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Top data center stories from September 2014

By Donna Donnowitz
September 30, 2014

Much of September was dominated with headlines surrounding the iCloud breach and subsequent distribution of private celebrity photos. The month also saw additional sectors within the tech industry shift their operations to the cloud and new opportunities for collaboration between IT giants.

Hackers run amuck after breaching iCloud
A code script posted in late August provided users with a method for exploiting Apple's "Find my iPhone" service to crack iCloud passwords, says Forbes. The script was originally developed as part of a presentation on cybersecurity threats by Russian developers Andrey Belenko and Alexey Troshichev at a conference, but soon the code was appropriated for nefarious ends. Hackers made use of code to leak hundreds of private photos of several Hollywood stars online. The iCloud breach kicked off several days of intense debate about the nature of online security and the right to privacy.

Bitcoin miners head to the cloud
The competitive Bitcoin market has followed industry trends and is rapidly making its way toward the cloud. As a result, several hardware vendors have shifted the future of their business to reflect the worldwide migration toward virtual environments. Most notably, top retailer GAW Miners have begun selling cloud mining contracts over actual hardware, says CloudTech. Other companies have begun to follow suit by exiting the Bitcoin hardware game. For example, the Wall Street Journal reports that retailer KnCMiner has exited the hardware game for good. Instead, the company plans to continue business selling Bitcoin-mining hashlets.

DEA, IRS raid New Mexico data center
Agents from the Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency conducted two raids in Albuquerque, including a visit to Big Byte's 40,000-square-foot data center, reports Data Center Dynamics. The raids raise suspicion largely in part due to the owners of Big Byte, the Whittington family, who were suspected of smuggling drugs in the 1980s and 1990s. The DEA also raided a large resort owned by the same family in charge of Big Byte. The Whittington family has cooperated with the investigation and both of the family's businesses remain open for in spite of the investigation.

TODO leads shift toward open source
Facebook, along with a long list of industry partners, launched TODO in September. The group hopes to meet and collaborate on a mutual problems, like lack of best practices for integrating and utilizing open source software. Other companies to join the initiative include Dropbox, Google, Twitter, Square, Walmart, and Stripe. Facebook outlined the group's three major goals on its website. First, the TODO group hopes to internally develop more useful open source applications. TODO also aims to shorten the distance between open source technology and mainstream consumer acceptance. By acting as the vanguard for open source, TODO hopes to inspire other companies and users to follow its lead. Finally, Facebook and its affiliates would like to use TODO as a platform to help other companies develop open source resources.


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