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Archive for August, 2009

7
Aug

Google Apps is insecure

The folks at Twitter, Inc. are learning this the hard way:

The reason why 300+ confidential documents were stolen from Twitter’s Google Apps account was actually because of Google’s totally insecure login process.

Don’t believe me? Just try login at docs.twitter.com as… say “ev” like in Evan Williams, Twitter’s co-founder (”biz” would be another alternative). Of course, unless you really know the password or use some sort of an automated password tool, you won’t get in.

So Google is secure, right?

Wrong! For Sophos security analyst Chet Wisniewski, the problem is actually as simple as the vulnerability is huge: Google will not throw you out after, let’s say 25 attempts guessing Ev’s password.

Actually, Google doesn’t even seem to impose any limits on fraudulous attempts – I couldn’t get this confirmed by Google who will not talk openly about its security process.

Worse, because of Google’s lack of security, Twitter’s co-founder wouldn’t even know that someone has tried to breach into his account. “Even my Linux machine will warn me when my wife tries unsuccessfully to login,” jokes Wisniewski.

The whole thing is worth a read. It's also got screenshots, incidentally, which illustrate the perils of relying on Google Apps. Not only might Google harvest your data for its own purposes, but it won't be properly protected from hacking attempts.

3
Aug

Google CEO leaves board of Apple, Inc.

Eric Schmidt is saying goodbye to Apple:

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Google chief executive Eric Schmidt resigned Monday from the board of Apple due to potential conflicts of interest as the two tech giants increasingly become rivals.

“Eric has been an excellent board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said a statement from Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.

Schmidt, who had been a member of the board since August 2006, could not function effectively with Google entering more of Apple's core businesses, such as the smart phone and personal computer operating system markets, said Jobs.

This move should have happened weeks, perhaps even months, ago. It's about time Apple bid farewell to Schmidt. The Monster of Mountain View is or will soon be competing against most of Apple's products (the iPhone? Android. Mac? Chrome. Safari? Chrome).

Don't be surprised if at some point Google tries to launch GoogleTunes and partners with some lowly digital music manufacturer to create a would-be iPod rival. Google is gaming to compete with everybody in the hope that it will be able to own the digital experience for at least a hefty percentage of consumers. The whole world is probably out of reach, though it can be done… ask John D. Rockefeller.