Wired: “The Untold Story of NotPetya…”

The head of cybersecurity for shipping giant Maersk recently gave a keynote at CYBER UK 19 and explained in detail of how the infamous “NotPetya” ransomware inadvertently hit their networks on June 27, 2017.

As stated in the article:

The company was one of the most badly hit of those caught in the crossfire of NotPetya, with almost 50,000 infected endpoints and thousands of applications and servers across 600 sites in 130 countries.

Maersk had to balance the need to continue operating – despite the lack of IT – and recovering and rebuilding networks. In many cases, it was a manual process that took days and what was described at the time as a “serious business interruption” is estimated to have cost Maersk up to $300m in losses.

Let this serve as a reminder that just when you think this could not affect you or your company, don’t be fooled…it absolutely CAN HAPPEN!  Don’t let it be you!

Also, if you’re looking for a abbreviated version of this story, ZDNet has one right here for you to check out!

Defrag: Yes for HDDs, No for SSDs, Maybe for Hybrids?

Just came across Fred Langa’s site and read a surprisingly thought provoking article that tackles the question of how to best handle those “hybrid” / “fusion” drives.

Personally, I have only purchased one of these drives (a Seagate 1 TB) and that was at a time when the $ per GB ratio resulted in significantly higher costs if one could not afford a full SSD.  That being said, it’s always good to have a fundamental understanding of how certain technologies work and in this case, Fred does an excellent job of doing just that.  Enjoy the read!

Post CES Recap

So now that the dust has settled and CES has been done and over with for almost a week, I’ve had an opportunity to reflect on this years’ experience and figure out how to best recap the event namely in the form of breaking down what I liked vs. what needs improvement.  When looking at it in the long term, CES has completely changed (for the better, IMHO) from when I first started going in the early 2000s up until now.  The perspective I’m briniging is more microfocused and are somewhat of a knee jerk reaction to what I felt the event brought to the table.  With that being said, here’s my recap of CES 2019…

What I liked about CES:

  • Eureka Park – without a doubt this was the highlight of my 3 day trek through CES.  Filled with entrepreneurial startups and small businesses, it was great to visit their booths, get hands on with their products, and speak directly to them and their staff especially since they were the ones that possessed first hand knowledge of how it worked!
  • Companies that rented their own private space and showcased products – this has become a growing trend at CES as many companies are now taking this path.  For example, in the past couple of years, Dell has rented out a restaurant within the Venetian hotel and pretty much transformed it into their own personal exhibit.  Couple that with complimentary appetizers and a coffee bar, smoothie bar, and even an open alcohol bar (not sure about the last one), they can pretty much guarantee that the “Dell Experience” is one to behold.
  • Keynotes / book club interviews / breakout sessions – another highlight of my time at CES.  It was great to hear discussions about key issues such as Cybersecurity, developing products, roadblocks for entrepreneurs and startups.  My advise would be to continue expanding on this and maybe even have some informal meet and greets in different settings which leads me to…
  • Vendor sponsored events –  a special shout out to TCL for the event they hosted at Top Golf behind the MGM hotel.  They took over the entire top floor and provided guests with tapas (small plates), a dessert bar, and (yes) an open bar all while overlooking the driving range made for a great experience.
  • The CES App – compared to past years, their App has made great strides and while its not perfect, it came in handy when organizing and planning out my agenda.
  • Other attendees – besides the two guys I happen to encounter that were on the verge of fighting one another (a CES first for me!), everyone was rather pleasant and in a great mood.  I guess the “Dell Experience” was onto something when they decided to pay to have an open bar.
  • Security – a special shot out to those responsible in making sure that all CES spaces were safe and secure.  They managed to be very thorough and detailed in performing their tasks but yet still managed to not get in the way of conference goers…a thankless job indeed!

 

What I didn’t like about CES:

  • The “Fortune 500” exhibits – I recognize that the big companies (i.e. your Intels, Samsungs, LGs, Panasonic, Sony, etc.) are always going to be the feature attraction no matter where they go but I’m starting to feel as if its all becoming redundant.  Before walking through, I can already anticipate the “majestic TV display”, all of the flagship devices on display, the “home / kitchen” layout with their branded appliances, you get my drift.  I really think that whichever big company breaks away from this and does a complete redesign of the way they present their products will be the ones that steal the show and gain the most attention.
  • No more free stuff? – I remember in past years of attending CES, exhibitors were much more generous with giving away items to keep attendees engaged and want to view their exhibits in greater detail.  Not saying that this should not be the top priority but it provides a bit of relief and satisfaction for those attendees spending hours upon hours walking all of the exhibit space.
  • The traffic! – I was fortunate enough to stay at a hotel that was near both the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and the Sands Expo but even when I jumped on the complimentary shuttle buses to commute between sites, it was literally bumper to bumper traffic the whole way each time I rode.  It got to a point where it was better for me to walk back to my hotel instead of losing time waiting and stuck in traffic.  Hey at least I was able to get some exercise in!

CES: Day 1

So Day 1 of CES 2019 is in the books.  Just to recap, the drive to Las Vegas was very smooth giving me ample time to get settled in before heading to the Las Vegas Convention Center for the opening of the exhibits at 10am.

I spent the first three hours in the South Hall which to my surprise had lots of neat hardware available namely in the form of cloud storage devices, server equipment, and lots of different types of drones.

After a short lunch break, I was able to attend a couple of keynote addresses into the afternoon which centered on the growing cyber security threat facing today’s world.  It was a very informative panel discussion with the main points being 1) we are ill prepared to handle the potential threats posed by the many gadgets that can now be connected to a home or business network and 2) there is an alarming labor shortage in the field of cyber security which has led to a potential shortfall of over 1 million (!) workers.  If you or someone you know wants to get their foot in the door of the IT industry, it’s safe to say that the easiest way to get in is to specialize in cyber security.

After the keynotes, I spent the remainder of my day (until the closing of the exhibits at 6pm) in the North and Central Halls which had lots of big name vendors such as Samsung, LG, Qualcomm, Sony, and Intel displaying and debuting their latest offerings.  I was amazed at how lots of auto manufacturers (i.e. Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Ford, etc.) and accessory companies (i.e. Pioneer, Diamond Audio, Kenwood, Powerbass, etc.) literally had the biggest presence I’ve seen since I started attending CES many years ago.  It goes without saying that technology in our vehicles is a major focus in the competition for new auto buyers.

Tomorrow, I plan on heading to the Sands Convention Center and the Venetian hotel which looks to have some more promising exhibits and keynote addresses.  Until then, time for my feet to rest and onward to day 2…

 

Looking for a replacement for an Apple router?

As you may already know, Apple has already announced that they have discontinued their consumer networking lineup of AirPort Extreme routers and access points.  One of the great benefits to having an “all-Apple” networking setup was the fact that you could setup all of your devices to form one big network, similar to what mesh networks do today.

For those looking to upgrade, there are many choices but I was surprised to find an article from Appleinsider.com stating that despite the fact that Synology is more well known for their NAS devices, they highly recommend a router that they recently release and even tout it as “the best AirPort replacement we’ve found yet”.

Click here to read the full article…if you disagree with the assessment, what you do have / recommend for your environment?

Amazon’s Holiday Season Recap

If I told you that Amazon shipped over one billion (!) products leading up to Christmas Day, what would your gut reaction be…

See the press release here:

https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/amazon-customers-made-holiday-season-record-breaking-more-items

Perhaps they’ll do double that next year around this time…don’t laugh(!)

Happy New Year Everyone!