SAN FRANCISCO: Google parent Alphabet quarterly earnings topped Wall Street expectations on Monday but shares slipped, with investors apparently focused on rising costs at the technology giant.
Alphabet reported a profit of $8.9 billion on revenue that was up 22 percent to $39.3 billion from the same period a year earlier.
“With great opportunities ahead, we continue to make focused investments in the talent and infrastructure needed to bring exceptional products and experiences to our users, advertisers and partners around the globe,” said Alphabet chief financial officer Ruth Porat.
Alphabet shares were down 3.5 percent to $1,101 in after-market trades that followed release of the earnings figures from the final three months of last year.
Asus pushed malware on thousands of computers: Kaspersky
TAIPEI: Taiwanese laptop maker Asus unknowingly pushed malware to thousands of computers after one of its servers was hacked last year, potentially affecting more than one million people, Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said.
More than 57,000 people installed the malicious backdoor on their Asus computers after hackers attacked a server for the company’s live software update tool, Kaspersky said in an article posted on its website on Monday.
“The trojanised utility was signed with a legitimate certificate and was hosted on the official Asus server dedicated to updates, and that allowed it to stay undetected for a long time,” the firm said.
“We are not able to calculate the total count of affected users based only on our data; however, we estimate that the real scale of the problem is much bigger and is possibly affecting over a million users worldwide,” it added.
The Moscow-based firm said that its ongoing investigation found that hackers had deployed the same techniques against software from three other companies.
Kaspersky uncovered the Asus attack, which it dubbed “ShadowHammer”, in January after adding a new supply-chain detection technology to its scanning tool and is planning to release a full report on it next month.
The incident highlights the growing threat from so-called “supply-chain attacks” where malware is installed on systems during the manufacturing or assembling process or through later updates, analysts say.
Asus, which makes computers, laptops, smartphones and other electronics, released a statement saying it had upgraded its software to “prevent any malicious manipulation in the form of software updates or other means”.
“ASUS customer service has been reaching out to affected users and providing assistance to ensure that the security risks are removed.”
World first technology could lead to more efficient satellite launches: expert
SYDNEY: The world-first technology set to be developed in Australia could lead to more efficient satellite launches, a combustion engine expert from the University of Sydney’s School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering said on Monday.
Part of a global industry research project led by Australian defense technology company DefendTex, the project includes researchers from Germany’s Bundeswehr University in Munich, the University of South Australia, RMIT, the Defence Science and Technology Group and Innosync Pty.
“Since the project kicked off we have worked with our collaborators to develop new computational methods to investigate supersonic combustion, which is a process known as detonation,” Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Matthew Cleary explained.
“Our preliminary findings from simulations of a model rotating detonation engine have led to some interesting findings about the stability of detonations in an annular channel, in particular with regard to the importance of designing the combustor geometry such that the detonation is stable and rocket thrust can be sustained continuously.
“This information is being fed to our collaborators who are now starting work on ground testing an engine.”
Different from conventional rockets which carry both oxygen and fuel onboard, a detonation engine is able to “collect” oxygen during its take-off and ascent.
“What’s exciting about rotating detonation engines is the potential to operate them in a so-called ‘air breathing’ mode,” Clearly said.
“The purpose of this function is to reduce the mass of the launch vehicle and increase efficiency, reduce costs, and potentially allow for larger payloads, such as satellites.”
Awarded 3 million Australian dollars (2.12 million U.S. dollars) by the federal government, Australia has made it a priority to edge its way into the lucrative space technology market.
Apple’s Tim Cook urges China to continue to open up its economy
BEIJING: Apple chief executive Tim Cook on Saturday urged China to keep opening up its economy as local rivals bit into the profits of the US tech giant caught in the crosshairs of a trade spat between Beijing and Washington.
“We have seen China continue to change and evolve… We encourage China to continue to open up,” he said during a speech at the annual China Development Forum in Beijing on Saturday.
“We see that as essential not only for China to reach its full potential, but also for the global economy to thrive.”
Apple in January revealed that it took a hit in the “Greater China” region, where revenue plunged almost 27 percent in the most recent quarter.
The dip had been expected following the company’s revenue warning in December, where Apple admitted that iPhone sales and overall earnings would be below most forecasts, citing economic weakness in China and trade frictions between Washington and Beijing.
Lower priced local rivals such as Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo have also been nibbling at the California tech giant’s market share in China.
Cook has been a critic of the US-China trade war that has spooked global markets. Last year, he used the China Development Forum as a venue to urge leaders of China and the US to let “calm heads prevail” and to avoid an escalation of tariffs.
Most of Apple’s flagship products are assembled in China, leaving the California tech giant acutely vulnerable to Trump’s tariffs.
During his speech on Saturday, Cook called for partnerships based on “openness and trust” where world players can work together to solve some of the biggest problems facing the planet including poverty, inequality and climate change.