Pay up or you’ll never see your data again

Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and a ProPublica investigation shows that some victims don’t even know they are paying crooks — and sometimes terrorists — to regain control.

Greg Skomal heads up the Massachusetts Shark Research Program.


He’s a real-life Matt Hooper

This shark researcher lives the dream-job that he saw Richard Dreyfuss portray in “Jaws.”

The Novartis campus in Basel, Switzerland.


At $2.1 million, newly approved Novartis gene therapy will be world’s most expensive drug

The new gene therapy treats children under 2 years of age with spinal muscular atrophy.

Tim Lorenzo at work on some of his wood sculptures in his Somerville studio.


In Somerville, a ‘wood magician’s’ sanctuary

For artist-carpenter Tim Lorenzo, being creative is a messy business.  

Latest Business headlines

Markey, senators press FAA over New England office

The FAA is reportedly considering downgrading the regional office, putting it under the jurisdiction of an agency official in New York.

CEOs get $800,000 pay raise, leaving workers further behind

Did you get a 7 percent raise last year? Congratulations, yours was in line with what CEOs at the biggest companies got. But for chief executives, that 7 percent was roughly $800,000.

Boeing faces SEC investigation into its 737 Max disclosures

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Boeing Co. properly disclosed issues tied to the grounded 737 Max jetliner, according to people familiar with the matter, as regulators intensify their scrutiny of the company following two deadly crashes.

China ramps up war of rhetoric in trade standoff with US

There was no word from either side on progress toward resuming talks between the world’s two largest economies, though President Trump said he expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, next month at a G-20 meeting in Japan.

Vineyard bus drivers agree to hold off on strike

They will will instead wait to see what next week’s negotiating session brings.


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Top Places to Work

// The 2018 Top Places to Work in Massachusetts

These 128 businesses have the happiest employees in the state. Here are sortable lists of the winners, and how we compiled them.


// Developing new antibiotics requires new incentives, experts say

The private sector is unwilling to take on the financial risk, experts say, despite desperate need.

More Business headlines

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seen after his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on May 10, called for governments to more actively regulate online speech.

Facebook says it is more aggressively enforcing content rules

Facebook has faced withering criticism from governments around the world about its failure to scrub its platform of hate speech.

Trump pledges $16b to farmers

The latest bailout comes atop $11 billion in aid Trump provided farmers last year.

Massachusetts General Hospital officials on Thursday announced plans to acquire an Exeter, N.H., community health system.

Mass. General to acquire Exeter, N.H., hospital

It’s the latest move by Partners HealthCare to grow outside of Massachusetts.

An office building will sprout beyond the left-field wall at Worcester’s Polar Park, scheduled to open in 2021.

Chesto Means Business

PawSox owners hope to lure biotechs to Worcester

An office building will loom over left field at Worcester’s new Polar Park, and the facility could be a home run for biotechs in need of a home.

Protesters rallied in front of the State House in April 2016 as part of the Fight for 15 campaign.

$15 minimum wage becomes part of 2020 presidential landscape

Almost every Democrat running for president next year agrees that the federal minimum wage should be more than doubled, to $15 an hour.

“The daily deluge of robocalls that Americans experience is more than a nuisance, it is a consumer protection crisis. Today, the Senate is telling robocallers that their days are numbered,” Senator Ed Markey said in a statement.

Something Democrats and Republicans agree on: Robocalls are terrible

Proposed by Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey and South Dakota Republican John Thune, a bill would allow the FCC to impose fines of up to $10,000 against people making unwanted automated calls.

Dominic Romito watched from a standing-room-only crowd as hearings proceeded over conflicting interpretations of findings from Sarepta’s clinical trial of an experimental drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Watchdog group says there’s little evidence to show Sarepta’s muscular dystrophy drugs work

Evidence that the two medicines work is so scant that the watchdog can’t even say how much they should cost. In a statement, the drug maker called the group’s approach “fatally flawed.”

Ariel Quiros (left) former owner of Jay Peak Resort, stood with his lawyer Seth Levine outside the federal courthouse in Burlington Vt., Wednesday, after his arraignment on fraud charges over a failed plan to build a biotechnology plant using foreign investors’ money.

Ski resort leaders, businessman indicted on fraud charges

The former owner and former president of a Vermont ski resort accused in a multimillion-dollar fraud case have been indicted on federal charges unsealed Wednesday over a failed plan to build a biotechnology plant using foreign investors’ money.

Vas Narasimhan, chief executive officer of NovartisG, on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 22, 2019. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Jason Alden.

Novartis head coy about pricing on breakthrough drug

Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan said said he could justify charging up to $5 million for a revolutionary treatment for a rare genetic disease, but it will end up being priced at a fraction of that.

05/22/2019 Martha's Vineyard Ma - Passenger unload off of their bus in Aquinnah. The Vineyard Transit Authority bus drivers may go on strike . Jonathan Wiggs /GlobeStaff Reporter:Topic:

Martha’s Vineyard bus drivers threaten strike

Long-simmering labor dispute heats up as the summer tourist season gets underway.

A Huawei store in Beijing. Google said it would cut off support to Huawei for its Android hardware and software.

Mobile carriers in Britain and Japan begin to turn away from Huawei

Google’s decision to cut off support to Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant blacklisted by the Trump administration, is rippling across the globe as companies suspend ties to the handset-maker.

Bitcoin pioneer Circle lays off 30

The layoffs were announced six days after Circle halted US trading in nine cryptocurrencies.

Bourne, MA - 09-31-12- Traffic backed up before the Bourne Bridge heading for Cape Cod for the Labor Day weekend. (Globe staff photo / Bill Greene) Section:metro, topic:feature

The Cape Cod bridges are a traffic nightmare. But plans for improvement are taking shape

State officials want to add or move several highway ramps, reconfigure rotaries, and create signalized intersections around the Bourne and Sagamore bridges. And the federal government is considering a complete replacement of those bridges.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson testified at a House Financial Services Committee oversight hearing on Tuesday.

Proposed HUD rule would strip transgender protections at homeless shelters

The proposed rule comes one day after HUD Secretary Ben Carson assured members of Congress that the agency had no plans to eliminate the 2012 Equal Access Rule.

Ceres, the Boston-based environmental nonprofit, is leading a lobbying blitz in Washington, D.C., calling for a price on carbon emissions. Above, the LyondellBasell oil refinery in Houston.

Chesto Means Business

Boston group brings corporate America to D.C. to push for climate bill

Members of Congress are used to hearing from the usual suspects — the enviros and other lefties – about the pressing need for a law that would carbon emissions. But Corporate America has joined the crusade.

Qualcomm’s stock tumbled before Wednesday’s market open, after a federal judge ruled that the company unlawfully stifled cellphone chip market competition and charged excessive licensing fees.

Qualcomm violated antitrust law, judge rules

US District Judge Lucy Koh’s ruling sided with the Federal Trade Commission, which in 2017 sued the San Diego-based chipmaker on accusations its agreements with phone makers undermined competition.

Matt Maddox, CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd., at a Nevada Gaming Commission meeting in February.


The high-stakes poker game that Wynn Resorts and MGM just lost

Vegas titans Matt Maddox and Jim Murren forgot that what happens in Vegas doesn’t happen in Massachusetts.

Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.


Forget the partisans, Trump should pick Boston’s Eric Rosengren for the Fed board

There are plenty of candidates out there would be excellent stewards of the economy without the political baggage and Boston’s Rosengren is one of them.

Boston area housing market in full spring bloom

April sales were up almost 3 percent compared with the same month last year.

Wynn Resorts chief executive Matthew Maddox (left) and others tied to Wynn met with the state Gaming Commission in April.

chesto means business

Politics, not finances, got in the way of MGM-Wynn deal

MGM issued a statement Tuesday night saying it was ending discussions with Wynn for the Everett casino, and that it would stick with its new Springfield casino instead. The finances might have worked out with a Wynn deal. The politics proved insurmountable.


New Coke, marketing disaster of the 80s, makes a comeback of sorts

Stories you may have missed from the world of business.

Arts give Boston economy a $2b boost, report says

The report, sponsored by Bank of America, says area arts and cultural events attract roughly 21 million people every year, more than four times the combined attendance at Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox games.

FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2018, file photo, Mike Starkey offloads soybeans from his combine as he harvests his crops in Brownsburg, Ind. For months, the U.S. economy has shrugged off the tariffs slapped by America and China on tens of billions of dollars of each other’s goods. In drawing up its list of targets, Beijing focused specifically on soybeans and other farm products in a direct shot at Trump supporters in the U.S. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Trump readies new round of aid to farmers hit by China trade war

The aid plan is largely modeled on the program the administration put in place last year after China slapped retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural products, though the payments will be more generous.

When Alanna Ludley was looking for a company to move her belongings from Abington to Hanover last fall, she found Monster Movers. After her piano was damaged in the move, the company accepted responsibility and agreed to pay to restore it. But then it ghosted her.

Sean P. Murphy | The Fine Print

Movers damaged her grandmother’s vintage piano, and she’s fighting to get it repaired

She obtained a small claims judgment for $600 for damage done by her mover, but can she enforce it without a valid street address for the company?

Kuldeep Singh Rajput, founder and CEO of Biofourmis.

Singapore startup Biofourmis raises $35m, plans headquarters move to Boston

Biofourmis makes a system that combines biosensors, artificial intelligence software, and a mobile app to monitor patients with chronic medical conditions.

After 2017 sexual harassment complaints, union official now up for a promotion

Tyrek D. Lee Sr. was executive vice president of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East when he was placed on leave.

Biomass plants provide revenue for the timber industry, particularly after the demise of paper mills in the region.

Stakes high in New Hampshire timber industry debate

New Hampshire’s wood-fired power plants helped support the timber industry for nearly four decades. But their days could be numbered now.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the pact would improve rural Internet access as well as aid US leadership in 5G connectivity.

T-Mobile, Sprint soar after FCC chairman says he’ll recommend deal

T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. jumped as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said he’ll recommend his agency approve the companies’ $26.5 billion merger, turning attention to whether the deal also will win a needed clearance from antitrust regulators.

Papa Gino’s, which just exited bankruptcy, is launching its first major campaign in five years.


With new ads, Papa Gino’s promotes New England’s ‘official’ pizza

The chain’s new chief marketing officer turned to a local ad agency to launch the pizzeria chain’s first major ad campaign in five years.

Coalition urges state to delay payroll tax for family leave program

The advocates say there’s a need for a three-month extension of the July 1 deadline for approval of employers’ private paid and family medical leave plans and the start of required plan contributions.

With E Ink Corp.’s technology, a window can turn black, blocking light, at the push of a button.

E Ink’s latest foray: self-darkening windows

The Billerica company behind e-book reader displays wants to light up — and darken — your home.

Business agenda

An artificial intelligence symposium, networking at the Boston Tea Party Museum, and other events and things to know.

Stocks finish lower as trade jitters hit tech sector

US equities sank Monday as the fallout from the White House’s moves against Chinese telecom giant Huawei battered technology shares and stoked trade jitters.

Ford cuts thousands of white-collar jobs

Ford said it would cut 7,000 jobs — or about 10 percent of its global salaried workforce.

Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris spoke Sunday during a campaign event in Los Angeles.

Kamala Harris wants to fine companies that pay men more than women

Under Harris’s plan, companies could be fined 1 percent of their profits for every 1 percent wage gap they allow to persist for work of equal value.

UMass Boston lands $1 million donation for Latino institute

The gift from Robert and Diane Hildreth will support the Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Community Development and Public Policy.

Braintree is requiring Amazon to identify its delivery vehicles as part of a traffic-management plan.

It’s Amazon vs. Braintree in suit over delivery signage

The lawsuit could have broad implications for a booming business: getting stuff to your front door fast.

Top Places to Work nominations extended

Companies can sign up through June 21.

Dan Wolf, cofounder of Cape Air, wants to start two daily flights to New York City this summer.


Planned Seaplane service runs into choppy waters in Southie

Cape Air CEO Dan Wolf’s dream of bringing seaplane service to Boston Harbor is running into some turbulence: He still needs to stick the landing in South Boston.

In Springfield, new Orange Line cars sat on the production floor of the CRRC factory.

Senator seeks probe of Chinese company making MBTA’s subway cars

Chuck Schumer wants the federal government to step in and investigate whether a Chinese state-owned company could pose a threat to national security.

Headquarters of Deutsche Bank is photographed in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Deutsche Bank staff saw suspicious activity in Trump, Kushner accounts

But the bank never filed reports on accounts connected to Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Innovation Economy by Scott Kirsner


Kirsner’s Innovation Economy column appears in the Boston Sunday Globe, and he contributes to the Globe’s Beta Boston website.