STLR Link Roundup – October 13, 2017

Equifax Data Gets Breached

On September 7, 2017, Equifax publicly announced that criminal hackers had carried out an attack on its servers and gained unauthorized access to personal information of “nearly 44% of the U.S. population.” To make matters worse for Equifax—whose key officers retired immediately—its support team sent a link to a fake site to the victims of the data breach.

At a hearing before the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the now-retired-CEO of Equifax Richard F.Smith claimed that the breach was attributable to a single employee. Whether this was true or simply a means of minimizing liability on their part, Equifax’s exposure to liability seems to grow: reports of another breach have surfaced, and while Equifax is in denial, it has taken down its web page. In light of these concerns, IRS said on Thursday (Oct 12) that it is suspending its contract with Equifax.


Ongoing: H1B Reform and Effects on the Tech Sector

The Trump administration is pushing for reform of H1B visas, and this may have a substantial impact on American technology companies that rely on outsourcing companies like Infosys. H1B is the primary employment visa that American companies use to employ foreigners in the U.S. To ensure that these companies don’t use cheap foreign labor to displace domestic workers, sponsors of H1B-visa applicants have to prove that the employee will receive “prevailing wage” of his or her profession—but there’s a catch. If the annual salary exceeds $60k, the employer (sponsor) no longer needs to show that the employee is receiving a prevailing wage.

For years, outsourcing companies have employed IT workers from India, kept their salaries a little above $60k while the average pay for American IT workers was more than $110k, and outsourced these employees to various technology companies across America. The Trump administration has been proposing to reform this visa policy by raising the prevailing wage standard, which may make foreign outsourced-workers less desirable. While concrete plans are yet to come forth, the Indian government is fervently arguing for policy measures that would largely maintain the employment prospect of Indian workers.


iPhone 8 Users Report Battery Swelling

In the short time since the new iPhone 8 was released on September 22, several users of the new Apple phone have reported battery swelling. Apple has confirmed that it is now looking into the issue. The swelling has been observed in multiple countries, including the US now. Cause of the swelling is yet unknown.


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