Are you ready to change your passwords again? It may be time.
We got wind this week of what may prove to be the largest data breach in history -- or may simply be some creative spin to make it sound like that. A New York Times article reported this week that a Russian hacker group had amassed some 1.2 billion data records from 420,000 vulnerable websites around the globe.
That is a massive amount of data. However, the security firm that uncovered the hacks refuses to release some crucial information, including how long it took for the group to amass this data and, indeed, which sites are involved. Without those details, it's difficult to make solid recommendations of how you should handle this.
My advice? The safe bet is to change your passwords, though feel free to hold out if you like living dangerously. Oh, and maybe it's finally time to kill the username and password and come up with a better solution.
Next iPhone coming September 9?
We had it narrowed down to one of two days: September 9 or September 16. This week we got strong indications that it will be the former. Apple is now expected to unveil its next iPhone (or, perhaps iPhones), the second Tuesday of September. An iPhone 6 seems like a lock, but the question remains whether we'll see multiple devices and, indeed, just how large those devices will be. As ever, stay tuned for plenty of live coverage the day of. And probably the day after, too.
Yahoo, Google team up for encrypted email
It's relatively easy to set up encrypted email if you're the sort who is still using a dedicated email client and running your messages through an email server. However, if you've joined the webmail party and moved your communications to a service like Gmail or Yahoo Mail, you've handed over all control for such things to the provider. Finally, those two providers are getting onboard with encryption.
Both Google and Yahoo will expand their current encryption efforts (which protect stored emails) to include the sending of messages. And, best of all, the two will be compatible with each other. So when the system is implemented sometime next year, you'll be able to write and send an email from Gmail or Yahoo to anyone else on Gmail or Yahoo with complete security. Nobody other than the recipient will be able to decrypt the message -- not even the providers themselves.
Sprint drops T-Mobile bid and CEO
There's a lot of desire among the tech community for T-Mobile to succeed. But without a major boost to its network reach and capacity, it's difficult to recommend that people in rural areas think about switching. Teaming up with Sprint would have been a huge help in that regard, but it's looking like the proposed wedding of brands is now off. Sprint, citing doubts of regulatory approval, dropped its $30 billion bid for T-Mo this week, causing both stocks to drop. Big Magenta is still a target for acquisition, however, with a $15 billion offer from French telecom company Iliad resting squarely on the table. Will CEO John Legere tighten his belt and take it?
Meanwhile, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has parted ways with the company, ending a seven-year tenure at the carrier. He early made an impact with commercials showing a no-nonsense approach to the wireless business, but never was able to get traction against AT&T and Verizon. Stepping in as CEO is Marcelo Claure, a man believed to be willing to take more risks when it comes to the business. We'll be watching closely to see if the decision pays off.
Great white shark attack captured on film
Ever wonder what a shark attack looks like from underwater? Wonder no more. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute sent a five-foot-long, 80 pound autonomous submersible into shark-infested waters off the coast of Mexico last year to capture footage of sea creatures in the wild. They got more than they bargained for when the gear was repeatedly attacked by massive great white sharks, which come out of nowhere to grab the metal tube. The result is some pretty dramatic footage, perfect viewing if you're planning a weekend at the beach. Enjoy!