Volume II, Issue 9 (September, 2016)
WatchGuard Technologies CTO Corey Nachreiner
featured in GeekWire article about DNC email hack
Corey Nachreiner, WatchGuard Technologies Chief Technology Officer, was featured in a July article aat GeekWire.com about the Democratic National Committee email hack from earlier that month. In the article, Nachriener discusses some hypothetical situations for what actually happened, and on the growing sophistication of hacking, phishing, and spear phishing attacks. He also outlines how the DNC could have avoided such an attack. Nachreiner will be part of a Verus security talk in November, 2016. To read the article in it’s entirety please click here.
Cisco acquisition of Jasper Technologies signals
push to grow Internet of Things (IoT) market
Cisco builds the hardware that powers the Internet. In fact, most of the Internet runs through a Cisco device. Today, that’s a very profitable business for the company and one they intend to keep growing. At the beginning of the year, Cisco acquired Jasper Technologies, a platform to build applications for the Internet of Things, for $1.4 billion to integrate with the company’s cloud business unit. Currently, it has over 5,000 clients including Amazon (AMZN), Ford (NYSE:F), Vivint (VSLR) and General Motors (GM). Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins believes “this is bigger than the first wave of the Internet. It has to be.” This commentary comes following former CEO John Chambers’ comments that the Internet of Everything (circa 2014 language) “will be worth $19 trillion.” Of course this could just be a regurgitation of some top-tier consulting firm study. The bottom line is that the IoT market is set to be big.
ESET exposes first Twitter-Controlled Android botnet
ESET researchers have uncovered an Android backdoor Trojan controlled by tweets. Dubbed as Android/Twitoor, it’s the first malicious app that uses Twitter instead of a traditional command-and-control (C&C) server. After launch, the Trojan hides its presence on the system and checks the defined Twitter account in regular intervals for commands. Based on received commands, it can either download malicious apps or change the C&C Twitter account to another one. “Using Twitter to control a botnet is an innovative step for an Android platform,” says Lukas Stefanko, the Eset malware researcher who discovered the malicious app.
VMWare announces free upgrades for desktop virtualization products
Last week, VMware announced upgrades to its desktop virtualization products for Windows, Mac, and Linux. But this time existing users won’t have to pay for the new software. VMware and its rival Parallels have been charging for upgrades every year, and last year both companies required users to upgrade if they wanted VMWare and Parallels to fully support Windows 10. But none of the operating system changes this year are likely to break anything in last year’s virtualization software. This makes it hard to convince customers that they should pay again. VMware has heard complaints from customers about the yearly paid upgrades. Customers say, “ah, geez, you’re going to charge me to upgrade every year because you added OS support,” according to VMware Product Line Marketing Manager Michael Roy. “We hear that loud and clear,” Roy told Ars. As a result, VMware is releasing Fusion 8.5 for Mac and Workstation Pro 12.5 for Windows and Linux as free upgrades for users of versions 8 and 12, respectively. Both will have support for the Windows 10 Anniversary edition and Windows Server 2016. Fusion will support macOS Sierra hosts and guests. The new VMware software will be available September 8.
Best Practice Corner
Beware services like DropBox as your Primary Storage/Backup Solution
If you hadn’t heard yet, DropBox had a pretty serious security breach last week that should open the eyes of anyone who is currently using the online, cloud-based storage solution provider’s services as their one and only resource for storage and backup.
According to a recent article at arstechnica.com, “Dropbox hurriedly warned its users last week to change their passwords if their accounts dated back prior to mid-2012. We now know why: the cloud-based storage service suffered a data breach that’s said to have affected more than 68 million accounts compromised during a hack that took place roughly four years ago.
The company had previously admitted that it was hit by a hack attack, but it’s only now that the scale of the operation has seemingly come to light.
Tech site Motherboard reported—citing ‘sources in the database trading community’ — that it had obtained four files, totalling 5GB in size, which apparently contained e-mail addresses and hashed passwords for 68,680,741 Dropbox users.”
To read the article in it’s entirety, please click here.
Alternative solutions to DropBox
DropBox offers you a good alternative for file sharing and/or backing up files important to individuals, but this hack highlights the dangers of using such a service as your primary backup for your corporate data. If you are doing that now, you are at risk of essentially giving all of your company data to a hacker.
If you are looking for cloud-based data backup/storage solutions, there are many alternatives available, and you don’t even have to go to the big players (Amazon, et al), to get it. Verus offers a variety of options to customers that help ensure data is backed up regularly and accessible via the cloud for our customers. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 763.354.2200 to discuss your storage/backup options today.
NEWS N NOTES
Still time to RSVP for our Open House!
Now is the time to RSVP if you’d like to join us for our Open House/Vendor Fair next Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. at our new facility at 201 85th Avenue NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433. The event will feature tours of our new building, as well as our most trust vendor partners on hand to discuss their solutions and products.
If you’d like to bring family members, friends or co-workers, feel free, just include them in the RSVP so we can make sure we have enough food and beverages for everyone.
Food and drink will be provided by D’Amico and Sons, and over 10 fantastic raffle prizes will be given out for those in attendance as well. Don’t wait until it’s too late – RSVP today to email@example.com or call 763.354.2200 to get registered. We hope to see you there!
Join us at US Bank Stadium Wednesday, Sept. 7,
for Cologix Connect Minnesota event
Join us at the third annual Cologix Connect Minnesota IT/Telecom Networking Event at the Fire Club in U.S. Bank Stadium. Last year over 200 attendees representing enterprise companies, cloud services, digital media, networks and carriers, and more attended the event. This year has the added benefit of tours of the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium.
To register for the event, please visit the link below:
First annual Meander the Mississippi goes off with great success despite rain
Over 50 attendees joined Verus on our first annual (we hope to do this again every year) Meander the Mississippi Boat Cruise aboard the Minneapolis Queen River Boat last month. The event started with a quick jaunt up the lower lock & dam at Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, featuring amazing views of the downtown skyline, the stone arch bridge, and the falls themselves. Brief presentations by Ryan Poutre of WatchGuard Technologies and Nikolaj Holm Vang were followed by a few words from Verus CEO/President Kevin Willette.
The group then enjoyed food and drinks as the boat headed south to the Ford Plant Lock & Dam before returning to port at Bohemian Flats Park in Minneapolis.
Those in attendance had a fantastic time despite a bout with a torrential downpour of rain. Stay tuned for next year, you won’t want to miss out on this one!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Start Autumn off right with Harvest Chipotle Chili
Makes: 8 servings
Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
- 3 medium orange sweet peppers, halved and seeded
- 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork, ground beef or uncooked ground turkey or chicken
- 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 15 – ounce can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 1/2 – ounce can hominy or one 15.5-ounce can butter beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 1/2 – ounce can chunky chili-style tomatoes or stewed tomatoes, undrained
- 1 12 – ounce can beer or one 14.5-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 14 1/2 – ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium Granny Smith or tart red apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted cashews
- In a food processor, cover and process sweet peppers, chipotle peppers and garlic with on/off turns until finely chopped. Set aside.
- In an 8-quart Dutch oven, cook ground pork and onion over medium-high heat until meat is brown and onion is tender, breaking up meat as it cooks. Drain off fat. Add pepper-garlic mixture; cook and stir for 5 minutes. .
- Stir in the sweet potato, pinto beans, drained hominy, undrained tomatoes, beer, chicken broth, apples and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until sweet potato is tender.
- Top each serving with some of the Spicy Chipotle Seasoned Nuts.
Makes 8 servings.