Three years ago today DecryptedTech published an article calling out a software distribution company for installing Bitcoin mining software on subscribers’ systems. We highlighted the danger of the trust people put in web services by allowing agent software to run on their systems in order to use a service. Now we hear about a French company Tuto4PC that has taken this one step further and included some nasty little surprises in a utility they require for use of their free tutorial service. The discovery was made by Cisco’s Talos Security Intelligence group and, of course, is being refuted aggressively by the guys at Tuto4PC.
Cisco has acknowledged (and released patches for) a fairly serious security bug in three of their virtual appliances that, oddly enough, are related to security. The three products in question are the Cisco Web Security Virtual Appliance, the Email Security Virtual Appliance and the Security Management Virtual Appliance. These three devices all share a default preinstalled SSH encryption key. This meddlesome little fact means that it is very simple to get into an SSH session because you can grab the key off of another copy of the product. We are pretty sure that the default keys are already floating around on the internet somewhere as well.
If you are in the information security field then the latest “news” that Cisco fixed a flaw in a protocol that should not be used will probably give you a chuckle. I am talking about Telnet which is not exactly what you would call a secure means of communicating with any device. In most cases Telnet is one of those options that you turn off right out of the box. Still it is nice to know that Cisco is patching it.
Cisco has made the decision to dive even deeper into the cloud with a $1 Billion investment in cloud services. The money will be spent over the course of the next two years and is earmarked to build infrastructure services similar to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure. Over the past few years Cisco has been investing more heavily into cloud services and even bought a cloud networking company (Meraki) with the intent of integrating some of their cloud management technologies into future Cisco products. In the long run this is a financially smart move as cloud services can represent a sustainable revenue stream and also allow Cisco (or another business) to reach new markets and customers they might not have access to. It also gives existing customers an option to utilize a “trusted” partner for something they might be considering, but not willing to move on due to not having a vendor they like.
If you want to know where Microsoft is with their Xbox One all you have to do is look at their latest marketing ploy. They are actually pushing the Xbox One to the enterprise… yes you read that right. According to Microsoft the new Xbox is not just for gaming and would make a great addition to any corporate boardroom. Marques Lyons (an Xbox MVP) called the new gaming console an “entirely justifiable” expense for businesses. Lyons’ reasoning is that features such as Skype integration, Wi-Fi direct connect and of course 1080p video capability will be the driving factors for this.
When Microsoft bought Skype it was to deal with a couple of issues. One of the big ones was to remove a competitor in the communications market and the other was to make sure they were not going to get sued for the direction their own communications services were taking. Microsoft had been floundering in the consumer market despite the multiple changes they tried to make to their messenger product. While their enterprise messaging software was complicated and expensive to maintain and to properly integrate with other messaging services. To combat this Microsoft was already looking to make their messaging services much more like Skype than they were.
Belkin has officially announced they will take over Cisco's home networking solutions department. With this move Belkin also gets the Linksys department with which the company intends to hold a 30 percent market share of networking solutions for home users and small businesses in the U.S.
In the latest new patent that has been granted to Apple is a description of the advanced ways to manage incoming calls. The patent titled "Dynamic Context-Based Auto-Response Generation" describes methods for "smart" management of incoming calls, depending on whether we are talking with someone else or are simply unavailable.
Cisco is now facing exactly what we think will happen when people realize how tied down they will be with Windows 8. The networking giant attempted to force people that own their Linksys consumer line of wireless routers to use their cloud services to control simple management and administrative items in these devices. According to most reports the shift came after an automatic firmware update. This meant that most of the users complaining were never given the chance to accept this. According to some reports the update was required to continue using the product at all.