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  1. If there were any major sites that took a web traffic pummeling in 2019 it was Yahoo and Tumblr. That’s according to a new report from SimilarWeb. The report looks back on key web trends in 2019. Among those trends were some pretty bad news for some sites. Particularly, SimilarWeb’s report says Tumblr saw its web traffic plummet 33% since 2018, when the site banned adult content. Yahoo saw a similar drop from its 2017 numbers, falling 33.6% during the period. Other key findings from the report: Total web traffic is on the rise, growing 8% in 2019 to 223 billion visits per month to the top 100 websites worldwide. Mobile is fueling much of that growth. While desktop web traffic decreased 3.3% since 2017, mobile web traffic shot up 30.6% over the same period. But with the mobile web comes shrinking attention spans. The report says that visitors are spending 49 seconds less on websites per visit than they did three years ago. The top 10 sites took 167.5 billion visits per month in 2019–a 10.7% increase. Mobile visits claim the majority of visits made to “vice” sites–those that involve porn and gambling. The U.S. leads the world when it comes to visiting the websites. In 2019, over 300 billion visits per month to sites were made from America. The takeaway? Mobile is quickly becoming the new norm, but websites are going to have to work harder to keep visitor attention as our attention spans continue to shrink. Source
  2. The folks behind the largest known hack of user data to date are finally paying up. Yahoo, now owned by Verizon, recently agreed to pay $117.5 million as part of a proposed class action settlement stemming from a series of breaches in the 2010s that affected 3 billion people—basically Yahoo’s then-entire user base. If you had a Yahoo account during that time, you might have already received an email this week telling you all this, along with the fact that you may be eligible for free credit monitoring or up to $100 as recompense for that whole to-do. The deadline for claims is July 20. The question now, as you may be asking yourself, is how does one cash in on Yahoo’s apology? Any U.S. resident who had an account between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2016 is eligible to submit a claim here for either two years of free credit monitoring through AllClear ID or “alternative compensation”: cold, hard cash of up to $100 if you show you already have credit services. Individuals can also file claims through the mail and online for any out-of-pocket costs tied to these breaches. Users that can document specific losses suffered because of these hacks are eligible to receive reimbursement up to $25,000. Though that $100 depends on how many eligible users actually enter claims. It could go as high as $358.80 if most folks opt to do nothing, or it could drop down to a few dollars if even just a third of the 194 million potential class-action lawsuit members file a claim. Not that anyone could blame them, what with the sting of Equifax’s breach still fresh on a lot of our minds. Instead of the $125 windfall most victims originally expected, an absolute pittance for exposing the data of nearly 150 million people, the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning that each claimant in Equifax’s case would likely only get “a small amount of money” if more people didn’t opt for free credit monitoring instead. And who wouldn’t want free credit services—compiled from three national credit agencies that include, oh yeah that’s right, the very company that screwed up in the first place! But even Equifax’s breach pales in comparison to Yahoo’s fuck-up history. Hackers, likely state-sponsored, made off with credentials for all 3 billion Yahoo accounts in 2013, though the company didn’t disclose the breach—along with a separate incident in 2014 that affected 400 million accounts—until 2016. The Securities and Exchange Commission ultimately hit Yahoo with a $35 million fine for its failure to quickly inform users that their information might have been stolen. Even still, it took another full year before the full extent of that first breach became known; Yahoo’s original estimates had the number of victims at 1 million. A final hearing on Yahoo’s settlement’s scheduled for April. Source
  3. Verizon Media, the division comprising brands like HuffPost, AOL, Yahoo, TechCrunch and Engadget, is set to lay off about 150 employees, the latest retrenchment by the telco’s still-declining digital-media group. Verizon confirmed the cuts, which were first reported by CNN. The job cuts represent around 1.4% of the 10,500 employees in Verizon Media, which the telco formed after acquiring Yahoo and AOL. Verizon Media did not provide details on which areas of the business will be affected by the layoffs. The pink-slips will hit U.S. teams across the organization, per CNN. In a statement, a Verizon Media rep said, “Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers. Today we are investing in premium content, connections and commerce experiences that connect people to their passions and continue to align our resources to opportunities where we feel we can differentiate ourselves and scale faster.” The cutbacks come after Verizon Media let go 7% of its employees in January, or around 800 staffers. Verizon Media revenue in the third quarter of 2019 was $1.8 billion, flat with the prior quarter and down 2% year over year. Revenue from mobile advertising is now outpacing desktop, which has been declining for years, according to the company. Going forward, Verizon Media is focused on augmenting its advertising revenue with subscription fees (via services like HuffPost Plus and TechCrunch’s Extra Crunch), and transactions and ecommerce, such as the launch of Yahoo Sportsbook to allow mobile sports betting (initially only for users in New Jersey), CEO Guru Gowrappan said at a media conference last month. Gowrappen, speaking the Code Media conference, also said Verizon is not selling HuffPost after reports that the telco was shopping the brand (possibly because it could not find a buyer). Verizon Media previously sold off other assets including Tumblr, Flickr and Moviefone. Source
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  5. (Reuters) - Yahoo has struck a revised $117.5 million settlement with millions of people whose email addresses and other personal information were stolen in the largest data breach in history. The proposed class-action settlement made public on Tuesday was designed to address criticisms of U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California. She rejected an earlier version of the accord on Jan. 28, and her approval is still required. Koh said the original settlement was not "fundamentally fair, adequate and reasonable" because it had no overall dollar value and did not say how much victims might expect to recover. She also said the legal fees appeared to be too high. Yahoo, now part of New York-based Verizon Communications Inc, had been accused of being slow to disclose three data breaches affecting about 3 billion accounts from 2013 to 2016. The new settlement includes at least $55 million for victims' out-of-pocket expenses and other costs, $24 million for two years of credit monitoring, up to $30 million for legal fees, and up to $8.5 million for other expenses. It covers as many as 194 million people in the United States and Israel with roughly 896 million accounts. John Yanchunis, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, in a court filing called the $117.5 million the "biggest common fund ever obtained in a data breach case." He did not immediately respond to requests for additional comment. Separately, Verizon agreed to spend $306 million between 2019 and 2022 on information security, five times what Yahoo spent from 2013 to 2016. It also pledged to quadruple Yahoo's staffing in that area. "The settlement demonstrates our strong commitment to security," Verizon said in a statement. Yahoo agreed in July 2016 to sell its internet business to Verizon for $4.83 billion. Only later did it reveal the scope of the breaches, prompting a price cut to $4.48 billion. Verizon wrote off much of Yahoo's value in December. U.S. prosecutors charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers in connection with one of the breaches in 2017. One hacker later pleaded guilty. The case is In re: Yahoo Inc Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 16-md-02752. Source
  6. Yahoo Mail and AOL Mail, which both fly under the Oath banner, a Verizon owned company, scan emails that arrive in user inboxes to improve advertisement targeting. An article published by The Wall Street Journal (sorry, no link as it is paywalled), suggests that Oath's email scanning may go beyond what users of the service may deem acceptable. According to the article, Yahoo is scanning commercial emails of all free users who did not opt-out of personalized advertisement to improve targeted advertising. Yahoo creates profiles of users by assigning them to certain groups or categories. A user who receives receipts for online purchases may be put into different categories based on the purchases, frequent traveler for example for users who get emails about several plane tickets in a period of time. Yahoo Mail users who get brokerage emails, e.g. trade confirmations, may be assigned to the investors group. While the exact classification and profiling system is unknown, it is clear that it uses information found in emails to profile users. The system places a cookie on users systems that identifies the interest groups the Yahoo user is associated with. Companies and advertisers may use the data to serve personalized advertisement to users and the paper suggests that Oath may also use receipts in the Yahoo Mail inbox as proof to advertisers that a particular campaign worked. Yahoo confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that it scans commercial emails only, and that the algorithms the company uses strip out personal information to make sure that those are not leaked in any way. The company claimed that the majority of emails that arrive in user inboxes are commercial in nature, and that the system is adjusted when the need arises to avoid wrong classifications and other issues. Yahoo customers have some options to deal with the email scanning: Close the account. Opt-out of interested-based ads and hope for the best. Closing an email account is problematic for a number of reasons. Users have to find another email provider, may want to back up all emails they received over the years, and may even want to keep the account open for a period to make sure no mail is lost. Closing the account may require that users change email addresses on websites, for instance those that they signed up for using the email address. One good option to back up all emails is the free MailStore Home software for Windows. It is capable of backing up all emails on the local system. You can read my review of MailStore Home here. The desktop email client Thunderbird is another option. Tip: Find out how to delete your entire Yahoo account. We published the guide after a Reuter's article suggested that Yahoo has been working with U.S. intelligence services to search all customer emails. Opt-out of interest-based ads on Yahoo Yahoo customers can opt-out of interest-based ads. Yahoo notes on the page that opting-out will stop the analysis of communication content for advertising purposes among other things. You can opt out of interest-based advertising, analysis of communications content for advertising purposes, and the sharing of your information with partners for data matching and appends using the tools on this page. Perform the following steps to opt-out. Visit The Ad Internet Manager page on the Yahoo website. Click on the opt-out button to opt-out of interest-based ads and thus also the analysis of communication content for advertising purposes. The button should change to a "opt-in" button after the request has been processed. Switch to "On Yahoo", and opt-out there as well. Note that the use of ad-blockers or content-blockers may prevent the opt-out from working correctly. Closing Words I don't know how good Yahoo's algorithms are to distinguish between commercial emails and others; the past has shown that it is tricky to get it right. Yahoo customers who use email may want to opt-out of the automated scanning to avoid any issues related to the scanning; some may want to create new email accounts at providers that don't scan emails or put privacy first. Examples of such providers are Startmail or ProtonMail. Now You: Would you use email providers that scan your emails for commercial purposes? Source
  7. Yahoo has agreed to pay $80 million to settle a federal securities class action lawsuit following the massive data breaches that compromised the personal information of three billion users. The suit was filed by several shareholders in January 2017, alleging the web services provider intentionally misled them about its cybersecurity practices, in turn, causing the company’s stock prices to drop. According to reports, it is still unclear whether the proposed settlement will close the case, as one of the named plaintiffs in the suit did not agree to it. The settlement includes all those who purchased or acquired Yahoo securities on the open market between April 30, 2013, and Dec. 14, 2016. In the second half of 2016, Yahoo disclosed two massive breaches that compromised user account data, including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and hashed passwords. Initially, the company reported a 2014 breach, which it said had impacted roughly 500 million user accounts. Months later, it announced a separate breach that dated back to 2013. At the time, Yahoo said it believed one billion user accounts had been affected but it wasn’t until October 2017 that it confirmed that all three billion of its user accounts had been impacted. If the court approves the settlement, it will mark the first recovery in a shareholder lawsuit involving a data breach. Meanwhile, experts argue Yahoo will continue to face the fallout from the breaches that occurred several years ago. Despite the incidents, Verizon acquired Yahoo for $4.48 billion last year – $350 million less than the original $4.8 billion offer after the breaches were disclosed. Source
  8. Crooks are using Yahoo!'s advertising network to infect PCs with the CryptoWall ransomware, it's claimed. Windows software nasty CryptoWall encrypts a victim's files using an OpenSSL-generated key pair before demanding a ransom to decrypt the data. It communicates with its masters using RC4-encrypted messages to command servers hidden in the Tor network, we're told. It was initially spread by spamming email inboxes with "incoming fax" scans or links to files held in cloud storage that were booby-trapped with malicious code. The malware then evolved to use poisoned web advertisements – or malvertising – to spread across the internet. Typically, when someone clicks on an ad, the site displaying the advert, and the advertising network serving it, take a small fee for referring the visitor to the advertiser's website. It appears CryptoWall victims are lured into clicking on adverts, which refer the browser along a chain of websites until it reaches a server that exploits a vulnerability to infect the computer. Since the end of July, researchers at security defence biz Blue Coat have beentracking the spread of CryptoWall through online advertising networks; websites referring on visitors have been set up in India, Myanmar, Indonesia, France and other countries. According to Blue Coat, Yahoo!'s ad network is favored by the crooks because it has a huge reach – its ads appear on a large number of sites – and can therefore funnel more victims towards the exploit sites than shady ad slingers, which are much smaller. “What looked like a minor malvertising attack quickly became more significant as the cyber criminals were successfully able to gain the trust of the major ad networks like ads.yahoo.com,” Chris Larsen, a senior malware researcher at Blue Coat, explained in a statement. “The interconnected nature of ad servers and the ease with which would-be-attackers can build trust to deliver malicious ads points to a broken security model that leaves users exposed to the types of ransomware and other malware that can steal personal, financial and credential information." Larsen later told The Register on Friday that "ads.yahoo.com was not among the sites directly connected to the CryptoWall-infected sites. It was, however, among the referrers to one of the malvertising sites that was directly connected." There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by Yahoo!. The web giant had not responded to a request for comment at time of publication. Source
  9. Yahoo plans to enable end-to-end encryption for all of its Mail users next year. The company is working with Google on the project and the encryption will be mostly transparent for users, making it as simple as possible to use. Alex Stamos, CISO at Yahoo, said that the project has been a priority since he joined the company a few months ago and will be a key way to make online life safer for millions of users. Yahoo is using the browser plugin Google released in June that enables end-to-end encryption of all data leaving the browser. Stamos said Yahoo is working to ensure that its system works well with Google’s so that encrypted communications between Yahoo Mail and Gmail users will be simple. “The goal is to have complete compatibility with Gmail,” Stamos said during a talk at the Black Hat USA conference here Thursday. The email encryption isn’t the only security improvement on the horizon for Yahoo. The company is also working on enabling HSTS on its servers, as well as certificate transparency. HSTS (HTTP strict transport security) allows Web sites to tell users’ browsers that they only want to communicate over an encrypted connection. Thecertificate transparency concept involves a system of public logs that list all certificates issued by cooperating certificate authorities. It requires the CAs to voluntarily submit their certificates, but it would help protect against attacks such as spoofing Web sites or man-in-the-middle. The security upgrades on the docket at Yahoo are aimed at making it easier for everyday users to use the Internet safely and securely, without needing to be security or privacy experts, Stamos said. The security industry spends a lot of time working out defenses and new products to protect against exotic attacks while users are being targeted by much more mundane attacks that still don’t have effective solutions. “Post-Snowden, we have a strain of nihilism that’s keeping us from focusing on what’s real,” Stamos said. “We as an industry have failed. We’ve failed to keep users safe. “If we can’t build systems that our users in the twenty-fifth percentile can use, we’re failing. And we are failing. We don’t build systems that normal people can use.” Source
  10. A new remote administration Trojan (RAT) receives command and control instructions through Yahoo Mail, and could be easily modified to communicate with its authors through Gmail or other popular webmail providers. This new RAT’s significance stems primarily from its ability to elude the notice of intrusion detection systems by operating over seemingly benign domains. According to an analysis written Paul Rascagnères of the German security firm G-Data and published by Virus Bulletin, RATs generally transmit the information they steal from victimized machines over a specified port, or by regularly connecting to remote server. Each of these behaviors are well-known flags that are likely to trigger detection on corporate networks. This RAT, known as IcoScript, has gone largely undetected since 2012. Part of the reason, Rascagnères explains, is because access to webmail services is rarely blocked or blacklisted in corporate environments and such traffic is very unlikely to be considered suspicious. IcoScript makes use of Component Object Model technology in Microsoft Windows, making HTTP requests for remote services through Internet Explorer. Another of its novelties is that it appears to use its uniquely tailored scripting language to perform various tasks. In the sample analyzed by G-Data, IcoScript connected to a Yahoo Mail account controlled by its authors. The authors manipulate the malware by sending specially crafted emails containing coded instructions. “Moreover,” Rascagnères writes, “the modular nature of the malware makes it very easy for the attackers to switch to another webmail service, such as Gmail, or even to use services like Facebook or LinkedIn to control the malware while running a low risk of the communication being blocked.” Incident response teams generally contain malware like this, Rascagnères claims, by blocking the URL on the proxy. However, in the case of IcoScript, these URLs are not easily blocked, because they originate from the servers of a trusted service. The efficacy of IcoScript is likely to increase if the attackers diversify the sources of their command can control, configuring samples of the malware to use any number of legitimate webmail providers, social networking sites, and cloud storage services. “The containment must be performed on the network flow in real time,” Rascagnères concludes. “This approach is harder to realize and to maintain. It demonstrates both that attackers know how incident response teams work, and that they can adapt their communication to make detection and containment both complicated and expensive.” Source
  11. Aviate was one of the better Android launcher alternatives before it was purchased by Yahoo, and the quality has stayed high throughout the rest of the app's run in beta. Aviate has finally left beta, and has been released for all Android users (on 4.0 or higher), no invite necessary. The app has been rebranded with Yahoo's name, and has gotten some Yahoo integration. The core of the app is still the same: it will dynamically change the app links shown based on contextual factors. That means, you'll see news and weather when you wake up, productivity apps while at work, and music or navigation while driving. Yahoo has integrated a couple of its services for these times, so you'll see weather from Yahoo, and news briefs from Yahoo's News Digest app. Calendar integration has been enhanced, and a swipe from the bottom of the screen will bring in your favorite contacts. Interestingly, while the app has gotten Yahoo branding and integration, Yahoo is promising to "stay agnostic" and add in non-Yahoo content as well. The plan is to integrate whatever service offers the best content for a specific context. We'll have to wait and see what that could mean. Download Link Google Playstore Source
  12. Starting today, anyone visiting Yahoo will be tracked by default, regardless of whether they've enabled the Do Not Track setting on their browser. It's a bold stance by the company, which described the shift as a personalized experience by default, and a serious blow for the Do Not Track standard, which has suffered major setbacks in recent years. Users can still manage their privacy settings through the Yahoo Privacy settings, but they'll have to do so individually, and Yahoo sites won't be responding to any automated anti-ad-tracking signals like DNT. "We fundamentally believe the best web is a personalized one," the privacy team said in a blog post. Do Not Track was envisioned as a single setting that would allow users to opt-out of ad-tracking across the web, but the standard has struggled to get advertisers and browserson-board. Both groups make hundreds of millions of dollars from targeting ads based on user's browsing habits, and proved reluctant to build an opt-out method that might cut into their profits. After legislation that would mandate the setting stalled in congress last year, DNT's future has been unclear. Neither Google nor Facebook currently honors the setting, although many groups continue to support it. Source
  13. Yahoo! The one who enabled the HTTPS connections by default from the beginning of this year, the one who encrypts traffic moving between its data centers from 31st March, now has been accused of harming every Mailing List across the world. Experts from the Internet Engineering Council John R. Levine, specialized in email infrastructure and spam filtering claimed this in the post titled “Yahoo breaks every mailing list in the world including the IETF's.” on Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Yahoo has established a new rule to automatically exclude Yahoo users from the mailing list, because Mailing List server does not comply with DMARC requirements and they strongly modifies each email. He talks about an “emerging e-mail security scheme” known as Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) that has been implemented by almost every largest email service providers, including Gmail, Hotmail, Comcast, and Yahoo. DMARC helps to reduce the potential for email-based abuse, such as phishing emails and email spoofing, by solving issues related to email authentication protocols. The receiver of the email performs email authentication by using the well-known Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) mechanisms. DMARC “lets a domain owner make assertions about the From: address, in particular that mail with their domain on the From: line will have a DKIM signature with the same domain, or a bounce address in the same domain that will pass SPF [sender policy framework,” Levin explained. He claimed that the DMARC has drawback, since mailing list is the main weakness for DMARC because “Lists invariably use their own bounce address in their own domain, so the SPF doesn't match. Lists generally modify messages via subject tags, body footers, attachment stripping, and other useful features that break the DKIM signature. So on even the most legitimate list mail like, say, the IETF's, most of the mail fails the DMARC assertions, not due to the lists doing anything 'wrong'.” YAHOO DMARC POLICY UPDATE TO “p=reject,” This would not been a major problem at a large scale but over the weekend yahoo published a DMARC record and changed it’s DMARC policy to “p=reject,” that suggests to reject all the yahoo.com mails that fails DMARC. “I noticed this because I got a blizzard of bounces from my church mailing list, when a subscriber sent a message from her yahoo.com account, and the list got a whole bunch of rejections from Gmail, Hotmail, Comcast, and Yahoo itself. This is definitely a DMARC problem, the bounces say so,” says Levin. This weakness in the mailing lists is not just restricted to only the Yahoo! subscribers, in fact the subscribers at Gmail, Hotmail, Comcast etc are also facing it. There are a number of different bounces that people are reporting due to Yahoo publishing a DMARC record of p=reject. “Since Yahoo mail provokes bounces from lots of other mail systems, innocent subscribers at Gmail, Hotmail, etc. not only won't get Yahoo subscribers' messages, but all those bounces are likely to bounce them off the lists,” Levin says, adding, “A few years back we had a similar problem due to an overstrict implementation of DKIM ADSP, but in this case, DMARC is doing what Yahoo is telling it to do.” HOW TO KEEP YOUR 'MAILING LIST' UP! Levine offers three suggestions for people who run mailing lists or other mail software that might legitimately pass on a yahoo.com message, to improve the condition: Suspend posting permission of all yahoo.com addresses, to limit damage Tell Yahoo users to get a new mail account somewhere else, pronto, if they want to continue using mailing lists If you know people at Yahoo, ask if perhaps this wasn't such a good idea. It might sound like a perfectly reasonable security measure, Yahoo should consider reversing the change. Source
  14. Yahoo is one of the many technology companies demanding reforms on US surveillance laws, and now says it's taken additional security measures to protect data it handles. Today the company announced that it's been encrypting traffic from its data centers since the beginning of this week, and plans to add encryption to additional services like Yahoo Messenger. That's on top of existing measures that let web users access secured versions of its various properties like Yahoo News, Sports, and Finance. "Hundreds of Yahoos have been working around the clock over the last several months to provide a more secure experience for our users and we want to do even more moving forward," wrote Alex Stamos, Yahoo's chief information security officer in a blog post today. "Our goal is to encrypt our entire platform for all users at all time, by default." In a meeting with reporters today, Stamos — who joined Yahoo three weeks ago — did not specifically call out the National Security Agency by name, but made it clear that revelations about NSA spying led directly to Yahoo's move toward more encryption. "The impetus for the huge push is obviously government revelations," Stamos told reporters. "The side effect is that the protections we're putting in place protect in a lot of different scenarios." Yahoo was one of eight companies including Google, Facebook, Apple, and others that called on the US government for reforms to the NSA in December. That request came amid heightened interest in revelations of NSA surveillance programs on US citizens. Google, for its part, began encrypting Gmail just last month, citing the need keep others from being able to "listen in on your messages." Encrypting everything makes that scenario more difficult, though Stamos warned that the system is not foolproof. "It's true that if there's any individual that's being targeted by a top-tier nation state, they're probably going to find a way. But that's very different from being able to keep track of the email and browsing habits of millions of people at the same time," Stamos said. "Anything we can do to protect users from non-targeted, widespread surveillance is our duty, and that's why we're trying to do." Casey Newton contributed to this report. Source
  15. By Zac Miners 1 hour ago Yahoo has acquired Wander, a startup that makes a diary app, as part of the Internet companys continuing efforts to improve its products on mobile devices. Wander makes an app for the iPhone called Days, which is designed to let its users share photos and animated GIFs in a single package from a daylong period. The idea is to give the images context, as opposed to sharing photos individually, as users do with Instagram. Wanders team of five will be joining Yahoos mobile and emerging products unit in New York City, the division of Yahoo responsible for the companys recently redesigned Mail, Weather and Flickr apps, among other products. Weve accepted an offer to bring our work on daily habits to Yahoo, Wander said in a Tuesday blog post announcing that the company had been acquired. A Yahoo spokeswoman confirmed the deal via email. Terms were not disclosed. Wander said its Days app, which launched last year, will live on as a standalone entity. But the team also said it would be working on some new projects as part of Yahoos mobile unit. Yahoo declined to comment further. Yahoo has been on a buying spree since Marissa Mayer took the reins as CEO in 2012since then Yahoo has gobbled up more than 20 smaller companies. The executive has said that providing a suite of products around daily habits, particularly on mobile devices, would be key to the companys rebuilding efforts. The Wander deal seems to serve as another acqui-hire for Yahoo, boosting the companys engineering talent. But Yahoo does want to make photo sharing betterlast year it gave Flickr a major redesign with a terabyte of free storage to boot. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2096841/yahoo-acquires-diary-app-maker-wander-with-an-eye-toward-mobile.html
  16. Sat Feb 8, 2014 5:42pm EST (Reuters) - Internet portal Yahoo is partnering with consumer reviews website Yelp to beef up local results in its search engine, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer unveiled the news at an employee meeting on Friday, the newspaper said, citing a person present at the meeting. Yahoo's search engine will incorporate Yelp's listings and reviews and the feature will be launched in the coming weeks, the newspaper said. The terms of the deal, which could help Yahoo compete with market leader Google, were not revealed. Yahoo and Yelp could not be immediately reached for comment. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/08/us-yahoo-yelp-search-idUSBREA170WN20140208
  17. By STEPHEN BRAUN and MICHAEL LIEDTKE Feb. 3, 2014 5:59 PM EST WASHINGTON (AP) — Freed by a recent legal deal with government lawyers, major technology firms released new data Monday on how often they are ordered to turn over customer information for secret national security investigations — figures that show that the government collected data on thousands of Americans. The details disclosed by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr provided expanded details from 2012 and 2013 showing how often the government has sought information on the firms' customers in counter-terrorism and other intelligence-related probes. The companies provided limited information in the past about government requests for data, but a new agreement reached last week with the Obama administration allowed a broadened, though still circumscribed, set of figures to be made public. Seeking to reassure customers and business partners alarmed by revelations about the government's massive collection of Internet and computer data, the firms stressed details indicating that only small numbers of their customers were targeted by authorities. Still, even those small numbers showed that thousands of Americans were affected by the government requests approved by judges of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The data releases by the five major tech firms offered a mix of dispassionate graphics, reassurances and protests, seeking to alleviate customer concerns about government spying while pressuring national security officials about the companies' constitutional concerns. The shifting tone in the releases showed the precarious course that major tech firms have had to navigate in recent months, caught between their public commitments to Internet freedom and their enforced roles as data providers to U.S. spy agencies. In a company blog post, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith scolded the U.S. and allied governments for failing to renounce the reported mass interception of Internet data carried by communications cables. Top lawyers and executives for major tech firms had previously raised alarms about media reports describing that hacking by U.S. and UK spy agencies and cited them during conversations with U.S. officials during President Barack Obama's internal review of planned changes to the government's spying operations. "Despite the president's reform efforts and our ability to publish more information, there has not yet been any public commitment by either the U.S. or other governments to renounce the attempted hacking of Internet companies," Smith said in a Microsoft blog release. Smith added that Microsoft planned to press the government "for more on this point, in collaboration with others across our industry." The figures released Monday came just a week after major tech firms announced a legal agreement with the Justice Department that provided for a limited, but broadened ability to tell the public about government information requests. But lawyers and executive for the companies openly vented their discomfort with the government's continuing insistence that they could only provide broad ranges instead of the actual numbers of government requests. The companies said they would press for narrower data ranges that would offer more details. "We will also continue to advocate for still narrower disclosure ranges, which will provide a more accurate picture of the number of national security-related requests," said Erika Rottenberg, LinkedIn's general counsel. A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on the companies' releases and comments. The spokesman pointed to a late January statement by DNI James Clapper and Attorney General Eric Holder that said the agreement would allow the firms to "disclose more information than ever before to their customers." Liedtke reported from San Francisco. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/internet-firms-release-data-nsa-spy-requests
  18. Jan. 30, 2014 7:19 PM EST FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, file photo, Yahoo president and CEO Marissa Mayer speaks during a keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas. Yahoo said Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, that usernames and passwords of its email customers have been stolen and used to access accounts, but the company isn't saying how many accounts have been affected. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File) NEW YORK (AP) Usernames and passwords of some of Yahoo's email customers have been stolen and used to gather personal information about people those Yahoo mail users have recently corresponded with, the company said Thursday. Yahoo didn't say how many accounts have been affected. Yahoo is the second-largest email service worldwide, after Google's Gmail, according to the research firm comScore. There are 273 million Yahoo mail accounts worldwide, including 81 million in the U.S. It's the latest in a string of security breaches that have allowed hackers to nab personal information using software that analysts say is ever more sophisticated. Up to 70 million customers of Target stores had their personal information and credit and debit card numbers compromised late last year, and Neiman Marcus was the victim of a similar breach in December. "It's an old trend, but it's much more exaggerated now because the programs the bad guys use are much more sophisticated now," says Avivah Litan, a security analyst at the technology research firm Gartner. "We're clearly under attack." Yahoo Inc. said in a blog post on its breach that "The information sought in the attack seems to be names and email addresses from the affected accounts' most recent sent emails." That could mean hackers were looking for additional email addresses to send spam or scam messages. By grabbing real names from those sent folders, hackers could try to make bogus messages appear more legitimate to recipients. "It's much more likely that I'd click on something from you if we email all the time," says Richard Mogull, analyst and CEO of Securois, a security research and advisory firm. The bigger danger: access to email accounts could lead to more serious breaches involving banking and shopping sites. That's because many people reuse passwords across many sites, and also because many sites use email to reset passwords. Hackers could try logging in to such a site with the Yahoo email address, for instance, and ask that a password reminder be sent by email. Litan said hackers appear to be "trying to collect as much information as they can on people. Putting all this stuff together makes it easier to steal somebody's identity." Yahoo said the usernames and passwords weren't collected from its own systems, but from a third-party database. Because so many people use the same passwords across multiple sites, it's possible hackers broke in to some service that lets people use email addresses as their usernames. The hackers could have grabbed passwords stored at that service, filtered out the accounts with Yahoo addresses and used that information to log in to Yahoo's mail systems, said Johannes Ullrich, dean of research at the SANS Institute, a group devoted to security research and education. The breach is the second mishap for Yahoo's mail service in two months. In December, the service suffered a multi-day outage that prompted Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to issue an apology. Yahoo said it is resetting passwords on affected accounts and has "implemented additional measures" to block further attacks. The company would not comment beyond the information in its blog post. It said it is working with federal law enforcement. ___ Online: Yahoo blog post: http://yahoo.tumblr.com/post/75083532312/important-security-update-for-yahoo-mail-users http://bigstory.ap.org/article/yahoo-email-account-passwords-stolen
  19. January 29, 2014, 3:56 PM PST One of the more interesting factoids if you are thinking about the upgraded role of Lenovo in the U.S. smartphone market going forward after it bought Motorola Mobility today is that Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang is an observer on its board. While he does not have any voting rights as a director, apparently due to issues related the Hong Kong stock exchange, Yang did land the now high-profile cross-cultural gig that also earns him up to $200,000 a year in cash and stock about a year ago. And sources said he was quite involved in helping the company think through its nearly $3 billion deal to buy the Motorola handset business from Google to further diversify its offerings in the mobile arena. Ironic, of course, given Yang also lent a hand to the search giant in the late 1990s, giving it a plum opportunity to power Yahoo search when it was in its heyday. The arrangement was one of the most important initial transactions for Google in its early formation and most definitely helped its brand become known. Interestingly, Yang also was a key player in Yahoo making the $1 billion investment in Chinas Alibaba Group, one that has appreciated to such a degree that it has proved to be a lifesaver for its current CEO Marissa Mayer also an ex-Googler. In an interview with me several years ago, Alibabas co-founder and former CEO Jack Ma said Yangs friendship with him was critical and pointed to one particular dinner with Yang in sealing the now prescient deal. Yahoos current stock has risen largely due to that transaction and its current 24 percent stake in Alibaba. It is a boost that has given the company ample air cover as it struggles to right itself (which is, as yesterdays earnings show, a work still very much in progress). Here, Yang deserves obvious kudos (and a big, expensive present from Mayer for making her look so good would be in order too). As most know and I also gave him a very hard time then he had a tough tenure when he was Yahoo CEO from mid-2007 to early 2009, having to face down a hostile takeover attempt from Microsoft, as well as other vexing issues at the company. Since he ended involvement with Yahoo several years ago, though, Yang has become an wide-ranging, if shy, investor. A few weeks ago at lunch in Silicon Valley, he walked me through a range of the companies he has invested in and looked about as excited and charged up as I have ever seen him in the nearly 20 years we have known each other (Yes, Jerry we are old!). He has been doing this via several investment vehicles, most especially his own Ame Cloud Ventures. In a post I did about that last May, I called him Jerry 2.0, a name he of course grimaced at (just like I know he is grimacing now at all this attention I am giving him). I feel like the thing I missed the most is what really early entrepreneurs were doing, he said at the time. There are no LPs just me, myself and I. I invest in things for the long term and have a long horizon and the flexibility. Ame means rain (雨) in Japanese and happens to be the acronym of the names of his wife and kids. At the time and also again recently, he said he was very interested activity around mobility, sensors, cloud and big data that is enabling the next generation of computing. Among his investments is Tomfoolery, which is aimed at improving mobile enterprise apps and which, drum roll, Yahoo is buying. He also has invested in small satellite maker Planet Labs and body-tech startup Lumo. In addition, Yang also works closely with another former Yahoo, Ash Patel who started the $10 million micro-venture fund Morado Ventures, which means purple in Spanish, and has a lot of ex-Yahoos as investors as well as individual angel and former Yahoo CTO Farzad Nazem. Yang has also remained active in Asia. The Taiwan-born entrepreneur is very active in the region and considered quite a superstar there. As I previously noted, to select from the companies he mulls, Yang has only one young associate, Nick Adams, who codes, helps on deal mechanics, interacts with entrepreneurs and also has had extensive experience in Asia. That has been important, since Adams also leads business development for Chinas Cloud Valley, which is run by Edward Tian, one of Yangs strategic partners in that country. It was with Cloud Valley that Evernote, the hot productivity app in which Yang is also an investor, partnered to create a business there. Yang has also served as a director of Chinas Alibaba and also Yahoo Japan, although he left both boards in 2012. But he has also had some trouble related to China, most especially in taking the heat in a difficult Congressional hearing in 2007 concerning a controversial move that Yahoo China made there in handing over information about a journalist Shi Tao to authorities. Tao was then jailed in 2004. At the time of his appointment to the Lenovo board, its CEO Yang Yuanquing said: Jerrys appointment as an observer to our board furthers Lenovos reputation as a transparent international company As Lenovo continues to build on its momentum and establish itself as a global technology leader, Jerrys perspective, experience and proven entrepreneurial spirit will help us continue to drive growth and expand our business. Lenovo has tried to diversify its board in recent years to make it different from others in China by pushing transparency, which will surely help with any regulatory issues in getting approval of the Motorola deal. http://recode.net/2014/01/29/jerry-yangs-lenovo-connection-in-china-and-lets-not-forget-alibaba-either
  20. Turk

    Alibaba’s Doing Great!

    By Kara Swisher January 28, 2014, 2:00 PM PST Here’s the only chart that matters from Yahoo’s fourth-quarter slides — the one showing a 53 percent increase in revenue and a 58 percent rise in gross profit at China’s Alibaba Group. Yahoo’s core business: Not so much, with continued revenue declines in a fast-growing industry. But — thanks be to Jerry Yang — Yahoo still owns 24 percent of Alibaba, which is set to go public later this year. Here are the rest of the Yahoo charts and press releases and such to peruse, most of which paint a picture of a shrinking business: http://recode.net/2014/01/28/heres-the-only-chart-that-matters-at-yahoo-in-q4-alibabas-doing-great
  21. By Alicia Barry Updated 45 minutes ago Shares in US technology giant Apple have been punished on Wall Street after iPhone sales disappointed investors. Photo: Apple's iPhone 5 has not sold as strongly as analysts hoped. After the closing bell yesterday, Apple said it sold a record 51 million iPhones in the three months to December 28. However, that was significantly fewer than the sale of 55 million estimated by most market analysts. Investors took their first chance to react in trade today sending Apple shares down 8 per cent to $US506.50. The company's share price has fallen steadily through most of 2013 from its peak of just above $US700 in October 2012. Yahoo revenues keep sliding A decline in fourth quarter revenue has hit also Yahoo's shares in after hours trade. The internet company earned $US1.27 billion ($1.45 billion) in the period compared to $US1.35 ($1.53 billion) a year ago. It blames a fall in display advertising revenue for the decline. The revenue led to a net profit of $US348 million ($397 million). Shares in the company slipped close to 6 per cent in after hours trading, on the news which was released after Wall Street's main market had closed. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-29/apple-iphone-sales-disappoint-as-does-yahoo-revenue/5224620
  22. This story was published: 1 day ago January 22, 2014 8:22AM Yahoo websites logged just shy of 195.2 million unique visitors in December while second-place Google saw about 192.3 million unique visitors. Yahoo was the most popular online venue visited from US desktop computers in December as modern lives increasingly revolve around using mobile devices to connect with the internet. Yahoo continued to hold a crown it claimed in August of last year after edging past Google in a ComScore ranking of online properties most frequently visited from desktop computers in the United States. Freshly released figures from the industry tracker show that Yahoo websites logged just shy of 195.2 million unique visitors in December while second-place Google saw about 192.3 million unique visitors. ComScore pegged the overall US desktop internet explorers at 224,057 million people. The lead ranking continued to be good news for Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, who moved from Google in mid-2012. But Yahoo still trails Google in revenues and advertising, particularly in the key search segment. More visits translate into the potential to bring in more money from online ads. Mayer has made improving Yahoo's popularity on smartphones and tablets a priority as the faded internet search pioneer is reinvented as a "premier digital media" company. Yahoo shares were down more than two per cent to $39.06 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq exchange in New York City. http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/yahoo-beats-google-in-us-desktop-visits-in-december/story-fn5lic6c-1226807335763
  23. The First three studies analyse "precision" and "recall" of the search engines, the last study focuses on malwares, infections delivered by the search engines. According to the studies, overall, Google is a better search engine followed by Bing and Yahoo. A Comparative Study of Bing, Yahoo, Google (BYG) Search Engines Kumar et al. American Journal of Engineering Research, Vol 2, Iss 4, Pp 39-43 (2013) Conclusion The World Wide Web with its short history has experienced significant changes. While the earlier search engines were established based on the traditional database and information retrieval methods, many other algorithms and methods have since been added to them to improve their results. The precision value varies among the search engines depending on the database size. The gigantic size of the Web and vast variety of the users' needs and interests as well as the potential of the Web as a commercial market have brought about many changes and a great demand for the development of better search engines. The present study estimated the precision of Google, Yahoo and Bing. The results of the study also showed that the precision of Google was high as compared to Yahoo and Bing and Yahoo has better precision than Bing. It was observed that Google, Yahoo and Bing showed diversity in their search capabilities, user interface and also in the quality of information. However these two search engines retrieved comparatively more relevant sites or links as compared to irrelevant sites. Google utilized the Web graph or link structure of the Web to become one of the most comprehensive and reliable search engines. This study provided evidence that the Google was able to give better search results with more precision and more relative recall as compared to Yahoo which would explain why it is the most widely used search engine for the Internet. Free Full Text: http://www.ajer.org/papers/v2(4)/F0243943.pdf A Comparative Study of Google and Bing Search Engines in Context of Precision and Relative Recall Parameter Usmani et al. International Journal on Computer Science and Engineering, Vol 4, Iss 1, Pp 21-34 (2012) Conclusion The present study estimated the precision and relative recall of Google and Bing. The result of study showed that the precision of Google was high for simple one word queries, the precision of Bing was high for simple multi word queries and complex multi word queries both. Relative recall of Google was high for all simple one word queries, simple multi word queries and complex multi word queries. These two search engines gave more irrelevant results compare to relevant results. This comparison study showed that the Google gave better search results with more relative recall and precision for simple one word queries compare to Bing. Bing gave high precision for simple multi word queries and complex multi word queries. Over all precision was high for Bing but relative recall of Bing was less. This means that Google search was better for simple word while for complex words queries, Bing was better than Google. The correlation between simple one-word query and Complex oneword query of Google is weakly correlated so it should be improve to search all type of queries. The correlation between simple one-word query and Complex one-word query of Bing is negative and near to 0 so it should be improve to search all types of queries Free Full Text: http://www.enggjournals.com/ijcse/doc/IJCSE12-04-01-110.pdf Comparative Analysis of Some Search Engines Taiwo et al. South African Journal of Science, Vol 106, Iss 11/12(2010) Conclusion For both response time and precision, Google proved to be the best performer of all the search engines evaluated. Hence it is the search engine we recommend. MSN/Bing, the second best performer, is also recommended. Gigablast and AlltheWeb were the worst overall performers in this study. Free Abstract: http://www.sajs.co.za/index.php/SAJS/article/view/169 Free Full Text: http://www.sajs.co.za/sites/default/files/publications/pdf/169-2706-8-PB.pdf Google vs. Bing: Search Engines Deliver Infected Websites as Their Top Results Markus Selinger, 25th March 2013 av-test.org Google achieved the best results in the study, followed by Bing. Attention must, however, be drawn to the fact that Bing delivered five times as many websites containing malware as Google during the study. The Russian search engine Yandex even delivered 10 times as many infected websites in comparison with Google. http://www.av-test.org/en/news/news-single-view/artikel/google-vs-bing-search-engines-deliver-infected-websites-as-their-top-results/
  24. By Nick Bilton Last year Google purchased Boston Dynamics, maker of the Atlas robot, is a high-mobility humanoid robot designed to negotiate rough terrain Look at the technology landscape today and what do you see? A few companies — Facebook, Yahoo, Apple, Twitter and Google — competing for the same sorts of revenue: advertising, search, location and some mobile hardware. Now look into the future of the technology landscape and what do you see? I’ll answer that for you: Google, Google and Google. Over the last year alone Google has acquired more than a dozen tech hardware outfits working on projects that might seem crazy today, but could be part of our not-too-distant future. Let’s look at just a small collection of Google’s recent acquisitions. There have been several humanoid robot-makers, including Boston Dynamics, which makes two- and four-legged machines that walk and run with an uncanny sense of balance. Then there was Holomni, a small design firm that makes high-tech robotic wheels, presumably for more robots, or even Google’s fleet of driverless cars. And the acquisition of Makani Power, which makes airborne wind turbines, for, well, who knows how Google will use those? Yet many of its competitors seem to be stuck in the present. Look at Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter’s acquisitions, all of which have purchased a lot of software, design, advertising and content companies. No robots. No self-driving cars. No wind turbines. It’s unclear where Apple fits into all of this — the company, is, after all, better at keeping secrets than the National Security Agency. Apple also clearly has the money to compete with Google. But if Apple is working in secret on its own robot army and futuristic universe, Google is building for the future in public. On Monday, Google announced that it is purchasing Nest Labs, which makes Internet-connected home devices like a thermostat and smoke alarm, for $3.2 billion in cash. What will Google use those little nests for? Likely, it will be connected to what Tony Fadell, the chief executive of Nest, told The New York Times last year, is creating a world of objects with awareness. “Every time I turn on the TV, that’s information that someone is home. When the refrigerator door opens, that’s another sensor, more information,” Mr. Fadell said. His thermostat can track and collect that information. But the future will look different, when we have “sensor networks that can evolve, all interacting with these learning patterns.” Of course, all of these wacky ideas and Google acquisitions could flop. Predicting a future that looks like an alternative universe only technophiles want to live in, with robots roaming the earth and sensors in our living rooms, does seem a stretch. Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, recognizes that many of these ideas floating around the company are “moon shots.” But he also believes that many of them will be successful and position the company for a future his competitors don’t yet appear to be planning for. In other words, he’s betting that the future will belong to Google, Google and Google. http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/13/shooting-for-the-moon-google-hopes-to-own-the-future/?_r=0
  25. By Shona Ghosh Posted on 9 Jan 2014 at 15:21 Millions of PCs may have been infected by malware inserted into ads on Yahoo websites - and then used to mine bitcoins. Yahoo confirmed this week that hackers had managed to insert malware into ads displayed on some of its European sites, but hasn't said how many users have been affected. Security company Light Cyber estimates that several million PCs have been infected, and found the malware had been used to install Bitcoin-mining software on some machines. Separate estimates this week from security firm Fox-IT suggest the UK has one of the highest numbers of affected users. Light Cyber founder and vice president for product and strategy, Giora Engel, said the hackers were potentially building a huge network of Bitcoin-mining PCs, since the task is too labour intensive for one machine. He added that the malware had delivered other tools that gave hackers control over infected PCs. "This campaign downloaded a variety of different tools - some were malware to enable attackers to control each infected PC and steal passwords," he told PC Pro. "Other tools were more specific – the Bitcoin mining tool is not malware itself, it's something anyone can download and generate Bitcoin." Engel estimated that, with several million machines at their disposal, the hackers could be making $10,000 (approximately £6,000) a day. Security companies have said the number of Bitcoin-related attacks will rise this year, after the virtual currency shot up in value. One Bitcoin is currently worth around £500, though its value fluctuates. http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/security/386452/yahoo-malware-turns-millions-of-pcs-into-bitcoin-network
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