Daily Tech Briefing: Oct. 2, 2014

Attackers are rushing to exploit the flaws in the Bourne Again Shell, also known as the Bash vulnerability, before companies and software developers have the chance to fully patch exposed applications.

Web security firm CloudFlare, for example, has seen 1.5 million attacks each day that exploit the bash vulnerability. Meanwhile cloud security company Incapsula estimates that attacks have targeted approximately 4 percent of its customer base.

Companies are working to patch the flaw that effects how Bash handles certain types of parameters, known as environmental variables. Many types of software, such as the Common Gateway Interface used to add dynamic content to Websites, execute shell commands that have an existing link to Bash.

AT&T has unveiled two new promotions that let new and existing customers get an LG G Pad 7.0 LTE for 99 cents or a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 8.0 for $99.99 with the purchase and activation of a qualifying smartphone. The promotions start on Oct. 3 and must include two-year wireless contracts on the tablets and on the smartphones.

Rackspace, like its cloud competitor Amazon Web Services, was forced to reboot some of its servers after patching them to fix a security flaw in some versions of the XenServer hypervisor.

The company had to patch an unspecified number of servers in its global data centers over the weekend and then reboot them, which caused disruption to about a quarter of Rackspace's more than 200,000 customers, according to President and CEO Taylor Rhodes.

Cray is rolling out the latest generation of its XC supercomputers. These are powered by Intel's newest Xeon E5 processors and offer twice the performance of the previous systems.

The XC40 also comes with Cray's new DataWarp I/O acceleration technology, which connects solid-state drives directly to the compute nodes in the supercomputer, reducing the distance data has to travel, driving up performance and improving total cost of ownership.

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