5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending April 10

This week's roundup of companies that had a rough week include Amazon Web Services' technical problems during a key broadcast, a multimillion-dollar fine against AT&T for a data security failure, security warnings around a Dell software product, yet another executive departure from Citrix Systems, and the Heartbleed bug remaining a potential threat.

Suffering Bad Buffering: AWS Summit Live Stream Effort Fails

Viewers trying to catch the live stream of the AWS Summit keynote speech by Senior Vice President Andy Jassy Thursday found the webcast unwatchable because of endless buffering problems. After about 25 minutes the website stopped altogether, providing viewers with the message: "Oops? We're having a bit of technical difficulty. Please stay tuned."

It's a good guess many people didn't stay tuned and weren't around when the live stream was fixed after about 30 minutes. AWS blamed the problem on a cache configuration issue from its video-streaming provider. Given that public clouds are supposed to eliminate such problems because of their scalability, it was an embarrassing moment.

AT&T Hit With $25 Million Fine Over Stolen Data

AT&T will pay a $25 million fine to settle charges brought by the Federal Communications Commission because employees in the telecommunications giant's call centers in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines allegedly leaked customer names and social security numbers.

The security breaches compromised the account information of some 280,000 AT&T customers in the U.S., according to a Reuters story. The information was used to obtain handset-unlock codes, which were apparently passed along to gangs trafficking in stolen cellphones.

Dell's System Detect Vulnerability Draws Warnings

Dell's System Detect tool was under scrutiny this week because older versions of the software could put computers' security at risk. Security vendor Malwarebytes and software firm F-Secure both said that attackers could exploit a weakness in older releases of the program and remotely install malware.

While the vulnerability can be easily fixed by upgrading to a newer release of Dell System Detect, the problem is that, unlike other software products like Microsoft Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader, there are no scheduled auto-updates for the Dell software. Dell System Detect is an application that runs on Windows-based PCs or tablets and interacts with Dell's support website.

Executive Revolving Door Keeps Spinning At Citrix

Word came this week that Citrix Systems has lost another key executive, the latest of several defections in recent months. The latest to leave is Matthew Morgan, vice president of corporate product marketing, who left to take a similar post at big data startup Hortonworks. Morgan played a role in Citrix's push into enterprise mobility with the company's Workspace Suite, desktop virtualization software and other products.

Last week, Citrix confirmed that Rakesh Narasimhan left in February due to a personal family situation. Sudhakar Ramakrishna, vice president and general manager of Citrix's Enterprise and Service Provider Division, plans to leave in May, according to an 8-K filing.

Heartbleed Bug Still A Potential Threat

One year after the infamous Heartbleed Bug caused havoc throughout the IT industry, researchers say the vulnerability in a popular open-source encryption protocol remains a lingering threat.

Vulnerable versions of the affected software still show up bundled into a variety of products, solution providers say. To be fully protected businesses must both patch the vulnerability and replace SSL keys and certificates. A report from Venafi Labs says that a majority of Fortune 2000 companies haven't done so, meaning they are still vulnerable.