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Tech Giant Google to Buy Data Analytics Firm Looker for $2.6 bn

Google Cloud’s BigQuery and associated data infrastructure, together with Looker’s platform for innovative data solutions, will help to solve the business problems with data at an entirely different scale and value point

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FILE - A woman walks past the logo for Google at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Nov. 5, 2018. VOA

Google has said that it is going to purchase data analytics startup Looker in a $2.6 billion all-cash deal to better tap into data and Cloud computing business.

Google said Looker will join Google Cloud after the acquisition is closed, which will provide customers with a more comprehensive analytics solution and allow enterprises to leverage the power of analytics, Machine learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Google Cloud has been widely used by many leading enterprises and organisations in the world for analytics and decision-making, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The combination of Google Cloud and Looker will enable customers to harness data in new ways to drive their digital transformation,” CEO of Google Cloud Thomas Kurian said.

He added Google will remain committed to its multi-cloud strategy and will retain and expand Looker’s capabilities to analyse data across clouds.

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

The deal has been Google’s biggest acquisition since it bought smart home company Nest, a firm funded by Google parent Alphabet, at a cost of $3.2 billion in 2014.

“The combination of Looker and Google Cloud advances the mission that we undertook from the beginning — to empower humans through the smarter use of data,” Looker CEO Frank Bien said.

Google Cloud’s BigQuery and associated data infrastructure, together with Looker’s platform for innovative data solutions, will help to solve the business problems with data at an entirely different scale and value point, Bien added.

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Looker has been a close partner of Google Cloud for more than four years and through such a partnership, the two companies have shared more than 350 joint customers, such as Buzzfeed, Hearst, King, Sunrun, WPP Essence and Yahoo, Bien said.

“This is not, by any means, the end for Looker, but simply the closing of our first chapter with many more to come,” Bien said, pledging to continue creating value for thousands of additional customers across the globe. (IANS)

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Many Security Flaws in Apple Safari Browser: Google

Google discovers security flaws in Apple Safari browser

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Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari. Pixabay

Google security researchers discovered several security flaws in a privacy software in Apple web browser Safari that could have helped third-party vendors track users’ browsing habits.

According to a report in the Financial Times which cited a soon-to-be published paper from Google’s ‘Project Zero’ team, the vulnerabilities were found in an anti-tracking feature known as ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’.

Once disclosed by Google researchers to Apple in August last year, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker immediately patched the flaws.

Apple launched the ‘Intelligent Tracking Prevention’ tool in 2017 to, in fact, protect Safari users from being tracked around the web by advertisers and other third-party cookies.

According to Google researchers, the vulnerabilities left personal data of Safari users exposed. They also found a flaw that allowed hackers to “create a persistent fingerprint that will follow the user around the web”.

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This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem. Pixabay

Apple confirmed it patched the issues.

This is the third time Google researchers have found flaws in the Apple ecosystem.

In September, Apple slammed Google for creating a false impression about its iPhones being at hacking risk owing to security flaws that allegedly let several malicious websites break into its iOS operating system.

Researchers at ‘Project Zero’ team had discovered several hacked websites that allegedly used security flaws in iPhones to attack users who visited these websites — compromising their personal files, messages, and real-time location data.

In a statement, Apple said the so-called sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones “en masse” as described.

According to Google, the websites delivered their malware indiscriminately and were operational for years.

Apple said that it fixed the vulnerabilities in question — working extremely quickly to resolve the issue just 10 days after it learnt about it.

In July last year, the ‘Project Zero’ team found six critical flaws in Apple iMessage that can compromise the user’s phone without even interacting with them. These security vulnerabilities fell into the ‘interactionless’ category.

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Two members of ‘Project Zero’, Google’s elite bug-hunting team, published details and demo proof-of-concept code for five of six ‘interactionless’ security bugs that impact the iOS operating system and can be exploited via the iMessage client. All the six security bugs were patched with the iPhone maker’s iOS 12.4 release. (IANS)