Nik Cubrilovic (koo-bree-low-vick) is an Australian-born entrepreneur, technologist, software developer and blogger. Nik has been a writer and advisor to Techcrunch since 2005, is a founding editor of TechcrunchIT, and is currently working at Techcrunch and on the Crunchpad project. Nik is the founder and CEO of Omnidrive, a web content and storage platform. Nik was also the founder of Solutionstap, a technology solutions and software development company. Prior to Solutionstap, Nik was a freelance developer, project manager and security specialist in Australia, the UK, South Africa and throughout Europe. Nik has contributed to a large number of open source projects and published a number of security vulnerabilities for various platforms and applications since 1996.
In 2007, Nik was named in The Bulletin magazine as one of Australia’s “Smart 100.”
In 2005 Nik was a founding member of 2web, a loose-knit group of Australian technology entrepreneurs. Nik has advised, or is a current advisor to a range of companies and startups based in both Australia and the USA.
During and after Twittergate, when a hacker broke into a few hosted email accounts and obtained a number of internal documents, I had an opportunity to spend hours speaking to the actual attacker and document how he carried out the attack. The article was called The Anatomy of The Twitter Attack, and today we unfortunately find ourselves with a sequel to that post as the Twitter DNS servers were… → Read More
Late last night the popular micro-messaging service Twitter was attacked and had its website defaced by a group calling itself the Iranian Cyber Army. The Twitter homepage and the main application service page were replaced with a bold pro-Iranian and anti-American message. The message was loud, and very clear – the attack was in response to what Iran saw as internal meddling by the west during… → Read More
The recently released e-book reader from Barnes & Noble, the Nook, has been rooted by the community of enthusiasts at nookdevs.com. The complete instructions for hacking the device and obtaining root access are detailed on the site. The Nook went on sale in late November and aims to compete with the dominant Amazon Kindle, a device which has spurred its own community of hackers and… → Read More
Earlier today news spread that social application site RockYou had suffered a data breached that resulted in the exposure of over 32 Million user accounts. To compound the severity of the security breach, it was found that RockYou are storing all user account data in plain text in their database, exposing all that information to attackers. RockYou have yet to inform users of the breach, and their… → Read More
Earlier this month college textbook rental company Chegg raised $112M as part of a combined Series D and debt round, bringing the total raised by the company to a massive $144M. Competitor BookRenter will tomorrow announce a Series A round of $6M, raised from Storm Ventures and Adams Capital Management. BookRenter has only raised a fraction of the capital of their competitor Chegg, but the… → Read More
In July of last year, I wrote about The New Apple Walled Garden. The post was about the irony of developers and advocates who were otherwise open standards and open source champions being absolutely pro-iPhone, a platform that is closed and proprietary in every sense. Since that post, the horror that was foreshadowed by some has been realized – rejected apps, rejected apps, rejected apps. We … → Read More
PHP founder Rasmus Lerdorf has left his long-held position at Yahoo, according to his Twitter account. Lerdorf joined Yahoo in 2002 and has worked for the company as an engineer since. Lerdorf is most notable for creating the original PHP engine, and for being a notable open source developer, speaker and author. Lerdorf developed PHP in 1995 after building up a collection of C macros that he was… → Read More
A large number of customers of Rackspace Cloud, including Techcrunch, have been experiencing downtime for the past 1h 20m or so. The status blog reports that the service was degraded, and other reports state that it is due to a power outage at the Dallas network operations center. Customers of both Rackspace Cloud and Slicehost are affected, putting services such as Posterous, Dailybooth and… → Read More
A new generation of database products and companies is beginning to emerge, and one of the more interesting examples is Swedish-based Neo Technology, the developer and vendor of the neo4j graph based database (graph in the data structure sense). The neo4j product has been in development for over 8 years, and Neo Technology are today announcing a new $2.5M round of funding. The company has been… → Read More
Amazon has launched a hosted relational database service, Amazon RDS, as part of the suite of services available at AWS. The new service is a hosted MySQL database instance with the full capabilities and access rights as a normal self-hosted DB. As a hosted solution, instances are easily created and available almost immediately. Pricing stars at $0.11c per hour for the smallest scale… → Read More
Amazon has launched a hosted relational database service, Amazon RDS, as part of the suite available at AWS. The new service is a hosted MySQL database instance with the full capabilities and access rights as a normal self-hosted DB. As a hosted solution, the service has an ability to scale out across computational, memory and storage requirements while still being treated as a single db instance… → Read More
We received a number of tips early this morning that the majority of web servers at Twitter was exposing server and load-balancer status information to the public. The status page, which are an (often default) option in the open source Apache web server dump an output of all connections and state information for a particular server. The information is used by administrators to monitor servers, and… → Read More
When email was first created in 1965 it was used as a method to communicate between time-shared mainframe computers. Email has rapidly evolved since then, with the evolution of rich desktop clients, corporate email systems and webmail. Despite the evolution in the core messaging system, and despite the explosion in use of email, the default method for accessing and viewing communications has… → Read More
The big story today is about Microsoft subsidiary Danger losing all T-Mobile Sidekick customer data from their servers. Danger is the company noted for the T-Mobile Sidekick, the revolution in cloud mobile, and most memorably, almost everybody living in 90210 having to get new phone numbers because of Paris Hilton.
Valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers received a notice today from the company… → Read More
Google made a very minor but significant change to their search homepage earlier this week. While everybody else was distracted by the barcode logo, a few Chrome and Safari users may have noticed that the search buttons now have a certain zing to them, a new and pretty look, with slightly rounded corners, a border around them and a cool looking gradient.
Now, before you think or say, “baa baa… → Read More
A large number of web services are geographically restricted, such as Hulu, Pandora and Spotify. The reasons are usually to do with content licensing restrictions, or because US visitors (or visitors from other advanced economies) are of a higher value from a monetization perspective. A web application can only guess at the location of a visitor based on an IP address and other information, such… → Read More
The background debate about whether or not Twitter can actually scale has intensified. More than a year ago I asked “Twitter At Scale: Will It Work?” Today Twitter is far, far bigger. And the uptime woes continue.
The big problem with Twitter is asyncronous following without limitations on the number of connections, which means that a single account can theoretically have a number of followers… → Read More
Squidoo founder and author Seth Godin has backed down on creating company pages by default as part of their new ‘Brands In Public’ service that launched a few days ago. The idea behind the new service is that brands are able to track feedback from customers on a public ‘lense’ (aka. a web page).
Feedback is aggregated from multiple sources, but mostly twitter and mostly by matching against the… → Read More
Moments ago Microsoft launched WebsiteSpark, a new program to provide web developers and designers free copies of Microsoft development tools, applications and server licenses for a period of three years. The program is the third and latest launch as part of the ‘spark’ series of outreach and support programs designed to engage communities with new Microsoft products. The initial programs to… → Read More
A Russian security group has posted a detailed blog post (translation here) about how they managed to extract the source code to over 3,300 websites. The group found that some of the largest and best known domains on the web, such as apache.org and php.net, amongst others, are vulnerable to an elementary information leak that exposes the structure and source of website files. A web surfer is able… → Read More
Twitter continues to work through username squatting issues by reassigning trademarked and even non-trademarked user names to their more appropriate owners. It’s a manual process that sometimes takes weeks, but with Twitter’s growing importance more and more brands are trying to lock up their usernames. Now, though, Twitter has a new headache, and poor organization and planning around Twitter’s… → Read More
RSSCloud is a new format specification for feeds that solves polling and notification issues. It works by adding a cloud element to a feed which describes the path to a cloud server that should be notified when a feed is updated. The cloud server, in-turn, will send the updated feed content to all subscribers and aggregators. There is a description of this process on the RSSCloud website.
The… → Read More
It was only three days ago that I wrote about the almost hopeless challenge of web security, specifically around new vectors with cross-site scripting attacks. Today came news that an XSS vulnerability had been found in the RubyOnRails development framework – and that applications built on the framework, such as Twitter and Basecamp, were vulnerable to XSS attacks. The vulnerability was… → Read More
We wrote this morning about Gmail suffering some turbulence, but it appears now that it has completely crashed and disappeared. Both Apps For Domain and the usual consumer Gmail service are down completely. Google seem to be going backwards on fixing the problem, this morning they sent out an alert saying: September 1, 2009 8:18:00 AM PDT Google Mail service has already been restored for some… → Read More
The Twitter document leak fiasco started with a simple story that personal accounts of Twitter employees were hacked. Twitter CEO Evan Williams commented on that story, saying that Twitter itself was mostly unaffected. No personal accounts were compromised, and “most of the sensitive information was personal rather than company-related,” he said. The individual behind the attacks, known as Hacker… → Read More
An update to our post yesterday talking about a weeks-long issue with click fraud on Facebook: A spokesperson for the company admits there’s a problem and says a fix is coming today. Advertisers will also be credited for any fraudulent clicks.
In a comment to the post, Brandon McCormick says:
This is Brandon on the Facebook communications team. I wanted to chime in to make sure that our voice… → Read More