5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Dec. 12

This week's five companies that had a rough week include the discovery of a glitch in an Exchange Server update; reported security vulnerabilities in Google's App Engine; the shutdown of the Pirate Bay file-sharing site; Lenovo's recall of 500,000 AC power cords; and the massive disruption created by a computer failure in the U.K. air-traffic-control system.

Microsoft Pulls Faulty Exchange Server Update

Microsoft pulled back a security update for Exchange Server 2010 this week after it was discovered the software broke the connection with Outlook. The faulty patch is the sixth this year the company has had to pull back because of glitches and the second Exchange update the company has had to recall.

The security update, already delayed a month, addresses flaws that enable an attacker to spoof the source of an email message and trick users into clicking on malicious links. But because of the glitch in the security patch, Microsoft customers and partners had to uninstall the update.

Researchers Warn Of Security Flaws In Google App Engine

Microsoft wasn't the only company wrestling with security flaws in its software products this week. Researchers at Security Explorations identified at least two dozen vulnerabilities in the Google App Engine, the development platform that enables businesses to run web applications on Google's cloud infrastructure.

Security Explorations said some of the vulnerabilities allow attackers to bypass the Java Virtual Machine security sandbox, a serious lapse. Other weaknesses enable code execution, the bypassing of white-listing restrictions, and the ability to alter objects and manipulate application functionality.

Lenovo Recalls 500,000 Power Cords, Warns Of Fire Hazard

Lenovo recalled more than a half million AC power cords this week because they can overheat and burn.

There have been 15 reported cases of the cords overheating, sparking, melting and even burning, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website, all of them in Asia. There have been no reported incidents in the U.S. or Canada, and none of the incidents has resulted in injury.

The cords, according to Lenovo's support website, said the possibly defective cords were sold from February 2011 through June 2012 with the company's IdeaPad brand notebooks (B-, G-, S-, U-, V- and Z-series) and Lenovo brand laptops (B-, G- and V-series).

Pirate Bay Raided, Goes Dark

Notorious file-sharing site Pirate Bay went offline this week after police in Sweden raided a data center in Stockholm and confiscated the site's servers. While some may applaud the site's demise, it was certainly a rough week for Pirate Bay itself, not to mention the popular site's fans.

CNN reported that Pirate Bay was raided after several movies stolen from Sony Entertainment, supposedly in the massive attack against that company's servers, appeared on the site.

But by Friday, there were reports the site could be resurrected, with some saying the operation had moved to Costa Rica.

Computer Failure In U.K. Air Traffic Control Center Creates Massive Disruptions

Friday was a rough day for anyone in charge of airport operations throughout the U.K., including London's busy Heathrow and Gatwick airports, after a computer failure at the Nation Air Traffic Services (NATS) control center in Stanwick caused delays and led to cancelled flights.

It wasn't much fun for thousands of passengers trying to fly in or out of U.K. airports either.

By Friday evening U.K. time, the BBC said the system was once again functioning -- although NATS was still investigating the cause of the outage -- and flight operations were slowly returning to normal.