People

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna to take over as chairman

Krishna is trying to turn around "Big Blue" with a strategy focused on the hybrid cloud.

IBM logo

Former CEO and current board chairman Ginni Rometty will retire from her position on Dec. 31.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna will also take over as chairman of the tech giant's board of directors, the company said on Wednesday evening. Former CEO and current chairman Ginni Rometty will retire from the position on Dec. 31.


Krishna is trying to turn around "Big Blue," which has struggled to compete with the likes of Google and AWS as cloud computing becomes more popular. Now, he's aiming to carve out a leadership position for IBM in the hybrid cloud and AI industries. Krishna previously spun-off IBM's legacy IT infrastructure business.

Fintech

Crypto is crumbling, and DeFi hacks are getting worse

The amount of crypto stolen in the first quarter of 2022 has already surpassed criminal hackers’ 2021 haul. There aren’t any easy fixes.

The biggest hacks of 2022 were carried out by attackers spotting vulnerabilities in smart contracts and protocols, especially in cross-chain bridges and flash loan protocols.

Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Until recently, DeFi seemed like it was on an exponential trajectory upwards. With the collective value of crypto peaking near $3 trillion, hackers saw a big opportunity. The only thing that may slow them down is the precipitous drop in the value of the tokens they’re going after.

DeFi hacks have been getting worse and worse, with no clear solutions in sight. According to a recent report by blockchain security firm PeckShield, the amount of money netted from DeFi hacks in the first four months of 2022, $1.57 billion, has already surpassed the amount netted in all of 2021, $1.55 billion. A report by Chainalysis found a similar trend, with the hacker haul in the first three months of 2022 exceeding a record set in the third quarter of 2021.

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Lindsey Choo
Lindsey Choo is a San Francisco-based reporter covering fintech. She is a graduate of UC San Diego, where she double majored in communications and political science. She has previously covered healthcare issues for the Center for Healthy Aging and was a senior staff writer for The UCSD Guardian. She can be reached at lchoo@protocol.com.
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Policy

Privacy by Design laws will kill your data pipelines

The legislation could make old data pipelines more trouble than they’re worth.

Data pipelines have become so unwieldy that companies might not even know if they are complying with regulations.

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A car is totaled when the cost to repair it exceeds its total value. By that logic, Privacy by Design legislation could soon be totaling data pipelines at some of the most powerful tech companies.

Those pipelines were developed well before the advent of more robust user privacy laws, such as the European Union’s GDPR (2018) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (2020). Their foundational architectures were therefore designed without certain privacy-preserving principals in mind, including k-anonymity and differential privacy.

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Hirsh Chitkara

Hirsh Chitkara ( @HirshChitkara) is a reporter at Protocol focused on the intersection of politics, technology and society. Before joining Protocol, he helped write a daily newsletter at Insider that covered all things Big Tech. He's based in New York and can be reached at hchitkara@protocol.com.

Enterprise

Why AI-powered ransomware could be 'terrifying'

Hiring AI experts to automate ransomware could be the next step for well-endowed ransomware groups that are seeking to scale up their attacks.

Ransomware gangs don’t have AI ransomware. At least not yet.

Photo: Max Duzij/Unsplash

In the perpetual battle between cybercriminals and defenders, the latter have always had one largely unchallenged advantage: The use of AI and machine learning allows them to automate a lot of what they do, especially around detecting and responding to attacks. This leg-up hasn't been nearly enough to keep ransomware at bay, but it has still been far more than what cybercriminals have ever been able to muster in terms of AI and automation.

That’s because deploying AI-powered ransomware would require AI expertise. And the ransomware gangs don’t have it. At least not yet.

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Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach ( @KyleAlspach) is a senior reporter at Protocol, focused on cybersecurity. He has covered the tech industry since 2010 for outlets including VentureBeat, CRN and the Boston Globe. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and can be reached at kalspach@procotol.com.

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Crypto’s big crash

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This week, we're diving into the crypto crash. What led luna to fall off a cliff? Are we seeing the dot-com bust, part two? Protocol fintech editor Owen Thomas explains it all to us. Then entertainment reporter Janko Roettgers joins us to share the inside scoop on his exclusive interview with Mark Zuckerberg. We learn why Meta is betting it all on the metaverse and Brian finally gets to ask the most pressing question on his mind this week: What does Mark smell like?

And finally, Caitlin and Brian take a moment to reminisce about the iPod, which was put out to pasture this week after more than two decades on the market.

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Caitlin McGarry

Caitlin McGarry is the news editor at Protocol.

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