs the now-smaller company will be able to carve out new opportunities.
“I appreciate the strategy,” said Ken Tota, an investor in BlackBerry’s biggest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. He said he was optimistic a renewed focus on security could help reinvigorate BlackBerry over the next five years.
“It’s a niche, but it’s a worldwide niche,” he said.
Twitter is looking to compete even more with Facebook. The platform is moving into video in a major way with 140-second clips in both Twitter proper and Vine, a new video section called Watch Mode, and video recommendations for other videos to watch. The network’s most popular users, like President Barack Obama and Justin Bieber, are getting a stand-alone app called Engage, which sounds a lot like Facebook Mentions.
Twitter is making video a huge priority by extending video length from 30 seconds to 140 seconds (staying on-brand, of course). Those longer videos are also coming to Vine, but don’t worry, the popular app for creating hilarious video loops isn’t changing its 6-second limit. Instead, you can post 140-second clips alongside your Vines.
You won’t have to watch these longer videos in-tweet. Now tapping on a video in your timeline will launch a new full-screen viewing mode with recommended clips surfaced just below. The same experience applies to longer videos on Vine.
The new features are rolling out soon on Twitter for iOS and Android.
Twitter Engage launched Tuesday on iOS to help video creators and other important people see metrics on their clips, including likes, retweets, mentions, and views. They can also see demographics for their videos and a feed of what their fans are talking about.
Unlike Facebook Mentions, Engage isn’t solely aimed at celebrities. But the two apps are similar in that they show mentions from so-called “influencers” and filter comments from fans.
Twitter has to try new things, especially since its user growth has stalled at 310 million monthly active users and Wall Street isn’t happy about it. To compare, Instagram just announced it has more than 500 million monthly active users, 300 million of whom check the app on a daily basis.