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Yahoo admits employees discovered hack in 2014

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Yahoo admitted today that some of its employees were aware of the theft of 500 million users’ data as early as 2014 — years before Yahoo publicly acknowledged the hack.

The hack, which Yahoo has attributed to an unnamed “state-sponsored actor,” occurred in late 2014, and according to today’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it seems Yahoo detected it early on.

“In late July 2016, a hacker claimed to have obtained certain Yahoo user data. After investigating this claim with the assistance of an outside forensic expert, the Company could not substantiate the hacker’s claim. Following this investigation, the Company intensified an ongoing broader review of the Company’s network and data security, including a review of prior access to the Company’s network by a state-sponsored actor that the Company had identified in late 2014,” Yahoo said in the filing.

Yahoo also reported that 23 consumer class action lawsuits have been filed in response to the breach, but that it’s too early to estimate monetary damages. It estimates the hack has led to a loss of $1 million so far.

The question of when Yahoo learned of the breach is essential to its planned sale to Verizon. Verizon has reportedly asked for a $1 billion discount in light of the breach, which was not disclosed until after the September sale even though Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer allegedly learned of the breach in July. (Disclosure: Verizon owns TechCrunch.)

In today’s filing, Yahoo says it has formed an independent committee to review “the scope of knowledge within the Company in 2014 and thereafter regarding this access, the Security Incident, the extent to which certain users’ account information had been accessed.”

Senator Mark Warner has asked the SEC to investigate what Yahoo knew about the breach and when it knew it, citing an earlier Yahoo filing that claimed the company was not aware of any security breaches. “Yahoo’s September filing asserting lack of knowledge of security incidents involving its IT systems creates serious concerns about truthfulness in representations to the public,” Warner said in a statement.

Source: Techcrunch

Facebook Page is one of the most extensively used resources for businesses to interact with potential and existing customers alike.


We all know that Facebook is a social networking giant with over 750 million users. The enormous number of potential customers gathered in one place, have garnered the attention of small and large organizations alike. Facebook once was a place for simply messaging friends and viewing pictures of each other, but it has evolved into one of the biggest malls available online.

A Facebook Page is one of the most extensively used resources for businesses to interact with potential and existing customers alike. The reason users interact with a business page is to show their loyalty to the brand, find out about new deals, register a complaint, find out the solution of the problem they are facing with the brand’s product or simply show their approval of a brand’s product or image.

E-commerce and Facebook are beginning to come together. A recent study shows that 50% of the users visiting an E-commerce website are already logged in to their Facebook accounts. With the Facebook Graph API businesses can use the social plugins or Facebook Connect for easy access to the users. Studies also indicates that 88% of the top 200 Internet retail websites have integrated Facebook plugins.
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Why You Should Not Rely on One Source of Web Traffic

Writing by Nick Stamoulis

White hat SEO dictates that you take a blended approach to your link building. A diverse and consistent link building campaign demonstrates to the search engines your commitment to branding your site and building your online presence. It is important to make sure that your site isn’t flagged for trying to spam or “cheat” the algorithm in order to artificially boost your own ranking. But that isn’t the only reason it is important to diversify your link building.
A diverse link building portfolio means you will always have a viable source of traffic

I’ve read several blog posts recommending that site owners do away with their sites entirely, and shift all their focus to social networking sites. After all, that is where your customers are! That’s what the people want! It’s the future of online marketing! All of those things may be true, but I would never recommend that a company delete their site in favor of a social profile.
Let’s say that Facebook, the megalith of social networking sites, disappeared tomorrow. I realize that this is highly unlikely, but it is still a possibility. Or let’s say that Google+ really is the “Facebook killer” some claim it has the potential to be and 90% of Facebook users migrate over to Google+. If you’re entire online marketing campaign centered on your Facebook profile, you no longer exist! I realize that this is a bit of an extreme example; I don’t think social media is going away any time soon, but you have to consider the possibility.

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What cloud computing really means

Cloud computing is all the rage. “It’s become the phrase du jour,” says Gartner senior analyst Ben Pring, echoing many of his peers. The problem is that (as with Web 2.0) everyone seems to have a different definition.


As a metaphor for the Internet, “the cloud” is a familiar cliché, but when combined with “computing,” the meaning gets bigger and fuzzier. Some analysts and vendors define cloud computing narrowly as an updated version of utility computing: basically virtual servers available over the Internet. Others go very broad, arguing anything you consume outside the firewall is “in the cloud,” including conventional outsourcing.

Cloud computing comes into focus only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT’s existing capabilities.

Read more on infoworld.com

Twitter Recruits Former Oracle Development Executive


Twitter has just announced a key engineering hire today. Adam Messinger will be joining the company as Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering.


Messinger was previously Vice President Development at Oracle, where he was responsible for managing the Oracle Coherence, Oracle JRockit, Oracle WebLogic Operations Control, and other web tier products. Prior to joining Oracle, he worked as a venture capitalist at Smartforest Ventures and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures.

Read More on TechCrunch

The “Big Five” IT trends of the next half decade: Mobile, social, cloud, consumerization, and big data

Summary: In today’s ever more technology-centric world, the stodgy IT department isn’t considered the home of innovation and business leadership. Yet that might have to change as some of the biggest advances in the history of technology make their way into the front lines of service delivery. Here’s an exploration of the top five IT trends in the next half decade, including some of the latest industry data, and what the major opportunities and challenges are.

“Much or most of these topics are in back burner mode in many companies just now seeing the glimmerings of recovery from the downturn. Much has been written lately about the speed at which technology is reshaping the business landscape today. Except that’s not quite phrasing it correctly. It’s more like it’s leaving the traditional business world behind. There are a number of root causes: The blistering pace of external innovation, the divergent path the consumer world has taken from enterprise IT, and the throughput limitations of top-down adoption.

As a result, there’s a rapidly expanding gap between what the technology world is executing on and what the enterprise can deliver. Many now think this gap may actually become untenable, and they may be right. Yet recent large surveys of CIOs continues to show an almost exclusively evolutionary and internal focus. Many feel that a technology emphasis is wrong right now, and they’re certainly right, if it’s not integrated with top priority business objectives. However, these days it’s technology advancements and new digital markets that are often the key to an organization’s future.

At the end of the day, businesses must be able to effectively serve the markets they cater to, and doing so means using the same channels and techniques as their trading partners and customers. Organizations must adapt to the evolving marketplace to succeed. Fortunately, I do believe there are approaches that can yet be adopted to address this increasingly significant challenge.

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The Definitive Guide to Integrating Social Media and Email Marketing [hubspot]

Introduction:
Social media’s rapid rise in recent years gave marketers exciting new tools for communicating with customers and prospects. Suddenly, established marketing tactics such as email were seen as old fashioned, one-way channels that consumers were increasingly likely to ignore.

Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter offered an alternative: two-way communication channels where marketers could listen more than talk, and then engage with customers and prospects in a true dialogue.

But rather than making email obsolete, widespread use of social media has in many ways made email an even more powerful marketing channel.
For starters, social media gives marketers other online options besides an outbound email campaign for messages they want to share with their audiences.

That flexibility can help reduce email list “fatigue” by letting you cut back the number of emails you need to send while making sure each email offer or newsletter is more personalized, targeted and relevant to you email list.

What’s more, social media usage actually makes consumers even more engaged with their email inbox: 42% of social media users said they check their email more than four times a day, compared with just 24% of non social media users, according to a 2011 survey by Merkle.

And those social media users are likely to share email-delivered content with their personal networks, giving campaigns new legs. Adding “social sharing” buttons to email messages increased the reach of an average email by 24.3%, according to a study by email service provider Silverpop.

As a result, smart marketers have learned that email and social media are
complementary – not competitive – channels. Social media’s massive reach, viral
characteristics, and opportunities for dialogue help propagate content far and wide, helping you build better relationships with customers and prospects.

The Definitive Guide to Integrating Social Media and Email Marketing
marketing can also intensify those relationships through permission-based,
personalized, targeted messaging.

To get the most out of email and social marketing, you can’t treat the channels like trains running on separate tracks. The best results come when your marketing strategy integrates social media and email marketing to grow your audience, share your company’s content, convert more prospects into customers.

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10 essential tools and services for work-at-home IT pros [ Tech Republic ]

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Takeaway: You can’t work out of your home effectively without the right setup. Justin James shares what he’s discovered about equipping the IT home office.

I have been working out of my home office for more than three years now, with job functions that cover a wide variety of IT roles, such as software developer, network engineer, and system administrator. Over this period of time, I have learned that the office equipment, software, and services needs of remote workers are different from those of someone on site in a number of ways. Today, I’m going to share what I’ve found to be 10 must-have tools and services for remote IT workers.

1: Quality Internet service
If you are working from home, it is obvious that you will need the Internet all day long to do your job. Where a lot of people go wrong on this is by getting cheap Internet service, such as a consumer grade DSL or cable modem line. The problem is, these services are aimed at providing fast downloads, sometimes with a “burst” of bandwidth for a big item. But they have slow upload speeds, no static IP address, and no guarantees of service quality.

Instead, I recommend a business class account. While it is more expensive, the benefits for a home worker are huge. Having a static IP address lets the home office feel more comfortable in opening services to you, for example, and host services yourself if needed. Business class accounts come with bandwidth and technical support response time guarantees, as opposed to the “best effort” you get with consumer accounts. And many times, the bandwidth is segregated from the residential access so your access does not get jumbled up with the mass of BitTorrent, Xbox Live, and Netflix from the house next door.

2: A real phone
Cell phones are great, but when it comes to call quality, nothing can replace a true desk phone. Even if that phone is connected to VOIP, the quality of the call is far superior. You will be on the phone a lot more than you would be if you were in the office, which makes call quality very important. I tried a good cell phone + good Bluetooth headset, and not only were the bills huge (often more than $200 a month), but the call quality was lousy. Now, I have an inexpensive phone, a Vonage account, and a Jabra GN9350 headset (cannot recommend this item enough), and it’s rare to be asked to repeat myself.

3: Company credit card
When you are on your own, you can’t wait for a central purchasing department to buy something and have it shipped to you. And as an IT professional, you will often buy things that cost more than you will feel comfortable paying for out of your own pocket and getting reimbursed for. In addition, there will be times when you’re on the road and need to pay travel costs. Have your employer furnish you with a company credit card, and life will get a lot easier for you.

4: Ergonomic office furniture and layout
I’ve written a number of articles here at TechRepublic about the ergonomic equipment I use, and there is a reason for it. If you thought you spent a lot of time at your desk in an office, just wait. You will spend even more time at the desk when working from home. It’s simple: You no longer need to get up for anything other than a bathroom break or food and drink. The days of going to the server room or a co-worker’s desk to solve a problem are over, and it is not uncommon to discover that you’ve been at your desk for eight to 10 hours without more than a five-minute break. You don’t even leave the house to get lunch most of the time. Being in a chair this long makes ergonomics even more important than they are in an office. Personally, I love the Herman Miller Embody chair and Envelop desk, the Kinesis Advantage keyboard, and Evoluent Vertical Mouse. Find what works for you.

5: Scanner and inexpensive black-and-white laser printer
Print may be dead, but you will still need to print things out from time to time. Printing is so infrequent for me that inkjet cartridges are often dried out after only a few printings, which is why I recommend a small, inexpensive black and white laser printer. You can get one for under $100 that does a perfectly good job and never dries out. The only things I find myself printing are directions and contracts to be signed. And that is where the scanner comes into play. I have found that working at home, there are about five to 10 times a year where something requires a real signature. Given that you can buy a dirt cheap flatbed scanner for under $50, it does not make sense to lose half an hour driving to the office store just to send a fax. That half hour is worth $50 or so to your employer anyway.

 Read more on the Tech Republic >>