Samsung Permanently Halts Note7 Smartphone Production

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2016-10-12 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Samsung ends Note7 smartphone production permanently after fires; Odinaff Trojan is taking aim at financial services; the Cloud Security Alliance details IoT security guidelines; and there's more.

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Today's topics include Samsung's move to halt production and marketing of its Note7, the elevated warnings of a Trojan horse virus that is targeted at financial institutions, a report explaining internet of things security and Sprint's latest unlimited mobile plans for business users.

After more than 100 reports of battery fires and explosions since the handset's release in August, Samsung's Galaxy Note7 flagship smartphone is no more. Samsung is permanently stopping production of the ill-fated handset, for which reports of fires and explosions related to its integrated rechargeable battery continued to accumulate, even after a global recall.

The announcement of the Note7's demise arrived through a Samsung statement filed with the South Korean stock exchange, according to an Oct. 11 report by The New York Times. The statement said the company has made a "final decision" to end production of the handset model. The Note7 is now being pulled from the market permanently and will not be sold or distributed again.

Symantec issued a warning on Oct. 11 about an emerging malware dubbed Odinaff that is going after the SWIFT messaging system used by banks for financial transfers. It's currently unclear what will be the precise financial impact of Odinaff.

"We estimate around 100 organizations were infected, but we don't have full visibility into all the infected organizations in the world," Eric Chien, technical director of Symantec Security Response, told eWEEK.

The Odinaff attack appears to have begun in January, impacting multiple countries, including the United States, Hong Kong, Australia, the United Kingdom and Ukraine. Symantec's analysis has determined that 34 percent of Odinaff attacks were directly against the financial service sector. Approximately 60 percent of attack targets were classified as being unknown, though Symantec has determined that in most of the unknown target cases, financial software applications were the target.

Internet of things security isn't just a concern for individual devices; it's a risk that extends to the cloud.

In a 75-page report, the Cloud Security Alliance provides a detailed road map for developing secure internet of things products. While internet of things devices are often small embedded systems, IoT and the cloud are heavily co-mingled, as IoT devices make use of cloud services.

"Whether we are talking about voice-controlled assistants or talking Barbies, these all interact with services in the cloud," Brian Russell, chairman of the IoT Working Group at CSA and chief engineer of Cyber Security Solutions at Leidos, told eWEEK. "CSA has well-defined cloud security guidelines, with the Cloud Controls Matrix and other guidance, but we realized that if the IoT products themselves are not secure, then there will continue to be compromises."

Sprint has unveiled its latest Unlimited Freedom for Business mobile phone plans that cut costs for business users compared to its previous pricing plans and provide unlimited talk, texting and 4G LTE data while users are on the company's network.

The new plans cost $55 monthly for the first line, $35 for a second line and $25 per month for the third through 10th lines. All additional lines are $35 each per month under the plan. That means that four business users would cost $140 per month, plus taxes and fees, compared to the previous rate of $60 per user per month, or $240 for four business users.

The plans also include unlimited lower-speed, mobile-optimized streaming for video and cloud streaming for gaming and music, according to Sprint. Users will each also receive 5GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data per month, as well as VPN and P2P access.


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