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5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

For the week ending Sept. 27, CRN looks at IT companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions.

The Week Ending Sept. 27

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Amazon Web Services, which found itself scrambling to untangle a billing snafu that overcharged some customers for AWS cloud services.

Also making the list are BlackBerry for losing yet another high-level executive from recently acquired Cylance, food delivery startup DoorDash for a data security breach, IBM for a judge’s order to turn over executive emails in an age discrimination lawsuit, and Dunkin’ Donuts for getting hit with a lawsuit stemming from a 2015 data breach incident.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves—or just had good luck—check out this week's 5 Companies That Came To Win roundup.

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AWS Billing Error Overcharges Cloud Customers

Cloud giant Amazon Web Services spent the week dealing with the fallout from an apparent billing snafu that drastically overcharged some customers for their cloud services usage.

Reports began circulating on Twitter and multiple news sites with AWS customers reporting their AWS charges had erroneously doubled or even tripled in the billing mixup. One customer reported being billed for 950 hours in one month, even though the maximum number of hours in a 31-day month is 744.

It was unclear how many AWS customers were affected by the incident. AWS is already scrambling to the fix the problem and has sent notices to the affected customers promising a refund because the incorrect fees were already charged to customers’ credit cards.

There could be a silver lining for the channel, however. The problem could offer solution providers an opportunity to step in and help customers monitor their cloud computing spending.

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BlackBerry Loses Cylance CEO, Latest High-Profile Executive Departure Since Acquisition

Cylance founder and CEO Stuart McClure has exited the company, it was disclosed this week, becoming the latest in a string of executives to leave the cybersecurity company in the wake of its acquisition by BlackBerry in February for $1.4 billion.

McClure is at least the eighth prominent Cylance executive to leave the endpoint security company since the acquisition.

BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen lamented the loss of McClure, telling investors that “I would have wanted him to stay longer, but he had made a personal decision, which we have to respect.”

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DoorDash Data Breach Affects 4.9 Million Customers, Drivers And Merchants

Food delivery startup DoorDash disclosed this week that a recently discovered data breach involving a third-party service provider may have affected nearly 5 million of the company’s customers, delivery drivers and merchants.

The San Francisco-based company said this week that earlier this month it “became aware of unusual activity involving a third-party service provider.” After launching an investigation and hiring outside security experts, DoorDash determined that an unauthorized third party had accessed DoorDash user data on May 4.

The company said that data from consumers, delivery drivers and merchants who joined the platform on or before April 5, 2018, was compromised. The exposed data included the last four digits of customers’ payment cards and profile information such as names, email addresses, delivery addresses, order history and phone numbers. Anyone who used the service after that date is not affected.

The company said it took immediate steps to block access by the unauthorized third party and has enhanced the security of the company’s IT system.

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IBM Ordered To Hand Over Top Executives’ Emails In Age Discrimination Suit

IBM top executives—including CEO Ginni Rometty—and corporate lawyers scrambled this week to comply with a judge’s ruling that they turn over emails and communications in an ongoing lawsuit charging the IT giant with employee age discrimination.

The ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew W. Austin, issued late Friday, Sept. 20, also extended the deadline for the discovery process in the case. The judge, however, denied a request that plaintiffs be allowed to take depositions from top IBM executives, according to a copy of the judge’s ruling on The Register website.

The lawsuit, filed last year by former IBM employee Jonathan Langley, alleges that IBM engaged in age discrimination by firing older employees and hiring younger, less expensive workers to replace them. Langley himself was laid off in 2017.

Last year an in-depth report from ProPublica and Mother Jones detailed an allegedly systematic effort within IBM to lay off older workers. The report said that about 60 percent of the 20,000 people laid off over a five-year period were age 40 or older.

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Dunkin’ Donuts Hit With Lawsuit Stemming From 2015 Security Breach

And while on the topics of lawsuits and security breaches, Dunkin’ Donuts was on the wrong end of a lawsuit this week alleging that the fast food chain violated New York state data breach notification laws.

The lawsuit alleges that Dunkin’ Donuts failed to disclose in a timely manner a 2015 data security breach that affected nearly 20,000 customers who belonged to the chain’s DD Perks loyalty program, according to a Threatpost story.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday by New York Attorney General Letitia James, accused Dunkin’ Donuts of “fraudulent, deceptive and unlawful practices,” according to the Threatpost story. Dunkin Donuts has denied the charges.

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