IBM says that it isn't dropping SUSE Linux as a key part of its retail point-of-sale strategy. It's just adding Windows (WEPOS, or Windows Embedded Point-of-Sale). But for a company that has everything to gain from Linux and everything to lose from Windows (except some near-term cash), this reeks of capitulation.
IBM saw Linux POS systems spike in popularity, but that has subsided. Now it's voting with its feet:
As a rival to Microsoft in many other parts of the IT market, IBM had held out for Linux over WEPOS as long as it could. But the deal to support the Microsoft operating system should cement Linux's fate as a niche offering that is attractive mostly to grocery store chains and similarly sized hard goods retailers, such as Pep Boys or Circuit City, [market research firm IHL president Greg] Buzek said.… Read more
In a paper released today (click for PDF), Neal Krawetz of Hacker Factor Solutions looks at the probable causes behind recent large-scale data thefts at TJX, OfficeMax and other retail stores. He concludes that "point-of-sale terminals and branch servers store credit card information in ways that are no longer secure enough."
Although Krawetz's paper doesn't reveal any new exploits against point-of-sale (POS) systems, he does fault practices still being used by various vendors. In an e-mail to CNET News.com, Krawetz wrote: "I believe that the vulnerabilities behind the January 2006 compromise of a Fujitsu … Read more