5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

For the week ending Aug. 9, CRN looks at IT companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions.


The Week Ending Aug. 9

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is MapR Technologies, the failed big data company whose business and technology assets were sold this week.

Also making the "Rough Week" list are GitHub and Capital One, which face a class action lawsuit from consumers hurt by the massive security breach of a Capital One customer database. Apple likewise faced a lawsuit over conversations recorded by Siri, while Google was the subject of a series of critical tweets by President Donald Trump. And several big-name IT vendors, including Qualcomm, wrestled with several serious bugs in Qualcomm chips used in Android devices.

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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 Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

MapR's Assets Sold As Once High-Flying Big Data Company Falters

Struggling big data software developer MapR Technologies threw in the towel this week, striking a deal for Hewlett Packard Enterprise to acquire its technology and business assets, including intellectual property, for an undisclosed sum.

It was a sad ending for a one-time pioneer in the big data platform and Hadoop technology space that once boasted a market capitalization greater than $1 billion. Since the HPE deal focuses on the company's assets, it has also likely been an uncertain week for MapR's remaining employees.

On the plus side, it's a smart move by HPE, which plans to combine MapR's technology with other components of its Intelligent Data Platform – including software from its recent acquisition of data container developer BlueData – to expand its business analytics and AI offerings. The acquisition is also good news for MapR partners and customers that use the failed company's products.

GitHub, Capital One Hit With Lawsuit Over Data Breach

Capital One and GitHub, the Microsoft-owned developer site, have been hit with a class-action lawsuit alleging that they failed to take proper actions to protect consumer data, leading to the security breach that exposed personal information from 106 million credit card holders and applicants.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court, argues that Capital One and GitHub demonstrated negligence in their response to the breach, according to reports by The Hill, Business Insider and other sites.

The data was stolen from an Amazon Web Services storage system used by Capital One with a misconfigured firewall. A former Amazon employee, Paige Thompson, has been arrested in connection with the security breach.

Thompson allegedly posted on GitHub about the theft and the lawsuit charges that the data sat on the site for nearly three months. GitHub, according to the suit, failed to monitor, remove or act upon the hacked data.

Trump Says He Is Watching Google 'Very Closely'

It's never a good week when a company is the subject of a series of tweets from the president of the United States, who says he is watching the company "very closely" and accuses it of "very illegal" acts.

That's the situation Google found itself in this week when the internet giant was the subject of several tweets from President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

Trump took aim at Google and CEO Sundar Pichai, suggesting that Google had somehow manipulated the 2016 election by suppressing negative stories about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and "boosted" negative stories about Trump.

"All very illegal," Trump said. "We are watching Google very closely!"

Apple Hit With Lawsuit Over Alleged Siri Recordings

Apple also was on the receiving end of a class-action lawsuit this week that accuses Apple of violating user privacy, following a recent report that Apple contractors listened to recordings of users made by the Siri digital assistant.

Filed this week, the suit seeks unspecified statutory and punitive damages in the case for what it calls "unlawful and intentional recording of individuals' confidential communications without their consent" from late 2011 until present day, according to a story on the AppleInsider website.

Recently The Guardian reported that Apple contractors routinely listened to Siri recordings to evaluate Siri's performance. The suit says the practice violates several California laws including the California Invasion of Privacy Act.

The suit also demands that Apple halt the recording program and delete all recordings. AppleInsider said Apple suspended the Siri quality control program five days before the lawsuit was filed.

Vendors Scramble To Fix Snapdragon Vulnerabilities

Several major vendors, including Samsung and Google, hustled this week to develop patches to fix three vulnerabilities in Qualcomm Snapdragon chips used in some Android mobile phones and tablet devices.

The exploits, collectively known as QualPwn, allow hackers to remotely compromise Android devices and gain access to personal data by sending malicious packets through a shared Wi-Fi network, according to a Threatpost report.

Google and device manufacturer Samsung have issued patches for the vulnerabilities, which were described in detail at this week's Black Hat 2019 security conference in Las Vegas. Google addresses the flaws in the August 2019 Android Security Bulletin.

Qualcomm has reportedly already issued fixes to OEMs to fix the bugs.