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After Rumors Swell, LG Formally Announces They Will Be Leaving The Smartphone Market

Ben Smith

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Things have not been looking good for South Korean electronics manufacturer LG. Rumors have been swelling around online for months now that the company is planning to fully exit the Android smartphone market.

Last week, reporters coming from the Korea Times had said that anonymous sources revealed that LG will be pulling out of the Android smartphone market this week, citing that the smartphone business has been a ‘money-losing’ business for LG.


Since January, LG had been publicly reviewing their business model as it relates to Android smartphones and had explicitly stated that “all possibilities were open”. This immediately gave rise to a suspicion both in the media and online that the South Korean giant was planning to leave the smartphone market sometime this year.

Reporters who had been following the story had been expecting an announcement to come towards the end of March, potentially during the shareholders call which happened on March 24th. But as the shareholders call passed, the statements from the company remained the same: “all possibilities remain open.”

While it is no secret that LG had been struggling in the smartphone market for the past six years, the company has made massive gains during the COVID-19 pandemic through home appliances and TV’s. LG has been expanding in their presence within the consumer electronics markets, including electronic vehicles and electronic parts for more than three years, and it would appear that the company plans to follow in this trajectory if they pull out of the smartphone market.

However, the Wing 5G hasn’t been able to carry the company in the smartphone market, and this year has seen the company shift to outsourcing its mid-range and low-end devices to various Chinese companies. In addition to the outsourcing, LG shelved and indefinitely delayed multiple smartphones including the LG Rainbow and LG Rollable, with the belief that neither of these devices will ever see a final release.

Updated 4/5/21: LG has announced on Monday that they have made a “strategic decision to exit the incredibly competitive mobile phone sector” and will re-focus their business on their growing electronic parts production side.


LG will fully wind down its Android smartphone business by July 31st, although they did leave room to say they might still sell whatever stock is left of their phones after that date. All users of LG phones will continue to receive service support and software updates for a limited period time that is varied by region, according to the company.

As the Smartphone market shrinks more, market leaders Apple and Samsung are in position to dominate the market in the following years, along with Chinese manufacturers from Huawei and Xiaomi.

In 2013, LG was ranked by Reuters as being the world’s third largest phone manufacturer but has struggled considerably since then with poor market reviews of their products and cheaper prices coming from competitor Samsung. Since 2013, LG had recorded close to six years straight loss on its mobile phone business.

Ben is a professional writer who writes about PC hardware, gaming and anything else related to computers. When Ben isn’t writing, you can find him gaming or watching basketball.

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Cybersecurity

Peloton Hacking Vulnerabilities Identified in High-End Exercise Bikes

Tara Ragone

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McAfee has identified vulnerabilities in Peloton’s exercise bikes that gives hackers the ability to activate malware and spy on users of the product. McAfee’s threat team stated that hackers could exploit the bike’s USB ports and create fake apps that would reveal users’ personal data to them. Peloton bikes located in public gyms are seen as the most vulnerable since they are open to so many users.

It has been implied that a hacker would not be capable of reaching set goals to use the microphone and camera on Peloton’s bikes to spy without physically accessing the screen. Even though malware realistically would need to be installed in person though, the hackers could later access the products remotely at any desired time. McAfee’s researchers did manage to gain unauthorized access to the products’ features, thus validating the alleged threat(s).


Unfortunately, the most expensive Peloton bikes with sophisticated additions that other products do not have are what renders them susceptible to cyberattacks. One of the emphasized scares of this situation is that hackers can be anywhere, meaning they could potentially install malware during construction of the product or upon its delivery.

McAfee relayed that although they informed Peloton about the vulnerabilities months ago, it took the company weeks to respond. However, McAfee seemed to keep quiet on the matter until the affected company was prepared to take action and respond to the issue formally.

Peloton’s response was that the bikes are not for commercial use and that a perpetrator would need direct access to the product in order to succeed in a hack. The company further stated the vulnerabilities have been addressed and are no longer a threat. Peloton went on to release a mandatory software update for users that is intended to disable hackers from accessing the machines and seeing anything without permission. 

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Cybersecurity

Ukrainian Criminal Ransomware Group Brought Down by Authorities

Tara Ragone

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A ransomware gang, known as Clop, has been brought down by law enforcement due to a collaborated operation carried out by Ukraine, the United States, and South Korea. The Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine validated that 21 residential searches in Kyiv and regions close by resulted in the apprehension of six suspects. It is explained that accusations made against the actors consist of extorting victims twice by first demanding a ransom be paid and then by leaking stolen data if payment is not received.

The Ukraine police announced that the acts of malice were committed against American and South Korean servers. It is thought the cybercriminals have succeeded in extorting at least half a billion dollars from their victims. Organizations that are said to have been subjected to Clop’s illicit actions include large universities in Maryland, Florida, Colorado, and California. This bulk arrest is being referred to as the first apprehension of a ‘prolific hacking’ group victimizing Americans. 


Law enforcement was able to seize computers, cash, and cars at the time their arrests were made on Clop affiliates. Clop was apparently able to achieve their goals through the exploitation of vulnerabilities found in File Transfer Appliance (FTA), which is a product designed by Accellion that allows users to share files. A deep website created by Clop contains the stolen information from the organizations that failed to comply with their ransom demands. 

While authorities are glad to have several members of Clop in custody, they were confronted with limitations due to only approaching the cash and money laundering aspects of the crimes. Additionally, law enforcement does not feel confident that any of the masterminds of Clop were caught being that they are suspected to have residencies in Russia. Presidents Biden and Putin discussed cybersecurity during their Geneva meeting, and there are hopes Russia will enact stronger protocol to combat electronic crimes.

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Amazon

Facebook, Google, And More Pressure SEC to Require Business Climate Reports

Brandon Marcus

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Seven of the biggest technology companies in the world are urging the federal government to hold them accountable about climate change. 

Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google parent company Alphabet, and more sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler on Friday, asking that the SEC require businesses to regularly reveal issues related to climate change to shareholders and the public. 


The coalition’s letter stated that the companies “believe that climate disclosures are critical to ensure that companies follow through on stated climate commitments and to track collective progress towards addressing global warming and building a prosperous, resilient zero-carbon economy.” It marks one of the most high-profile attempts by big tech to spur more self-responsibility and involvement from their sector and follows other instances of the industry being vocal about the need to address climate change.

Perhaps the biggest request in the letter is regarding greenhouse gases. The companies claim that the SEC should require businesses to report on these gas emissions in an annual report that provides transparency to anyone involved in the company and any potential customers as well. 

Additionally, the group of businesses stated that they have purchased 21 gigawatts of clean energy in their quest for a fully renewable economy. 

The letter doesn’t come as a major surprise, since many major tech companies have long been adamant about fighting climate change. However, even the most vocal companies have been criticized for their lack of tangible action. Recently, some of these companies – such as Amazon – have put forth plans to show how serious they are about tackling the pressing issue. Jeff Bezos launched the “Climate Pledge” in September 2019, which included plans for Amazon to use 80% renewable energy by 2024 before transitioning to complete zero emissions by the year 2030. 

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