Week in Review: Yahoo CEO fired, security crises come in pairs

Week in Review

Security is something most of us take for granted, until it's pulled out from underneath us like a cheap rug. Whether it's a couple of attacks aimed at the very fabric of the internet or a particular public HR exercise at a well-known internet company, it's been an unnerving week for most of us.

I'm positively certifiable

Identity certificates are a fundamental way of ensuring websites are who they say they are. The compromising of a Dutch certification authority leading to fake certificates being issued for a range of websites is therefore a major security problem. Suspicions that the attack was actually aimed at Iranian dissidents adds a dimension of international intrigue to an already globetrotting story.

The problem may not be over either as other certification authorities came under attack. Hackers are nothing if not resourceful. So they should really move out of their parents' house and get a proper job.

That's not really my domain

An even bigger security problem is news that Turkish hackers have subverted the internet's domain name system (DNS) records to redirect popular websites, such as Vodafone and The Register, to their own websites. The hackers were more interested in badly translated, pointless graffiti than stealing but the undermining of a fundamental piece of the internet architecture, which average users can do nothing about, is seriously worrying.

Since nothing can be trusted anymore, we're retreating to our cabin in the woods. We'll be junking out smartphones and laptops in favour of carrier pigeons and telegraph machines. Does anybody know what carrier pigeons eat?

You can't fire me! I quit!

Yahoo is a long way from its heady heyday at the turn of the last century when everybody had a Yahoo Mail account and the industry's best and brightest all wanted to work there. The former high-flier is now firmly in the shadow of Google and Facebook, has no direct involvement in its Chinese operations and has resorted to licensing Bing search technology from Microsoft to cut costs.

CEO Carol Bartz has been blamed for failing to reverse the company's stagnation and was fired over the phone by Chairman Roy Bostock. Bartz responded with expletives and hasn't stopped spewing an amusing flow of curse words. Comedy gold.