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HP earnings dinged by recession; IT channel news in brief

HP succumbs to recession; Hackers can bypass SSL

IT Channel news in brief for Feb. 19, 2009

HP succumbs to recession

Hewlett-Packard's first-quarter earnings were dinged by weakening sales of its bread-and-butter printers and PCs. Nearly all of the tech giant's divisions saw lower sales, although its services business doubled due to its acquisition of services giant EDS.

HP earned $1.9 billion, or 75 cents per share, for the quarter ending Jan. 31, 2009, versus $2.1 billion, or 80 cents per share, for the year-ago period. Revenue was up 1% to $28.8 billion, from $28.5 billion in the comparable quarter last year.

Specifically, the company's personal systems group revenue fell 19% to $8.8 billion. Sales for the imaging and printing business was also off 19%, falling to $6 billion, and software sales recorded a 7% drop to $878 million.

HP downplayed expectations for the current second quarter, forecasting earnings of 70 to 72 cents per share, or 84 to 86 cents per share, excluding one-time items. The company anticipates a 2% to 3% decline in sales from the prior year, which would equal to $27.5 billion to $27.7 billion. Analysts had forecast earnings of 89 cents per share on $30.95 billion in sales.

Hackers can bypass SSL

Smart hackers can exploit the HTTP underlying Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), according to People encounter SSL by clicking on a link that redirects them to an HTTPS-secured page. This occurs when website users log into banking, webmail or shopping websites. An expert told attendees of the Black Hat DC Briefings that a new hacking technique intercepts Web traffic and tricks users into giving up passwords and other sensitive information. With the aid of a new tool called SSLstrip, he demonstrated how easy it is to trick users that they are on a trusted, secure website.

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