Archive for June 18, 2022

Rogers And Shaw Want To Sell Freedom Mobile To Quebecor

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , on June 18, 2022 by itnerd

News surfaced last night that Rogers and Shaw have cut a deal with Quebecor to sell the latter Freedom Mobile so that it hopefully the Canadian Government will approve the merger between Rogers and Shaw:

Under the terms of the Divestiture Agreement, Quebecor has agreed to buy Freedom on a cash-free, debt-free basis at an enterprise value of C$2.85 billion, expanding Quebecor’s wireless operations nationally. The Divestiture Agreement provides for the sale of all of Freedom branded wireless and Internet customers as well as all of Freedom’s infrastructure, spectrum and retail locations. It also includes a long-term undertaking by Shaw and Rogers to provide Quebecor transport services (including backhaul and backbone) and roaming services. The parties will work expeditiously and in good faith to finalize definitive documentation.

As Freedom’s new owner, Quebecor will bring a strong operational track record, a history of competing vigorously and successfully in telecommunications services, including its wireless brands in Quebec and Eastern Ontario, and significant financial and spectrum resources to enable an expedient path to the next evolution of 5G technology for Freedom.

“Our agreement with Quebecor to divest Freedom is a critical step towards completing our proposed merger with Shaw. We strongly believe the divestiture will meet the Government of Canada’s objective of a strong and sustainable fourth wireless services provider,” said Tony Staffieri, President and CEO of Rogers. “This agreement between proven cable and wireless companies will ensure the continuation of a highly competitive market with robust future investments in Canada’s world class networks. We look forward to securing the outstanding regulatory approvals for our merger with Shaw so that we can deliver significant long-term benefits to Canadian consumers, businesses and the economy.”

I’m not so sure about that. While Quebecor has made life miserable for Rogers, Bell, and Telus within the province of Quebec, I seriously doubt that they’d be willing to do the same thing outside of Quebec. Which means that consumers won’t benefit. In my opinion, what really needed to happen is that Freedom Mobile needed to sold to a company who would commit to lowering prices and committing to competing against the big three telcos. That didn’t happen here and Canadians lose as a result.

Russian RSocks Botnet Disrupted After Hacking Millions Of Devices

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 18, 2022 by itnerd

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced the disruption of the Russian RSocks malware botnet used to hijack millions of computers, Android smartphones, and IoT (Internet of Things) devices worldwide for use as proxy servers.

The law enforcement operation involved the FBI and police forces in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, where the botnet maintained parts of its infrastructure.

As alleged in the unsealed warrant, FBI investigators used undercover purchases to obtain access to the RSOCKS botnet in order to identify its backend infrastructure and its victims. The initial undercover purchase in early 2017 identified approximately 325,000 compromised victim devices throughout the world with numerous devices located within San Diego County. Through analysis of the victim devices, investigators determined that the RSOCKS botnet compromised the victim device by conducting brute force attacks. The RSOCKS backend servers maintained a persistent connection to the compromised device. Several large public and private entities have been victims of the RSOCKS botnet, including a university, a hotel, a television studio, and an electronics manufacturer, as well as home businesses and individuals. At three of the victim locations, with consent, investigators replaced the compromised devices with government-controlled computers (i.e., honeypots), and all three were subsequently compromised by RSOCKS. The FBI identified at least six victims in San Diego.

Elizabeth Wharton, VP, Operations for SCYTHE had this comment:

Using these devices as proxy servers is another example of how threat actors weaponize internet connected devices to evade detection. For example, by using the device as a proxy server to create a local IP address, the malicious activity will likely go undetected because it doesn’t trigger an alert. Organizations should consider placing stronger external IP address restrictions to mitigate risk.

While this takedown of Rocks is a good thing, one has to wonder how many other similar botnets are out there. That is a cause for concern.

OVHcloud Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary In Canada And Announces A New Data Centre In Toronto For 2023

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 18, 2022 by itnerd

OVHcloud celebrated its 10th anniversary in Canada on Monday, June 6, in the presence of CEO Michel Paulin. To celebrate this milestone, partners and customers gathered at the Beauharnois data centre. Opened in January 2012 in a former aluminum smelter that has been completely revitalized, “BHS” now hosts nearly 90,000 servers, and has the capacity to eventually host three times that number. Beyond its size, it is one of the greenest data centres in the industry, powered by both Quebec’s hydroelectricity (one of the lowest carbon emitters in the world), and OVHcloud’s patented innovations, foremost among which is its water-cooling technology, which captures most of the heat emitted by the servers and has made it possible to suppress air conditioning from its facilities.

The Beauharnois site also houses one of the group’s two production plants. From the design and manufacture of servers to the reuse of components, which extends their lifespan to between 5 and 15 years, OVHcloud masters the entire value chain and contributes to the dynamism of a growing cloud computing industry in the Montreal region. As the first data centre in the OVHcloud portfolio outside of Europe, BHS ideally covers North America and Latin America, offering a safe and secure environment for hosting data that is immune from extraterritorial legislation.

Firmly focused on the objective of building a sustainable digital future, OVHcloud has found Quebec (powered at 98% by hydroelectricity) to be a privileged location to accelerate its decarbonization and reach Net Zero by 2030. This 10th anniversary was also marked by a high-level debate on the role of cloud computing and Quebec in optimizing the environmental footprint of digital ecosystems. This discussion brought together the expertise of OVHcloud, Atos, Hydro Quebec and Quebec Resources.

With 230 employees in Canada, spread between Montreal and Beauharnois, OVHcloud holds a unique position in the Canadian cloud market. By combining a European DNA, Canadian roots and a global footprint, OVHcloud offers a responsible and sustainable alternative to support businesses and public organizations in their digital transformation.

A major announcement concluded the event : the opening next year of a new OVHcloud data centre in Toronto (Ontario), which is part of the group’s “multi-local” strategy to get closer to its customers wherever they are.

Here’s some pictures from the event.