5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Oct. 21

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week was Microsoft, whose Surface tablet came in for some highly visible criticism from an NFL coach this week.

Also making the list were Verizon, for a poor Q3 revenue and earnings report; Samsung, for getting hit with the first of what could be many lawsuits related to the Galaxy Note 7 debacle; DNS service provider Dyn, which got hit with a massive DDoS attack Friday; and Linux vendors who had to deal with a serious vulnerability in the open source OS.

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.

Patriots Coach Slams Microsoft Tablets And On-Field Technology

In what has to be a marketing nightmare for Microsoft, New England Patriots Bill Belichick said he's giving up on using the vendor's Surface tablets on the playing field, saying there are too many issues with the product, as well as with communications systems in general, on game day.

In a video that went viral this week Belichick was seen slamming down his Surface tablet in frustration.

"I just can't take it anymore," said Belichick in his team press conference on Tuesday. "[Surface tablets are] just too undependable for me. I'm going to stick with pictures, which several of our other coaches do as well, because there just isn't enough consistency in the performance of the tablets."

Verizon Q3 Earnings And Revenue Disappoint, Yahoo Deal Still Under Evaluation

Telecommunications giant Verizon reported its third-quarter results this week and few were impressed.

Operating revenue declined nearly 7 percent year-over-year to $30.9 billion while net income dropped nearly 12 percent to $3.7 billion. The results included a 2.3 percent decline in wireline revenue to $7.8 billion and a 3.9 percent decline in wireless revenue to $22.1 billion.

Adding to the bad news is the uncertainty over Verizon's agreement to acquire ailing Internet giant Yahoo for $4.8 billion. There have been reports Verizon may be looking to renegotiate – or walk away from – the deal following the disclosure that Yahoo was the victim of a huge security breach that impacted more than 500 Yahoo subscribers.

This week Verizon CFO Fran Shammo would only say that Verizon is still evaluating what the security breach means for the proposed acquisition.

S amsung Facing First Lawsuit Over Galaxy Note 7 Debacle

Samsung hoped that by discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, the company might put behind it the marketing nightmare caused by the device's problems with overheating and, in some cases, bursting into flames. But no such luck.

This week three Galaxy Note 7 owners filed suit against Samsung Electronics of America in U.S. District County in Newark, N.J., claiming that they suffered economic damages due to fraud and breach of warranty and good faith, according to an NBC News story. The plaintiffs said they had to keep paying their contracts even after the phones were recalled and consumers could no longer use them.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, does not specify monetary damages and does not allege any injuries from the faulty phones.

DNS Service Provider Dyn Hit With DDoS Attack, Blocking Access To Popular Sites

Some of the nation's biggest websites were inaccessible for users on the East Coast Friday morning after a large-scale distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against Internet performance company Dyns.

The attack against the Dyn Managed DNS infrastructure was reported to have begun shortly after 7:00 a.m. ET, blocking access to such popular sites like Twitter, Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, Reddit and Tumblr, according to a USA Today story and reports on other media.

While Dyn said the attacks seemed to relent around 9:30 a.m. ET, a new wave of attacks was launched shortly after.

Linux OS Vendors Scramble To Patch Serious Vulnerability

Suppliers of the open source Linux operating system found themselves scrambling this week to issue a patch for a "privilege escalation" vulnerability that attackers are reportedly already exploiting.

Using the vulnerability, attackers who gain access to a limited user account can obtain root privileges to take over a system. The flaw has resided in the Linux kernel for nine years and exists in copies of the Linux OS that run servers, desktop PCs, routers and other devices and appliances.

Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu and other distributors of the Linux OS have developed patches for the vulnerability, dubbed "Dirty Cow," and are in the process of distributing it.