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Foundries.io promises standardized open source IoT device security

IoT devices currently lack a standard way of applying security. It leaves consumers, whether business or individuals, left to wonder if their devices are secure and up-to-date. Foundries.io , a company that launched today, wants to change that by offering a standard way to secure devices and deliver updates over the air. “Our mission is solving the problem of IoT and embedded space where there is no standardized core platform like Android for phones,” Foundries.io CEO George Grey explained. What Foundries has created is an open and secure solution that saves everyone from creating their own and reinventing the wheel every time. Grey says Foundries’ approach is not only secure, it provides a long-term solution to the device update problem by providing a way to deliver updates over the air in an automated manner on any device from tiny sensors to smart thermostats to autonomous cars. He says this approach will allow manufacturers to apply security patches in a similar way that Apple applies regular updates to iOS. “Manufacturers can continuously make sure their devices can be updated with the latest software to fix security flaws or Zero Day flaws,” he said. The company offers two solutions, depending on the size and complexity of your device. The Zephyr RTOS microPlatform is designed for smaller, less complex devices. For those that are more complex, Foundries offers a version of Linux called the Linux OE microPlatform. Diagram: Foundries.io Grey claims that these platforms free manufacturers to build secure devices without having to hire a team of security experts. But he says the real beauty of the product is that the more people who use it, the more secure it will get, as more and more test it against their products in a virtuous cycle.

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UK phone giant EE fixes bug that let customers gift data for free

EE, the largest phone network in the UK, has fixed a website bug that allowed customers to add an unlimited amount of plan data to their accounts for free. The bug allowed any customer to modify code on the customer’s account page that allows users to “gift” data to linked accounts. Using man-in-the-middle tools like Burp Suite, it was possible to intercept the server request and swap out the recipient’s phone number with their own. By making the phone numbers the same, the system could be tricked into duplicating the data allowance without incurring any costs. It was also possible to gift data to other connected accounts for free. A pseudonymous security researcher who goes by The Infosec Spider contacted TechCrunch with details of the bug, which we reported to EE. The company said in a statement that it fixed the bug within two days, and thanked the researcher. “Our customer data was never at risk as users could only increase the data on their own plan, or another number associated with their account, after they successfully logged into their account,” said an EE spokesperson. But the researcher said that the bug could have been exploited to defraud the phone giant. It’s the second bug affecting EE the security researcher found this year.

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Slack now valued above $4 billion (Dan Primack/Axios)

Dan Primack / Axios : Slack now valued above $4 billion   —  Enterprise collaboration platform Slack has raised $427 million in new Series H funding at a valuation north of $7.1 billion.  —  Why it's a big deal: Because while Slack is massive (8 million daily active users and over 70k paid teams) …

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Slack confirms it has raised $427M at a post-money valuation of over $7.1B

Slack , the workplace communications platform, has taken off like a rocket since launching in 2013 and now has more than 8 million daily active users and 70,000 teams paying to use it. Now the startup of the same name has closed its latest round of funding to fuel its growth. The company said it has raised another $427 million in a Series H round that values it at over $7.1 billion, led by Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic. The news confirms details first reported by TechCrunch earlier this month. Other investors in this round include T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., funds advised by Wellington Management, Baillie Gifford and Sands Capital, along with unnamed investors. “Slack is an exceptional company that is revolutionizing the way people collaborate, and we look forward to a long term partnership with the Slack team as they continue to grow the business,” said Marc Stad, Founder and Managing Partner of Dragoneer, in a statement. Before this round, Slack had raised $841 million with its 40 or so previous investors reading like a who’s who of the VC world, including a number of individuals as well as the firms SoftBank, Accel, Kleiner Perkins, GV, DST, Index, Andreessen Horowitz, Social Capital and many more. Its most recent round before this was a SoftBank-led  $250 million round at a $5.1 billion valuation , pointing to a huge leap in Slack’s price since September 2017. Over the years, there have been a number of startups and larger tech giants attempting to build workplace communications platforms, but Slack appears to have been the right platform at just the right moment. The public appetite for social media and using digital platforms to communicate has exploded in recent times, and Slack’s easy interface, combined with the ability to integrate just about any other piece of software or app that you might use in your office into its conversation stream, has helped it take off. That has not come without a sharp rise in competition, with the likes of Facebook, Microsoft and others all developing their own platforms to take it on, either because they see an opportunity to jump on the trend to gain new customers and revenue streams, or to hang on to those that it already has (and possibly before Slack snaps them up). In previous rounds, Slack’s CEO and co-founder Stewart Butterfield has said that the company raises “opportunistically.” That is, it doesn’t  have to raise money because it’s already making money and still has some in the bank, but as long as VCs are knocking, it’s worth taking the funding if it’s coming in at good valuations because you never know what might lie ahead. That “ahead” appears to be now. The company did not specify how it plans to use this funding in the short statement it sent to TechCrunch (we’re asking), but it’s been buying up competitors (like Hipchat) in a bid to scale up and consolidate, in addition to ramping up its own offerings to target bigger and more lucrative customers beyond the smaller businesses and startups that helped the company get its start. “Slack has made strong progress in a very short time in this new era of enterprise collaboration.

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Netflix is testing bypassing iTunes payment method in 33 countries, redirecting users to the mobile web version to log payment details directly with…

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch : Netflix is testing bypassing iTunes payment method in 33 countries, redirecting users to the mobile web version to log payment details directly with Netflix   —  Netflix is one of the highest-grossing apps on the iOS App Store, but it looks like the video streaming giant is contemplating …

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TomboyX picks up $4.3 million Series A

For the past ten to fifteen years, a crop of newer brands have found themselves gobbling up marketshare via direct to consumer channels. Some offer a better value proposition on an existing product category, like Warby Parker and Casper, while others offer a reinvention of the category itself, like Outdoor Voices and Glossier. TomboyX , which just closed a $4.3 million Series A round, seems to be doing a great job of both. The company, founded by Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, offers gender-neutral underwear for an affordable price to folks who often aren’t represented in mainstream media. The company says that it serves a diverse customer base, including plus-sized, gender non-conforming and specialized tradespeople. The funding, which was led through funds advised by TAU in conjunction with Redbadge Pacific and SBI Investments Korea, brings total funding to $6.3 million. As part of the deal, LVMH Group former Chairman of North America Pauline Brown has joined TomboyX’s Board of Directors. TomboyX started in 2013 after cofounder Fran Dunaway found herself struggling to find a Robert Graham-style button down shirt. After a brief run making fun, hip dress shirts, the founders realized that the brand name itself, TomboyX, was really resonating with customers. However, dress shirts didn’t exactly work as a hero product. The company shifted to underwear in September of 2014, and that’s when things started to take off. TomboyX sold out of its boxer briefs for women in under two weeks, and tripled revenue over the course of the next six months. “At that point, we realized that we should evaluate the possibility that we’re an underwear company,” said Dunaway. At the end of 2015, the company revamped the website and removed everything from the website that wasn’t underwear. Before that, TomboyX offered belts, buckles, shoes, and was centered more around a look than a specific product.

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TomboyX picks up $4.3 million Series A

For the past ten to fifteen years, a crop of newer brands have found themselves gobbling up marketshare via direct to consumer channels. Some offer a better value proposition on an existing product category, like Warby Parker and Casper, while others offer a reinvention of the category itself, like Outdoor Voices and Glossier. TomboyX , which just closed a $4.3 million Series A round, seems to be doing a great job of both. The company, founded by Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, offers gender-neutral underwear for an affordable price to folks who often aren’t represented in mainstream media. The company says that it serves a diverse customer base, including plus-sized, gender non-conforming and specialized tradespeople. The funding, which was led through funds advised by TAU in conjunction with Redbadge Pacific and SBI Investments Korea, brings total funding to $6.3 million. As part of the deal, LVMH Group former Chairman of North America Pauline Brown has joined TomboyX’s Board of Directors. TomboyX started in 2013 after cofounder Fran Dunaway found herself struggling to find a Robert Graham-style button down shirt. After a brief run making fun, hip dress shirts, the founders realized that the brand name itself, TomboyX, was really resonating with customers. However, dress shirts didn’t exactly work as a hero product. The company shifted to underwear in September of 2014, and that’s when things started to take off. TomboyX sold out of its boxer briefs for women in under two weeks, and tripled revenue over the course of the next six months. “At that point, we realized that we should evaluate the possibility that we’re an underwear company,” said Dunaway

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