A Russian malware called SoakSoak has infected over 100,000 WordPress sites since this Sunday, turning blogs into attack platforms. It’s a potential shitshow, and it could’ve been prevented earlier this fall.
Google has already blocked 11,000 domains to try to curb the damage. According to security firm Sucuri, the malware uses a vulnerability in a slideshow plug-in called Slider Revolution. The Slider Revolution team has known about the vulnerability since September, but it looks like they failed to fix it before the security hole got crammed with s! teaming hot malware.
Researchers at Sucuri are warning that it’ll be hard to completely eradicate the malware as long as so many site owners don’t know it’s there. In addition to removing the malicious code, they will need to update the premium plug-in. If the plug-in came as part of a theme, it won’t update automatically, which means site admins will have to manually update.
A spreadsheet leaked
Back in 2007, Microsoft invested $240 million in Facebook for a 1.6 percent stake. It valued Facebook at $15 billion, and everybody laughed.
Now, Facebook is worth over $200 billion, and that little investment turns out to be the best-performing equity investment Steve Ballmer ever made as CEO of Microsoft.
Microsoft sold some of its Facebook stock after the IPO in 2012, but seemingly still holds some — Microsoft’s last annual filing with the SEC, in June 2014, notes only a “partial” sale of its Facebook stake. (We’ve reached out to Microsoft for more details and will update this post when we hear back.)
But while that stake may be worth a lot of money, it doesn’t seem to be getting Microsoft much respect these days.
The move will hurt Bing’s search market share, which was already ailing after a recent redesign of Microsoft’s consumer web site, MSN.
Oxfam International has made a graphic showing how a handful of corporations control nearly everything we buy at the grocery store.
The graphic focuses on 10 of the world’s most powerful food and beverage companies: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever, Danone, Mars, Mondelez International, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nestle, and Associated British Foods.
Oxfam calls these companies the Big 10 and keeps a scorecard on their environmental impact on a website devoted to the nonprofit’s “Behind the Brands” campaign.
The campaign aims to make the companies more environmentally and socially conscious.
According to one of Oxfam’s most recent reports, the Big 10 emitted 263.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 and if the companies were a nation, it would be the 25th most polluting country in the world.
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Notes: Global ad spending will grow by 4.9% next year and by 5.6% in 2016 before slowing slightly to a 5.2% rise in 2017, details ZenithOptimedia in its latest forecast. As expected, mobile will be the prime contributor of ad spending growth, as mobile ad spend will increase by an average of 38% each year during the forecast period. By 2017, mobile is predicted to account for 11.2% share of total spend, more than double this year’s estimated 5% share. Also by 2017, ZenithOptimedi! a foreca sts the desktop internet (19.6%) to exceed print (magazines and newspapers, combined; 18.1%) in ad spend share, although that development will be more due to print’s decline than to desktop internet’s growth.
The hacking group that broke into the servers of Sony Pictures gave the company another nasty surprise yesterday when they displayed another threat on the screens of employees.
The Wrap spoke to multiple Sony employees who saw the sinister message appear. They said that a message flashed across the screen of multiple computers inside Sony Pictures.
Staff inside Sony were left “disturbed” by the new threat, which reportedly threatened to do more damage.
Sony Pictures only realised it had been hacked when an illustration of a skull appeared on computers screens in the company’s offices.
This new message is concerning because it shows that the Sony hackers still have access to the company’s computer network a full 10 days after the hack was first reported. Sony has previously said that it could take up to three weeks to recover from the intrusion.
Sony offices are taking steps to guard against the hackers. Staff in London were banned from using their computers, or even logging onto Wi-Fi. They have been left using pens and paper to do their jobs because all internet-connected computers are at risk. The only working devices in the office were the handful of Mac computers used to edit movies. They only worked because they weren’t connected to the internet at the time of the hack.
A Sony employee, speaking to Deadline, said “We are down, ! complete ly paralysed.” That comment came immediately after the hack when the computer network was down. In recent days, however, Sony Pictures employees have been able to access their email network.
Mobile peer-to-peer payment apps, which let people send money to one another instantly, are gaining rapid adoption in the U.S. and globally. Venmo, for example, is now processing at a run-rate of $1.6 billion in volume, according to BI Intelligence estimates.
The secret to the success of these apps is that they solve a real problem for users: They give them a way to pay each other when they don’t have cash or a check. For example, if you go out to dinner these apps make it easy to pay a friend back for covering the cost of your meal. In fact, among U.S. adults who use P2P payment apps, 49% say they use them for dining-related transactions, according to Nielsen.
In a new report from BI Intelligence we size the opportunity for mobile P2P transactions, take a high-level look at a handful of these apps and how they work, what the opportunities are for monetization, and explore how P2P payments could be the bridge to consumer uptake of mobile payments.
Here are some of the report’s key findings:
- Globally, the volume of P2P payments is over $1 trillion and only a sliver of those transactions are currently conducted via mobile phones.
- We forecast that U.S. transaction volume will reach between $7 and $9 billion in 2014 and provide an exclusive 5-year estimate for volume from 2013-2018 in the report.
- While mobile P2P payments are beginning to catch on in the developed world, in many emerging markets they are already popular because people effectively use them as a bank account.
- A great case study is Kenyan telecom Safaricom’s M-Pesa product, which allows its users to transfer money to one another via text message. Largely as a result of M-Pesa’s success, an impressive 92% of Kenyans say they have used mobile P2P payments.
- How to monetize these apps is a question largely left unanswered. But for the time being the goal is to onboard as many users as possible. Like social networks, the world of payments is largely dependent on network effects; the more people that use a product the more valuable it becomes.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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