Archive for January 11, 2022

The Feds Second Crack At Trying To #DeleteFacebook Is Allowed To Proceed

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

You might recall that the FTC tried and failed to break up Facebook. Then in the middle of last year they gave it another go. Well a judge has given this latest attempt the green light:

This should be interesting to watch. Facebook has been facing all sorts of scrutiny from all directions recently. And one wonders how many battles they can fight at the same time before it becomes too much for them.

HP Serves Up Their Newest Gaming Lineup To Help You Dominate

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

HP Inc. has revealed its newest gaming lineup with the revolutionary OMEN 45L Desktop, refined OMEN 25L Desktop, powerfully small footprint Victus by HP 15L Desktop, and HP’s first  next-gen console ready OMEN 27u 4K Gaming Monitor. The company also updated its OMEN 16 and 17 Laptops and introduced a new coverage plan to help protect a player’s gaming ecosystem.

Gaming isn’t just growing, it’s a constantly evolving part of today’s culture that’s led to 2.7 billion people plugging in – nearly 35% of the global population. Women are playing a critical part in the development and progression of this space, making up 60% of all new gamers. Meanwhile, 30% of new gamers are under 25 years of age, showing that it’s taken firm hold as a generational form of entertainment and social connection being passed down.

In fact, the social aspect behind gaming is a primary reason to play with 84% of gamers stating they play to connect with others of similar interests, 80% using gaming to meet new people, and 77% play games to say in touch with friends.

PROGRESSION IN DESKTOP GAMING

The OMEN 45L Desktop makes waves with a revolutionary patented CPU cooling solution dubbed the OMEN Cryo Chamber™. This compartment is situated up to 43mm above the main tower interior and houses up to a 360mm AiO liquid cooler, which results in CPU temperatures 6°C lower at full load over an identical model without this feature. It works by pulling in colder ambient air from outside the desktop to cool the radiator instead of utilizing air within the main interior actively heated by the CPU, GPU, and other components. For those who opt to go with a more traditional tower design, the recently released OMEN 40L Desktop has all the same configurability as its larger sibling, without the OMEN Cryo Chamber™1 and one less 120mm fan, which results in a slightly smaller vertical footprint.

Additional OMEN 45L Desktop features:

  • Supreme Performance: Watch virtual worlds come to life with up to an NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX™ 3090 GPU with 24GB GDDR6X memory or an AMD Radeon™ RX 6700 XT with all-new Infinity Cache technology, both with a unique OMEN visual design. Gameplay flows ultra-smooth with up to the latest 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-12900K processors or 8-core AMD Ryzen™ 9 5900X processors both top coated with Shin-Etsu MicroSi Extreme Thermal Paste. Comes shipped with Windows 11 for the ultimate PC gaming experience.
  • Top-Tier Components: Easily multitask games and a multitude of apps with up to 64GB of HyperX DDR4 3733 MHz memory and provide games the quick asset access they need with up to 2x 2TB WD Black™ M.2 PCIe Gen4 NVMe SSDs on top of additional storage support for 2x 2.5 SATA SSDs and 2x 3.5” SATA HDDs. Stable and reliable power flows into the PC with up to an 800W Cooler Master 80 PLUS Gold ATX PSU to keep the games running and the RGB cycling. Internals keep cool with 7x Cooler Master 120mm fans with support for ARGB lighting that can be controlled within OMEN Gaming Hub.
  • Expansive Bliss: Upgrading components couldn’t be easier thanks to the toolless front and side panels with side cover locks to keep the panels secure. The chassis also supports up to a full ATX motherboard, triple-slot full length graphics card, and up to 200mm ATX PSU.
  • Ultimate Control: Ships with OMEN Gaming Hub preinstalled to take advantage of powerful internal features like Undervolting, Performance Mode, Network Booster, and System Vitals to help games run sublime. Additionally, access to other features, such as Coaching, Rewards, Oasis Live, and OMEN Light Studio raise gaming experiences in new and exciting ways. 

FULL DIY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

Enthusiasts who love to DIY a computer from the ground up made up 19% of the total PC gaming hardware market opposite branded systems and peripherals as little as two years ago. To support this critical segment the, the OMEN 45L ATX Case – complete with the innovative OMEN Cryo Chamber™ – will be available to purchase in the coming weeks.

ENGINEERED FOR GAMING PERFORMANCE AND EXPANDABILITY

Introduced last spring, the OMEN 25L Desktop gave gamers a reimagined tower with refined thermals and a tool-less design in a tower that’s simple yet sleek. Today the aesthetic of the desktop is further enhanced with a much-requested Ceramic White color option – a first for an OMEN Desktop – along with an optional tempered glass side panel to highlight the gorgeous interior, which features RGB lighting via OMEN Gaming Hub. Thermals have been further improved with the addition of a 120mm front fan. As powerful as ever, gamers can breeze through the latest hits with graphics powered by up to the NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 3080 or up to the AMD Radeon™ RX 6700 XT graphics card. When paired with the computing strength of up to the latest 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors, or up to the latest AMD Ryzen™ processors, this desktop is ready to handle any game thrown at it.

ELEVATED GAMING FOR ANY LIFESTYLE

With the reveal of Victus by HP earlier this summer, gamers were introduced to a brand that focuses on helping anyone outplay the ordinary in their gaming adventures. The Victus by HP 15L Desktop is the line’s first desktop and features a compact design with two color options in Mica Silver and Ceramic White, along with the introduction of the eye-catching, customizable RGB “infinity mirror” logo that’s sure to make anyone stop and gaze.  Complete with stellar internal power with up to NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 3060 Ti or up to the AMD Radeon™ RX 6600 XT graphics card. Meanwhile, new 12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processors, or up to the latest AMD Ryzen™7 5000 G-series processors and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM ensure players won’t skip a beat.

CONSOLE READY IN GLORIOUS 4K

The OMEN 27u 4K Gaming Monitor debuts as both OMEN’s first HDMI 2.1 and first next-gen console plug-and-play ready gaming monitor. The 4K gaming market is rapidly expanding with year over year growth of 257% in the USA, 237% in APJ, and 185% in EMEA, while 6 out of 10 gamers check if their monitors are compatible with their console during the purchasing process. With 47% of all gaming monitors projected to be 144Hz in 2021, this monitor delivers on the growing standard with a 1ms refresh rate, all while rocking the beauty that comes with 4K UHD gaming. Extended features and details include:

  • Spectacular Visuals: Forget about screen tearing with AMD FreeSync™ Premium Pro technology yielding low latency with wide adaptive refresh rate ranges. Get immersed in the action and view livelier and more colorful gameplay via IPS oxide panel technology with VESA DisplayHDR 400, DCI-P3 95%, 450 nits brightness, and true 8-bit color to see games as developers intended.
  • Next-Gen Console Ready: Quickly play critically acclaimed PS5 and Xbox Series X exclusive titles in the best looking way with support for 4K, 120 Hz, and VESA DisplayHDR 400 by simply connecting them to the monitor with an HDMI 2.1 cable and powering up. The Nintendo Switch is likewise supported at its max capable specifications. Quick and simple console gaming is further enhanced with integrated speakers coming to an OMEN monitor for the first time so players can get right into the game.
  • Play More Relaxed: This the first monitor from OMEN to come with a four-sided micro-bezel design, giving the screen a stellar overall footprint to increase game immersion while being perfect for multiple display setups. It also comes with HP Eye Ease with Eyesafe® certification to reduce eye strain while playing.

PORTABLE GAMING JUST POWERED UP

OMEN 16 and OMEN 17 laptops are both receiving major upgrades with the addition of the latest GeForce RTX 30 Series Laptop GPUs. Additionally, the laptops are being upgraded to he latest 12th Gen Intel Core processors.

SAY GOODBYE TO GAME OVER

The HP Ultimate Gaming Coverage Plan, powered by Servify, keeps players gaming with the protection they need against accidental damage, along with mechanical and electrical breakdown for gaming PCs, accessories, and consoles from major gaming brands. Available now for $19.99 per month, it’s the industry’s only brand agnostic gaming ecosystem coverage plan and comes with coverge up to $4,000, a per claim limit of $2,000, no deductible or hidden fees, and the freedom to cancel at any time.

ULTIMATE PC GAMING

Grow your gaming library by joining PC Game Pass for access to over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows at only $1 for your first three months.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY22

  • OMEN by HP 45L Gaming Desktop PC is expected to be available January 5th via HP.com and soon at Best Buy for a starting price of $1,899.99.
  • OMEN by HP 25L Gaming Desktop PC is expected to be available this Spring via HP.com and other retailers. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • Victus by HP 15L Gaming Desktop PC is expected to be available by February via HP.com and other retailers. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • OMEN by HP 27u 4K Gaming Monitor is expected to be available this Spring via HP.com and other retailers for a starting price of $699.99.
  • OMEN by HP 16 Gaming Laptop is expected to be available by March via HP.com and other retailers. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • OMEN by HP 17 Gaming Laptop is expected to be available by March via HP.com and other retailers. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • HP Ultimate Gaming Coverage Plan is expected to be available January 4th via HP.com for $19.99 per month.

HP Unlocks The Power Of Hybrid Work

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

HP Inc. has unveiled new devices and solutions designed to enhance collaboration and creation experiences so people can work and create wherever they are.

Hybrid work requires more than simply collaborating and working together. It challenges technology to provide the same experience no matter where people are. Workplaces are now wherever people want them to be, but the expectations of their work doesn’t change. People need to be seen and heard clearly and be productive and inspired.

Collaborate with meaningful experiences for hybrid work

Continuing to build on the recent launch of HP Presence, HP added exciting new features for better video conferencing experiences. People can now enhance their onscreen image to personalize how they show up in meetings with the Appearance Filter, while the myHP application provides a single dashboard to control and customize their PC experience – like applying video settings across their conferencing apps with a single click. HP has also made its advanced collaboration technology available across more of its portfolio, including the EliteBook 800 G9 Series PCs, EliteBook 1000 G9 Series PC, ZBook Firefly G9, and Z40c and Z34c G3 Curved Displays, and newest Elite Dragonfly PCs. From 5MP cameras with HP Auto Frame to AI-based noise reduction filters and dynamic voice leveling technology, HP Presence delivers a better way to be seen, be heard, and share ideas for people outside of the meeting room.

Taking workforce collaboration to a whole new level, HP has expanded its portfolio of Elite Dragonfly devices, delivering on the customer demand for premium mobile devices when it comes to hybrid work. These devices drive progress towards increasing sustainability with recycled magnesium, aluminum, and ocean bound plastics.

The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 with Windows 11 empowers mobile professionals to bring their best to every meeting. Still lighter than air at under 1kg3 and available in Slate Blue or Natural Silver, the HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is powered by 12th Gen Intel processors. The HP Elite Dragonfly G3 features a 13.5” clamshell design, while giving users more screen with a taller 3:2 aspect screen ratio to keep them productive. Enhanced by HP Presence, the Elite Dragonfly delivers an exceptional collaboration experience with Audio by Bang & Olufsen and four discrete amps working together to create immersive sound, HP Dynamic Voice Leveling automatically optimizing voice clarity, and AI-based noise reduction 2.0 enhances audio so people can be heard even when wearing a mask. Equipped with intelligent charging, the battery learns work patterns to optimize power consumption. HP Wolf Security for Business provides a resilient defense against malware and hacking.

Purpose-built for the mobile intensity of cloud-centric workstyles, the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook Enterprise is the world’s most advanced Chromebook for business. Delivering breakthrough collaboration experiences and security, the new premium Chromebook empowers business and cloud users with the simplicity of Chrome OS to collaborate, share and capture ideas. Designed with a tight integration with Chrome OS, the world’s first haptic trackpad on a Chromebook gives users a new dimension of control and responsiveness. Wrapped in a stunning 360-degree design and enhanced by HP Presence, the device features a 5MP camera with lowlight improvement for high-quality video chatting and four speakers expertly tuned with Audio by Bang & Olufsen create an immersive user experience. Users can also take notes and share ideas on the fly with an optional magnetic pen that attaches and charges wirelessly on the side of the device. As people start to travel again, keeping sensitive data private while on the go has become essential. The HP Sure View Reflect integrated privacy screen protects sensitive information while HP Sure Shutter blocks your webcam with a single click. Enabling comprehensive, multilayered security for business, the HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook is the world’s first Intel® vPro Chromebook.

Hybrid work means every space is a meeting space. Whether you’re working from home, in the office, or somewhere in between, work together as if you’re in the same room as your colleagues with lifelike video and crisp audio with five new conferencing monitors designed to make your workspace more productive, collaborative, and immersive.

The HP E24m, E27m, and E34m Conferencing Monitors are the world’s most advanced conferencing monitor series that deliver the most authentic face-to-face meetings in your dedicated workspace. Present your best self on any call with a 5MP tiltable privacy webcam, improved lighting sensors, Windows Hello login, noise-cancelling mics, and front-firing speakers. Meeting over 200 quality benchmarks, these monitors are Zoom Certified so you can rest assured that you can be seen and heard with high-quality video and audio. Plus, when you are moving between spaces, simply connect your entire set up via one USB-C® cable for a clutter-free desk. When it comes to your wellbeing, protect your eyes with HP Eye Ease always-on low-blue light and work comfortably with four-way ergonomics.

For people looking for a sleek and easy-to-use conferencing experience, the HP M24 and M27 Webcam Monitors are ideal for connecting with friends and family or learning from home via a 5MP webcam, front-firing speakers, and noise-cancelling mics. Connect your device with just one USB-C® cable and get seamless connectivity to any Chromebook with Works With Chromebook certification.

Every company needs their workforce to have improved productivity, collaboration, and security for how they work in a new hybrid world. Additional new Windows 11 devices created with this in mind include:

  • The HP Elite x360 1040 G9 and HP EliteBook 1040 G9 push the limits of performance and lightness for mobile workers everywhere. Redesigned for smooth transitions in hybrid work, the devices have a thin and light chassis with a 16:10 screen aspect ratio to show more and reduce scrolling. Enhanced by HP Presence, people can look and sound their best with a 5MP camera, a 940nm IR camera, and immersive audio software for voice clarity.
  • The HP EliteBook 800 G9 Series PCs have been redesigned with an ultra slim chassis, a new 16:10 ratio screen, and a larger clickpad ratio. Enhanced by HP Presence, people can work together with a more personal experience with an optional auto-tracking 5MP camera, Audio by Bang & Olufsen, and optional 5G connectivity.
  • The HP EliteBook 600 G9 Series PCs are powerful, easy to manage, and highly secure PCs that allow easy standardization into existing IT environments, while giving users the tools they need to work from almost anywhere.
  • The HP ProBook 400 G9 Series PCs combine lightweight, upgradeable designs with commercial performance, security, and durability ideal for growing businesses.

Expand where your newfound inspiration can take you

In today’s hybrid world, we have entered a world of multi-device experiences, constantly swapping one device for another while navigating quick bursts of creativity on the go to extended focus times at a desk. Creators in this new environment need digital solutions that are accessible, consistent, complementary, and continuous.

  • The HP ENVY Desktop PC is the new expansive powerhouse for creatives, designed to be the central hub to help you learn, create, and manage every aspect of modern life. Create seamlessly with HP Palette, which includes Duet for HP to use your tablet, phone, or PC as a second display, and HP QuickDrop, an easy-to-use app that lets you transfer files between devices. Quickly connect creativity devices to be even more productive with multiple high-speed ports including Thunderbolt and a card reader, along with the ability to connect up to four 4K monitors. The device keeps up as your creative skills grow with Windows 11, up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 processor and up to NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3080 Ti graphics, along with one touch tool-less expandability for easy upgradeability.
  • The HP Z2 Mini G9, the world’s most powerful mini workstation, brings high performance that’s packed into a new versatile, contemporary design. Architects and graphic designers in need of a device small enough to fit space-constrained environments no longer need to sacrifice performance. The Z2 Mini G9 comes equipped with low-profile NVIDIA RTX™ professional graphics, combined with next-gen Intel® Core™ processors, including K-Series, for seamless transitions between multiple applications for design, rendering, and simulation and the ability to power 2D to 3D workflows.
  • The HP Z40c G3 and HP Z34c G3 Curved Displays are designed for creators and power users who want to replace their dual monitor setup with one large, immersive, and color accurate display. The HP Z40c G3 Curved Display, the world’s largest conferencing monitor with an integrated 4K webcam, lets you see every detail on a sharp 5K:2K 40” screen with a high aspect ratio, critical pixel density, and get a seamless and fast connection with Thunderbolt 3 – enough to charge two PCs at once. When creators are working on multiple devices, files, and projects at once, HP Device Bridge 2.0 brings uninterrupted creativity to your workstream. Connect both the Z2 Mini and Firefly – or any Windows® or Mac® devices – to either display and simultaneously work with the ability to drag and drop files between the two computers effortlessly. For added security, turn on controlled file sharing, so you can rest assured your network is protected.

Additional new devices and accessories for creators include:

  • The ZBook Firefly 14 G9, HP’s most mobile ZBook workstation, and ZBook Firefly 16 G9 bring professional-level performance, an AI-enhancing webcam, and a color-accurate HP DreamColor display to a truly sleek mobile workstation. With next-gen Intel® Core™ processors, NVIDIA T550 laptop GPU, and up to 64GB of memory, open large files and run pro apps simultaneously for speedy multitasking and productivity. Stay productive wherever you’re working with the ZBook Firefly G9, everything you need to collaborate and manage projects anywhere.
  • Designed for creators by creators, the new HP ENVY 27- inch All-in-One Desktop PC lets you be at your best when you create, connect and collaborate. A smaller but equally powerful version of the recently announced 34-inch model – this 27-inch 4K version features true-to-life color, powerful performance, and a detachable magnetic camera.

Pricing and Availability

  • HP Elite Dragonfly G3 is expected to be available in March. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • The HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook Enterprise and HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook are expected to be available in April. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • The HP E24m, E27m, and E34m Conferencing Monitors are expected to be available in early January for $399, $549, and $699, respectively.
  • HP M24 and M27 Webcam Monitors are expected to be available in early January at HP.com for $319.99 and $359.99, respectively.
  • The HP EliteBook x360 1040 G9 and HP EliteBook 1040 G9 are expected to be available in March. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • The HP EliteBook x360 830 G9HP EliteBook 830 G9HP EliteBook 840 G9, and HP EliteBook 860 G9 are expected to be available in March. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • The HP EliteBook 630 G9HP EliteBook 640 G9, and HP EliteBook 650 G9 are expected to be available in March. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • The HP ProBook 440 G9 and HP ProBook 450 G9 are expected to be available in March. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • HP ENVY Desktop PC is expected to be available in the Spring at HP.com. The device will also be available at Amazon, Costco.com, and other US retailers in the Spring. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • HP Z2 Mini G9 is expected to be available in March. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.
  • HP Z34c G3 Curved Display and HP Z40c G3 Curved Display is expected to be available in early January for $949 and $1499.99, respectively.
  • HP ZBook Firefly G9 is expected to be available in March. Pricing will be available closer to product availability.

Nuspire Recognized As A ‘Best And Brightest Companies To Work For In The Nation’ For Sixth Year

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

Nuspire, a leading managed security services provider (MSSP), announced today that it has been named the Best and Brightest Companies to Work For In the Nation, and in Denver and Detroit for 2021 by the National Association for Business Resources. 

The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For In The Nation releases the results of the spring, summer, fall and winter applications. The fall Best and Brightest National winners honored 167 winning organizations from across the country out of 1,500 nominations. This year is the sixth year Nuspire has been named a Best and Brightest winner in the nation, the first year to be recognized as a Denver winner and the ninth year as a Metro Detroit winner.  

The Best and Brightest Companies to Work for Program identifies and honors companies from across the nation based on their compensation, benefits and employee solutions; employee enrichment, engagement and retention; employee education and development; recruitment, selection and orientation; employee achievement and recognition; communication and shared vision; diversity and inclusion; work-life balance; community initiatives; and strategic company performance. Winners of the competition deliver exceptional human resource practices and have a remarkable commitment to their employees. 

To view current job opportunities and to become part of an exciting work environment at Nuspire, please visit https://www.nuspire.com/careers or https://www.linkedin.com/company/nuspire/jobs.  

Netskope Cloud And Threat Spotlight Highlights Where Companies Need To Focus Their Efforts On

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

Netskope has today released the Netskope Cloud and Threat Spotlight: January 2022, which has revealed new research highlighting the continued growth of malware and other malicious payloads by cloud apps. The analysis identified key findings including:

  • Cloud-delivered malware in now more prevalent than web-delivered malware. In 2021, malware downloads originating from cloud apps increased to 66% of all malware downloads. 
  • Google Drive emerges as the top app for most malware downloads. 
  • Cloud-delivered malware via Microsoft Office nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021. 
  • More than half of managed cloud app instances are targeted by credential attacks.

In response to these findings, Saryu Nayyar, CEO and Founder, Gurucul had this to say:

“This informative report highlights the need for cloud-native solutions that seamlessly monitor for, detect and accelerate response against known and unknown or emerging malware that targets cloud infrastructure regardless of vendor. Based on the report, the most effective solution for combating these emerging threats requires a combination of behavioral-based security analytics combined with an understanding of identity, access and entitlements to prevent credential-based attacks. Using this approach offers a much-needed layer of data-loss prevention (DLP) already incorporated into specific next generation SIEMs and can alert security teams both earlier in the kill chain and with an unprecedented level of context and automation to prevent loss.”

As more and more businesses rely on the cloud, the need to better defend against attacks becomes more and more important. Thus it’s time to circle those wagons to defend against the attacks that we all know are inbound.

UPDATE: I got additional commentary from Stephanie Simpson who is the VP Product Management of SCYTHE

Companies are using more cloud-resources everyday. For example, threat actors have been leveraging opera source tools to exfiltrate cloud storage. To protect themselves, companies need to stay up-to-date on threat intelligence and use it effectively to continuously validate their controls, including people, processes, and technologies.”

And I got commentary from Chris Olson, CEO at The Media Trust:

The rise of cloud-originating cyberattacks in 2021 is not surprising. Today the average organization deploys nearly 6,000 third-party SaaS applications; as this number increases, so does the attack surface for cyber actors. This is particularly true when vulnerabilities in common software components come to light. 

At the beginning of 2022, the Log4j vulnerability has not only impacted millions of devices, but also dozens of leading cloud providers. Like the SolarWinds attack one year ago, it serves as a sobering reminder that organizations are dependent on third parties who may fall prey to malicious cyberactivity at any moment.

For this reason, the dichotomy between Web and Cloud-delivered malware is somewhat deceptive. While these may appear like two different and mutually exclusive channels for cyberactivity, they converge on the same underlying problem: organizations are not monitoring or defending against third-party threats, whether they originate through the Cloud, the software supply chain, or digital vendors.

UPDATE #2: Here’s some more commentary from Kevin Novak, Managing Director of Cyber Security Consulting, Breakwater Solutions:

“After all, this shift towards cloud-centric sources of malware vs. non-cloud-centric sources is just an indicator that we’ve made dramatic shifts in how and where we compute.  We will continue to move away from on-premise towards externally hosted environments; driven un-naturally with pandemic tailwinds urging us forward.”

 “In the end, it’s all a matter of adapting our security programs to these new computing paradigms…as we’ve done so many times before: thinking back to our shift away from mainframes to client-server, and then mobile computing, and now the cloud.   Many organizations have learned that this is a never-ending progression and they’ve adapted their programs to account for computing evolution; others still ebb and flow with the tides.”

And then there’s commentary from Yan Michalevsky, CTO and Cofounder, Anjuna Security:

“Confidential Computing can help protect against corporate data exfiltration. Secure Enclaves can limit, or prevent access to sensitive data by unauthorized employees, while at the same time enabling normal operation of business logic.”

Carriers Are Blocking iCloud Private Relay

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

One of the things that rolled out as part iOS 15 and macOS Monterey was iCloud Private Relay. In short it’s a feature that stops anyone, including Apple, from seeing what you are you are doing on the Internet. Think of it as being VPN “lite”. This document speaks to how it works if you’re interested in taking a deeper dive.

This feature has ticked off some mobile phone carriers, and they’re taking the step of trying their best to block this feature. A pair of stories from 9to5Mac show that several European carriers along with T-Mobile in the US are doing this. Though T-Mobile sort of, kind of denies this. This is why the European carriers are doing this:

The letter said that Private Relay cuts off networks and servers from accessing “vital network data and metadata” and will have “significant consequences in terms of undermining European digital sovereignty”. They say it will also impact “operator’s ability to efficiently manage telecommunication networks”.

I call B.S. on that.

Here’s the thing: These mobile carriers are ticked because they don’t get to mine your data and sell it to make a buck, which is what this is really all about. After all, actual VPN’s have been around since the dawn of time. But I am guessing that they haven’t been used on a huge scale so carriers didn’t care as they were able to still mine a large amount of data from most of their user base. But with over a billion iPhones out in the wild, the ability for carriers to make a buck is surely going to be impacted if iCloud Private Relay is allowed to succeed. Let’s say that this is turned off by default by Apple, but 35% of Apple’s user base turns it on. That’s hundreds of millions of iPhones. And if Apple turns it on by default they way they they turned on App Tracking Transparency, then carriers will really be bleeding cash.

And you can copy and paste what I said above for ISPs who must also be a wee bit freaked out about iCloud Private Relay on macOS Monterey.

I for one would love to see Apple have some fun with these jokers by making iCloud Private Relay so resilient that carriers can’t do a whole lot to stop it. It would serve them right for having them just use things like your browsing history to make a buck without your consent.

Get the popcorn ready. This is going to be a good fight.

Guest Post: Nearly half of ransomware attacks globally targeted the US in 2021 Says Atlas VPN

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

Ransomware in the hands of cybercriminals can become a powerful weapon that could cause your business financial and reputational damage.

According to the recent findings by the Atlas VPN team, in 2021, 48% of ransomware attacks were directed at the United States. Furthermore, industrial and energy, retail, and finance industry businesses were among the most threatened sectors.

Out of 2,845 witnessed ransomware attacks worldwide, cybercriminals launched 1,352 of them at the US last year. Cybercriminals targeted businesses that affected thousands, if not millions of people, such as the cyberattacks on Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, and Kaseya.

Cybercriminals targeted French organizations in 146 ransomware attacks. Last year, French cybersecurity officials identified a ransomware affiliate group Lockean, responsible for many cyberattacks launched at companies in France.

Organizations in Canada fell victim to 140 ransomware attacks in 2021. Threat actors primarily launched attacks on large companies or critical infrastructure providers as they have the most resources to pay.

Cybersecurity writer at Atlas VPN Vilius Kardelis shares his thoughts on ransomware attacks:

“Ransomware attacks rose significantly against businesses and government entities in 2021, a trend likely to carry on to 2022. While organizations are scrambling for more cybersecurity resources, educating your employees about the best cyber defense practices is just as important.”

Most targeted industries

Many hacker groups target giant corporations because their disruption causes the most harm.

The industrial and energy sector suffered 599 ransomware attacks globally in 2021. Cybercriminals can disrupt usual gas and electricity flow and cause shortages by attacking energy infrastructure.

Threat actors chose businesses in the retail industry as targets in 545 ransomware attacks last year. Hackers target retailers when they are most vulnerable, such as during the Black Friday or Christmas sale seasons.

The finance industry experienced 355 ransomware attacks from cybercriminals. Hackers perceive financial organizations to be wealthy, thus making them potential targets with high payout opportunities.

To read the full article, head over to:
https://atlasvpn.com/blog/nearly-half-of-ransomware-attacks-globally-targeted-the-us-in-2021

nearly-half-of-ransomware-attacks-globally-targeted-the-us-in-2021

Sigh…. Log4j Will Be With Us For A Long Time

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

Security professionals will be dealing with the fallout from the Log4j bug for a long time to come, top officials for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said Monday:

If left unpatched or otherwise unfixed, the major security flaw discovered a month ago in the Java-logging library Apache Log4j poses risks for huge swaths of the internet. The vulnerability in the widely used software could be exploited by cyberattackers to take over computer servers, potentially putting everything from consumer electronics to government and corporate systems at risk of a cyberattack. No US federal agencies have been compromised as a result of the vulnerability, CISA Director Jen Easterly told reporters on a call Monday. In addition, no major cyberattacks involving the bug have been reported in the US, though many attacks go unreported, she said. 

Easterly said the sheer scope of the vulnerability, which affects tens of millions of internet-connected devices, makes it the worst she has seen in her career. It’s possible, she said, that attackers are biding their time, waiting for companies and others to lower their defenses before they attack. “We do expect Log4Shell to be used in intrusions well into the future,” Easterly said, using the name for the bug in the Log4j software. She noted the Equifax data breach in 2017, which compromised the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans, stemmed from a vulnerability in open-source software. Most of the attempts to exploit the bug, so far, have been focused on low-level crypto mining or attempts to draw devices into botnets, she said.

This is not good. Which means security professionals need to double down on addressing Log4j. Otherwise, the pwnage will be epic, and we will all eventually get hit by this.

Crewdle Surpasses 200K User Milestone

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 11, 2022 by itnerd

Crewdle, one of the most promising videoconferencing platforms globally, today announced that it has reached a major tech industry milestone, marking another important achievement in the company’s young history: 200,000 users. Its registered user base has increased from 10,000 to 200,000 since December 2021 – representing a monthly growth of 1,900% –, and customers are adopting the eco-friendly platform across the world, with significant sign ups from Europe, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. This news comes after a phenomenal year for the company which saw significant organic growth, supplemented by new marketing initiatives, channel partnerships and funding. This growth can only be compared to similar Silicon Valley leaders.

Offering the greenest video calls and videoconferencing alternative to server-based collaborative communication platforms, the Montréal-based technology start-up specializing in real-time peer-to-peer (P2P) communications is continuing on its momentum. And to accelerate its operations and gain access to new channels and users, Crewdle has also worked on strengthening its relationships with current channel partners, while working hard to build links with new ones. The new Partner Program, in collaboration with PartnerStack has not only garnered attention, but allowed the onboarding of more than 25,000 new affiliates over the last month. In addition, Crewdle was a hit over the holidays, facilitating gatherings between families and loved ones as COVID-19-related restrictions limited some festivities: between December 20, 2021, and January 3, 2022, more than 4,230 meetings were initiated on Crewdle, helping spread the word to new or future users.

Crewdle’s serverless digital ecosystem is green, secure and affordable. The latest version of Crewdle is available free of charge with some restrictions; subscription-based packages are also offered to SMBs and individual users. It is also free for small- and medium-sized non-for-profit organizations (NPO); significant discounts are also offered for larger NPOs. It is also available via the AppDirect Network Catalog and through its vast network of AppSmart professional advisors. Crewdle works in popular desktop browsers and is optimized for Safari (iOS), and for Chrome (Android), and can be integrated with Google Calendar, Microsoft 365 Outlook Calendar, and Slack.

To discover all the features and benefits of using Crewdle, or to join the Partner Program, visit crewdle.com today.