Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Apple Security Researchers Make Quick Exit From Black Hat

Apple's first-ever appearance at the Black Hat security conference was more memorable for the speed with which its security team bolted after their presentation on iOS security than for the content it included.

It's not as if anyone expected Apple to suddenly start sharing its security secrets. And it’s true that Apple has put together a rock-solid security model for its mobile OS. But in the security research community, which is all about back-and-forth and sharing of ideas, Apple's reticence stood out like a neon sign.

SAP Pays $306 Million To Settle Oracle Download Lawsuit

SAP agreed to pay Oracle $306 million in damages to settle a seven-year-old copyright infringement lawsuit.

But Oracle isn't giving up its appeal to have a jury's $1.3 billion award in the case reinstated, meaning that the bitter dispute will continue.

SAP had sought an entirely new trial in the case. By agreeing to pay the $306 million, SAP is dropping that effort, clearing the way for the case to move on to Oracle's appeal.

Dropbox Users Hit With Spam Attack After Email Breach

Dropbox said a stolen password led to the theft of hundreds of customers' email addresses, which the thieves then used in a spam campaign for online gambling venues.

IT departments around the world nodded sagely at the incident, which is something that security experts have been predicting would happen to companies that let employees use the popular Web site.

Dropbox is planning to add two-factor authentication to its service in the form of temporary code sent to users' mobile phones, but in this case, it seems that the outcome could have been a lot worse for the company.

Glitch Takes Down Microsoft's Windows Azure Cloud Service

Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud computing service went down in Western Europe for about two and a half hours, and the software giant apologized and attributed it to a misconfigured network device.

"The interruption impacted our Compute Service and resulted in connectivity issues from some of our customers in the sub-region," Mike Neil, general manager of Windows Azure, said in a blog post.

’The service interruption was triggered by a misconfigured network device that disrupted traffic to one cluster in our West Europe sub-region," Neil said. "Once a set device limit for external connections was reached, it triggered previously unknown issues in another network device within that cluster, which further complicated network management and recovery."

Arrow Electronics Misses Sales, Earnings Targets In Q2

Arrow Electronics missed Wall Street's expectations during its fiscal second quarter, and the distributor said it plans to trim some $20 million in costs as a result. Excluding one-time items, Arrow earned $1.11 per share, while Wall Street analysts were expecting $1.13 per share.

Arrow CEO Mike Long (left) chalked up the weakness to a "challenging macroeconomic environment that weakened throughout the quarter."