Companies in Denial over the Lack of Mainframe Skills
A mainframe skills shortage in is looming, and few companies have determined how they’re going to handle the issue. According to a Compuware survey, the “impending at retirement of the main frame work for it continues to be a major cause of concern for CIOs,” but very few companies have created a plan to address the risk. When compared to the 2011 survey, the last time it was done, the situation has hardly changed. Many of the people with core mainframe skills are now approaching retirement age and it seems many companies are just waiting for someone to step in and solve the issue for them. Nearly 66% of CIOs fear that the retirement of mainframe workers will hurt their business simply by reducing their capacity to support legacy applications. Most core applications in areas like banking and finance and telecommunications still rely on mainframe systems.
Critical Bug in Most Android Phones Exploited with E-Z-2-Use Attack Code
A recent attack code exploiting a critical Android vulnerability allows hackers to use a point-and-click interface to access the majority of smartphones and tablets running the operating system. The attack was published last week, using a bug in Android’s WebView programming interface that was disclosed 14 months ago. The security hole allows attackers to remotely access a phone’s camera and file system, and in some instances also exposes other resources such as geographic location, contents of the SD card, and address book. Google patched the vulnerability in November with the Android 4.2 release, but according to the company, the fix is only been installed on less than half of the handsets it tracks.
Asus Router Users Hacked with a Friendly Message
Hackers exposed a weakness that’s eight months old by leaving a note on victims’ hard drives. The note reads: “This is an automated message being sent out to everyone affected your Asus router and your documents can be accessed by anyone in the world with an Internet connection. You need to protect yourself and learn more by reading the following news article… Below is a list of all the vulnerable IP addresses that have been leaked… If you are reading this, you are vulnerable, too. Solution: Completely disable FTP and AICLOUD immediately. I hope we helped.” The hacking disclosure comes eight months after a security researcher publicly disclosed the vulnerability that exposed the hard drives of many Asus router users. Asus reportedly patched the vulnerabilities last week, but it has yet to be installed on some of the vulnerable routers.
New Google Company Replaces Passwords with Sound
This week, Google bought a small Israeli startup company called SlickLogin. The two-month-old company operated by a three-person staff has an interesting technology that replaces the typed password. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. SlickLogin works when you visit a site that supports it. Instead of entering your username and password, you hold your smartphone close to the laptop or computer you’re using, and your entry is granted. What’s really happening here is that the website is playing sound encrypted data encoded into the ultrasonic sound. Ultrasonic sound is a level higher than humans can hear, but your phone hears that it send the data back to the SlickLogin servers to provide authentication. The code is temporary and used for one login only, so if somebody else copies it they won’t be able to do anything with it. It also uses location as a part of authentication. It uses NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth, QR codes, and GPS to prevent someone on the other side of the globe from logging in as you.
No One Likes the FCC’s Plan for Net Neutrality
The FCC has announced that it will be creating a new version of the open Internet order that a judge struck down last month. Statement, agency chair Tom Wheeler says he will begin taking public input on an updated set of net neutrality rules. The FCC says it will not pursue an appealing the case it lost against Verizon in January, opting to instead to use the authority that the court granted in the decision. Wheeler says quote, “Preserving the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is important responsibility of this agency.” Wheeler says he will continue to look for other ways to encourage broadband deployment, such as encouraging cities to develop their own network to compete with telecommunications giants. He says he will also hold the Internet service providers to statements they have made in the past to support it open Internet, as Verizon recently denied accusations that it Netflix as a result of the decision.