More Apple Store Drama, Ransomware Wins and the New Facebook

September 4, 2020 by
More Apple Store Drama, Ransomware Wins and the New Facebook
Lighthouse IT Solutions, Matthew Almendinger

The Lighthouse IT Podcast - September 4th, 2020

Matt and Griffin discuss self-destructing DVDs, more Apple store drama, another win against ransomware, Walmart joining in on the TikTok deal, and the New Facebook.

Listen here! Go to the 3:00min mark to skip the intro.

Security News


In a bid to help small businesses cope with financial loss, Facebook announced a new feature allowing "paid for" events on the platform, making it easy for small businesses to host virtual meetings to stay engaged with customers. To further its value, Facebook stated that it would not be taking a cut of any payment made to those businesses as way to support them during this time.

Facebook teamed up with Google to remove the well established "30% cut" that we've come to know and love recently from App Stores, but guess who didn't agree. In the update on iOS, the in-app purchase of those virtual meetings are automatically 30% higher and in the description, Facebook wrote that this is because of the additional charges placed by Apple. Ouch.

Apple was not a fan of this tactic and blocked the update unless Facebook removed the written notice - stating it was a violation of the App Store policy under the section marked "irrelevant information." Though it sure does seem relevant to explain why on one platform it would be price gouged.


Speaking of Apple - Remember our Fortnite Drama?

It has been pretty interesting over the past couple of weeks. As you may remember in the battle between Epic and Apple over the 30% fee collected by Apple for their App Store, Epic implemented a competing payment platform, violating their developer agreement - but Apple kicked it up a notch and told them that they could no longer have any involvement in the development of their Unreal engine - a framework used by other developers to build games of their own without having to create a custom engine every time. Epic has filed a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent the blockage of the app and the development of the Unreal engine.

The results of that injunction are that the backlash from the app store ban is a "self-inflicted wound" and not irreparable injury. However, the Judge did agree that Apple's actions against the Unreal engine were taking things a bit harshly and would affect bystanders unfairly.

Shortly after the ruling, Apple terminated Epic's developer account, removing ALL of their apps from the app store.


And how about a little vindication against ransomware attackers?

Well I've got some! A Russian cyber crime suspect is in custody after attempting to plot an attack against a company. In a nutshell, Egor Igorevich Kruichkov traveled to Reno, Nevada to meet with an employee for their plotted victim. Acting on behalf of others, Kruichkov promised the employee $1 million for information regarding the network - things like server names, network diagrams, IP addressing and more. From their, he told the employee, they would begin an internal launch of the malware, but would also launch a decoy attack on their public network redirecting IT's attention to the obvious while the real work was being done.

Our unnamed employee turned in Kruichkov and the FBI was able to capture him before he could successfully board the airplane back to Russia.


Marketing News

Walmart is teaming up with Microsoft on the TikTok purchase

Walmart announced its plan to team up with Microsoft to purchase TikTok's U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand operations.

CNBC estimates this will be about a $20-$30 billion deal.


But CNN cites a Chinese trade expert explaining some new rules that could allow Beijing to veto any potential deal to a foreign company and how these revisions would cover a sale of TikTok.


The "New Facebook" launches for everyone this month

As SMBs (especially B2C) depend on Facebook to function, many will have to struggle as they learn the new locations of important tools and major changes of features (like the removal of the My Story section).

With the Facebook boycotts still going on with very large advertisers leaving Facebook for one reason or another, will this be the last straw for many companies and users?