MediaFile

Tech wrap: “DingleBerry” rings RIM’s security bell

November 30, 2011

Three hackers said they had exploited a vulnerability in Research In Motion’s PlayBook tablet to gain root access to the device, a claim that could damage the BlackBerry maker’s hard-won reputation for security. The hackers plan to release their data within a week as a tool called DingleBerry. In a response to queries, RIM said it is investigating the claim, and if a jailbreak is confirmed will release a patch to plug the hole. The PlayBook runs on a different operating system than RIM’s current BlackBerry smartphones. However, the QNX system will be incorporated into its smartphones starting next year. The PlayBook in July became the first tablet device to win a security certification approving it for U.S. government use.

Samsung is set to resume selling its Galaxy tablet computer in Australia as early as Friday, after it won a rare legal victory in a long-running global patent war with Apple. An Australian federal court unanimously decided to lift a preliminary injunction, imposed by a lower court, on sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 — but granted Apple a stay on lifting the sales ban until Friday afternoon.

Groupon’s shares rose after CEO Andrew Mason emerged from the company’s post-IPO quiet period to share holiday sales numbers. Groupon sold more than 650,000 holiday deals between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, an increase of 500 percent compared with last year, Mason said in a blog post. Groupon closed the trading day up 9.3 percent $17.50.

Japanese authorities may take weeks to make any arrests over the accounting scandal at Olympus, though initial findings by an investigative panel of experts are due to be released in days, lawyers said. Even if criminal complaints are filed against former executives or others involved in the scam, which dates back two decades, arrests might not take place by end-year. This is partly to allow both suspects and prosecutors to spend the new year’s holidays at home, since the turn of the new year is Japan’s biggest traditional holiday, akin to Christmas in the West. Suspects can be held for a total of 22 days before either being indicted or released.

Toshiba said it would close three of its six discrete chip-making facilities in Japan and also trim output of certain types of chips over the year-end as demand for PCs and TVs slides in the U.S. and Europe. Discrete chips are relatively simple semiconductors used in a wide range of electronic products from audio-visual equipment to cars and mobile phones. The three plants are scheduled to be closed in the first half of the fiscal year starting in April 2012, in a bid to slash costs, with Japanese makers at a disadvantage because of strength in the yen.

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