Archive for February, 2013

Federal Reserve: Website was breached

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at the 2012 Financial Markets Conferennce last year in Atlana. (Phil Skinner, skinner@ajc.com)

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke at the 2012 Financial Markets Conference last year in Atlanta. (Phil Skinner, skinner@ajc.com)

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The Federal Reserve’s website was breached earlier this week and the monetary agency acknowledged some users’ information was compromised, though it didn’t provide specifics.

ZDNet reported Anonymous “hacktivists” were able to access personal information of more than 4,000 U.S. bank executives on Sunday and published the information on the Web. The Fed, however, didn’t confirm or deny the report.

“The Federal Reserve System is aware that information was obtained by exploiting a temporary vulnerability in a website vendor product,” a Federal Reserve spokesman said after Reuters reported the breach. “The exposure was fixed shortly after discovery and is no longer an issue.”

The Fed said the breach did not affect critical operations of the Federal Reserve System.

After the breach the Fed warned …

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Free Wi-Fi for everyone? FCC says maybe

Roswell resident Jan Oetinger uses the free Wirelesstown internet connection in Roswell Area Park. Phil Skinner pskinner@ajc.com

Roswell resident Jan Oetinger uses the free Wirelesstown internet connection in Roswell Area Park. (Phil Skinner pskinner@ajc.com)

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(Updated 12:44 p.m.) What would you say to unlimited access to free super Wi-Fi networks across the nation  – and possibly never having to sign up for a data plan?

The Federal Communications Commission is considering making free Wi-Fi- networks available to the public. While it could be years before it’s a reality, the proposal already has wireless service providers in a tizzy, according to The Washington Post.

The proposed Wi-Fi networks would be powerful enough to “penetrate thick concrete walls and travel over hills and around trees,” the Post said.

The idea is from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Freeing up unlicensed spectrum is a vibrantly free-market approach that offers low barriers to entry to innovators developing the technologies of the future and benefits consumers,” Genachowski …

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Serial entrepreneur recalls route to success

Scoring big as an entrepreneur is rare. Doing it more than once is rarer.

Luck can help, and so does having some sharp business insights.

Ashish Bahl, a self-described serial entrepreneur, is on his third financial tech firm. He sold his first after only a few months to iXL (no longer exists) and his second for about $150 million to American Express.

Ashish Bahl

Ashish Bahl

His current company, Atlanta-based Acculynk, has a patented system enabling online consumers to pay a growing number of businesses by entering a secure PIN when they use their debit card — just like at an ATM. The technology — an online PIN pad — scrambles the numbers so they’re not intercepted during transmission.

Bahl, 47, had an unusual childhood, fleeing Kenya with his parents during a troubled time. He recalls what happened, as well as how he became an entrepreneur and what he’s learned.

Q: You came to the United States under unusual circumstances. Would you please discuss?

A: At the ripe old age of 7, I …

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Study: Job openings growing in Atlanta, nation

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Job openings were up 8 percent nationally in January compared with the same period a year ago, but openings were up 15 percent in Atlanta, according to a company that operates one of the world’s largest job search engines.

In its latest update on the growth in job openings, Simply Hired said Atlanta ranked No. 4 in largest gains between December and January, up 3.3 percent. Atlanta followed West Palm Beach ( up 6 percent); Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., (4.2 percent); and Las Vegas (4.1 percent). The study showed there were three unemployed people for every one job opening on average.

Simply Hired spokeswoman Sara Lee said the data is taken from a database of more than 8 million job openings. The top hiring companies locally were WellStar Health System, Piedmont Healthcare, Northside Hospital, Emory University and Great Clips, according to Simply Hired.

The state Labor Department does not track job openings, but said there were 2.37 million …

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