The year 2020 is considered one of the eventful years due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so far, as it affected all companies and sectors due to closures, which led to the global economy being greatly affected, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicates that this pandemic It caused the worst economic recession the world had seen in years (the Great Depression) in the 1930s.
Accordingly; Many technology companies witnessed some failures throughout the year, so today we will review the most prominent of them:
1- Quibi Company:
Quibi is one of the companies worst hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, as it came to close completely, after failing to find a buyer.
At the beginning of April 2020; A new video streaming platform has launched, called Quibi, which is short for Quick Bites, as it offers short videos, and aims to provide content to smartphone users only.
Quibi was founded by two of the most prominent entrepreneurs in Hollywood: Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was president of the Disney group during the 1990s animation renaissance, and Meg Whitman, who was the former CEO of Disney, and acted as president And CEO of eBay, and (Hewlett-Packard) HP.
But despite the long and impressive list of shows that include the most prominent international actors and filmmakers, and after raising $ 1.7 billion in funding, the platform was unable to compete with major digital broadcasters such as: Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, and other broadcast services. That appeared during the year. The result was that only seven months after its launch; The company announced its closure.
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman stated in an open letter to employees, investors, and partners that Quibi probably didn’t work for one of two reasons: because the idea itself was not strong enough to offer a mobile-only broadcast service, or because of the timing of the launch. It came at the beginning of the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, or perhaps for both reasons.
The application TikTok – owned by the Chinese company ByteDance – witnessed a lot of events during 2020, as its popularity increased dramatically at the beginning of the year with the outbreak of the Corona virus.
But this success caught the attention of US President Trump, who considered TikTok – which has more than 100 million users in the US – a security risk to Americans, due to concerns that the app would send US user data directly to the Chinese government.
Those concerns were the alleged reason for Trump’s signature last August on an executive order demanding that ByteDance sell the TikTok app to a US company, or it will be banned completely in the United States. This forced the company to search for a company to acquire its branch in the United States of America.
It started with a negotiation with Microsoft, but the application’s owner, ByteDance, refused the sale, so Microsoft withdrew, after which it sought to partner with Oracle to become a trusted technology partner for TikTok in the United States.
It seemed that the deal had Trump’s blessing, but then the US elections took place in November 2020, and the president lost the elections and seemed to have forgotten the matter, so the fate of TikTok in the United States is still suspended until now.
3- hacking Twitter:
The Twitter platform experienced a major breach during July 2020, and this breach is considered one of the largest data breaches that occurred during 2020.
This hack resulted in access to several high-profile accounts belonging to politicians, business leaders and companies, including: accounts of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Kanye West and Barack Obama, Joe Biden – the Democratic presidential candidate who won the US election – and many more.
The strange thing is that this big hack was not to spread misleading information or to influence the elections, but was to spread a scam via digital currencies, and the mastermind of this hack was a 17-year-old American from Florida who helped him two others.
Twitter confirmed on July 30 that this breach occurred by targeting a small number of its employees through a phishing attack by phone. The attackers used the credentials of some employees to access the company’s internal systems and obtain information about its operations.
Twitter closed all verified accounts prior to the start of the investigation into the matter, and since this breach was purely about raising money, it raised the question of what would have happened if a more professional person had taken control of the US President’s account and spread misinformation that harms public opinion.
4- Close the Mixer service to broadcast games:
During July 2020, Microsoft closed its Mixer game streaming service, and said: “It will partner with Facebook to broadcast games through its Facebook Gaming service.” Accordingly, it encouraged its users to switch to the Facebook service.
This was a surprising step from her, especially as she made great efforts in developing this broadcasting service, and acquired the broadcast rights for some of the biggest esports personalities, such as: Ninja and Shroud.
But it seems that it was not able to compete with the most popular services, such as: Twitch – owned by Amazon – and it dominated 91% of the game broadcast market during the third quarter of 2020, after the exit of the Mixer service.
5- Ring company affiliated to Amazon:
Ring – which was acquired by Amazon in 2018 – is one of the most important companies in the smart home security device market, and it is one of the controversial companies due to its cooperation with law enforcement agencies, as the US House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Commission launched an investigation into partnerships Data exchange between Ring, local governments, and police departments on February 19, 2020.
Ring company also summoned during November 2020; About 350,000 second-generation Ring doorbells devices were sold in the United States, and about 8,700 other devices in Canada due to numerous reports indicating that they were on fire.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said: “Ring received 23 reports of the video doorbell setting fire and minor property damage.”
The company indicated that the battery of the Ring doorbells has overheated when incorrect screws are used for installation, which leads to fire and burning risks. It has updated its user guide to reflect this. She indicated that customers did not have to return the devices.
Spotify’s music-streaming service was exposed to more than one security breach during the year 2020, as researchers found during last November an unsecured database on the Internet containing more than 380 million individual records, including: Registration data that was used to hack 300,000 to 350, 000 Spotify account. The exposed records contained a variety of sensitive information such as: usernames, passwords, email addresses, and countries of residence.
In early December, a hacker named Daniel seized some of the pages of very famous stars in the service, then used artist pages, including: Pop Smoke, and Dua Lipa, to announce his love for Donald Trump and Taylor Swift.
The service also warned its users on December 14 that some of their registration data had been inadvertently leaked to a third-party business partner, marking the third breach in about one month.
Spotify explained that the leaked data includes: email addresses, passwords, gender, and dates of birth. And she said in a statement about the leak: It was due to a flaw in the program that existed during the period between April 9 and November 12 of this year, and the flaw was corrected as soon as it was discovered.
The revelation of the US cybersecurity firm FireEye has revealed the biggest breach of government systems since the Obama administration, or perhaps ever before.
It started on December 8th, when cybersecurity company FireEye discovered that its systems had been compromised, and the company later revealed that the hackers had infiltrated the software company SolarWinds and then published an update containing malware for the Orion platform; In order to infect the networks of many US government networks and companies.
The malware that was included in the Orion platform updates may have given the hackers access to different government systems for several months, as initial reports indicate that the hacks began in March.
The US security services are currently assessing exactly which departments have been compromised, and what information has been accessed. Until now; The Commerce Department confirmed it had been hacked, and there were reports of damage to the Treasury and State Department, Department of Homeland Security, parts of the Pentagon and the National Institutes of Health. There are likely to be more US government agencies in the coming days.