DJIA: 17,546.95  -51.25 (-0.29%) | NASDAQ: 5,104.35  -11.032 (-0.22%) | S&P 500: 2,092.74  -5.30 (-0.25%) Markets status unavailable

  • Show Article Details

    Yahoo's (YHOO) ad network sent malware to the computers of people who visited the company's popular family of sites for a week, the New York Times (NYT) reported.The issue, uncovered by researchers at Malwarebytes, is a warning that even the most trusted sites can sometimes contain hidden threats. The attack started on July 28 and has now been resolved, according to the Times. A Yahoo (YHOO) spokesperson declined to comment to The Washington Post on how long the issue persisted, saying that the company's investigation is ongoing.The attack leveraged a bug in Adobe Flash -- a graphics program with a history of security problems that many developers have urged users to dump.The type of scheme used, known as "malvertising," takes advantage of the online advertising system that supports much of the Web: The bad guys buy up digital ad space, then use it to serve up malicious software to visitors of legitimate sites. In this case, those sites included Yahoo's (YHOO) sports, news and finance sites, according to the Times.When people using Windows computers visited the site, the infected ads sent them malicious code that checked to see if their computer had an out of date version of Flash -- which the bad guys could then potentially use to hijack the computer."As soon as we learned of this issue, our team took action to block this advertiser from our network," a Yahoo (YHOO) spokesperson said in a statement. "Unfortunately, disruptive ad behavior affects the entire tech industry. Yahoo (YHOO) has a long history of engagement on this issue and is committed to working with our peers to create a secure advertising experience."It's unclear how many people may have been hit by the attack, which did not require users to do anything other than browse to a page featuring the malicious advertisements. But MalwareBytes noted that Yahoo's (YHOO) home page receives billions of visits a month, and its other news and entertainment sites receive hundreds of millions of visits.Yahoo (YHOO) declined to comment on how many people were caught up in the advertising attack, but said "the scale of the attack was grossly misrepresented in initial media reports."






  • Show Article Details

    Drone have been used to drop bombs, spy on foreign countries and monitor how farmers work their fields. Now they could help hack into personal computers.According to e-mails posted by WikiLeaks, military contractors may want to do just that. Boeing (BA) and Hacking Team — a Milan-based company criticized for selling surveillance software to repressive governments — were in talks earlier this year to plant malware on drones to perform such activities, according to the e-mails, which were stolen from Hacking Team in July.According to an e-mail that summarizes the contents of a meeting between the two companies, Boeing (BA) was searching for a "ruggedized" network injector "transportable by drone (!)."Drone and network analysts offer a scenario about how this type of technology could work:A highly desired al-Qaeda operative is on the lam, hiding out in a bungalow in the foothills of some not-so-allied country, which may or may not be protecting him from U.S. detection. The American military could try hacking into that government's computer network to look for intelligence, but reaching across the globe through a keyboard is pretty hard and time-consuming.Or, the military could put an unmanned drone in the air equipped with malware to fly over the highly desired operative's bungalow and conduct some surveillance.That kind of hardware on an unmanned aircraft would give its user the ability to conduct cyberwarfare and espionage in ways that formerly required close proximity with the target, according to those analysts."You want to be able to place yourself in the middle of traffic to surveil it or gain access to it," said independent network researcher Collin Anderson. "What this gives you is the ability to be in the same room as all the other machines you’re tying to look out for."A Hacking Team spokesman said Boeing (BA) and Hacking Team have "no business relationship at all."Boeing (BA), which makes the ScanEagle drone for the military and is pitching the Phantom Eye drone as well, declined to comment on its communication with Hacking Team but said in a statement that it is important to understand new hardware and software capabilities in order to offer them to clients."Understanding the payload technologies available to our customers in this market is essential to providing them with the services they require," Boeing (BA) said.The ability to hack someone using a drone may be attractive for the military, said Michael Blades, a senior aerospace and defense industry analyst with Frost & Sullivan."We’re used to drones getting information from their sensors and cameras and stuff, but there’s nothing that says they can’t get information from a data link, or use malware in a drone to corrupt a system," he said. "Military clients would want that."The kind of hacks drone operators would be able to conduct aren't incredibly advanced, say industry analysts, but they do give users a whole other suite of options to gather "signals intelligence," or information scraped from electronic signals or networks.Disabling a WiFi network — which would curb an enemy's ability to communicate or fly their own drones — or creating a false network called a "honeypot" — which would allow hackers to access devices that connect to it — require proximity but not a lot of technical skill."Putting it on a drone sounds science fiction, but these tools are something that any high school student with a little technical knowledge can use," Collins said.That means they could be more attractive to military-industry buyers, analysts say."There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of beneficial economic applications that drones can do," said Colin Snow, chief executive and founder of Drone Analyst, a California-based civilian aircraft consultancy. "It replaces a lot of the dull, dirty and dangerous jobs."And now, perhaps, they might also be able to help hack into your computer.






  • Show Article Details

    Sprint (S) has been polishing the skin of the wireless apple. But it hasn't fixed the rot at the core. The wireless carrier reported a smaller-than-expected fiscal first-quarter loss on Tuesday and said it added postpaid phone subscribers in May, June and July.

  • Show Article Details

    Shares of Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH) were gaining 0.97% to $63.47 Tuesday, ahead of the release of the business software company's second quarter financial results before the market opens on Wednesday. Analysts expect Cognizant to report earnings of 73 cents and revenue of $3.03 billion for the second quarter.

  • Show Article Details

    Before World War II, red-brick textile mills that processed cotton and wove it into cloth were all over the southern United States, dotting the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama. But in the last 50 years, automation, free trade agreements and competition from countries like China whittled down the historic industry until it was almost gone.Now some textile jobs are coming back, but on much different terms. As the New York Times (NYT) reported Sunday, some Chinese manufacturers are setting up shop in the United States, after finding it cheaper to produce their goods in the American South than in China.Keer Group, a Chinese yarn-maker, is investing $218 million in a factory in South Carolina. Another Chinese manufacturer, JN Fibers, is investing $45 million in the state. And Indian company called ShriVallabh Pittie is investing $70 million in a yarn-spinning plant in nearby Sylvania, Ga.The changes are happening in other industries and locations, as well: Chinese auto glass maker Fuyao is investing in a $230 million production facility in Ohio, and Chinese acquirers are expanding manufacturing capacity at Cirrus Aviation in Minnesota and Nexteer Automotive (NTXVF) in Michigan.An index created by Boston Consulting shows how much the difference between the cost of manufacturing something in the United States and making the same thing in China has narrowed. In 2004, a good that could be made for a dollar in the United States could be manufactured in China for 86.5 cents. One decade later, that $1 product in the United States would cost 95.6 cents to make in China — not a whole lot of savings.The narrowing of the gap has a little to do with what's happening in America and more to do with what's happening in China.Americans are still making far more in wages than Chinese manufacturing workers. Adjusted for productivity, Chinese factory workers made $12.47 an hour last year, a little more than half of what American workers made, $22.32 an hour, according to figures from the Boston Consulting Group.But other attributes of doing business in America make up the difference in cost. For example, state and local governments offer ample tax breaks and subsidies to companies that set up shop in their jurisdictions. America’s natural gas boom has also lowered the cost of electricity, attracting energy-intensive manufacturing industries.Overcoming trade barriers and taking advantage of free trade agreements can also make a big difference: For example, yarn manufacturers might set up shop in the United States to take advantage of agreements with Mexico and Central America, whose factories transform the yarn into fabric and clothes that are shipped back to American consumers.And U.S. workers are relatively educated and productive, making them especially suited to advanced manufacturing, like auto parts and consumer electronics. All in all, the United States is now one of the lowest-cost locations for manufacturing in the developed world, BCG has said.But Thilo Haneman, a research director at Rhodium Group who studies Chinese investment in the United States, says that the return of these manufacturing jobs is not really due to changes happening in America. “I think what’s mostly being reflected is the change of commercial realities in China,” he says.As China's economy has developed, wages have risen, and so have the costs of land, energy and other raw materials.The chart below, from Boston Consulting Group, shows how the competitiveness of manufacturing in China and Russia has changed over the past 10 years. Even when adjusted for productivity, Chinese manufacturing wages have risen by 187 percent over the decade. Industrial electricity costs have grown 66 percent, while natural gas costs are up 138 percent.In the same time frame, U.S. wages have risen only 27 percent, while natural gas costs have fallen 25 percent, according to Boston Consulting.For products where Chinese companies need access to qualified labor or proximity to American consumers, and don't require lots of low-cost labor, it can make a lot of sense to manufacture in the United States, says Haneman.The yarn-spinning operations are in this mold. That industry is heavily automated and doesn't require a lot of labor. More labor-intensive work, like actually sewing garments, still relies on inexpensive workers in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Mexico and elsewhere. Those types of jobs won’t be coming back to the United States anytime soon.And because the industries that are returning to the United States are heavily automated, they won't provide anywhere near the number of jobs that manufacturing facilities did in past decades. The Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank, estimates that the U.S. trade deficit in goods with China eliminated or displaced 3.2 million American jobs between 2001 and 2013, three-fourths of which were in manufacturing. And that's not to mention the millions of manufacturing jobs that were lost to automation and offshoring in the decades before that.Chinese investment in the United States remains small, but, as the chart below by the Rhodium Group shows, it is bringing tangible economic benefits in the form of jobs.Manufacturing in the United States may never return to the heights it reached in the 1980s, and the industries that come back onshore today are much more automated, creating fewer jobs overall. But these more skilled manufacturing jobs will still be a boon to the U.S. economy. For one, they tend to be better paid: Manufacturers these days need more highly trained workers who know how to operate automated systems.China’s manufacturing prowess is also unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The move out of China mainly applies to new factories, rather than existing ones. Companies have invested lots of money over the last decade to build factories in China that may have life spans of 20 or 30 years, and most will likely see those investments through. And China offers manufacturers other advantages besides just price: It’s become a manufacturing hub where suppliers and consumers of all types of goods can coexist in proximity to each other, which brings down the manufacturer's price.But Haneman of Rhodium Group sees Chinese manufacturing investments in the United States as a great opportunity, not just for individual workers but also the U.S.-China economic relationship. In the past, Americans also benefited from trade ties with China, but in less visible ways — like having cheaper price tags on TVs and sweaters. In contrast, the negative consequence of trade with China — the migration of manufacturing jobs overseas — was far more tangible and immediate to people, says Haneman.Now, with the rise in U.S. employment at Chinese firms, the benefits of trade with China will be a little more visible.You might also like:The dark side of China’s heavy-handed response to its plunging stock marketsThe biggest and most disruptive layoffs in America are coming from the militaryA stunning new look from space at nature, North Korea and Chipotle






  • Show Article Details

     Activision Blizzard (ATVI) is scheduled to release its earnings results for the 2015 second quarter after the market close this afternoon. Analysts are anticipating a year-over-year decrease in earnings and revenue for the second quarter of 2015. The company is expected to post earnings of 8 cents per share on revenue of $666.5 million, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

  • Show Article Details

    The cybersecurity bill being debated this week in Congress could lead to a bonanza of new software products from the likes of FireEye (FEYE), Proofpoint (PFPT) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW), The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act aims to foster communication between government agencies and private companies about cyberattacks, which are becoming increasingly common and have given rise to a renaissance in the cyb...

  • Show Article Details

    A shiny, new laptop might be on your shopping list for the new school year. This year's list contains tablets with touchscreens ranging from a very small 6 inches to very large 10-inch models. Our recommendations include devices running on Apple's (AAPL) iOS, Google's Android and even Microsoft's (MSFT) new Windows 10. Apple (AAPL) iPad Air 2. Apple (AAPL) is the industry's tablet leader for a good reason.

  • Show Article Details

    Meanwhile, display-ad revenues expected to flourish at Facebook (FB). Those banner-like ads you see on the sides of web pages have already lost some of their prominence on social media sites-- and now ad-supported sites Yelp Inc. (YELP) and LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) are starting to shift resources away from them. With more people engaging with reviews sites and social networks from their mobile phones, social media companies are pushing into advertisements that are more mobile-friendly and...

  • Show Article Details

    The following are mergers under. APPROVALS AND WITHDRAWALS. -- Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners to acquire beauty products retailer Douglas Group. NEW LISTINGS. -- Mahindra World City Developers and Japan's Sumitomo Corp (SSUMF) to set up a joint venture. EXTENSIONS AND OTHER CHANGES. -- Dutch chipmaker NXP to acquire U.S. peer Freescale. FIRST-STAGE REVIEWS BY DEADLINE.

  • Show Article Details

    Twitter  still needs to be acquired to be successful. As the company's market cap drops toward $20 billion and shares hit a record low, it's still likely that a larger technology company will come in and figure out how to grow the user base, which has been Twitter's No. 1 one problem since it went public almost two years ago.

  • Show Article Details

    Kosovo has arrested three people suspected of committing cyber crimes, following a joint investigation with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, police said on Tuesday. Charges against the three Kosovo men, aged between 23 and 26, include "theft of personal and banking data and online sale of malicious software to infect computers," according to a police statement.

  • Show Article Details

    Alibaba (BABA)  is turning to a well-traveled Goldman Sachs (GS) partner to help the China-based online marketplace expand internationally. Michael Evans, who worked at Goldman for 20 years, was appointed president of Alibaba (BABA) to increase the company's presence outside of China. Evans will report to Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang while focusing on the company's international growth strategy.

  • Show Article Details

    Alibaba (BABA)  is turning to a well-traveled Goldman Sachs (GS) partner to help the China-based online marketplace expand internationallyMichael Evans, who worked at Goldman for 20 years, was appointed president of Alibaba Group (BABA) to increase the company's presence outside of China. Evans will report to Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang while focusing on the company's international growth strategy.

  • Show Article Details

    It is rare to find stable businesses with dividend yields over 5%. BCE, which was formerly Bell Canada, is just such a business. BCE is Canada's largest Internet provider, second largest television provider and a top three wireless provider. The company has a dividend yield of 5.2%, and is very stable thanks to the state of the Canadian wireless market, which is dominated by three players.