5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending June 1

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Kaspersky Lab, which lost a legal bid to overturn a ban on the sale of its software to the U.S. government.

Also making the list this week are an undisclosed number of IBM Watson Health employees who faced layoffs; storage tech company Quantum, whose CEO and CFO both stepped down; Huawei, which scrambled to fix multiple serious vulnerabilities in its server products; and two major banks in Canada that were the victims of cyberattacks.

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.

Judge Tosses Kaspersky Lawsuit Against Feds As U.S. Government Sales Ban Remains In Effect

Kaspersky Lab's efforts to overturn a ban on sales of the company's security software to the U.S. government hit a major roadblock this week when a federal judge dismissed Kaspersky's lawsuits in the case.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on Wednesday means that the prohibition on Kaspersky sales to U.S. government agencies will remain in effect.

Kollar-Kotelly ruled that Kaspersky's two lawsuits against the government should be dismissed due to a lack of standing and the fact that the government's actions do not determine guilt and inflict punishment.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a directive last summer stipulating that civilian federal government agencies remove Kaspersky's software within 90 days after the company was accused of having links to Russian intelligence services. Three months later President Donald Trump signed a broader defense policy spending bill that banned Kaspersky software from both civilian and military networks.

Workers At IBM's Watson Health Hit With Layoffs

An undisclosed number of employees at IBM's Watson Health business got pink slips this week, although IBM said the actual number of laid off employees was small.

Some published reports, citing unnamed insiders, said that as many as half or more of the employees at Watson Health had been laid off, mostly within the offices of startups in the health care space that IBM had acquired.

An IBM spokesman acknowledged there had been some employee cuts, but denied they were on the scale of the earlier reports, saying they affected "a small percentage" of the Watson Health workforce.

Quantum's CEO And CFO Both Step Down

The executive suite at storage technology developer Quantum was in turmoil this week as the company's CEO and CFO both stepped down from their posts -- the CEO after holding the job for less than five months.

The company announced Wednesday that CEO Patrick Dennis had resigned his position "to focus on pressing family matters," according to a company statement. Dennis was just hired as CEO in January to replace CEO Jon Gacek, who left the company in November after the company reported disappointing fiscal 2018 second quarter results.

Quantum said that Effective May 31 Michael Dodson, currently CFO at Greenwave Systems, "replaces current CFO Fuad Ahmad" and will serve as interim CEO until a permanent replacement for Dennis is named. The company statement made no mention about the reasons for Ahmad's departure.

Quantum has been struggling with declining sales and in February the company announced in a statement that its audit committee was conducting "an investigation into accounting matters and related internal controls that were raised in response to a recent inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission."

Huawei Scrambles To Patch Four Server Bugs Rated High Severity

Huawei Technologies warned customers this week about four vulnerabilities in 20 of the manufacturer's server models, according to a report on Threatpost. The vulnerabilities were rated high in their severity.

The company issued patches for the bugs for server models in Huawei's XH, RH and CH lines. The bugs include an authentication bypass vulnerability, a privilege escalation vulnerability, and two JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) injection vulnerabilities.

The JSON vulnerabilities are related to Huawei's Intelligent Baseboard Management Controller component. A remote attacker can launch a JSON injection to modify an administrator password and gain management privileges of a system, Threatpost said.

Two Canadian Banks Hit With Cyber Attacks

The Bank of Montreal and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce both reported earlier this week that cyber attackers may have stolen data on nearly 90,000 customers, according to a Reuters report.

The story said the attacks appeared to be the first significant cyber assault on the country's financial institutions.

The bank of Montreal said it was contacted on Sunday by people claiming to possess information on a limited number of the bank's customers. The story quoted a bank spokesman as saying that fewer than 50,000 of the bank's 8 million customers were affected.

The Canadian Imperial Bank said it was also contacted by fraudsters on Sunday, according to Reuters, claiming they had stolen personal and account information on 40,000 customers. The bank had yet to confirm the security breach, the story said.