Archive for September 17, 2019

Trend Micro Highlights Security Risks of New Open Banking Regulation

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 17, 2019 by itnerd

Trend Micro Incorporated today released research demonstrating that major new European banking rules could greatly increase the cyberattack surface for financial services firms and their customers.

The new research details the impact of the EU’s Revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2), which is designed to give users greater control over their financial data and the option of sharing it with a new breed of innovative Financial Technology (FinTech) firms. The same ideas are spreading globally under the term “Open Banking.”

The report highlights several possible attack scenarios under the new regulatory regime:

  • Attacks on APIs: Public APIs are at the heart of Open Banking, allowing approved third parties to access users’ banking data to provide innovative new financial services. Implementation flaws in these APIs will allow attackers to exploit back-end servers to steal data.
  • Attacks on FinTech companies: Users will be forced into a new trust relationship with providers that may have fewer resources than their banks and no track record on data protection. In a quick survey of Open Banking FinTechs, Trend Micro found them to have an average of 20 employees and no dedicated security professional. This makes them ideal targets for attackers and raises concerns over security gaps in their mobile apps, APIs, data sharing techniques and security modules that could be incorrectly implemented.
  • Attacks on the apps or mobile platforms: Most Open Banking services will be deployed as mobile apps, making these a prime target for attackers. Finding the username, password, or encryption keys within the app would allow a criminal to retrieve banking data and pose as the user. Even if the apps don’t have permission to make payments, they could contain transaction data, allowing an attacker to build a highly accurate profile of their victims.
  • Attacks against the user: Because new Open Banking apps will become the primary means for users to access financial data and services, phishing attacks could reap major rewards for attackers.

To prepare for the changing landscape, Trend Micro details how financial institutions can improve their cyber resilience. These include ensuring sensitive information is never contained in URL paths, prioritizing secure protocols, and eliminating risky practices.

Meanwhile, Open Banking app developers and owners must adopt a secure-by-design approach, including regular software audits.

To find out more about the cyberrisks associated with new Open Banking rules, read our report,Ready or Not for PSD2: The Risks of Open Banking, here:


Dell Technologies Unveils Groundbreaking Servers and Solutions for Modern Data Centers

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 17, 2019 by itnerd

Dell Technologies is introducing a portfolio of all-new Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, new Ready Solutions for High-Performance Computing (HPC), and simplified management integrations with leading software and public cloud providers, all designed to address the demands of the modern data center.

Five all-new PowerEdge servers, added to the world’s bestselling server portfolio,have been designed from the ground-up to address the complex and varied demands of traditional, emerging and multi-cloud workloads. Engineered to unlock the full potential of 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors, the new servers offer customersimproved performance and an easier to manage and secure platform. The new PowerEdge servers have set world records including 280% greater single-socket virtualized database performance1 and the industry’s top dual-socket performance result in the SAP Sales and Distribution (SAP SD) benchmark.

Dell Technologies innovation offers all new Dell EMC PowerEdge servers designed to optimize the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors

New PowerEdge servers, designed to optimize the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processor capabilities, are engineered to offer the compute performance, manageability and integrated security required for multi-cloud environments and a wide range of new and emerging workloads.

For example, the new severs enable improved Dell EMC vSAN Ready Node deployments with an up to 51% increase in input/output per second (IOPS) over previous generation AMD EPYC processor-based PowerEdge systems.

The result of Dell EMC engineering and close collaboration with AMD helps ensure customers can benefit from all features of the new AMD EPYC processors, unlike “drop-in” approaches that may limit processor capabilities.

The new servers offer faster compute and memory response and benefit from built-in hardware and firmware security. Compared to the previous generation, the servers’ newly designed motherboard also offers customers better cooling and optimal signal integrity. Additionally, the innovative PowerEdge designs benefit customers today and in the future with support for PCIe 4.0 interconnection for next generation storage, accelerators and advanced networking.

New server innovations and capabilities include:

  • Workload-Optimized System Designs – Built from the processor architecture up to support all aspects of the new 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors, the new PowerEdge designs offer substantial performance improvements for a variety of workloads, including HPC, databases and VDI.
  • Efficient TCO – With high core counts and balanced configurations, the new, powerful single-socket designs are capable of workloads that often require two sockets. The efficient performance can offer hardware and software cost savings for improved total cost of ownership.
  • Greater Bandwidth – Featuring up to 26% more PCIe lanes with 60% faster interconnect fabric, enabled by PCIe 4.0, the new servers offer industry-leading capabilities for demanding network needs.
  • Security – The new servers offer built-in security from below the chipset and BIOS to the processor. With AMD’s Secure Encrypted Virtualization and Secure Memory Encryption, the all-new servers offer robust integrated security that spans virtual machines and system memory.

Dell Technologies expands Dell EMC Ready Solutions for High Performance Computing portfolio

Dell EMC is expanding the Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC portfolio based on the new PowerEdge servers. New designs for Ready Solutions for HPC for Digital Manufacturing, Research and Life Sciences offer benefits of liquid-cooling and GPU-enablement to further enhance performance for compute-intensive workloads, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning.  The Ready Solutions for HPC, with 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors, offer improved performance for workloads such as computational fluid dynamics, climate and weather modeling. In recent testing, the PowerEdge C6525 delivered weather modeling results in half the time as previous generation AMD EPYC processor-based servers for faster severe storm notification.

New Dell EMC OpenManage advancements available with tighter management integrations

To further ease management across traditional and multi-cloud workloads, Dell Technologies is introducing several Dell EMC OpenManage advancements and strengthening integrations across an ecosystem of leading software vendors. Portfolio-wide additions include:

  • VMware Integrations – The new release of OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter offers increased management scalability for more efficient management of VMware clusters in large environments. This also provides native support for the vCenter HTML5 interface to streamline management and reduce training time.
  • Microsoft Windows Admin Center Integration – Through new integration, Dell EMC brings enhanced management to Microsoft environments providing deep control of PowerEdge servers, as well as full-stack visibility and control of Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI.
  • ServiceNow Integration – Leveraging OpenManage FlexSelect, the new ServiceNow integration automates service management for PowerEdge servers. As incidents occur, automation between OpenManage Enterprise and ServiceNow delivers a consistent view, allowing for remediation directly through ServiceNow.


  • Dell EMC PowerEdge R6515 and R7515 servers are available worldwide now.
  • Dell EMC PowerEdge R6525 and C6525 servers have planned availability worldwide in October 2019.
  • Dell EMC PowerEdge R7525 servers have planned availability in early 2020.
  • Dell EMC OpenManage advancements are now available worldwide.
  • Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC Digital Manufacturing, Research and Life Science, with 2nd Gen AMD EPYC-based PowerEdge servers, will beavailable worldwide in October 2019.


Review: 2019 Mazda CX-5D Signature – Part 2

Posted in Products with tags on September 17, 2019 by itnerd


This is the Skyactiv-D 2.2 L turbocharged diesel engine which has sequential dual turbochargers and common rail electric direct injection tech onboard. That allows it to put out 168 hp and a stout 290 lb-ft of torque. And that torque is delivered down low in the rev range which is exactly where you need it. Now acceleration is more like a steady continuous wave of power rather than going to warp 9 on the Starship Enterprise. Which is still fine to get you on the highway and around slower vehicles. The other thing that I have to say is that this engine is quiet by not only diesel standards, but by any standard. On the highway, it’s silent. In city environments you can barely hear the familiar rattle of a diesel if you go looking for it. To further underline this, I took four people in the CX-5D and simply told them it was a CX-5. One person was German and one was English. The reason why I am mentioning that is that those are places where diesel vehicles are prevalent. So they should be able to spot that this is a diesel. I then drove them for about 15 minutes and asked them to comment on how quiet the CX-5D was. They all reported that the vehicle was very quiet. That’s when I told them that this had a diesel under the hood. They didn’t believe me until I showed them this:


This is of course the nozzle for diesel fuel. On the right is the nozzle for the AdBlue liquid that helps to control emissions. Upon seeing that they were all floored that a diesel engine could be this quiet.

If you want a quiet diesel engine, this is it.

The six speed transmission that’s mated to this engine is well sorted and always seems to be in the right gear to power all four wheels. In fact the iActiv AWD system is one reason in my opinion that the CX-5D Signature is able to get the power to the road. Not to mention it will keep you on the straight and narrow when driving in inclement weather. Handling is one area where Mazda definitely improved things on the CX-5D Signature. There’s less body roll in the CX-5D Signature and it is extremely nimble. Likely because Mazda brings G-Vectoring Control Plus to the party as it helps you to carve corners like you’re on rails. The ride is solid without beating you up. And the steering, which for the record was already good is sharper and more direct. In short, this is the best handing and driving compact crossover that you can get without paying for a vehicle from Germany.

So let’s get to the part you care about. What’s the fuel economy? Before I give you what I am currently getting, let me tell you what the CX-5D is rated for. It’s rated fo 8.9 L/100KM city and 7.9 L/100KM highway. But you can do better than that. I am currently doing 8 L/100KM in mixed city and highway driving, but on a drive from Mazda Canada’s HQ to Cherry Beach Park on the lakefront to do the photoshoot for this review, I got this fuel economy: 


Now this was 85% highway driving to be fair. But it is still impressive.

Tomorrow I will discuss the interior which can be described in two words: “Class Above.” Tune in tomorrow to find out why.


Classcraft Secures $10 Million CAD Series A Financing

Posted in Commentary on September 17, 2019 by itnerd

Classcraft, a learning company focused on improving student motivation in the K-12 education market, has closed its Series A financing, raising a total of $10 million CAD. The funding round, led by Investissement Québec, will enable Classcraft to achieve its mission of making school more meaningful by promoting human connections between students and teachers. Classcraft’s existing investors — including Whitecap Venture Partners, Brightspark Ventures, and MaRS Catalyst Fund — also participated in the round.


L-R  Lauren Young (CFO), and Classcraft co-founders, Shawn Young (CEO), and Devin Young.(president)

Classcraft’s Series A financing enables the company to deepen its ability to motivate students by harnessing the power of games. The company aims to build on its success offering its product to K-12 teachers — in 2019, Classcraft surpassed 6 million users since its debut — by partnering with schools and districts on large-scale implementations. To scale the company’s sales efforts, Classcraft has appointed its first-ever Chief Revenue Officer: Michele Shively, who most recently served as vice president of sales at Nearpod.

Classcraft’s approach to helping educators motivate students is rooted in the power of games, which have become a cultural phenomenon among young people — and which are designed to create intrinsic motivation.

For Investissement Québec, the investment represents the firm’s interest in making a lasting social impact through education and in supporting entrepreneurship in Quebec.

AI research partnership with University of Montreal professor

Classcraft’s efforts to foster meaningful personal connections come at a time when dramatic shifts in our society — including politics, the economy, and culture — have left many feeling disengaged. To help address this problem, Classcraft has broadened and deepened its ability to foster connectedness and belonging through technology and media.

Earlier this year, Classcraft announced a partnership with ​Thierry Karsenti, University of Montreal professor and Canada Research Chair on Technologies in Education​ to research the responsible use of AI to engage K-12 students​ in the U.S. and Canada.

In June, Classcraft debuted Story Mode, which pushes the boundaries of what it means to go to school by helping teachers recreate the type of ​shared experience delivered by popular TV shows and games​.