Archive for the Commentary Category

Commvault Extends Value Of Intelligent Data Services To AWS Marketplace

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2021 by itnerd

Commvault today announced the availability of Commvault Backup & Recovery and Commvault Professional Services in AWS Marketplace, an online store that makes it easy for customers to find, test, buy, and deploy software that runs on AWS. Commvault continues to innovate in delivering industry-leading technology to customers to help them face digital transformation head-on with solutions that protect data anywhere, whether in the cloud, on-premises, or in a hybrid model. 

Stephen Orban, GM for AWS Marketplace & Control Services, will address this topic further during his keynote session at Commvault Connections21, Commvault’s best-in-class global event centred around empowering data-minded information technology (IT) professionals to modernize their data protection environment, manage their data more efficiently, and mitigate risk, on October 28.

Expanding the reach of Commvault’s industry-leading backup and recovery solutions, AWS Marketplace availability of Commvault Backup & Recovery, with optional add-ons of Commvault Disaster Recovery and Commvault Professional Services, provides AWS customers with simple, scalable, and secure enterprise-grade data protection at infinite scale and rapid recovery of any workload. Commvault and AWS already share dozens of joint customers together. Through AWS Marketplace, customers have additional flexibility and choice to efficiently manage critical data, both in the cloud and on-premises, protect and recover from threats like ransomware, and use intelligent automation to optimize efficiency and reduce costs.

Orban will discuss this topic at length during the keynote panel at Commvault Connections21. To register for Connections21, visit: www.commvaultconnections21.com

To learn more about Commvault solutions in AWS Marketplace, visit our Seller Profile.

Trump Announces His Own Social Media Platform…. Which Promptly Gets Pwned By Hackers

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2021 by itnerd

Donald Trump who has been tossed from pretty much every other social media platform on the planet decided to create his own social media platform:

Former President Donald Trump pitched his new social media platform, Truth Social, as a haven for free speech and a counterweight to the big tech giants that have in recent years put a greater emphasis on moderating content users post to their sites.

But as the platform’s terms of service agreement makes clear, not all speech will be permitted. Specifically, users are prohibited from speaking ill of the platform itself or its leadership.

Announced Wednesday, Truth Social will be part of the Trump Media & Technology Group, which also plans to launch a subscription video service for what it called “non-woke” programming. The company said it plans to begin a beta launch next month with a nationwide rollout early next year.

I guess if you’re such a bad boy that nobody will let you play in their sandbox, you have to build your own sandbox. And I guess because it’s your sandbox, you can create your own rules that protect your thin skin from being harmed.

Here’s where things get funny. Within hours, the website that hosts the sign up page for the site got pwned by hackers:

Mere hours after the world learned of Trump’s social media project, a sign-up link that clearly wasn’t meant to be public was discovered taking users to the domain “tmediatech.io.” A slew of people started registering for the unreleased platform via this page and quickly discovered that pretty much every username was available for the taking. The domain has since been taken down. 

It didn’t take long before usernames that clearly would be Trump’s choice for his own personal handle — @DonaldJTrump@DonaldTrump, and @realDonaldTrump — were registered. The proud new owner of the TRUTH Social username @DonaldJTrump also took the opportunity to bless his profile page with its first post: the “Pig Poop Balls” meme image.

Usernames like @MikePence, Trump’s former VP, and @CodeMonkeyz, the online handle for QAnon figurehead Ron Watkins, were also quickly taken.

Over on Twitter, the company’s CEO and founder Jack Dorsey noticed that the TRUTH Social handle @Jack, which is what Dorsey registered for his username on Twitter, was used by Trump’s group for its promotional photos for the upcoming TRUTH mobile app on the App Store. Trump was permanently banned from Twitter following the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

However, even though the promo used the @Jack handle, the username was not registered on the platform yet either. So, once trolls noticed this, the @Jack handle was scooped up as well and immediately got into banter with one of TRUTH Social’s many Trump accounts about the former president’s ban.

The fun lasted for a few hours before users who had registered for the unreleased platform started to be hit with an on-screen prompt saying “you can no longer use your account.”

Someone with Trump Media & Technology Group noticed what was happening and pulled the plug. The “tmediatech.io” domain is now inaccessible and the registered accounts have seemingly been removed.

Normally, this is the part of this article where I would say what horrible people these hackers are and they should be hunted down by law enforcement. And frankly, they likely should be if I am objective about this. But I find Donald Trump is and all those in his orbit are such unsavory characters. Thus I am fine with this. In fact I find it funny that this was so easy to pull off. Clearly whomever was running this project didn’t have security as a top of mind thing as you have to expect that it would have been a prime target for exactly this sort of thing to happen.

Oh and there’s this part that you might want to be aware of:

One interesting discovery from this whole episode though: Trump’s long-awaited social media platform actually appears to just be a copy of the open-source social media platform Mastodon.

While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with using an open-source platform, it appears Trump’s team may be violating the Mastodon licensing it’s distributed under by removing credits and links in the source code. Mashable has reached out to Mastadon for comment but did not immediately hear back.

#Fail. Clearly there’s a bunch of no-skill amateurs behind this. And apparently, said no-skill amateurs have bigger ambitions:

According to the bizarre Trump Media & Technology Group pitch deck, Trump is also planning on releasing a streaming video service to compete with the likes of Disney and Netflix.

If this social media platform is an indication of what these clowns can do, then there’s zero chance that they will compete with Disney and Netflix.

Ransomware Group That Stole Apple Schematics From An Apple Supplier Pwned By Authorities

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2021 by itnerd

You might remember earlier this year that I wrote about a group called REvil who hacked their way into one of Apple’s suppliers and stole a bunch of schematics which they then held for ransom.

Fun Fact: Those schematics turned out to be the new MacBook Pros that were recently announced.

In any case, I heard nothing further about REvil’s attack on Apple since then, but it turns out there was a multi-country operation underway to take down the ransomware group. According to Reuters, several government agencies teamed up to hack REvil and take it offline this week:

One person familiar with the events said that a foreign partner of the U.S. government carried out the hacking operation that penetrated REvil’s computer architecture. A former U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation is still active.

If you read the rest of the Reuters article, it also indicates that authorities got their hands on the decryption key for REvil’s ransomware., which I wrote about here. At the time, it wasn’t clear how the key was obtained. Now we know. And now we also know that this is still an ongoing effort. Which means that ransomware gangs could now become the ones being pwned. Which as far as I am concerned is a good thing.

UPDATE: I got commentary from Robert Cattanach is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney. He advises companies about ransomware attacks. He has previously worked as a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice and was also special counsel to the Secretary of the Navy. Today he practices in the areas of regulatory litigation, including cybersecurity, privacy and telecommunications, civil and criminal enforcement proceedings and international Regulatory Compliance (EU focus).

“Confirming speculation over the cause of the latest demise of notorious cybergang REvil’s website, Reuter’s reports that a consortium of ‘like-minded countries’ – likely spearheaded by the FBI, Cyber Command, and the Secret Service – took a page from the hacker’s playbook and covertly corrupted backups, which Revil apparently attempted to use to restore its functioning after the FBI took it down earlier. Infecting backups with secret malware is a common strategem used by hackers to deter victims from attempting to restore their systems, and instead pay the ransom rather than going through the time and expense of a clean reboot. But apparently someone at REvil didn’t get their own memo, and attempted to use REvil’s backup files to restore their systems – always a risk if you’ve been hacked, but one which some victims are willing to take to avoid the costly and time-consuming alternative. And it also demonstrates a resolve not previously seen by the US and its allies to pursue cybercriminals with aggressive counterstrikes, which may themselves be of dubious legality under international law. Whether this prompts even more destructive escalations by cybercriminals, or causes the likes of REvil to tap the brakes a bit, remains to be seen,”

AppDynamics Survey Gauges Their Concern Surrounding The Impact Of Major Outages

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2021 by itnerd

A recent high profile digital service outage saw Facebook – including its other services/brands Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus – offline for over 6 hours, causing widespread disruption for consumers that use these applications and digital services on a daily basis, as well as businesses that rely them as part of their operations. 

But Facebook is not alone in facing this type of crisis.

In a world of sky-high expectations for digital experiences, and record levels of intolerance for poor-performing applications, this level of disruption can cause businesses significant financial cost and damage to reputation.   

In the immediate aftermath of the outage AppDynamics surveyed 1,011 global IT decision makers in 11 countries to gauge their concern surrounding the impact of major outages, understand the pressure they are facing and their confidence in the technology, tools and processes they are currently using. The results are as follows:

  • 87% of enterprise technologists say they are concerned about the potential for a major outage and the resulting disruption to their applications and digital services. 
  • 84% say that they feel pressure from their organization’s leadership to prevent a major performance issue or outage of their customer and employee facing applications and digital services.
  • 87% admit that increasing complexity of their IT stack is already causing delays in identifying the root cause of issues.
  • 97% of IT teams have some form of monitoring tools in place, many of which provide highly sophisticated and advanced methods of identifying and fixing anomalies. But they question the effectiveness of these tools in this new world. Only 27% are entirely confident that they meet their needs.
  • 72% think it is critical or important that their organization deploys a full-stack observability solution within the next 12 months to solve complexity across their IT stack and identify and fix the root cause of an issue.

There is more information in this AppD blog post here: https://www.appdynamics.com/blog/news/businesses-fear-outages-full-stack-observability/.

Research conducted between 7th – 11th October 2021

Google Threat Analysis Group Finds That Iranian Hacking Group Has Targeted Telegram

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2021 by itnerd

Google Threat Analysis Group has released research on APT35, an Iranian hacking group targeting high-value individuals in the US and elsewhere. One of the attackers’ novel techniques is using Telegram for operator notifications. The attacker embedded JavaScript into phishing pages that notify them when the page has been loaded. They use the Telegram API sendMessage function to send the notification, which lets anyone use a Telegram bot to send a message to a public chancel:

“The attackers use this function to relay device-based data to the channel, so they can see details such as the IP, useragent, and locales of visitors to their phishing sites in real-time. We reported the bot to Telegram, and they have taken action to remove it,”

Seeing as Telegram is typically used by people who want to conduct their activities in secret, this isn’t a trivial hack by APT35. Edward Roberts, VP of Marketing, Neosec:

“This attack follows the trend that attacks are typically a sequence of tactics employed by the hacker. Increasingly, with the ubiquitous adoption of APIs by organizations, it is no surprise that APIs are one of the tactics used in these sophisticated attacks. We expect APIs to increasingly become the focus for bad actors.”

Additionally, SmartBear’s annual State of Software Quality API survey has been released, identifying industry benchmarks, methodologies and tools used by software teams to manage API lifecycle. Key findings include:

  • A majority of API practitioners operate in a multi-protocol landscape. Of those surveyed, 57% state they use three or more protocols within their organizations.
  • Developers are increasingly involved in testing and are taking on more testing responsibilities with close to 60% reporting they are directly involved in API testing.
  • “Ease of use” was reported as being the top factor driving API tool choice along with the most important characteristic consumers need in an API.
  • The biggest obstacles to ensuring consistent quality of APIs as well as API documentation are “increasing demands for speed of delivery” and “limited time due to workload.”

Telegram has addressed this issue, but other organizations should take steps to make sure that whatever APIs the they use are not vulnerable.

ElectraMeccanica Leverages RISE With SAP To Power ERP Transformation

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 22, 2021 by itnerd

ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. has announced that it has completed its migration to SAP S/4HANA Cloud leveraging the business-transformation-as-a-service, RISE with SAP. The new ERP system integrates the company’s finance, supply chain, manufacturing, sales and distribution operations processes.

ElectraMeccanica collaborated with PwC Canada, a member of the global consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in the selection and implementation of an ERP system as the digital foundation of the business. SAP S/4HANA Cloud will help ElectraMeccanica support its growth and go-to-market strategy to deliver environmentally-efficient electric vehicles globally. Implemented using automotive industry capabilities and best practices, SAP S/4HANA Cloud features AI, machine learning, RPA, and situation handling across finance, supply chain, manufacturing, sales and distribution processes.

ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp.is a Canadian designer and manufacturer of environmentally efficient electric vehicles (EVs). The company’s flagship vehicle is the innovative, purpose-built, single-seat EV called the SOLO. This three-wheeled vehicle will revolutionize the urban driving experience, including commuting, delivery and shared mobility. Engineered for a single occupant, it offers a unique driving experience for the environmentally conscious consumer. The SOLO has a range of 100 miles and a top speed of 80 mph, making it safe for highways. The SOLO also features front and rear crumple zones, side impact protection, roll bar, torque-limiting control as well as power steering, power brakes, air conditioning and a Bluetooth entertainment system. It blends a modern look with safety features at an accessible price point of $18,500. The SOLO is currently available for pre-orders here. InterMeccanica, a subsidiary of ElectraMeccanica, has successfully been building high-end specialty cars for 61 years. For more information, please visit www.electrameccanica.com.

Roku And Google Spat Goes Down To The Wire…. And Users May Lose Out

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 21, 2021 by itnerd

You might recall that Google And Roku got into a fight over the YouTube TV App on the Roku platform due to what Roku calls Google’s “predatory” and “monopoly” behavior: That led to the YouTube TV App being yanked from Roku’s app store. Google then added the YouTube TV app to the main YouTube app to get around this. But this is about to get real. Axios reports that if this goes on until December 9th, the YouTube app will disappear from the Roku App store as that’s when their current deal expires. If you have it installed, it will remain. But if you delete it, or if you didn’t have it in the first place, you won’t be able get it. Thus users lose as is usually the case where two companies get into a fight like this.

Roku lays out the reasons why they’re taking on Google here. But it seems really odd to me why this fight is going on in the first place. Roku by far is the dominant player in the streaming hardware space. Thus logic would suggest that Google would have a lot to lose by being on the wrong side of this. But I guess we’ll see who blinks first. If either party blinks at all.

Guest Post: 5G Networks Still To Reach Market Penetration Tipping Point Finds Omdia Research

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 21, 2021 by itnerd

Only 14% of 5G networks have reached 10% subscriber penetration according to the latest Omdia research. While 147 operators had launched 5G by the end of June 2021, the data shows that only 14% (21 operators) have reached 10% subscriber penetration on their network.

Omdia analysts have found that 10% in-network penetration is a key milestone for 5G as this is the point at which 5G appears to begin to have a positive impact on mobile revenues. 

Data from leading 5G market South Korea shows a clear revenue uplift post-5G launch once market penetration passed 10% a year ago. In China, 5G subscriptions nearly doubled in the first half of 2021 to reach 318 million in June, which is equivalent to 11% of total mobile connections. Meanwhile, mobile services revenues grew 4.7% and 3.7% year on year in Q1 and Q2 – a level that hasn’t been seen since early 2018.

“We can only speculate about the impact of 5G on service providers until the technology reaches a certain critical mass beyond early adopters. Only South Korea has reached this point and the story there is a positive one,” said Ronan De Renesse, senior research director, Omdia. “Another 24 markets are due to reach 10% 5G population penetration by the end of 2021, 37 in 2022 and over 100 in 2026.”

Chinese, Korean, Japanese and US operators commanded over 93% of the global 5G market in Q2 2021. Among the more than 400 million subscriptions globally, 82% are in Asia, of which 87% are in China. Markets outside Asia with more than 5% population penetration include the US, Finland and Ireland.

According to Omdia’s market predictions, markets on average are expected to see a 5% data ARPU (average revenue per user) uplift from two years onwards post 5G launch. However, there is no direct correlation as markets are affected by other factors such as macroeconomic dynamics, COVID recovery, local market competition and regulation.

Adversely, Omdia expects mature markets to see less growth in percentage terms than others because growth coming from digital services inclusion in developing and emerging markets will dwarf the effects of 5G. For example, while 5G may command a 10% increase in ARPU, a first-time smartphone user in Africa may double their mobile bill.  

“5G is still in its infancy and we have yet to see its full potential from a technology and commercial perspective,” continued De Renesse. “Similar to 4G when it launched, 5G adoption is mostly supply-led which means that demand for 5G needs to be created by the industry. Operators in China and South Korea have shown that if you put 5G in the hands of consumers then revenues are likely to follow.”

ABOUT OMDIA:

Omdia is a leading research and advisory group focused on the technology industry. With clients operating in over 120 countries, Omdia provides market-critical data, analysis, advice and custom consulting.

Omdia was formed in 2020 following the merger of IHS Markit, Tractica, Ovum and Heavy Reading. Sitting at the heart of the Informa Tech portfolio, Omdia reaches over four million technology decision makers, influencers and practitioners that form part of the wider Informa Tech community and has specialist research practices focusing on Enterprise IT, AI, Internet of Things, Communications Service Providers, Cybersecurity, Components & Devices, Media & Entertainment and Government & Manufacturing.

Stay connected with Omdia on FacebookLinkedInTwitter and YouTube

Sonos Holiday Gift Ideas: Give The Gift Of Sound

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 21, 2021 by itnerd

Sonos has a few ideas for pretty much anyone on the list – whether that’s the ultimate holiday host, the movie buff or even the wanderlust. Here are a few products that I’d like to highlight:

  • Roam ($179): Launched earlier this year, Roam is the first ultra-portable speaker from Sonos that you can bring on all your listening adventures, whether it’s around the fire, by the pool or an outdoor yoga class. This season’s most stylish sound accessory is also drop proof/water resistant and small enough to fit in a stocking! 
  • Beam ($449): Looking to splurge? Look no further than the Sonos Beam (Gen 2), the smart TV sound bar, which was just announced last month. Bring the sounds of the stadium and theater to your home with immersive sound and Dolby Atmos support.
  • Move ($399): As one of the most highly rated products on BestBuy.com, the Sonos Move is the ideal indoor and outdoor speaker for the entertainer of the family, with room filling sound that can power any occasion. 
  • One ($219) and One SL (starting at $199): The essential Sonos speakers for any person on your list. One and One SL are stylish speakers that elevate any space and are the perfect introduction to the Sonos world. One also makes a great gift for new parents with hands free voice control (Alexa, play sleep sounds!).
  • With Sonos Radio and Sonos Radio HD, you’ll also have access to hand picked stations for the holidays and any day. No stress about picking the perfect playlist either! 

More inspiration can be found on the Sonos holiday gift guide here,

iRobot and Bona Partner to Deliver the Ultimate in Robotic Mopping

Posted in Commentary on October 21, 2021 by itnerd

iRobot has announced an exclusive partnership to provide customers with Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Bona® Hard-Surface Cleaner solutions, and the Bona® PowerPlus® Microfiber Deep Cleaning Pad that are custom designed and certified for the iRobot Braava® jet m6 robot mop. The co-branded cleaning solutions and microfiber pads will be sold at select retailers in the U.S. and Canada, as well as at iRobot.com.

Powered by iRobot Genius Home Intelligence, the Braava jet m6 is the first robot mop from iRobot to mop like you would, delivering a Roomba-like cleaning experience. Braava jet m6 robot owners can tell it where and when to clean with confidence that its Precision Jet Spray capability will tackle sticky messes and kitchen grease. Users simply attach their preferred cleaning pad – Wet Mopping or Dry Sweeping – and the robot gets to work. Using vSLAM® navigation and Imprint Smart Mapping, the Braava jet m6 cleans in an efficient pattern while navigating around furniture, rugs, and other obstacles. With intelligence provided by iRobot Genius, the Braava jet m6 is smart enough to know the kitchen from the dining room for customized cleaning jobs, and Keep Out Zones help it avoid sensitive areas like pet bowls or play areas. With Clean While I’m Away, the robot can automatically begin cleaning when you’ve left home and stop when you return. It’s smart enough to learn your cleaning habits to offer up customized schedules, and with Imprint® Link Technology, Braava jet m6 can team up with Roomba robot vacuums to vacuum and then mop automatically in perfect sequence, giving your floors a comprehensive clean.

Bona brings more than 100 years of expertise in floor care to the Braava jet m6 robot mop. This perfect pairing offers the ultimate clean. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner, which is ideal for any polyurethane finished wood floor, is gentle yet effective at removing dust, dirt, and grime to reveal a floor’s natural shine and beauty. Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner solution is a rinse-free, streak-free formula that cleans hard-surface floors, including stone, tile, and laminate, by breaking up tough messes to leave floors clean and beautiful. Both products recently received U.S. EPA Safer Choice Certification for the sustainable formulations that are crafted with plant-derived ingredients, use water-based and biodegradable solutions, and are free of parabens, formaldehyde, ammonia, phthalates, and phosphates. The Bona PowerPlus® Microfiber Deep Cleaning Pad features a unique design with PowerLoop® technology that lifts, traps, and absorbs dirt and grime, rather than pushing and scattering the mess around like conventional cleaning pads.

Availability:

Bona® Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Bona® Hard-Surface Cleaner solutions are available immediately for purchase in the U.S. on www.irobot.com and Canada on www.irobot.caThe Bona® PowerPlus® Microfiber Deep Cleaning Pad for the iRobot Braava Jet® m6 Robot Mop will be available beginning in November.

iRobot will begin including Bona floor cleaner solutions and microfiber pads as part of new Braava jet m6 orders beginning in Q4 2021, with all orders expected to include the co-branded cleaning solutions and pads by Q1 2022. Over the next few months, as iRobot transitions from its existing cleaning solution and pads to Bona solutions and pads, order contents may vary.

Availability of Bona cleaning solutions and pads for the iRobot Braava jet m6 in other regions is not being announced at this time.