IBM Enhances Publicly Accessible Quantum Computing Services

Today’s topics include IBM’s effort to enable an era of quantum computing, malware in the Google Play store that was discovered by Palo Alto Networks, Yahoo’s admission that cookie forging activity led to an account breach and increased security demands for the 5G mobile network era.

IBM is moving forward in its effort to bring in the era of quantum computing with a new application programming interface that gives developers the ability to build quantum programs that can interface with current computing systems via the IBM cloud.

The company's quantum computing effort is an expansion of its Quantum Experience initiative that IBM first deployed in May 2016.

The promise of quantum computing is that it can make use of quantum states of matter, including entanglement and superposition, to achieve massive computer processing power.

Google, like rival Apple, has put considerable effort into ensuring that its official mobile application store is malware free, but that hasn't totally stopped malware-laden apps from being uploaded to its store anyway.

The latest case in point is the discovery of 132 Android apps in Google Play with a bug in them. Security firm Palo Alto Networks recently discovered the apps and reported them to Google, which has since removed them. The apps belong to seven unrelated developers and include one that has been downloaded more than 10,000 times.

Yahoo has been attacked by a variety of means in recent years, among them a cookie forging attack the company publicly detailed in its 2016 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The cookie forging activity was discovered as part of an investigation that Yahoo announced in December 2016 involving a breach of one billion Yahoo user accounts.

"Based on the investigation, we believe an unauthorized third party accessed the Company's proprietary code to learn how to forge certain cookies," Yahoo stated. Yahoo's forensic investigators determined that the forged cookies enabled an attacker to access users' accounts without a password.

As the era of 5G mobile networks nears, there will be increased security demands that will require new technologies to defend users and carriers. Cisco is aiming to help meet the challenge with its new Security Architecture for Mobile Service Providers.

While Cisco has had multiple security technologies in market to help mobile operators, Gee Rittenhouse, Senior Vice-President of Engineering in the Security Business Group at Cisco, told eWEEK that there is a need for a new approach that helps protect mobile traffic and subscriber data across physical and virtualized mobile infrastructures.