Lawyer Responsible for Yahoo Security Failures: Believe It or Not

March 7, 2017

I read “Yahoo’s Head Lawyer Is Taking the Fall for Its Hacking While Marissa Mayer Is Getting Her Pay Docked.” The few layers I know are not exactly the sharpest tacks in the tool room when it comes to technology. I was amused but not surprised to learn that a legal eagle dropped the security mouse from 2,000 feet.

The write up explains:

…Yahoo’s head lawyer, Ron Bell, got bounced for not doing his job…the relevant legal t4eam had sufficient information to warrant substantial further inquiry in 2014 and they did not sufficiently pursue it.

Right.

Stephen E Arnold, March 7, 2017

Quote to Note: Yahoo and Sunshine

March 1, 2017

Here’s a quote I highlighted. The source is CNBC.com, a real journalism type outfit. The quote appeared in “How Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk and 13 Other Leaders Start the Day.” Marissa Mayer allegedly said:

Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse and the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.

Yep, with a nice golden parachute, the world may look golden. About that Yahoo security breach. Must be sunshine.

Stephen E Arnold, March 1, 2017

Yahoo: Discount News

February 25, 2017

I read “Verizon, Yahoo Agree to Lowered $4.48 Billion Deal.” The knock off price for an outfit with interesting security controls and a fine customer communication business process is $4.48 billion. Not bad for an aged Internet dowager which seems to have been drifting of late. The write up stated in real news fashion:

Under the amended terms, Yahoo and Verizon will split cash liabilities related to some government investigations and third-party litigation related to the breaches. Yahoo will continue to be responsible for liabilities from shareholder lawsuits and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations.

From my vantage pointing Harrod’s Creek, it is party time for the attorneys engaged in the many facets of Silicon Valley’s business school generation machine. Yahoooot or is it Yabba Dabba Hoot. I just get mixed up.

Stephen E Arnold, February 25, 2017

Yahoo Is Trying: Tusk Keep Trying

January 21, 2017

Beyond Search read a short but interesting “news” item with the interesting title “Yahoo Japan is Refusing to Stop the Sale of Ivory on Its Website.” Like other Internet news items, we believe everything we read online. Yahoo, according to the write up, is selling ivory. The write up points out:

“Even Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, has tried to stop the trade — but the business argues that so long as no laws are broken, people should be able to trade whatever it wants on the site.”

We love the “even.”

A Yahoo Japan person, quoted anonymously in the write up, allegedly says:

We want to provide an internet auction site where people can trade freely, and at this moment we have no intention of banning legal trading without any reason,” a spokesman for Yahoo Japan said. “We don’t believe the ivory sales contribute to a fall in elephant numbers.”

US Yahoo, I learned:

bans the sale of endangered animal products, says it can’t force Yahoo Japan to change. Mayer has not publicly addressed the issue, though she has let it be known that she has raised concerns internally.

The tireless warriorette, Marissa Mayer, “has met up dozens of times with Yahoo Japan on this issue.” Meeting up is easy because US Yahoo owns more than 35 percent of Yahoo Japan.

Well, Yahoo is trying, using the same management methods which may have contributed to the loss of users’ credentials. Trying. Yes, Ms. Mayer is trying.

Stephen E Arnold, January 21, 2018

Yahoo May Become Altaba

January 10, 2017

I read a US government filing which revealed that after Verizon allegedly buys the core assets of Yahoot. Sorry, I meant “Yahoo”, the remaining part of the Internet old timer will be called Altaba.

Image result for fred flintstone

Darn. I was hoping that the non core assets of Yahoot. Sorry, I meant Yahoo would have a more mellifluous name; for example:

  • Hooty
  • Marissa Ville
  • Yabba-dabba-doo.

My pick is “Yabba-dabba-doo” in a nice sans serif font. I would probably recall the new name as “Yabba-dabba-hoot.” As I age, my mind plays tricks on me. Kudos to the artist who designed a possible new logo for the company which should be named Yabba-dabba-hoo.

Stephen E Arnold, January 10, 2017

Yahoo Takes on ISIS, in Its Way

January 9, 2017

The article on VentureBeat titled Yahoo Takes Steps to Remove Content Posted From ISIS and Other Terrorist Groups remarks on the recent changes Yahoo made to its community guidelines. The updated guidelines now specify that any content or accounts involved with terrorist organizations, even those that “celebrate” violence connected to terrorist activity are up for deletion or deactivation. The article speaks to the relevance of these new guidelines that follow hard upon the heels of Orlando and San Bernardino,

Twitter has responded as well, “suspending over 125,000 accounts” related to terrorism. Messaging app Telegram has also blocked 78 channels that engaged in ISIS-related activity. Kathleen Lefstad, Yahoo’s policy manager for trust and safety, wrote that this new category is in addition to other types of content that are flagged, including hate speech, bullying or harassment, and sharing adult or sexualized content of someone without their consent.

ISIS has grown infamous for its social media presence and ability to draw foreign supporters through social media platforms. Yahoo’s crackdown is a welcome sign of awareness that these platforms must take some responsibility for how their services are being abused. Priorities, folks. If Facebook’s machine learning content security can remove any sign of a woman’s nipple within 24 hours, shouldn’t content that endorses terrorism be deleted in half the time?

Chelsea Kerwin, January 9, 2017

In Pursuit of Better News Online

December 20, 2016

Since the death of what we used to call “newspapers,” Facebook and Twitter have been gradually encroaching on the news business. In fact, Facebook recently faced criticism for the ways it has managed its Trending news stories. Now, the two social media firms seem to be taking responsibility for their roles, having joined an alliance of organizations committed to more competent news delivery. The write-up, “Facebook, Twitter Join Coalition to Improve Online News” at Yahoo News informs us about the initiative:

First Draft News, which is backed by Google [specifically Google News Lab], announced Tuesday that some 20 news organizations will be part of its partner network to share information on best practices for journalism in the online age. Jenni Sargent, managing director of First Draft, said the partner network will help advance the organization’s goal of improving news online and on social networks.

Filtering out false information can be hard. Even if news organizations only share fact-checked and verified stories, everyone is a publisher and a potential source,’ she said in a blog post. ‘We are not going to solve these problems overnight, but we’re certainly not going to solve them as individual organizations.

Sargent said the coalition will develop training programs and ‘a collaborative verification platform,’ as well as a voluntary code of practice for online news.

We’re told First Draft has been pursuing several projects since it was launched last year, like working with YouTube to verify user-generated videos. The article shares their list of participants; it includes news organizations from the New York Times to BuzzFeed, as well as other interested parties, like Amnesty International and the International Fact-Checking Network. Will this coalition succeed in restoring the public’s trust in our news sources? We can hope.

Cynthia Murrell, December 20, 2016

Yahoo Data Value

December 18, 2016

I read “Hacked Yahoo Data Worth $300,000 on the Dark Web.” The Yahoot fumbled bumbled its way to losing more passwords. I have seen numbers ranging from 300 million, 500 million, and one billion. The answer to the question is allegedly $300,000. Seems to work out to about $0.0003. That strikes me as close to the credibility of the Yahoot management team. Those Xoogler led wizards know how to deliver “value.” Yahoo. It’s a hoot. Change that yodel to “yahooooot.”

Stephen E Arnold, December 18, 1016

Yahoot: A Master of Disaster Management

December 16, 2016

I have a Yahoot (sorry, I meant Yahoo) email account. I have refused to change the password in order to see what nefarious behaviors manifest themselves. So far, the only bad guys in the picture are Yahoot’s merrie band of wizards, lead by the Purple Privacy Eater, Marissa Mayer. Ms. Mayer was a Xoogler. Now I am able to paint a mental picture about why she left Googzilla for the outfit Terry Semel tried to convert to a media company. Prescient guy. Get out of online. Do sitcoms.

disaster master

I read “Verizon Demands a Better Deal After Yahoo’s Latest Historic Hack.” The main idea of that write up is that the former Baby Bell wants to do the Trump thing: A better deal. That seems reasonable. Yahoo managed to fumble the security ball, delivering an alleged one billion customers’ details to alleged bad actors. There are even “real” journalists who allege that the Yahooligans’ secrets are for sale on the Dark Web.

And what personal data slipped through the former Googler’s fingers? The write up knows and, therefore, reported:

Yahoo said late on Wednesday [December 14, 2016] that it had uncovered a 2013 cyber attack that compromised data of more than 1 billion user accounts, the largest known breach on record. It said the data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

Fortune, whose journalists do not surf the Dark Web like the clever folks at the New York Times, used “real” journalistic methods and revealed:

Verizon is said to have threatened to go to court to get out of the deal if it is not repriced.

There you go. Verizon may be rethinking its clever move to buy the Purple Haze machine for about $5 billion. Knock the price down, and maybe the Baby Bell will [a] ante up some cash, [b]  replace the Xoogler with a person who can keep Yahoot from becoming more of a master of disaster than it is, and [c] blend the wizardry of AOL with the Yahooligans’ approach to technology. In my 73 years, I have not previously witnessed the rubble-ization of a publicly traded Sillycon Valley company in quite this way. Business school case study? For sure.

The real news outfit’s write up adds:

The U.S. No. 1 wireless carrier still expects to go through with the deal, but is looking for “major concessions” in light of the most recent breach, according to another person familiar with the situation.

Will Yahoo enter the online security business? The company now has mind share. Governance? Exemplary management team? Technical chops? That’s a $5 billion dollar question from a company that spurned Microsoft’s even more robust offer. Right, the same outfit which fumbled the pay to play for traffic business. Right now Terry Semel looks like a managerial paragon.

Yahoooot!

Stephen E Arnold, December 16, 2016

DuckDuckGo Makes Search Enhancements by Leveraging Yahoo Partnership

December 13, 2016

The article on Duck.co titled New Features from a Stronger Yahoo Partnership relates the continuation of the relationship between DuckDuckGo and Yahoo. DuckDuckGo has gained fame for its unique privacy policy of not tracking its users, which of course flies in the face of the Google Goliath, which is built on learning about its users by monitoring their habits and improving the search engine using that data. Instead, DuckDuckGo insists on forgetting its users and letting them search without fear of it being recorded somewhere. The article conveys some of the ways that Yahoo is mingled with the David of search engines,

In addition to the existing technology we’ve been using, DuckDuckGo now has access to features you’ve been requesting for years: Date filters let you filter results from the last day, week and month. Site links help you quickly get to subsections of sites. Of course our privacy policy remains the same: we don’t track you. In addition, we’re happy to announce that Yahoo has published a privacy statement to the same effect.

Paranoid internet users and people with weird secretive fetishes alike, rejoice! DuckDuckGo will soon be vastly improved. The article does not state an exact date for this new functionality to be revealed, but it is coming soon.

Chelsea Kerwin, December 13, 2016

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