5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Feb. 24

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is Yahoo, which was forced to agree to a lower acquisition price from Verizon following Yahoo's disclosures of massive security breaches in 2013 and 2014.

Also making the list this week were Hewlett Packard Enterprise, for a steep sales decline in its fiscal 2017 first quarter; Juniper Networks partners and customers, who were left to wonder if they would be impacted by a faulty component; Internet service company Cloudflare for a serious data leak; and Google for a problem with its Google Account engine.

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.

Yahoo Agrees To Discounted Acquisition Price From Verizon

Yahoo, already dealing with the fallout from several major security breaches, agreed this week to be acquired by Verizon for $350 million less than the $4.83 billion price tag the two companies agreed to last July.

The agreement shaves the acquisition price tag to $4.48 billion.

After the initial acquisition agreement last year, Yahoo disclosed that it had been the victim of security breaches in 2013 and 2014 that compromised hundreds of millions of user accounts. That led Verizon to renegotiate the price of the acquisition, which the companies now expect to complete in the second quarter.

HPE Reports 10 Percent Slide In First-Quarter Sales

Hewlett Packard Enterprise took a significant hit to the top line in its first fiscal quarter, which ended Jan. 31, reporting a 10 percent plunge in revenue to $11.4 billion, compared with $12.7 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

The results fell far below Wall Street analysts' consensus expectations of $12.07 billion. The results included a 12 percent decline in the company's Enterprise Group sales to $6.32 billion, fueled by a 12 percent decline in server sales and a 13 percent drop in storage system sales.

The results sent HPE's stock plunging more than 8 percent Friday morning. It recovered a little but ended Friday down nearly 7 percent.

Juniper Leaves Partners In The Dark Regarding Faulty Component Replacement Plan

It was a frustrating week for Juniper Networks partners and their customers as the vendor remained silent on its plans to fix several affected product lines that contain a faulty clock signal component that causes systems to eventually fail.

Last week, the company acknowledged that the faulty component problem impacted a "limited set" of the company's product lines and the vendor was working directly with affected customers.

Several partners told CRN that they were keeping their fingers crossed that the vendor's silence this week confirmed that the problem was not widespread and solution providers might not need to intervene. But some partners said a phone call or even just an alert explaining what's happening would be welcome.

Cloudflare Scrambles To Clean Up After Major Data Leakage Incident

Cloudflare, the company that provides content delivery, web performance and Internet security services for more than 5.5 million websites, warned its customers this week that a recently fixed software bug exposed sensitive information, according to multiple published reports.

In a blog post, Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming described the bug as "serious because the leaked memory could contain private information and because it had been cached by search engines." The greatest period of impact was between Feb. 13 and 18.

Graham-Cunningham said three minor Cloudflare features using the same HTML parser chain that was causing the memory leakage was turned off once the problem was discovered. A cross-functional team of staffers in the company's San Francisco and London offices then worked 24 hours a day to identify the cause.

The leaked information included passwords, cookies and tokens used to authenticate users, according to an Ars Technica story. A Fortune story quoted the Google researcher who originally discovered the problem as saying the leaked information included private messages from dating sites, online password manager data, frames from adult video sites, and hotel bookings.

Google Wrestles With Mysterious Service Issue That Signs Out Users

Cloudflare wasn't the only company working through system failures this week. On Thursday, Google found itself trying to identify the cause of a problem that signed some users out of their Gmail accounts, according to a story on The Register.

Google later said the incidents were caused by a problem with the Google Account engine, according to a PCWorld story. That report said that Google Wi-Fi mesh routers and Google's OnHub routers were also affected.