Equifax Hack Exposes Personal Information of 143M Americans

Today’s topics include Equifax disclosing a massive data breach that puts 143 million Americans at risk; Oracle laying off 2,500 Solaris and SPARC employees; Dell EMC’s continued revenue loss after last year’s merger; and Facebook updating JavaScript package manager Yarn.

Equifax announced on Sept. 7 that it was the victim of a data breach that potentially exposed personally identifiable information of about 143 million U.S. consumers. The breach was discovered on July 29, more than a month ago, the company admitted.

The attackers had access to Equifax's systems during a two-month period this year, from mid-May through July, and were able to obtain names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers of 143 million American consumers. Approximately 209,000 consumer credit card numbers were also stolen in the breach.

In issuing an apology to Equifax’s consumers and business customers, Chairman and CEO Richard F. Smith said the breach "is clearly a disappointing event for our company, and one that strikes at the heart of who we are and what we do." Equifax has set up a website service where consumers can check to see if their personal information was lost in the attack.

Ever since Oracle bought Sun Microsystems in 2010 for $7.4 billion, it has struggled to make money from Sun’s Unix OS and SPARC-based systems. Seven years later, it appears Oracle, which has become increasingly focused on growing its cloud efforts, has decided to leave much of what it acquired from Sun behind, as the company reportedly is cutting as many as 2,500 jobs, mainly from the Solaris and SPARC divisions.

It’s unclear whether Oracle is ending its work on Solaris and SPARC, which officials have said they will support through 2034.

The news of the job cuts comes amid Oracle’s continued push to expand its cloud business. In August, the company announced it is hiring 5,000 people for its cloud software efforts.

Exactly 12 months into the consolidation of Dell EMC, Dell Technologies announced its second quarter fiscal results Sept. 7, and profitability is still proving elusive. For Q2 2018, consolidated revenue came in at $19.3 billion, down about $800 million from two quarters ago.

During the quarter, the company generated an operating loss of an even $1 billion, which is an improvement over six months ago, when the company lost $1.7 billion in the winter quarter.

While Dell EMC’s mission is to supply as much hardware to the world's IT systems as possible, the world is moving more and more to subscription cloud services and away from building data centers that use such hardware. The good news was that PC shipments went up nearly 4 percent and that both storage and hyperconverged data center equipment improved their market share standing.

Facebook announced Sept. 7 the 1.0 release of Yarn, a JavaScript Package Manager the company open-sourced last October in partnership with Google, Exponent and Tilde.

Yarn has become a popular tool in a short period of time. More than 175,000 GitHub projects have already used Yarn to manage their shared code libraries on top of the Facebook, Instagram, Oculus and WhatsApp code bases that also use it. The efficiency Yarn brings to engineers working with distributed code bases allows them to focus more on their coding work than managing their code, Facebook said.

This version includes a slew of new technical capabilities built by both Facebook and core contributors from the Yarn community, including Yarn Workspaces, the auto-merging of LockFiles and selective version resolutions.

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