People are still crazy about Pokemon Go
By Jordan Crook as written on techcrunch.com
If you’re still playing Pokemon Go, then you’ve likely invested enough time and energy to care about this DIY Pokemon Go helmet.
Before we go any further, this video is obviously for fun and isn’t available for sale — worth mentioning since I’m sure more than a few people actually got excited about this.
YouTuber (and self-proclaimed Queen of Shitty Robots) Simone Giertz created this video for some giggles, first spotted by the folks at Kotaku.
Hopefully this brings a giggle to your Monday routine.
And for what it’s worth, Giertz isn’t the only one still riding that Pokemon Go wave. Niantic, makers of the game, have seen more than $250 million in revenue since the game launched earlier this summer.
Recently confirmed Myspace hack could be the largest yet
Recently confirmed Myspace hack could be the largest yet
By Sarah Perez as written on techcrunch.com
You might not have thought of – much less visited – Myspace in years. (Yes, it’s still around. Time, Inc. acquired it and other properties when it bought Viant earlier this year.) But user data never really dies, unfortunately. For Myspace’s new owner, that’s bad news, as the company confirmed just ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the U.S., that it has been alerted to a large set of stolen Myspace username and password combinations being made available for sale in an online hacker forum.
The data is several years old, however. It appears to be limited to a portion of the overall user base from the old Myspace platform prior to June 11, 2013, at which point the site was relaunched with added security.
Time, Inc. didn’t confirm how many user accounts were included in this data set, but a report from LeakedSource.com says that there are over 360 million accounts involved. Each record contains an email address, a password, and in some cases, a second password. As some accounts have multiple passwords, that means there are over 427 million total passwords available for sale.
Despite the fact that this data breach dates back several years, the size of the data set in question makes it notable. Security researchers at Sophos say that this could be the largest data breach of all time, easily topping the whopping 117 million LinkedIn emails and passwords that recently surfaced online from a 2012 hack.
That estimation seems to hold up – while there are a number of other large-scale data breaches, even some of the biggest were not of this size. The U.S. voter database breach included 191 million records, Anthem’s was 80 million, eBay was 145 million, Target was 70 million, Experian 200 million, Heartland 130 million, and so on.
The issue with these older data breaches is that they’re from an era where security measures were not as strong as today. That means these passwords are easily cracked. LeakedSource notes that the top 50 passwords from those cracked account for over 6 million passwords – or 1.5 percent of the total, to give you a sense of scale.
The passwords were stored as unsalted SHA-1 hashes, as LinkedIn’s were, too.
That allowed Time, Inc. to date the data breach to some extent, as the site was relaunched in June 2013 with strengthened account security, including double-salted hashes to store passwords. It also confirmed that the breach has no effect on any of its other systems, subscriber information, or other media properties, nor did the leaked data include any financial information.
Myspace is notifying users and has already invalidated the passwords of known affected accounts.
The company is also using automated tools to attempt to identify and block any suspicious activity that might occur on Myspace accounts, it says.
“We take the security and privacy of customer data and information extremely seriously—especially in an age when malicious hackers are increasingly sophisticated and breaches across all industries have become all too common,” said Myspace’s CFO Jeff Bairstow, in a statement. “Our information security and privacy teams are doing everything we can to support the Myspace team.”
However, while the hack itself and the resulting data set may be old, there could still be repercussions. Because so many online users simply reuse their same passwords on multiple sites, a hacker who is able to associate a given username or email with a password could crack users’ current accounts on other sites.
Of course, it’s not likely users even remember what password they used on Myspace years ago, which makes protecting your current accounts more difficult. A better option is to always use more complicated passwords, reset them periodically, and take advantage of password management tools like Dashlane or LastPass to help you keep track of your logins.
Myspace also confirmed that the hack is being attributed to the Russian cyberhacker who goes by the name “Peace.” This is the same person responsible for the LinkedIn and Tumblr attacks, too. In Tumblr’s case, some 65 million plus accounts were affected. But these passwords were “salted,” meaning they are harder to crack.
Myspace is working with law enforcement as this case is still under investigation, the company says.
Forecast 2016: Essential data points for the tech year ahead
All the facts worth knowing about IT leaders' tech budgets, spending plans, hiring priorities and strategic initiatives for 2016.
As Written by: Computerworld Staff and Contributors on computerworld.com
Ready, set, disrupt!
If an overarching conclusion can be drawn from the results of Computerworld's Forecast survey of 182 IT professionals, it's that 2016 is shaping up to be the year of IT as a change agent.
IT is poised to move fully to the center of the business in 2016, as digital transformation becomes a top strategic priority. CIOs and their tech organizations are well positioned to drive that change, thanks to IT budget growth, head count increases and a pronounced shift toward strategic spending.
Amid the breakneck pace of change in technology and business alike, where should you direct your focus in the new year?
Read on for key highlights and data points on budgeting, hiring, business priorities and disruptive technologies that promise to define the IT landscape in 2016.
IT budgets on the rise...again
As companies continue to rely upon technology to help differentiate themselves in the marketplace, tech budgets remain on an upward trajectory.
Almost one half (46%) of respondents to the Forecast 2016 survey indicated that their technology spending will increase in 2016, on average by 14.7%. (By comparison, last year 43% said spending would increase, on average by 13.1%.)
Close to an equal number (42%) reported that their technology spending will remain the same, with only 12% anticipating a decrease in IT budgets.
Security, cloud computing are top areas for investing
With security concerns top-of-mind for IT professionals as they gear up for 2016, it's no surprise that exactly half of respondents chose security as the top area where their companies plan to increase spending.
Cloud computing came in a close second, and the top area where organizations plan to decrease spending is on-premises software -- both of which indicate that companies' journey to the cloud will continue in 2016.
IoT tops new areas of spending for 2016
After several years of languishing in the tech hype cycle, the Internet of Things finally looks to be commanding tech execs' attention, with 29% of respondents identifying it as a new area of spending for 2016.
Green IT, which likewise had been back-burnered at many organizations, popped up on respondents' radars as well, with 16% saying energy-saving technologies will be a new spend for them in the year ahead.
IT pros' No. 1 challenge: Budgeting
As they do every year, budget constraints top the list of leadership challenges identified by survey respondents.
Security came in second among IT pros' concerns after a year of ever bigger and more serious corporate hacks.
Sam Redden, chief security officer at Brazos Higher Education Service, a Waco, Texas-based student loan servicing company, sums up the feelings of many IT leaders when he says, "I wouldn't be foolish enough to say I stay ahead of the bad guys. The bad guys stay ahead of everybody."
Dueling goals for IT in 2016
Survey respondents' goals for their most important tech projects betray the bimodal nature of the modern IT department.
Tech leaders say they're striving to maintain or improve service levels, long one of IT's core responsibilities. At the same time, they're seeking to generate new revenue streams or increase existing ones, a new responsibility in most evolving technology departments.
"As technology becomes an integral part of every aspect of business and the way we interact with customers, it's raising the profile of the IT group and forcing IT to think about more than just keeping the lights on," says David Cearley, a fellow at Gartner. "We are seeing greater alignment as IT steps up to drive digital business.
A piecemeal journey to the cloud
Heading into 2016, cloud computing shows no signs of slowing down, as tech leaders indicate that spending and new cloud initiatives remain on the upswing.
In terms of where organizations are in their cloud transition, 29% of survey respondents confirmed they had already moved some enterprise applications to the cloud, with more to come, while 7% said they're in the process of migrating mission-critical systems to a cloud environment.
Interestingly, a full 20% of respondents are bucking the trend entirely, reporting they're not moving to the cloud at all.
IT staffs to increase in 2016
As budgets rise and projects abound, many firms are looking to increase IT head count. Some 37% of survey respondents said they're planning to increase staff levels, up from 24% last year.
In keeping with IT's new role as an organizational agent of change, 42% of survey respondents with hiring plans are in search of people with combined tech and business backgrounds that will allow them to articulate the value of IT in meeting business goals.
Architecture, app dev among most wanted skills
The list of most in-demand IT skills starts off with a surprise. Although IT architecture is a fundamental area of expertise for techies at all levels and in various roles, it rarely makes anyone's list of hot skills.
The term "IT architect" encompasses a wide range of specialists, from enterprise architects to cloud architects, so recruiters say it makes sense that IT architecture expertise is in demand as companies move forward with all sorts of technology-driven projects.
Beyond that, application development, project management, big data, BI, help desk and cloud all remain high on hiring managers' lists as IT gears up for the year ahead.
(Download and save or print a free PDFof Computerworld's top tech skills for 2016.)
John Reed, senior executive director of IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology, says those hiring managers could be facing a challenge. "The IT market has been really strong, and we're expecting it will stay that way for the foreseeable future," he says. "I don't think you'll see explosive growth, but you'll see single-digit growth in demand, consistent with what we've seen over the past few years."
Security, BI talent expected to be scarce
With all eyes on security in the coming year, it's little surprise that survey respondents expect to have a difficult time hiring technologists with that expertise.
According to Robert Half Technology's 2016 Salary Guide, salaries in the security field will rise about 5% to 7% next year, ranging from $100,000 on up to nearly $200,000 on average.
Disruptive technologies 3 - 5 years out
When asked what technologies are likely to have an impact in the next three to five years, survey respondents chose cloud computing/software-as-a-service by a wide margin, followed by self-service IT, predictive analytics, the Internet of Things and unified communications.
The cloud will continue to reshape enterprise IT, according to research firm IDC, which predicts that more than half of enterprise IT infrastructure and software investments will be cloud-based by 2018. Specifically, spending on public cloud services will grow to more than $127 billion by 2018, according to an IDC forecast report.
Kicking the tires on new technologies
All manner of virtualization and "as-a-service" options topped survey respondents' lists of technologies being piloted or beta tested at their organizations, with BI/analytics, cloud computing and mobile/wireless rounding out the top five.
"Virtualization 2.0" is of particular interest to survey respondents, as companies move beyond the first steps of server virtualization to explore virtualized desktop, storage, mobile and network options.
2016 is IoT's year to shine
In 2016, the Internet of Things (IoT) will no longer be the stuff of science fiction, but rather a near-future reality for IT organizations across many industries, observers say.
In Computerworld's Forecast 2016 survey, 29% of the respondents identified IoT initiatives -- and related machine-to-machine and telematics projects -- as new areas of spending for the year ahead. In comparison, just 12% of those polled last year said IoT work would be a new IT expenditure in 2015.
Likewise, the percentage of respondents who said they planned to launch IoT projects over the next 12 months rose from 15% last year to 21% this year. Additionally, 14% of this year's respondents said they plan to beta-test IoT technologies, up from 7% last year.
Wearables in the enterprise? Not so much
While consumer-oriented wearable devices like Google Glass and the Apple Watch launched to great fanfare, the reality is that enterprises aren't ready to make practical use of wearable systems, at least for the foreseeable future.
Wearable technology was last on the Forecast 2016 list of systems currently being assessed in beta tests and pilot projects, with only 4% of respondents saying they had projects underway involving wearables.
Furthermore, 78% said they were not currently working on wearable apps or anticipating the need to support wearables in the near future. And only 8% of those polled said wearables would play a role in their business or technology operations, while just 12% indicated that they were adjusting their mobile device management strategies to include wearables.