Equifax takes down web page after report of new hack

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Equifax Inc said on Thursday it has taken one of its customer help website pages offline as its security team looks into reports of another potential cyber breach at the credit reporting company, which recently disclosed a hack that compromised the sensitive information of more than 145 million people.

The move came after an independent security analyst on Wednesday found part of Equifax’s website was under the control of attackers trying to trick visitors into installing fraudulent Adobe Flash updates that could infect computers with malware, the technology news website Ars Technica reported.

“We are aware of the situation identified on the equifax.com website in the credit report assistance link,” Equifax spokesman Wyatt Jefferies said in an email. “Our IT and security teams are looking into this matter, and out of an abundance of caution have temporarily taken this page offline.”

The Atlanta-based company, which has faced seething criticism from consumers, regulators and lawmakers over its handling of the earlier breach, said it would provide more information as it becomes available.

As of 1:15 p.m. (1715 GMT), the web page in question said: “We’re sorry… The website is currently down for maintenance. We are working diligently to better serve you, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We appreciate your patience during this time and ask that you check back with us soon.”

Equifax shares were down 1.2 percent at $ 109.18 in early afternoon trading.

Randy Abrams, the independent analyst who noticed the possible hack, said he was attempting to check some information in his credit report late on Wednesday when one of the bogus pop-up ads appeared on Equifax’s website.

His first reaction was disbelief, he said in an interview with Reuters on Thursday. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he recalled thinking. Then he successfully replicated the problem at least five times, making a video that he posted to YouTube.

Equifax’s security protocols have been under scrutiny since Sept. 7 when the company disclosed its systems had been breached between mid-May and late July.

The breach has prompted investigations by multiple federal and state agencies, including a criminal probe by the U.S. Department of Justice, and it has led to the departure of the company’s chief executive officer, chief information officer and chief security officer.

As a credit reporting agency, Equifax keeps vast amounts of consumer data for banks and other creditors to use to determine the chances of their customers’ defaulting.

Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Bill Rigby

Tech

?Kubernetes takes a big step forward with version 1.8

If you want to manage containers in the cloud, Kubernetes is the program for you. Its latest release, Kubernetes 1.8, is better than ever.

Why is this important? Containers are moving quickly into becoming the way to run server-level applications both in data-centers and the cloud. According to a recent report from research house Redmonk, 54 percent of Fortune 100 companies are already running Kubernetes. Some of these are truly massive jobs.

For example, Ancestry.com has 20 billion historical records and 90 million family trees. This makes it the largest consumer genomics DNA network in the world. With Kubernetes, its deployment time for its Shaky Leaf icon service was cut down from 50 minutes to two or five minutes. Paul MacKay, an Ancestry software engineer and architect, wrote, “We’re very close to having everything that should be or could be in a Linux-friendly world in Kubernetes by the end of the year.”

Perhaps the most significant feature in this new release is role based access control (RBAC). This enables cluster administrators to dynamically define roles to enforce access policies through the Kubernetes application programing interface (API).

RBAC also includes beta support for filtering outbound traffic through Kubernetes network policies augments existing support for filtering inbound traffic to a pod. Pods are Kubernetes’ smallest deployable units. They are made up of one or more containers with shared storage, network, and a specification on how to run the containers. Together, RBAC and network policies are two powerful tools for enforcing Kubernetes organizational and regulatory security requirements.

This edition also brings the core Workload APIs to beta. This contains the most recent versions of Deployment, DaemonSet, ReplicaSet, and StatefulSet. The Workloads APIs is now stable. It can be used to migrate existing workloads to Kubernetes and for developing cloud native applications. The Workloads API also helps big data users by enabling native Kubernetes support for Apache Spark.

Another beta feature, Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs), provides a mechanism to extend Kubernetes with user-defined API objects. Why would you use this? One way is to use CRDs to automate complex stateful applications such as key-value stores, databases, and storage engines through the Operator Pattern. CRDs don’t currently have validation, but that’s expected in the next release.

With a nod to old-style computing, CronJobs is now in beta. This will enable administrators to run batch container workloads, such as nightly extract, transform, and (ETL) data warehousing jobs.

Diving deeper, Mike Barrett, Red Hat OpenShift project manager and Joe Brockmeier, Red Hat Linux container evangelist, wrote that their customers are looking forward to batch jobs, we believe that Resource Management Working Group “alpha code will enable the next wave in cloud computing.”

This gives developers access to hardware via Device Manager for access to hardware devices such as NICs, GPUs, FPGA, Infiniband and so on; CPU Manager: so users can request static CPU assignment via the guaranteed Quality of Service (QOS) tier, and HugePages so users can consume huge memory pages of any size supported by the underlying hardware.

A feature CoreOS, a container and Kubernetes power, is particularly excited about is Kubernetes advanced auditing going beta. This, said Eric Chiang, a CoreOS engineer “introduces formatted audit logs, policies to control what’s audited, and a webhook to send events to external services. Audit events can now be configured to include entire request payloads, aggregated in a central location. … The audit event format will only make backward compatible changes. This creates an opportunity for the community to start experimenting with ways of consuming, displaying, and acting on events from the audit log webhook. An early example of this is the audit2rbac tool, which consumes audit events and to automatically create RBAC profiles.”

Put it all together and you have a major step forward in making Kubernetes the do-it-all cloud container orchestration program.

PREVIOUS AND RELATED COVERAGE

Mirantis enters the Kubernetes game and ups its OpenStack play

Besides managing OpenStack clouds, Mirantis is adding cloud container management to its skillset with Kubernetes.

How to get the Kubernetes help you need

As Kubernetes cloud container orchestration grows ever more important, so does the need for qualified Kubernetes administrators.

Enterprise container DevOps steps up its game with Kubernetes 1.6

The popular enterprise container DevOps program, Kubernetes, is now ready to handle up to 5,000 nodes in a single cluster.

Tech

Google’s Espresso networking tech takes SD-WAN to internet scale

Google is working to accelerate the performance of its applications over the internet by building out a software-defined network at broad scale. On Tuesday, the company announced Espresso, a system that provides increased network performance to users of the company’s applications.

It works by applying software-defined networking to the edge of the tech titan’s network, where Google connects to the peer networks of other internet service providers. Rather than rely on individual routers to figure out the best way to direct internet traffic, Espresso hands off that responsibility to servers running in the data centers that Google operates at the edge of its network.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

Google’s Espresso networking tech takes SD-WAN to internet scale

Google is working to accelerate the performance of its applications over the internet by building out a software-defined network at broad scale. On Tuesday, the company announced Espresso, a system that provides increased network performance to users of the company’s applications.

It works by applying software-defined networking to the edge of the tech titan’s network, where Google connects to the peer networks of other internet service providers. Rather than rely on individual routers to figure out the best way to direct internet traffic, Espresso hands that responsibility off to servers running in the data centers Google operates at the edge of its network.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Network World Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: CoreOS takes on container storage with Torus project

CoreOS, makers of the open-source lightweight operating system by the same name, has launched an open source project called Torus that aims to deal with some of the storage challenges of containers.

Torus is a fully open source distributed storage system that  provides storage primitives to containers and cluster orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes.

It’s not that there aren’t any legacy storage solutions that can be used with container infrastructure; there are. But they kind of create a mismatch between legacy technology and modern infrastructure. Existing storage solutions are intended for large machines, which in most cases are custom and proprietary hardware. Those solutions are expensive and not really designed for the clusters of small, inexpensive, commodity hardware that the modern cloud is built on.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

CIO Cloud Computing

IDG Contributor Network: Zuora ups the ante and takes it (again) to the old-school vendors

Zuora is an interesting vendor — founded by one of Salesforce‘s earliest executives, Tien Tzuo, the company was set up to deliver upon the promise of the so-called subscription economy. Tzuo is a long-time subscription economy prophet and, listening to him over the years, it would be easy to assume that in the future every possible transaction will be based on a subscription paradigm.

Of course, it isn’t quite that simple and many organizations are more than happy to continue using their traditional billing approaches, but what is true is that increasingly it is a general requirement from organizations that they will have increasing flexibility about how they package and price their products and services.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

Dropbox quits Amazon cloud, takes back 500 PB of data

Dropbox moves 90% of its data off Amazon AWS, in favor of its own private cloud. Dropbox built its own, custom storage servers, to store half an exabyte or more, mirrored across three regions.

Sometimes, you get so big that public cloud pricing doesn’t make sense any longer. But building those servers from scratch and moving all that data sound like an enormous undertaking.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers feel thirsty for a delicious ginger beer. [You’re fired -Ed.]

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Computerworld Cloud Computing

Backblaze takes on Google, Amazon with storage at half a penny a gigabyte

Online backup service provider Backblaze has announced a new service offering: as much storage as you want for half a cent per gigabyte per month.

Backblaze’s new B2 Cloud Storage, is a raw cloud storage service, meaning data is not encrypted or manipulated in any way. Users can encrypt their own files prior to storing them on the service for added security.

q cgkpej0bk sp1uc dk su4qrhzwy9zq3cplzlikzk Backblaze

Comparison chart of cloud storage services.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

InfoWorld Cloud Computing

Cloud wars: China’s deep-pocketed Alibaba takes on AWS

China’s Alibaba Group Holding last week said it would invest $ 1 billion into its Aliyun cloud computing arm to challenge Amazon Web Services. This move kicks off what could become a global battle between the two e-commerce giants. Also, it could change the dynamics in the cloud market now dominated by AWS, Google, IBM, and Microsoft.

A billon dollars is not chump change, but it’s not a game-changing amount, either. For example, last year IBM invested $ 1.2 billion to significantly expand its global cloud footprint. IBM already had a good head start in the cloud when it tossed in that $ 1.2 billion, yet that investment is unlikely to catch IBM up to AWS.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

InfoWorld Cloud Computing