5 Companies That Had A Rough Week
The Week Ending June 23
Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Lumenate, which filed for bankruptcy protection and disclosed millions of dollars in debt owed to a distributor.
Also making the list this week were the Republican National Committee, whose voter database suffered a major data leak; Microsoft and users of its Skype service, who suffered through connectivity problems, possibly caused by a DDoS attack; Infosys, which agreed to pay New York state a $1 million fine to settle a visa case; and BlackBerry, whose first-quarter results fell short of expectations.
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.
Lumenate Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection, Discloses Millions In Debts
Solution provider Lumenate has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas. The filing came after distributor Tech Data cut off Lumenate's financing and stopped selling or shipping equipment to the company, according to a CRN report this week.
Lumenate had worked closely with Avnet Technology Solutions for years. But Avnet sold ATS to Tech Data in February and the distributor cut off financing and product shipments, according to creditors' filings that are part of the bankruptcy record. Without products to sell, Lumenate said it was unable to generate new sales or accounts receivable.
By the end of May Lumenate said it owed $25.5 million to ATS and as much as $24.5 million to other creditors.
Massive AWS Data Service Leak Exposes RNC Voter Data
It was a bad week for Amazon Web Services, the Republican National Committee and millions of voters whose data was exposed through a huge leak from a cloud database.
The data was exposed through a misconfigured database stored on a publicly accessible cloud server and hosted on AWS' Simple Storage Service. Deep Root Analysis, a firm contracted by the RNC, owned the database.
The leak of more than 1.1 terabytes of personal data on more than 198 million American voters included names, birthdates, home addresses, phone numbers, and voter registration details.
An analysis by UpGuard said the data repository "lacked any protection against access" and that another 24 terabytes of stored data was improperly configured.
Microsoft Skype Reportedly Hit By DDoS Attack; Customers Faced Connectivity Challenges
It also wasn't a great week for Microsoft and users of its Skype instant messaging and chat service. Microsoft confirmed an outage in the Skype service earlier this week and reports said the problems were the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
Customers, primarily in Europe, began reporting connectivity issues Monday, some with hours of downtime. The issues continued into Tuesday with users losing connectivity and having difficulty exchanging messages.
In a tweet, a hacker group calling itself CyberTeam claimed responsibility for the attack.
Infosys To Pay $1 Million To Settle New York Visa Case
IT services outsourcing giant Infosys agreed to pay a $1 million fine to the State of New York to settle a case in which Infosys allegedly failed to adequately compensate and pay taxes for hundreds of visa workers, according to stories published by Seeking Alpha and Livemint.com.
The case resulted from a whistleblower report that Infosys brought foreign IT specialists into New York to work without obtaining the required H-1B visas. The company allegedly brought the workers in using more easily obtainable 1-B temporary visitor visas.
Infosys maintained in a statement that it had committed no wrongdoing and was settling the case to avoid protracted litigation.
In 2013, Infosys agreed to pay $34 million to settle another visa abuse case.
BlackBerry Misses Sales Forecast, Stock Falls
BlackBerry posted first-quarter sales Friday that missed expectations because of an unexpected sales decline with revenue from software and professional sales falling 4.7 percent during the quarter, according to a Reuters report.
News of the decline led to a steep plunge in the price of BlackBerry's stock, as much as 13 percent – the biggest one-day decline in the company's share price in more than two years, Reuters said.
BlackBerry has staked its future on the sale of high-margin software and the stock's price had soared 60 percent during the quarter because of expectations that sales of those software products were growing, according to Reuters. But the actual results fell short.