5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Sept. 2

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week was Samsung, which halted sales of its recently introduced Galaxy Note7 and issued a recall after reports of fires while recharging the device's batteries.

Also making the list were Apple for the humongous tax bill it may receive from the European Union; Google, for its reportedly sputtering Google Fiber initiative; the Kimpton Hotels, chain for being the latest malware cyberattack victim; and Adobe, for a newly discovered critical vulnerability in its ColdFusion server.

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.

Samsung Halts Galaxy Note7 Sales, Issues Recall After Reports Of Fires

Samsung Electronics is halting sales of its Galaxy Note7 smartphone following reports that the devices caught fire while the batteries were recharging. Samsung said there had been 35 incidents reported globally that were related to the problem.

Samsung said that for customers who had already bought the Galaxy Note7, the company would replace their current devices with new ones over the next few weeks. The halt in shipping and recall comes less than two weeks after the device went on sale in the U.S.

Samsung initially halted shipments of the product Thursday, after the incident reports began to surface, then on Friday announced a global halt to shipments and issued the recall.

EU Orders Apple To Pay Up To $14.5 Billion In Back Taxes

Apple is facing the prospect of a humongous tax bill after European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager ruled this week that Ireland had illegally reduced the company's taxes over a period of a dozen years. The European Union regulator said Apple had benefited from selective tax treatment by Irish tax authorities that gave it an unfair advantage over other businesses.

Ireland allowed Apple to pay an effective corporate tax rate of 1 percent on its European profits in 2003 to as low as 0.005 percent in 2014, according to a Bloomberg story.

The EU said Apple owes as much as 13 billion Euros (about $14.5 billion) in back taxes, plus interest. It's the largest tax penalty assessed by the EU in a three-year campaign against corporate tax avoidance. Apple and Ireland have vowed to appeal the ruling.

Google Fiber Falling Short Of Hype, Considers Switch To Wireless Strategy

Six years after Google rolled out its Google Fiber initiative with much fanfare, the company is reportedly running into problems with the high costs and slow deployment processes associated with fiber-optic networks.

The deployment hurdles, including battles with legacy carriers like AT&T in specific markets over the use of utility poles, has Google rethinking its fiber plans and considering a wireless delivery strategy instead.

Larry Page, CEO of Google parent Alphabet, has reportedly ordered Google Fiber to cut its staff in half from 1,000 workers to about 500.

Adobe Scrambles To Fix Critical Vulnerability In ColdFusion

Developers at Adobe Systems scrambled this week to develop security patches for its ColdFusion application server, fixing a vulnerability that attackers could use to read files stored on the server and the applications running on it.

Researcher Dawid Golunski at Legal Hackers, who discovered the vulnerability in ColdFusion 10 and 11 and reported it to Adobe, said in an advisory that the vulnerability was exposed when processing certain types of Office Open XML documents

Along with exposing files on the ColdFusion server, including critical ColdFusion configuration files, the vulnerability could allow attackers to launch server-side request forgery attacks, and possibly gain access to application source code and sensitive system files, according to a Threatpost story.

Kimpton Hotels And Restaurants Hit By Cyberattack

The Kimpton hotel chain disclosed this week that its IT system was hit with malware earlier this year, compromising customers' credit card information at 61 of its hotels and restaurants.

In a notice issued Tuesday, the company said it discovered the malware after an investigation that began July 15, following a report of unauthorized charges on customer payment cards used at the restaurant at a Kimpton hotel.

Kimpton said the malware stole data from the payment cards' magnetic strips as it was routed through affected servers that processed payment cards used at hotel front desks and restaurants. The malware is believed to have stolen data, including card numbers, expiration dates and, in some cases, card owners' names, between Feb. 16 and July 7 of this year.

The hotel chin published a complete list of the 61 affected properties.