Daily Tech Briefing: July 22, 2014

By Eweek Staff  |  Posted 2014-07-22 Print this article Print

EMC investor to urge storage vendor to spin off VMware; W3C launches effort for social web app interoperability; 'Zombie Zero' cyber-attacks hit logistics, robotic firms for months;  and more.

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Read more about the stories in today's news:


Activist investor Elliott Management made headlines earlier this year by pressing Juniper Networks and Riverbed Technology to make changes in how they operate. Now, it is preparing to push data storage giant EMC to spin off virtualization pioneer VMware.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Elliott Management has acquired more than $1 billion worth of EMC stock, which is worth about 2 percent of the company and wants EMC to sell off its 80 percent stake in VMware, which it has been running as an independent subsidiary since 2004.

Officials from Elliot have contacted EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci over the past week and plan to meet with him to voice their concerns that the EMC-VMware relationship is not helping either company reach its potential.

The W3C has launched a new Social Activity to develop standards to make it easier to build and integrate social applications with the Open Web Platform.

The company is working with the OpenSocial Foundation on this effort. OpenSocial specs make it easy for apps to reach users where they get work done, whether it's in their activity stream, in content, in email or even on their mobile devices.

According to an analysis provided by security firm TrapX Security, the Zombie Zero supply-chain attack targeted robotics manufacturers, as well as shipping and logistics firms, compromising systems for more than a year.

This was a suspected nation-state attack, which compromised at least eight companies beginning in May 2013, according to TrapX's findings. Carl Wright, general manager of TrapX's North American operations, told eWEEK that Zombie Zero was tailor-made so that attackers could both get the data and modify the shipping database to make packages appear and disappear.

A recent survey of 1,000 Americans by My.com found that ninety percent of email users admit to checking their email compulsively--behavior that includes checking email first thing in the morning, last thing at night, during meals and even during conversations.

What's more, despite advances in spam-fighting technology, 60 percent of survey respondents admit to having lost important messages due to spam, and an astonishing 64 percent admitted to having closed an email account altogether due to frustration with excessive spam.


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