The Truth: Adobe Creative Cloud Data Breach, Microsoft Makes $119 Million a Day, The Internet Turns Fifty

Monday, 28 October 2019

Welcome back to The Truth! Sorry for missing about a week there, but I was busy flying around Europe and researching things. But never mind that, I’m back with daily tech news now. Before we get to the current stuff, here’s a quick recap of two stories from my time on the road that I found noteworthy: AWS went down due to DNS troubles caused by a DDoS attack and Avast was again attacked by hackers who, presumably, wanted to breach CCleaner again.

In more current hacker attack news, Adobe has lost control of a database of customer information that included the data of around 7.5 million Creative Cloud users. According to reports, “the exposed records include email addresses, account creation dates, details of products purchased, Creative Cloud subscription statuses, member IDs, countries of origin, subscription payment statuses, whether the user is an Adobe employee, and other bits of metadata.” This was apparently available from a publicly accessible and poorly secured Elasticsearch interface. While there is no payment data or passwords in the database, the information is probably pretty useful for phishing attacks and similar malarkey.

Several D-Link routers have flaws that allow remote code execution. The following models are impacted: DIR-655, DIR-866L, DIR-652, DHP-1565, DIR-855L, DAP-1533, DIR-862L, DIR-615, DIR-835 and DIR-825. More details here.

Microsoft is being paid $10 billion for a ten year contract to migrate the US armed forces into the cloud. As such, the Pentagon’s new IT infrastructure (nicknamed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI) will soon run on Azure. Microsoft thus beats out Amazon, the only other company qualified under the rigorous security rules for the contract. The US Department of Defense is not adverse to award additional contracts to other cloud providers, though, as The Register reports. Additionally, “Microsoft won’t be guaranteed the full $10bn over 10 years, either. The base period for the contract is two years and just a $1m guarantee, though the Pentagon projects to spend at least $210m over that time. After the base period, the DoD can opt to renew the deal at its discretion. Microsoft could not be reached for comment, possibly because everyone in Redmond was already off to celebrate the massive win and it’s hard to check your email with a bottle of champagne in each hand.”

Not the only cloud deal the executives in Redmond are happy about, it seems. The cloud business is booming. In an earnings statement for its most recent fiscal quarter, Microsoft reported $33.1 billion in revenue, which is a 14% increase year-over-year. Profits are up 21%, at $10.7 billion. That’s a profit of $119 million a day. The Register has details on how the company’s in dividual business segments are doing.

Google is working on an AI nose. What will they think of next?

Readers often complain about the kinds of stock images us journalists use to depict hacker attacks. As it is notoriously hard to find images to convey something as ephemeral as a database hack or a DDoS attack, publications often resort to the good old hacker in a hoodie or some Matrix-like source code on a screen. A competition by collaboration platform OpenIdeo, sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation, was meant to change this and give editors and layout people some alternatives to work with. The results are certainly …different. Not sure, they are necessarily better, though. Some weird shit in there.

The internet is fifty years old. We thought giving everybody access to as much knowledge as possible and giving them the ability to publish their own opinions would create a better future. Turns out it just brings all the problems humanity had all along into a new sphere. Huzzah! Arguments on a whole different level!

And right on clue, The Verge is losing their shit because Facebook isn’t kicking Breitbart off their Facebook News platform: “Facebook News is partnering with a variety of regional newspapers and some major national partners, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. But as The New York Times and Nieman Lab report, its trusted sources also include Breitbart, a far-right site whose co-founder Steve Bannon once described it as a platform for the white nationalist alt-right. Breitbart has been criticized for repeated inaccurate and incendiary reporting, often at the expense of immigrants and people of color.” Whereas the New York Times only reports inaccurately and biased when it comes to Trump, which is apparently acceptable.

This is an archived issue of my daily newsletter FOXTROT/ALFA. You can find more information about it, including how to subscribe via email, on this page.