Judge Says No To Injunction Forcing Amazon To Bring Parler Back To Life

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

You might remember that Parler sued Amazon Web Services for Thanos snapping them off the Internet because according to Amazon, they had violated their terms of service by not moderating their content. Especially content related to the Capitol attacks that left five dead. Well, that lawsuit isn’t going so well. A US federal district judge has turned down Parler’s request for a preliminary injunction to force Amazon Web Services to host the right wing social network. The ruling [Warning: PDF] is pretty clear:

The Court rejects any suggestion that the public interest favors requiring AWS to host the incendiary speech that the record shows some of Parler’s users have engaged in,

Well, that’s pretty definitive.

Parler is free to appeal the ruling. Though if you read the ruling the judge figured that Parler would not succeed unless their lawyers for the site find new legal arguments. Good luck with that.

Google Hasn’t Updated Its iOS Apps In Ages…. Is It Because Google Has Something To Hide?

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

As of December 8 Apple has been requiring developers to provide privacy label information to their apps. The Purpose is to outline the data that each app collects from users when it is installed. Many app developers have included the labels, but there’s one notable outlier. And that’s outlier is Google:

Google has not updated its major apps like Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome, and YouTube since December 7 or before, and most Google apps have to date have not been updated with the Privacy Label feature. The Google Translate, Google Authenticator, Motion Stills, Google Play Movies, and Google Classroom apps do include privacy labels even though they have not been updated recently, but Google’s search app, Google Maps, Chrome, Waze, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Photos, Google Home, Gmail, Google Docs, Google Assistant, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, Google Slides, Google One, Google Earth, YouTube Music, Hangouts, Google Tasks, Google Meet, Google Pay, PhotoScan, Google Voice, Google News, Gboard, Google Podcasts, and more do not display the information. 

On January 5, Google told TechCrunch that the data would be added to its iOS apps “this week or the next week,” but both this week and the next week have come and gone with no update. It has now been well over a month since Google last updated its apps.

You have to wonder what Google has to hide? Is it perhaps that their data harvesting activities are so invasive that if people knew what Google was actually doing, they’d dump Google apps en masse? This is why I don’t have Google apps on my iPhone 12 Pro. I simply don’t trust Google, and to be frank, neither should you. Especially given that there are alternatives to pretty much anything that Google offers.

Colliers International Group Pwned By Hackers

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

It’s January 2021 and the pwange by hackers continues.

Toronto-based commercial real estate services and investment management firm, Colliers International Group, has acknowledged it was the victim of a cyberattack but isn’t disclosing whether the incident was ransomware, following a listing on the dark web by the Netfilim ransomware gang.

“In November 2020, Colliers’ information technology team discovered a cyberattack to the company’s IT infrastructure in North America,” company communications director Pamela Smith said in an email. “Thanks to the immediate and decisive actions taken by Colliers’ IT team, the impacts on business continuity were limited. Colliers conducted a comprehensive investigation with the support of leading cybersecurity experts in an effort to determine what data may have been impacted during the recent event. Colliers continues to monitor the situation closely and will continue to notify affected individuals or organizations. The Colliers IT network is secure, safe and fully operational at this time.”

The spokesperson was mum when asked to confirm if the attack was ransomware, that files had been copied, whether the information affected was corporate or personal, and, if personal, did it involve current and former employees.

Well, that does not inspire confidence in the slightest. When someone refuses to answer questions about a hack, it’s usually never good.

David Masson, Director of Enterprise Security for Darktrace had this to say:

While exact details on the attackers’ modus operandi is yet to emerge – this latest attack comes as no surprise.

We have entered a new era of cyber-threat where attackers act in more targeted ways than ever before. As sophisticated threat actors work to disrupt not just financial stability, but company reputation, the potential damages of a cyber breach have never been more devastating.

All industries have sensitive data to protect, and rather than simply stealing it, attackers are now looking to weaponize that data in ways that benefit them. Ransomware gangs have upped their tactics from simply locking up private info in exchange for payment to now releasing it, causing embarrassment and reputational damage, and using it as blackmail.

Beyond stealing or exposing data, businesses need to be on high alert for what we call ‘trust attacks’ – we are seeing an increase in attacks where hackers go after data not only to extort ransom payments, but to actually change the data and undermine its integrity – or use disinformation to smear a brand. For the real estate industry, there is a very real danger that data stores can be deliberately tampered with undermining transactions and redirecting funds into their own accounts. Next generation attacks like these are increasingly outpacing security teams and require sophisticated defenses and AI to respond instantaneously when they strike.

Guest Post: Ransomware Accounts For 81% Of All Financially Motivated Cyberattacks In 2020 Says Atlas VPN

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

Ransomware is a type of malicious malware used by cybercriminals to encrypt sensitive information that can be regained if a ransom is paid. Last year’s data reveals that this type of attack is one of the cybercriminals’ favorite methods.

The Atlas VPN team found that ransomware made up a whopping 81% of all financially motivated cyberattacks in 2020. The remaining 19% include point-of-sale intrusions, e-commerce attacks, business email compromise, and cryptocurrency mining.

As ransomware technology has developed over the last thirty years since its creation in 1989, its threat levels have grown too. In 2020, ransomware attacks caused greater financial damage per breach than average malicious attacks.

An average malicious attack cost victims $4.27 million per assault. In the meantime, ransomware attacks cost 4% more — $4.44 million per breach.

The top 5 biggest ransomware attack payouts of 2020

The year 2020 saw a fair share of ransomware attacks that affected companies and organizations worldwide. 

One of the most significant ransomware attacks in 2020 was the Garmin breach. Garmin, an American multinational technology company, is believed to have paid $10 million to its hackers. Garmin was targeted by WastedLocker, ransomware credited to a Russia-based cybercriminal group called Evil Corp.

The next biggest ransom payout to cybercriminals in 2020 belongs to a business travel management company CWT Global. Cybercriminals behind the attack used Ragnar Locker and collected a payment of $4.5 million.

Travelex, a British foreign exchange firm, rounds out the top three companies in this list. The Sodinokibi gang, also known as REvil, is said to be responsible for the attack. Travelex paid the criminal group $2.3 million.

Other organizations that paid a significant ransom to cybercriminals last year include the University of California San Francisco ($1.14 million), as well as Communications and Power Industries ($0.5 million).

Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on ransomware attack trends:

It is hard to predict whether this year’s ransomware attack levels will surpass the ones of 2020. However, as global companies continue to fall into the traps of ransomware attacks, it is safe to say they are not going anywhere.

To read the full article, head over to: https://atlasvpn.com/blog/ransomware-accounts-for-81-of-all-financially-motivated-cyberattacks-in-2020

Epik Hosting Sends Out Messaging Related To Parler…. Which Is Very Interesting

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

This morning I got a very unusual email from Epik Hosting. Unusual because I have never reached out to or dealt with them on any level in the past. I’ve only written about them. You might recall that Epik have a reputation for being the host of choice for right wing and new-nazi types in the United States. And they were said to be currently trying to help right wing social media site Parler get back on line after being Thanos snapped off the Internet by Amazon Web Services, as well as Apple, and Google for allowing the violence at the Capitol to be planned on their site. In any case, the email directed me towards a press release that was online. And in that press release, the key item is this:

Read a certain way, it sounds like Epik isn’t actively involved in this effort to bring Parler back from the dead.

The next part of the statement reads like they are trying to distance themselves from their reputation.

Which is interesting as to the best of my knowledge their reputation is as follows:

But maybe the cynic in me is making an appearance.

The rest of this statement reads like a call for free speech and civil discourse. Here’s an example:

So, if I take this whole statement I read it as follows:

  • Epik isn’t exactly helping Parler to get back online, but they support Parler
  • Epik supports free speech and Parler is part of that.

Again, maybe I am getting cynical in my old age, but I look at this statement and I really feel that there’s a fair amount of spin and support of Parler here. Which is interesting because Epik is allegedly not helping them. Perhaps I am reading this wrong. But given the track record that Epik apparently has, looking at this statement with some degree of suspicion seems to be warranted. At least in my view.

TELUS Launches Newest Health For Good Mobile Clinic To Support Toronto’s Most Marginalized Citizens

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

Today, TELUS announced the expansion of the company’s innovative Health for Goodprogram with Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre (CHC) and University Health Network’s (UHN) Social Medicine Program. The Parkdale Queen West Mobile Health Clinic powered by TELUS Health, a specially-equipped clinic on wheels, will provide essential primary health and harm reduction services directly to underserved persons in neighbourhoods in the mid-west region of Toronto. In addition, the clinic will enable mobile COVID-19 testing and vaccination efforts at homeless sheltering sites, congregate housing for marginalized populations and in areas with high positivity rates.

Estimates show that there are more than 8,700 Torontonians experiencing homelessness each day. In addition, marginalized populations struggling with poverty are often challenged to access primary health care, counselling and mental health support, as well as harm reduction and illness prevention services. Through this collaborative partnership,TELUS, Parkdale Queen West CHC and UHN’s Social Medicine Program’s main goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of these individuals and communities who are at-risk and/or face barriers to accessing high quality health care services and supports.

Backed by a $10 million commitment from TELUS, Health for Good is already active from coast-to-coast with clinics operating in Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Mississauga-Peel Region, Waterloo Region, Montreal, Halifax, and now Toronto. These state-of-the-art mobile health clinics operate in communities where frontline care is urgently needed and act as a vital link between the community and local health authority. Through a combination of drop-in primary care and individually targeted follow up visits, the mobile outreach team builds rapport and enables a continuity of care for people who have been underserved by the traditional clinical care model. In 2020, several mobile health clinics supported COVID-19 response efforts, operating as assessment and testing centres and offering support to people leaving isolation and recovering from COVID-19. Since the program’s inception in 2014, TELUS Health Mobile Clinics have supported over 50,000 patient visits.

This mobile health clinic, and others across the country, are equipped with TELUS Health electronic medical record (EMR) technology. The TELUS Health EMR will enable clinic staff to collect and store health data, examine results over time, and provide better continuity of care to patients who previously had undocumented medical histories. The clinic is also equipped with TELUS LTE Wi-Fi and TELUS Mobility services.

The medical clinic is divided into two main areas: one for patient reception and mental health care and a second private, but more spacious area with an examination table and a physician/nursing workstation.  This design  helps improve patient privacy and allows the team to treat patients with the dignity and respect they deserve.

For more information about TELUS Health for Good, visit telus.com/healthforgood.

Raptic Launches Samsung Galaxy S21 Cases

Posted in Commentary on January 20, 2021 by itnerd

Raptic has launched their newest lineup of Raptic Shield cases for Samsung Galaxy S21 Series.

Raptic’s line of cases is tested to meet and exceed military drop test standards (MILSTD-810G) of up to 10 feet onto concrete and feature a raised front lip (1.2 mm) to help avoid the screen from being damaged or scratched. Raptic offers free shipping for all Galaxy S21 cases within the US and lifetime warranty.

The Raptic Shield ($29.99) for Samsung Galaxy S21Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra features: 

  • Enhanced machined aluminum exterior frame, coupled with a soft rubber bumper, for ultimate protection 
  • Antimicrobial solution infused in the frame & back to keep your phone hygienically clean
  • Honeycomb interior lining adds shock absorption for drops 
  • Anodized aluminum frame, available in Red, Black, or Iridescent, and user-friendly one-piece construction complements the premium quality of the Galaxy S21 while making the case even easier to put on/take off 
  • Compatible with all Qi Certified Wireless chargers

BSO Broadens Cloud Connect Offering With Oracle Cloud FastConnect

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 20, 2021 by itnerd

BSO, the leading global telecoms operator powering the digital age, today announced it will offer on-demand connectivity to Oracle Cloud as an official Oracle Cloud FastConnect partner.

The partnership between BSO and Oracle Cloud provides global enterprises with a dedicated, private and highly secure connection from their sites to their critical data and applications within Oracle’s Cloud, BSO will offer Oracle Cloud FastConnect services up to 10Gbps from any of its 240+ POPs.  

Built over BSO’s global and resilient core private Ethernet network, BSO Cloud Connect provides customers with seamless, on-demand connectivity from their data centers and networks, office or colocation environment to Cloud Services providers such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. 

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect enables enterprise cloud connectivity to Oracle Cloud from trusted enterprise data centers. Connecting directly to the Oracle Cloud through Oracle FastConnect enables a fast, private connection to the industry’s broadest and most integrated cloud platform, with a complete range of services across Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Features and benefits of connecting directly to Oracle FastConnect: 

  • A more consistent network experience with costs optimisation for data transfer compared to internet-based connections thanks to a dedicated fiber optic connection
  • Increased levels of security and predictability for latency-sensitive traffic allowing greater end-to-end control 
  • Variety of connection speed options: 100Mbps to 10Gbps over 1GE or 10GE ports 
  • More redundancy and disaster recovery of customers’ network infrastructure 
  • Connectivity uptime and performance are backed by an SLA

This collaboration between BSO and Oracle Cloud FastConnect will help customers drive business-process efficiency, improve customer engagement, and accelerate their digital transformation efforts.

New LinkedIn Data Reveals Which Canadian Cities Are Feeling Best About Work Prospects

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 20, 2021 by itnerd

Canada’s workforce is feeling the most confident since July – but that optimism isn’t shared equally across the country, with those in Montreal and Vancouver reporting a much brighter picture than others, according to new LinkedIn data.

LinkedIn’s overall Workforce Confidence Index score for Canada reached +33 at the end of last year, on a scale of -100 to +100. The figures reflect an aggregate of how Canadians feel about their short-term job security, financial wellbeing and one-year career outlook, based on a regular survey of members. (You can find previous editions here.)

How optimistic does the workforce feel across Canada?

  • Driving the improvement in sentiment in the most recent quarter, workers in Greater Montreal reported the highest confidence scores of all the Canadian cities we tracked, averaging +46 in the period covering October to December. That reflects a climb from average scores of +40 over the summer and +31 back in the spring. While it’s hard to pinpoint what prompted the improvement in sentiment in and around Montreal, their scores moved higher primarily in the financial and career confidence metrics. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in Quebec fell to 6.7% in December, the lowest among provinces, according to Statistics Canada, as employment picked up in professional, scientific and technical services.
  • Workers in Metro Vancouver were the next most optimistic, and saw the biggest quarterly jump in optimism in the winter, with scores of +39, up from +30 in the summer. The three-month moving average unemployment rate in Vancouver was most recently a (comparatively) low 7.4%, official figures suggest, perhaps underscoring the relatively upbeat mood.
  • Those in Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg and their surrounding areas all fell somewhere in the middle of the pack, with scores of +32, +30 and +27 respectively, all inching down two points from the summer. Wider employment in the Toronto metropolitan area was unchanged in November and fell 1.5% in December after five months of gains as tougher public health restrictions were enacted to combat the spread of COVID-19, according to Statistics Canada.

For the full results, including additional insights on how Canadians feel about their career growth, finding a new job, and employer outlook visit here. Research methodology is shared below. 

Methodology 

LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index is based on a quantitative online survey that is distributed to members via email every two weeks. Roughly 1,000+ Canada-based members respond each wave. Members are randomly sampled and must be opted into research to participate. Students, stay-at-home partners & retirees are excluded from analysis so we’re able to get an accurate representation of those currently active in the workforce. We analyze data in aggregate and will always respect member privacy.

Data is weighted by engagement level, to ensure fair representation of various activity levels on the platform. The results represent the world as seen through the lens of LinkedIn’s membership; variances between LinkedIn’s membership & overall market population are not accounted for.

OVHcloud Teams With IBM & Atempo

Posted in Commentary with tags on January 20, 2021 by itnerd

To meet enterprises and public institutions security, sovereignty and resilience needs for the preservation of sensitive data, OVHcloud is collaborating with IBM and Atempo to develop a Storage-as-a-Service offering. This solution will be based on IBM enterprise tape technology and an Atempo software stack hosted and operated by OVHcloud in new data centres on the French territory.

With the ever-exponential growth of data produced by the Cloud, data storage optimization has become essential, both because of costs and compliance risks. As organizations look for ways to store, manage and leverage value for this ever-growing amount of data, Tape will play a strategic role in addressing storage infrastructure challenges.

Tape solutions offer the lowest cost per terabyte of storage available today; the technology provides the security, scalability and durability to safely store critical inactive and cold data over the long term. When stored properly, data on tape today will still be legible in 30 years’ time. Put simply, storing data on tape costs mere pennies per terabyte and when not in use, requires zero energy consumption unlike hard disks and flash drives. 

Tape meets Hybrid Cloud for a scalable, secure and affordable data strategy
OVHcloud will launch a cloud storage offering aimed at both public and private organizations, which will guarantee total security and resilience for the long-term preservation of their sensitive data. This long-term storage solution is based on the IBM Enterprise 3592 Enterprise Tape technology and orchestrated by Atempo’s technology platform, Miria. In addition OVHcloud will innovate through the in-between addition of erasure coding 9+3 technology, allowing smart replication and split of users’ data.

To address data localization concerns of professionals, the solution will be hosted and operated by OVHcloud in four new dedicated facilities, all located in France and each separated by several hundred kilometers. Security is a key priority for OVHcloud, who recently obtained the ANSSI Security Visa for the SecNumCloud which qualifies its Hosted Private Cloud solution and demonstrates the highest level of IT security, in line with recommendations from the French National Agency for Information System Security, for hosting sensitive and strategic data. 

The combined expertise of IBM, Atempo and OVHcloud will provide users with a unique solution that meets the regulatory requirements for data conservation, will be S3 compatible and feature ultra-competitive and predictable pricing for an unmatched price/performance ratio. 

About OVHcloud
OVHcloud is a global player and the leading European cloud provider operating 400,000 servers within its own 31 data centres across 4 continents. For 20 years, the Group has been leveraging an integrated model that provides full control of our value chain, from designing our servers to managing our data centres through to orchestrating our fibre-optic network. This unique approach enables OVHcloud to cover, independently, the full spectrum of use cases for our 1.6 million customers across 140 countries. OVHcloud now offers customers latest-generation solutions that combine high performance, predictable pricing and full data sovereignty to support their unfettered growth.

About Atempo
Atempo is a leading independent European-based software vendor with an established global presence providing solutions to protect, store, move and recover all mission-critical data sets for thousands of companies worldwide. With over 25 years’ experience in data protection, Atempo offers a complete range of proven solutions for physical and virtual servers’ backup, workstations, and migration between different storages of very large data volumes. Atempo’s three flagship solutions, Lina, Miria and Tina are labeled ‘As used by French Armed Forces’ and ‘France Cybersecurity’.
Selected to join the French Tech 120, a government program designed to nurture 25 unicorns by 2025, Atempo is headquartered in Paris and is present in Europe, the US and Asia with a partner network in excess of 100 partners, integrators and managed service providers.
For more information:  www.atempo.com.