Archive for June 13, 2018

AURO Announces Managed OpenStack Service

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2018 by itnerd

AURO, Canada’s first enterprise public cloud that offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services, has announced a Managed OpenStack service that allows you access to a team of certified experts dedicated to helping your cloud succeed. Simply put, it’s the enterprise cloud without the responsibility that normally comes with it.

Managed OpenStack is a product that oversees your deployment, operations, cloud strategy, security, and change management. It proactively resolves issues before you experience them–all around the clock. You can focus on your business by allowing AURO to focus on your cloud infrastructure for you.

The service includes proactive monitoring and alerts with 24/7 support, operational management for user change requests, updates and security assessments, 99.99% SLA availability, and HA configuration assistance.

The plan offers a variety of features, all of which present opportunities to customize your cloud even further. Setup on OpenStack versions such as Newton, Ocata, Pike, and Queens effortlessly. Access modern, effective customization options on any and all OpenStack Projects including Nova, Neutron, Glance, Swift, Cinder, Sahara, Trove, and Magnum. Enjoy cloud monitoring and gain metrics, with high available storage backend for compute nodes.

Additionally, make use of Openstack’s API for a hybrid solution using AURO’s Public cloud or S3 API emulation to move workloads. You can also employ applications which allow for centralized management of cloud resources across private and public clouds.

Managed OpenStack is 100% open-source with no vendor lock-in. It offers the benefits of the public cloud without the need for cloud infrastructure experts. With AURO, there are no limitations and you pay only for what you use.

To learn more, contact AURO via email at

Apple Admits That It Is Trying To Stop Brute Force Exploits On iDevices

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2018 by itnerd

You might remember that I spoke about the one thing that Apple didn’t speak to at the World Wide Developer’s Conference, which is that it appears that they’re trying to stop brute force exploits via USB which are used by things like the GrayKey which has become the new cool toy for law enforcement to get to crack iPhones. Specifically what they didn’t talk about was USB restricted mode which has popped up in the betas of iOS 12.

Now it seems that Apple is now talking about this feature for the first time:

Apple said the change, which would disable the Lightning port on the bottom of iPhones an hour after users lock their phones, is part of software updates rolling out in the fall. Designed to better protect the private information of iPhone users, it will have little obvious effect on most people using the devices. But it will make it far more difficult for investigators to use extraction tools that attach through the port for the purpose of collecting the contents of seized iPhones.

The change isn’t intended to thwart law enforcement efforts, Apple said. “We’re constantly strengthening the security protections in every Apple product to help customers defend against hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data,” said the company in a statement. “We have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and we don’t design our security improvements to frustrate their efforts to do their jobs.”

Except that the only people that we know of who use this exploit is law enforcement. Other than that, I have no problem with Apple’s statement. I’m all for it personally as I think that we all should the right to having secure devices. And I mean secure from everybody. But having said that, I fully expect law enforcement to freak out at any time and that will be interesting to watch.


Microsoft Fixed A Cortana Vulnerability That Allowed One To Bypass A Windows 10 Lock Screen

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2018 by itnerd

If you’re a Windows 10 user, and if you installed all the updates that showed up on yesterday’s Patch Tuesday dump, you’ve just fixed a really serious security issue with your Windows 10 computer. Specifically there was a vulnerability where Window 10’s ever helpful virtual assistant Cortana could help an attack bypass the computer’s lock screen and change the password. Now if you guessed that Cortana was always listening for commands to act on even if the computer is locked, you’d be right.

Now I know that when I try to use certain commands with Siri when my iPhone is locked, Siri will demand that I unlock my iPhone. Plus I can disable “Hey Siri” commands  at the lock screen entirely as that has been an issue in the past. Thus maybe Microsoft should look at doing the same. Otherwise, they’ll continue to have a never ending stream of lock screen security issues like Apple has had.

CableLabs Completes Full Duplex DOCSIS Specification… Here’s Why It May Not Matter

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2018 by itnerd

I came across this press release from CableLabs which is behind the DOCSIS standard that is used by most if not all cable companies that deliver Internet access to consumers. In that press release CableLabs announces that they’ve completed the Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 specification which will allow speeds of up to 10Gbps both upstream and downstream for those of us who get their Internet from a cable company.

So that’s a good thing right? Well, not so fast.

Any sort of deployment may be up to five years away. And it will likely require that cable companies upgrade equipment, and in turn force you to upgrade the cable hardware that your cable company provides you. But here’s the key point. Companies that deliver fiber to the home are way ahead of any cable company. Take Bell for example who have been aggressively rolling out their Fibe gigabit offering which at present is 1Gbps downstream and 940 Mbps upstream. And they are promising to punt that up to 4 Gbps both ways in the near future and 40 Gbps both ways within five years. This is why I’ve been saying for a while that Bell has the upper hand when it comes to Internet access in Canada. Any other telco who is doing what Bell is doing is in a similar position. Which leaves any cable operator on the back foot as a result.

Thus this announcement is interesting. But I think it’s too little too late for cable companies who are clearly behind the eight ball and there’s no scenario where they will come out on top in this situation.


Guest Post: NordVPN Discusses Why VPN Usage Will Likely Double During FIFA World Cup

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 13, 2018 by itnerd

Soccer fans around the world are ready for the biggest event of four years – FIFA World Cup 2018. It draws millions of viewers to their screens, and tension and drama are abundant. Everybody still remembers Germany destroying Brazil 7:1 at home in 2014, and is eager to see what this year’s Cup will bring.

FIFA said that its 2014 World Cup drew 1.01 billion viewers around the world.

However, it’s not always possible to watch your country’s team play, especially when you are traveling. Therefore, many people who might have never used a VPN before (Virtual Private Network) turn to one for watching any game online.

NordVPN, a VPN service provider, has seen an increase in its users during any big sporting event. For example, during 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, NordVPN’s sales grew by 104.72%, showing a growing digital awareness of viewers.

“With each large sporting event, more and more people try the VPN technology they might have never used before,” said Ruby Gonzalez, Head of Communication at NordVPN. “We started getting questions about how NordVPN can help expand the options for watching World Cup games weeks in advance. It’s pretty likely to see the number of new users double again and, once the soccer fever is over, many will stick to VPN as they see for themselves how useful and easy it actually is.”

A VPN service links user’s computer to a server in a country of their choice via an encrypted tunnel. For example, a person can appear to be in the U.S. while they actually are in Europe, or vice versa, simply by choosing a different VPN server location.