Business Roundup Week Ending April 12

How One Engineer’s Curiosity Prevented a Global Cyber Attack – No, Really.

  • On March 29, a Microsoft engineer named Andres Freund noticed an unusual 500ms delay in his Linux system.
  • Upon investigation, he stumbled upon malicious code that could have exposed most of the Internet to a massive attack.
  • The malware, distributed via two recent XZ Utils updates, was designed to break SSH authentication and create a backdoor for unauthorized access on any Linux system using this popular utility.
  • Freund’s timely discovery and alert to the Open Source Security list helped prevent a potentially devastating cyber attack, prompting Linux administrators worldwide to address the issue.
  • XZ Utils is open-source software maintained by a small team. A new developer named “Jia Tan” appeared 2 years ago and began making helpful contributions to the project, gaining trust.
  • With no previous online presence, investigators believe this “Jia Tan” is likely responsible for the malware-infected updates.
  • Some cybersecurity experts suspect the involvement of the Russian SVR intelligence service, known for the SolarWinds attack on US government networks.
  • Could WordPress fall victim to a similar scheme?
  • Read the full story on The Guardian and the New York Times.

Building an Inclusive Web Experience: 7 Essential Strategies

  • Accessibility is not just a buzz-word or a legal requirement, it’s a necessary element of every website to make content available to all.
  • Accessibility doesn’t happen accidentally – you need a plan.
  • Some of the essentials are:
    • Heading structure and hierarchy are crucial for web accessibility, using HTML heading tags to provide a logical structure for assistive technologies and easy navigation.
    • Color use impacts accessibility; sufficient contrast between text and background is essential, and color alone should not convey meaning.
    • Typography choices, like font, size, and capitalization, affect readability for users with visual impairments or reading difficulties.
  • Do you have an accessibility strategy in place for your web projects?
  • Read the A11y Collective article to review the other four essentials and evaluate your agency’s process.

Automattic Has Big Plans for Messaging

  • Automattic has acquired Beeper, a unified messaging app.
  • The acquisition comes shortly after Beeper’s launch of Beeper Mini, which allowed Android users to access iMessage, sparking a brief conflict with Apple that ended up in an antitrust complaint.
  • The Beeper acquisition comes after Automattic’s October 2023 purchase of Texts, Beeper’s only real competitor.
  • Mullenweg: “…Private, free, encrypted, open-source communication is a fundamental human right.”
  • Automattic’s CEO, Matt Mullenweg, views messaging as a fundamental human right and a key pillar for the company, alongside its website and e-commerce offerings.
  • The combined Beeper and Texts team will improve Beeper’s security and prepare the app for its waitlisted users and the general public.
  • Does this mean the fight over green and blue bubbles could finally end?
  • Read this insightful article on The Verge for more on what this acquisition could mean for end users.

Worth a Look

This article, Business Roundup Week Ending April 12, was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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