Intel Considers Sale of McAfee Security Business: Report

Today's topics include a report that Intel is making plans to sell its security business, SentinelOne’s discovery of a new ransomeware threat, Huawei’s plans to improve security by developing its own Android operating system and HTC’s potential release of details regarding its new Android Nexus smartphones.

Intel reportedly is considering selling its security business, the latest move by the chip maker as it continues to restructure to focus more on developing processors for the cloud and the Internet of things.

According to a report in the Financial Times, officials with Intel have been meeting with bankers to discuss the future of its cyber-security unit, which in large part is based on Intel's $7.7 billion acquisition of antivirus software vendor McAfee in 2011. The report said a deal could be the largest in the security field. Intel has declined to comment on the report.

On June 27, Security firm SentinelOne announced that it has discovered a new variant of the CryptXXX ransomware family. The CryptXXX variant follows the demise of the rival TeslaCrypt ransomware at the end of May.

The TeslaCrypt ransomware mysteriously shut down last month, and in its place other ransomware families, including CryptXXX, have been on the rise. There isn't a unique name for the new version of CryptXXX yet, though it has some new characteristics, including improved use of encryption that makes it difficult for computer users to decrypt hijacked data on their own.

Huawei apparently is building its own version of the Android mobile operating system so it can gain some independence in the marketplace and to enable it to develop custom features and OS innovations for its own mobile products.

The existence of the Huawei Android OS project, described as a "contingency measure," was confirmed by Abigail Brody, a former mobile UI design lead at Apple who now works for Huawei, according to a June 22 article by 9to5Google.

The project is still very early in development at Huawei, but it is still a notable development in the Android market where there is a lot of concern about the "fragmentation" of the operating system into many variations that aren't easy to globally update and are not fully compatible with each other.

When the first rumors began popping up in May about two planned HTC Nexus Android smartphones, no details at all were available for the handsets, which left a lot of specifications to be filled in later.

Now more rumored details have popped up about at least one of the two ghost phones, which have been referred to so far by their code name, Sailfish.

None of the alleged specifications has been confirmed by a second source at this point, but the handset could include a 5-inch 1080p display, a quad-core 2.0GHz 64-bit processor, 4GB of memory, 32GB of onboard storage and a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, the story reported.

Also rumored are a 12-megapixel main rear camera, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, a bottom-mounted speaker or speakers, a top-mounted headphone jack, a 2,770mAh battery, a USB-C port and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. No other details are available, including a release date or potential pricing.

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