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Malware gets worse, cyberweapons confirmed
Ten years ago, Windows XP was all the rage. Apple had only a sliver of the desktop operating system pie at the time. And thus, it was rarely attacked by hackers and malware writers. But as Apple machines became popular towards the end of the last decade Mac malware began to boom. The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant was even forced to remove claims that its Mac machines don't get viruses.
From the desktop and into the palms of our hands, smartphones exploded in popularity. Malware writers and cybercriminals began targeting Android devices, which remain at the top of the mobile market share space. Even iPhones and BlackBerrys, though significantly bolstered in terms of app and ecosystem security, were prime pickings for data thieves and cyber-scammers.
And those cyberbaddies weren't limited to basement-dwelling folk. The U.S. government was also scouring for the latest malware exploits so they could install it on adversaries' machines in order to spy, surveil, or surreptitiously shut down their operations. From Flame to Gauss and Stuxnet, these state-sponsored strands of malware were enough to temporarily cripple Iran's nuclear ambitions, according to reports.
Children and cyberbullying
Bullying has long been an issue among the youth of today. Back ten years ago, it was relegated mostly to the school playground, or isolated incidents between squabbling friends. Today, almost every child in the double-digit age bracket has a smartphone. As a result, the scope in which verbal and physical attacks take place has increased significantly.
Cyberbulling has become such an epidemic among today's children that it has led to legislation being drafted by state and federal governments around the world in attempts to curb the problem. But until the education system and legislators alike come to some common ground on the matter, many more cases will lead to tragic circumstances — an all too regular occurrence in modern times.
Image: Josh Miller/CNET
The rise and fall of BlackBerry
In 2003, BlackBerry was one of the powerhouses to the emerging smartphone market. Doubling its base to one million in just a year, every year from thereon in saw the Canadian phone maker's subscriber base rise exponentially.
Even during the height of the 2008 global financial crisis, while BlackBerry had the enterprise market nailed, many ordinary consumers were jumping on the keyboard-enabled bandwagon as the cheaper option during times of personal fiscal responsibility. And where others failed to grasp the "hidden" markets around the world — the emerging and developing nations — BlackBerry had that vast populous nailed down perfectly.
And then it started to go downhill when the other mobile makers, notably Apple, Samsung, HTC, and Motorola douse to the market with a number of killer hot devices that would eventually see BlackBerry users jump off the cart to its rivals. By 2012, the company began to shed millions of users and dwindle in employee count. After a number of poor fiscal financial quarters, BlackBerry announced it was considering putting itself up for sale.
In a year's time from now, we may be lucky to see BlackBerry survive as it is today. It's looking more likely that it will be split up and sold on for spare parts to anyone who wants a piece of its vast intellectual property and patent portfolio.