May 04, 2016

An Introduction to Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology

Unlike traditional computer networks and payment systems, Bitcoin is not administered by any centralized authority or controlled by any rights holder. Instead, it was introduced to the world as an open source project. It may be utilized by any person, without fee, by downloading Bitcoin software and accessing the peer-to-peer network. These users collectively provide the infrastructure and computing power that processes and verifies transactions and information posted through that network and recorded on its decentralized ledger. A group of computer scientists and programmers volunteer their time toward upgrading and improving the Bitcoin software code, primarily through an open repository on the GitHub website.


Proactive DDoS Mitigation in Today's Threat Landscape

Cybersecurity threats have become more persistent and damaging than ever. Despite increased awareness of the network threat landscape, many organizations struggle to protect themselves against DDoS attacks. Download the eBook to learn about the latest cybersecurity threats and DDoS mitigation best practices: The current threat environment and what it means for your organization; How moving toward a more holistic, proactive approach can help ensure the availability and security of your business; and Why over provisioning bandwidth to absorb large attacks is an ineffective strategy


U.K. Considering Government Applications of Blockchain Technology

“Blockchains ‒ distributed ledgers, shared ledgers ‒ are digital tools for building trust in data,” explained Hancock. “Rather than a single central authority demanding trust and declaring: ‘I say this data is correct,’ you have the distributed consensus of everyone in the chain, saying in unison: ‘we agree that this data is correct.’” Hancock added that data held in the blockchain comes with its own history, and that history is a fundamental part of proving its integrity. “This fact is enormously powerful,” he said. While cautioning against considering the emerging blockchain technology as a generally applicable solution for all problems, Hancock emphasized that the technology offers efficient solutions for important use cases.


Why Fast Flux Networks

The basic idea behind a Fast Flux Network is to associate multiple IP addresses to a malicious domain name. These IP addresses are swapped in and out with extremely high frequency, may be in every 3 minutes, with the help of changing DNS records. As a result, a browser connecting to the same malicious website in every three minutes will see different IP address each time and connect to the actual malicious website via different infected computers every time. ... Fast Flux motherships are the main controlling elements behind the front end servers. They are similar to Command & Control or C & C servers, though they have much more features compared to the C & C servers. This mothership node is hidden by the front end servers, which make them extremely difficult to track down.


Educating Regulators a Priority, Say Blockchain Policy Experts

To help them better understand blockchain, Edge said, governmental organizations and companies should create sandbox environments in which they can safely experiment, then invite younger members to take leadership positions exploring the technology. "You’ll end up with an army of young people," he said, adding: "Before we can do those conversations, we have to do what Jamie’s talking about." Jonathan Levin, founder and CEO of Chainalysis, had his own strategy for doing exactly that – teaching policymakers at any organization, including large corporations about blockchain. Instead of pursuing an “army of young people,” Levin advocated that the organization should identify a single person with at least some bitcoin or blockchain knowledge, and offer them a position as a specialist.


How secure are cloud storage services?

Truth be told, cloud services are not as insecure as the occasionally screaming headlines make out. In fact, there's much to be said for the argument that Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and OneDrive have both the money and motivation to make their data stores much more secure than you could hope to achieve on your meagre budget yourself. So let's take a look at these four services, but first we need to get a few things out of the way. This isn't a review of these services, if you want to know what ins and outs of the cloud services, take a look at our article ... Because Google Drive uses the same Google account for login as Gmail, the danger was that everything was compromised as a result. It turned out, however, that the dump was of old phished passwords and at most 2% may have worked - but were all reset by Google anyway.


Businesses must address digital transformation security risks, says analyst

“When organisations look at digital transformation, they need to restructure so that information security is responsible for the security of everything, including the internet of things (IoT), the organisation’s operational technology (OT) and the business,” said Kuppinger. “The execution of information security needs to move to where organisations use IT, meaning IT departments will have to become more decentralised and services-based, while information security is independently responsible for security governance across everything,” he said. ... “Identity and access management is increasingly about … managing identities of everyone and everything in a connected world, and supporting organisations in their governance, risk and compliance [GRC] initiatives,” he said.


5 secure habits of the paranoid PC user

It makes much more sense to access the Internet through a virtual private network in which all outgoing and incoming traffic is funneled through an encrypted channel to a trusted Internet gateway. Another advantage of this strategy is how it masks your current IP address, which should further reduce opportunities for phishing. Fortunately, commercial VPN offerings such as VyprVPN and PureVPN abound for individuals and small businesses, and are typically priced at between $5 and $10 per month. Almost all of these services provide their own VPN client to log in to the correct servers with minimum configuration required. Affordability aside, some considerations when choosing a suitable VPN service include its performance in the region where you live or travel to, the number of simultaneous client devices it supports, the platforms it supports and its reliability.


Analytics-driven SDN and NFVi, CORD and M-CORD

The advent of new virtualized frameworks (cloud, NFV, and SDN) has changed telco hardware strategy to embrace open control interfaces and programmable data path elements. The cloud has given rise to commoditization of infrastructure using merchant silicon and commercial off-the-shelf hardware that are managed and orchestrated with software. NFV and SDN push the scope of software even more towards the abstraction, programming, manipulation and disaggregation of network functions. “Whitebox switching” in networking has emerged as a bare metal switch that is run with a hardware-agnostic network operating system and managed by a decoupled centralized controller. The cloud, NFV and SDN have shifted the industry’s attention from a high performance “closed” purpose-built systems to an “open” programmable hardware and flexible software architecture as the differentiator.


Unfreezing an Organization

Scaling a piece of software without forethought or using unsuitable architecture resulted in many of the enterprise systems that most of our companies run on: expensive to maintain, fragile, hard to replace and loaded with decades of technical debt. Scaling an organization without forethought or using an unsuitable assembly line process, resulted in the organizations that run our companies: expensive, fragile, slow, hard to replace, and loaded with decades of organizational debt. Rewriting a 20 year old antiquated payments system that processes a bank's payments or transforming an organization share the same characteristics: it takes much longer than originally promised, it’s incredibly difficult, and most senior leaders will shy away from it. At the same time, in a world of Uber, Wealthfront, and Fintech incubators, most organizations have no choice. The brave few are doing something about it.



Quote for the day:


"Designing your product for monetization first & people second will probably leave you with neither." -- Tara Hunt