Archive for June 3, 2021

Fujifilm Pwned By Ransomware Attack

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 3, 2021 by itnerd

Oh look. We have another victim of ransomware. This time, Japanese multinational conglomerate Fujifilm has been forced to shut down parts of its global network after being pwned in a ransomware attack:

The company, which is best known for its digital imaging products but also produces high-tech medical kit, including devices for rapid processing of COVID-19 tests, confirmed that its Tokyo headquarters was hit by a cyberattack on Tuesday evening. “Fujifilm Corporation is currently carrying out an investigation into possible unauthorized access to its server from outside of the company. As part of this investigation, the network is partially shut down and disconnected from external correspondence,” the company said in a statement posted to its website. “We want to state what we understand as of now and the measures that the company has taken. In the late evening of June 1, 2021, we became aware of the possibility of a ransomware attack. As a result, we have taken measures to suspend all affected systems in coordination with our various global entities,” it said.

Well, this isn’t good. When will these companies learn that preventing attacks like this is an absolute necessity these days? Clearly they didn’t figure this out and now they are paying for it. And worse yet, I’ll be writing about another company that got pwned in some way, shape, and form.

Pre-order My Time At Portia Now

Posted in Commentary on June 3, 2021 by itnerd

The beloved role-playing game, My Time at Portia, announced today that it’s welcoming mobile visitors to its charming post-apocalyptic land starting August 4, when it launches on iOS and Android devices worldwide. To celebrate the town’s grand opening on mobile, Pathea Games and Pixmain are offering future virtual travelers on iOS devices a special pre-order of the game for $8.49 CAD on the App Store, 25 per cent off the price at launch, as well as mobile exclusive in-game rewards as more fans sign up. Android users can pre-register for the game on the Google Play Store

After selling over two million copies worldwide on PC and console and becoming one of the most popular games on Steam, My Time at Portia will be available with many mobile-specific upgrades and surprises for new and returning adventurers. While travelling in the beautiful town of Portia, players will be tasked with restoring the glory of human civilization on an unfamiliar land. In the process of becoming a seasoned builder, players will form bonds with the townsfolk and understand the buried truth of this post-apocalyptic world. 

After hearing feedback from thousands of players worldwide, Pathea Games and Pixmain have implemented some key upgrades to the original PC game to make the mobile version even more fun. For example, the mobile version will have a clean, simple interface, including a full touchscreen and an UI redesign. For players who have been asking for more streamlined play, the mobile version will have many shortcuts and ways to save time for players, helping builders speed up their pace and develop their dream town faster. Players will also experience new manual and auto-save functions to ensure a smooth portable gaming experience to transport players into the town of Portia anytime, anywhere.

Enjoy the fun of building and operating a 3D workshop: Gather materials from every corner of the map and experience the joys of progressing and transforming from manual labour to industrialized automation. As the latest builder in town, take up new responsibilities and contribute to the town of Portia and its people by honing your craftsmanship. From a basic sewing machine to a high-tech flying seat, players must build everything with their own hands. If players wish to develop animal husbandry, they can raise farm animals and even ride an alpaca! 

Become friends… or fall in love with fellow Portians: The town of Portia has over 50 interactable non-player characters (NPCs). Develop and deepen your relationships with them, and they may provide you with unexpected help. Players can swing or ride a hot air balloon with their favourite NPC to strengthen the relationship. When everything falls into place, players can tie the knot, have children, and experience the hard work and joys of parenthood. 

Engage in challenging battles and embark on adventures: Hone fighting skills, defeat terrifying monsters of post-apocalyptic ruins, and unearth the truth of the former world buried beneath.

To keep up to date with the mobile release of My Time at Portia, like us on Facebook  and join us on Discord. Virtual travelers that want to pre-order their mobile trip to Portia can do so on the App Store for iOS and pre-register on Google Play for Android. Reserve your spot now to unlock amazing exclusive mobile rewards!

My Time at Portia on mobile is available in 13 languages including English, German, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Italian, Turkish, Traditional and Simplified Chinese.

Indigo.Design To Become Only Enterprise-Ready Low-Code System

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 3, 2021 by itnerd

Indigo.Design, the digital product design platform that streamlines app creation from design to code, today announced the release of its complete design-to-code system. The cloud-based platform addresses key issues that prevent widespread enterprise adoption of low-code applications. Namely, to create mission critical enterprise apps, low-code apps must prioritize user experience (UX) by beginning the app creation process with user interface (UI) design. Indigo.Design achieves this by bringing together the core components of the app creation process into a low-code tool: UI prototyping and design, app building, virtual user testing, iteration and finally, code generation.

The greater promise of low-code apps is their potential to help enterprises scale fast without necessarily scaling their development teams. Available low-code apps, however, don’t address one of the primary sources of demand on developers: the user interface. According to market research firm Gartner, creating the user interface (UI) typically makes up 60% of application development time. As a result, mistakes during designer-to-developer hand-offs can cost a factor of 10x once an application is deployed. 

Indigo.Design provides designers and developers a common cloud-based platform to build and iterate UI/UX designs in real time, all while using the design tools they prefer. The platform spans and streamlines the entire app creation process, from design to code, eliminating common missteps that prevent applications from getting to market quickly. 

Indigo.Design integrates UI and UX best practices throughout the five major steps leading up to final development in the app creation process:

  1. Create UI prototypes. Build interactive prototypes with a complete design system that includes usable components, 60+ UI controls, pre-built app templates and preset layout and design pattern options. Or, import your own custom designs from Sketch. (Coming soon: Adobe XD and Figma)
  2. Build the app. Indigo.Design’s App Builder is a first-of-its-kind WYSIWYG drag & drop tool for developers. With an intuitive UI, teams can design screens and build apps up to 80% faster than hand-coding.  
  3. Test the app from any location before coding. Conduct unlimited, unmoderated, remote user testing and get stakeholder feedback early, before coding, to avoid costly iterations with your development team. Get screen-by-screen and video analytics to ensure your design is right before handing it off to developers.
  4. Preview your app and code in real time. Designers can see and experience their live running apps and real-time source code during design, letting them iterate with design without writing a single line of code.
  5. Generate code. Once their UI is pixel-perfect, users can transform their designs into clean, production-ready HTML, TypeScript and CSS for Angular to hand off to developers. (Coming soon: React, Web Components and Blazor)

The Indigo.Design design-to-code system is currently in use by Fortune 500 enterprise organizations including HP EnterpriseMorgan Stanley, and Tech Mahindra.

Gartner has been vocal about both the opportunity and the barriers to entry for wide adoption of low-code tools by enterprises.

Indigo.Design is recognized as a Representative Provider in Gartner’s report, ‘Technology Insight for Digital Product Design Platform’, Brent Stewart, Van Baker, Magnus Revang, November 24, 2020.

According to Gartner, “Digital product design platforms have become the most important user experience (UX) tools — consolidating critical features such as screen design, user flows, prototyping, design collaboration and code generation”. The key findings of the report include, “With the introduction of design system management features, digital product design platforms are poised to become the single source of truth for reusable, tokenized design assets and presentation layer code components.”

Indigo.Design is one of the first major releases from the Infragistics Innovation Lab, which has formally invested more than $12M to bring the entire design-to-code system to market. The platform has been in early use by more than 25 companies since 2018.  

REvil Fingered As Group Behind Meat Plant Cyberattack

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 3, 2021 by itnerd

Earlier this week JBS Foods were pwned in some sort of cyberattack. The New York Times has now said that the FBI have identified REvil as the group behind this attack:

REvil is considered one of the most sophisticated ransomware groups and has demanded as much as $50 million to recover data belonging to companies as prominent as Apple. Its attack on JBS, a Brazilian company that accounts for roughly a fifth of cattle and hog slaughter in the United States, temporarily shut down some operations at a time when prices were already surging for beef, poultry and pork.

The US government is taking a very dim view of this, and the fact that the Russians are basically shielding this group from justice:

The attack highlighted concerns about the vulnerability of critical American businesses. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, urged companies on Wednesday to increase their cybersecurity measures, saying it was “up to a number of these private-sector sector entities to protect themselves.”

Ms. Psaki declined to say whether the U.S. government was planning to retaliate. “We’re not taking any options off the table in terms of how we may respond, but of course there is an internal policy review process to consider that,” she said.

And:

Ms. Psaki said Wednesday that the administration was in direct contact with the Russians and that President Biden would bring up the issue of cyberattacks with President Vladimir Putin of Russia when they meet in two weeks.

“Responsible states do not harbor ransomware criminals,” she said.

The fact is that you will not see these attacks slow down or stop. And I am going to go out on a limb and say that you will not see the Russians help in stopping these attacks. So companies need to take Jen Psaki’s advice and strengthen their cyber defences so that they don’t become the next company that gets pwned.

Microsoft To Reveal “What’s Next For Windows” On June 24th

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 3, 2021 by itnerd

Microsoft has confirmed Wednesday that “the next generation of Windows” will be announced on June 24:

Windows, the dominant operating system for personal computers, is the source of 14% of total revenue for Microsoft, one of the most valuable companies in the world. The company has pushed two updates each year to its Windows 10 operating system since it first became available in 2015. Nadella made the Windows remarks last week shortly after the company announced that it won’t ship Windows 10X. That operating system was initially designed for dual-screen devices such as the Surface Neo, which has been delayed. 

The company is working on an update to Windows with the code name Sun Valley, that includes a more modern look, with rounded corners coming to components such as the Start menu. Microsoft could ship a revamp of its Windows app store, which would allow developers to use third-party commerce systems, alongside the Sun Valley update. The event will be held online at 11 a.m. ET, according to an invitation the company sent to reporters. Nadella will be there, along with Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, who has been the face of the company’s Surface devices, the invitation said.

This is an interesting announcement given that Windows 10 was already supposed to be the last version of Windows that Microsoft would make. Now we all knew that they weren’t telling the truth at the time and this announcement underscores that. But I will overlook that for now and focus on the fact that Microsoft are going to freshen up the look of the OS. The thing is, nobody is asking for that. Many Windows users are asking for much better quality assurance for Windows Updates as Windows Updates have an annoying habit of bricking computers. Why doesn’t Microsoft concentrate their efforts on what Windows users are actually asking for? Is this something that we will hear about on the 24th? I doubt that but I am free to be surprised.

The other thing that jumps out at me is this:

Microsoft could ship a revamp of its Windows app store, which would allow developers to use third-party commerce systems, alongside the Sun Valley update.

Could this be an attempt by Microsoft to avoid the sort of anti-trust issues that Apple have run into? That might be interesting to see depending on what that sentence actually means in Microsoft speak.

See you on the 24th.

Massachusetts Ferry Operator Pwned By Ransomware

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 3, 2021 by itnerd

It seems that this is yet another day where the pwnage of companies is front and center in the news. This time, a ransomware attack has caused delays and disruptions at Steamship Authority, the largest ferry service in Massachusetts, and has disrupted ferry transports between mainland US and the Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket islands.

The attack took place earlier today, according to a series of tweets posted on the company’s official Twitter account. Steamship Authority said the incident impacted its land-based IT systems and that ships are not impacted. “There is no impact to the safety of vessel operations, as the issue does not affect radar or GPS functionality,” a Steamship Authority spokesperson said.

“Scheduled trips to both islands continue to operate, although customers may experience some delays during the ticketing process. Customers are currently unable to book or change vehicle reservations online or by phone. Existing vehicle reservations will be honored at Authority terminals, and rescheduling and cancellation fees will be waived,” it added. The company has asked

I am guessing that as a result, a lot of rich people are seriously ticked off as a result. Maybe they should demand that this ferry company up their IT security game so that they aren’t inconvenienced. Just a thought.