Apple's AirDrop flaw, Verizon sells, Amazon's email marketing & more!

May 7, 2021 by
Apple's AirDrop flaw, Verizon sells, Amazon's email marketing & more!
Lighthouse IT Solutions, Matthew Almendinger

The Lighthouse IT Podcast - May 7th, 2021

Matt and Griff go through exciting stuff this week like Apple's ransomware attack & AirDrop flaw, Verizon selling Yahoo & AOL, Amazon offering email marketing & the return to 'in the flesh' advertising.

Listen here!

Tech News

Apple targeted in $50 million ransomware attack resulting in unprecedented schematic leaks

Apple has been targeted in a $50 million ransomware attack following the theft of a trove of engineering and manufacturing schematics of current and future products from Quanta, a Taiwan-based company that manufactures MacBooks and other products for Apple. The leak, first reported by The Record, was carried out by REvil, a Russian hacking group that's also known by the name Sodinokibi. The group had already begun posting the stolen images on April 20th, timed specifically to coincide with Apple's latest "Spring Loaded" event, after Quanta refused to pay the $50 million ransom for the data. The group is now hoping to get Apple itself to pay up by May 1st, promising to continue to post new images from the leak daily until it does.


Apple AirDrop has "significant privacy leak", say German researchers

Security researchers at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany discovered a significant privacy leak in Apple's file-sharing service. For those who don't have iPhones or Macs, AirDrop is a surprisingly handy but proprietary Apple protocol that lets you share files directly but wirelessly with other Apple users nearby. The problem comes in the form of AirDrop's Contacts only mode, where you tell AirDrop not to accept connections from just anyone but only from users already in your own contact list. Apparently, a middleman can disrupt this, leading the user to get frustrated and, in theory, select Everyone mode to try to make it work. This is where they can scrape some of the contact date... Check out our partner's blog about this over on Sophos!


Verizon sells media businesses including Yahoo and AOL to Apollo for $5 billion

The sale allows Verizon to offload properties from the former internet empires of AOL and Yahoo. Verizon will keep a 10% stake in the company, and it will be rebranded to just Yahoo. The sale will see online media brands under the former Yahoo and AOL umbrellas like TechCrunch, Yahoo Finance, and Engadget go to Apollo at much lower valuations than they commanded a few years ago. Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion in 2015 and Yahoo two years later for $4.5 billion. With the sale of Yahoo and AOL, Verizon signaled it is no longer interested in media, unlike its rivals.


Bill and Melinda Gates Are Divorcing After 27 Years of Marriage

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with an endowment of some $50 billion, has had immense influence in fields like global health and early childhood education and has made great strides in reducing deaths caused by malaria and other infectious diseases. Over the past year, the couple has been prominent, regularly commenting on the worldwide fight against Covid-19 as their foundation spent more than $1 billion to combat the pandemic. The announcement raises questions about the fate of their fortune. The couple helped create the Giving Pledge, but much of his Microsoft money has not yet been donated. What does this divorce spell for the future of this charity?


Marketing News

Amazon is making it easier for brands that sell on its platform to get in touch with the people who buy their products.

It's piloting a tool that lets brands set up email campaigns to plug new products, promotions, and the like.

The tool is available to the 350,000+ members of Amazon's Brand Registry.

But there are caveats. Only certain people will receive the emails. Anyone who "follows" a particular brand on Amazon could receive one, meaning just because you've bought something from a seller before doesn't mean you'll hear from them.

Amazon will, however, tell brands how many customers have opted to receive the emails, along with performance metrics for the campaign (the specifics of which haven't been disclosed at this time) but not the names, information, or email addresses of individual customers.

The move comes as Apple prepares to make it harder for brands to target iPhone users with personalized ads. Email marketing is an increasingly important component in the digital marketing toolbox, significantly as the web tightens up on privacy.


Marketing agencies are bracing for a return to β€” in the flesh' advertising

Physicalβ€” and potentially crowdedβ€” experiences are plotting their return.

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival is happening this Fall, less than a year from the first Covid-19 vaccination.

This week, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) announced its plans to return to an in-person event in January 2022. By then, music festivals like Bonnaroo, California's Outside Lands, Las Vegas's Life is Beautiful, and New York's Comic-Con will have already taken place, albeit mostly outdoors.


The Noid is back

Domino's Brings Back its Mascot with a Past

Is this a risky attempt to cash in on the nostalgia? Especially after the Domino's hostage incident involving the Noid.