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Symantec Uncovers "Hidden Lynx", Professional Hackers for Hire

Symantec Uncovers "Hidden Lynx", Professional Hackers for Hire

Symantec claims to have uncovered a group of professional hackers for hire that were been responsible for some of the most infamous cyber attacks directed at government agencies over the past few years. Dubbed "Hidden Lynx", taken from the string that was found in its command and control server communications, Symantec stated that key characteristics of this group includes its technical prowess, agility, organized, sheer resourcefulness, and patience. “They are the pioneers of the “watering hole” technique used to ambush targets, they have early access to zero-day vulnerabilities, and they have the tenacity and patience of an intelligent hunter to compromise the... more »
Still Waiting To Upgrade To iOS7? Here's What You're Missing...

Still Waiting To Upgrade To iOS7? Here's What You're Missing...

The latest version of Apple’s mobile platform is rolling out today.  Millions of people around the world will be upgrading their iOS devices, so don’t expect it to be very easy to install iOS 7.  Apple will be “pulsing” the release of iOS 7 in stages, so as not to overload their servers. If you can’t wait to find out what the new iOS has in store for you, these are just some (actually quite a lot) of the changes you’ll notice: The lock screen now lacks the familiar bars at the top and bottom where you see the time and the... more »
Can Nate Silver's Data Culture Lead Us Out of the NSA + Public Data Scare?

Can Nate Silver's Data Culture Lead Us Out of the NSA + Public Data Scare?

Oh hey, the National Security Agency (NSA) is snooping around all of your financial information too. Or are they? We already knew they could read your e-mail and listen to your phone calls, but according to the German magazine Spiegel, citing new details from the Edward Snowden files, reported yesterday that an NSA program called Follow the Money tracks records of international payments, banking, and credit-card transactions. But wait, not so fast, says SiliconANGLE's own Mike Wheatley. The NSA storyline is one that has a lot of scare tactics involved, but that's not equivalent to topic being covered being a confirmed... more »
NSA Keeps Its Hands Clean, Buys Zero-Day Vulnerabilities From French Firm Vupen

NSA Keeps Its Hands Clean, Buys Zero-Day Vulnerabilities From French Firm Vupen

So it seems the NSA doesn't do all of its own dirty work after all. On occasion, it's also prepared to stump up a fair bit of cash to get its hands on so-called 'zero-day vulnerabilities" (previously unknown bigs) that it can use to attack computer systems, according to a new freedom-of-information request. The request was made by the public records service MuckRock, and shows that the NSA took out a contract with a notorious French company called Vupen that specializes in finding zero-day flaws in software and computer systems. Once a vulnerability has been discovered, Vupen then develops exploits and... more »
Will the Smartphone Survive the Internet of Things?

Will the Smartphone Survive the Internet of Things?

The smartphone has been around for a few years now.  Long enough for Apple to go two years without releasing a new iPhone, still managing an impressive dominance over the market.  But the Internet of Things has taken over.  That is, the future is here.  The connected world is bigger than the smartphone, having already embraced tablets, phablets, fitbits and the Xbox One.  Digital crafters have DIY-ed the Internet, sprouting a hyper-excited wistfulness for tomorrow’s wearable tech.  Crowdfunding, 3D printing and Amazon have blown the gadget market wide open, stitching in a sensor and pairing up an app. So is there... more »
Google's Secret Plan To Ditch Cookies & Track EVERYONE With AdIDs

Google's Secret Plan To Ditch Cookies & Track EVERYONE With AdIDs

When it comes to online advertising firms, they don't get much bigger than Google. And so when Google decides that it's going to make fundamental changes to the way netizens are tracked online, the repercussions of that move are going to be felt far and wide – with one possible ramification being that it'll become almost impossible to hide your browsing activity online, especially if Google goes ahead with its reported plan to ditch third-party cookies as its primary method of identifying consumers in favor of newer, smarter tracking technology. The problem with cookies is that many people know about them,... more »
HP Launches New Security Services from HP Protect 2013

HP Launches New Security Services from HP Protect 2013

“Security for the new reality” - that's HP's theme at this week's HP Protect 2013 event in Washington D.C. We took a look at the leading product announcements to come of the event, but there are a number of security services that were announced as well. Now many people want to just buy something out of the box and run with it, and HP's numerous security products are designed to be easy to implement and easy to use. However, this is the enterprise we're talking about here. That means a whole world of complexities when it comes to security. Again,... more »
Converged Storage Becomes Strategic as IT Seeks Simplicity, Agility

Converged Storage Becomes Strategic as IT Seeks Simplicity, Agility

IT shops seeking to simplify their administration, refocus on higher level areas in the technology stack, and increase agility, are turning to converged systems writes Wikibon Principal Research Contributor Stuart Miniman. Converged hardware can help IT break the traditional silos and move towards simpler architectures. It provides a stable foundation that extends the value of virtualization up the stack to meet the needs of application owners. As a result, market adoption is well along the path forecast by Wikibon. While speed of implementation can be an initial attraction, the greatest value is provided by systems that integrate up the stack to database... more »
Wikibon Declares Oracle’s ZFS Appliance True “Flash-First” Hybrid

Wikibon Declares Oracle’s ZFS Appliance True “Flash-First” Hybrid

Oracle has once again raised the flash storage bar with its latest products, the ZS3-2 and ZS3-4 storage systems. Oracle is quick to point out that these new systems outperform comparable NetApp midrange platforms. Wikibon took a closer look at the storage appliances to see if they really measure up to those claims. Wikibon determined that Oracle’s ZFS appliance is a true “flash-first” appliance. It demonstrates high continuous read and write rates, as well as low latency. The ZS3-2 and ZS3-4 also run Oracle’s “sweet spot” applications, which are optimized for ZFS hardware, making it more difficult for the competition to... more »
Green Light for Oracle Database Virtualization

Green Light for Oracle Database Virtualization

Despite official signals to the contrary, Wikibon community members report that Oracle support for virtualization of Oracle databases using non-Oracle hypervisors "has been stellar", writes Wikibon CTO David Floyer. As a result of that and the clear business value of virtualization, he estimates that 55 percent of Oracle production databases are now virtualized with the pace of adoption growing. The most popular hypervisor for Oracle virtualization: VMware. Oracle virtualization has several real attractions, he writes. In addition to the infrastructure integration benefits, users can save by reducing or redeploying Oracle licenses by spending on servers with larger DRAM and using storage... more »

Premium Research

- Ralph Finos

Users considering public cloud for business and IT workloads should evaluate the types of use cases and workloads that have wide successful deployment in the public cloud today. In order to help users to better understand the customers and workloads being served in the public cloud today, Wikibon examined the brief descriptions of approximately 650 customer solution stories on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) website and classified each according on a number of characteristics. This research reveals some interesting insights about the public cloud leader’s business, and therefore about public cloud utilization generally.

- David Floyer

The Wikibon premise in this research is that this converged environment is a win-win environment for both vendors, ISVs and enterprise IT. Testing of the converged system solution is more robust, and the reduction in the number of solution types significantly lowers testing and installation costs for the vendor. ISVs can lower the cost of deployment, deliver application value faster, and drive additional upgrade value much faster. Converged enterprise IT systems (private clouds) are more agile, more reliable, more secure and have the similar costs to public clouds.

- Brian Gracely

Wikibon looks at the emerging Cloud-native application architectures. This research focused on the scope of microservices, the domains of interaction between services, and how data services and sources are changing with these new applications.

- Brian Gracely

Faced with the choices of modernizing existing applications or starting new projects, IT organizations have many options. Wikibon looks at the vast number of options today, with a methodology to evaluate choice vs. risk.

- David Floyer

There are no enterprise organizations that have married the business, digital creativity and IT as seamlessly as Weta Digital.

- Stuart Miniman

Oracle is using it's licensing might to enter the converged infrastructure (CI) market by making database pricing extremely attractive for its own Private Cloud Appliance (PCA), relative to alternative solutions (including non-Oracle public cloud options). To gain this pricing advantage, Oracle is applying certain restrictions to non-Oracle solutions and allowing more licensing flexibility for virtualized environments on PCA. Discussions with PCA customers indicate three main benefits, including: 1) reduced Oracle database license costs (of 50% or more); 2) greater flexibility to allocate processor cores to optimize workloads and 3) very high bandwidth and performance (via an Infiniband point-to-point architecture).

- Ralph Finos

Big data and public cloud share a natural affinity, but are not a perfect match. Wikibon estimates that worldwide big data revenue in the public cloud was $1.1B in 2015 and will grow to $21.8B by 2026 - or from 5% of all big data revenue in 2015 to 24% of all big data spending by 2026. Doers should explore public cloud options for their big data workloads because public cloud offers a simple way to scale up and down workloads running mostly using open source software.

- David Floyer

The premise for this research is that high value computing has unique compute, network and storage infrastructure requirements. The key systems requirements are low or very low latency, high bandwidth and high availability designed to lower software costs, improve time-to-value and help maintain high levels of data integrity and system availability. Wikibon researched the differences between performance optimized and cost optimized systems for a sample high-value compute environments, and concluded that the total 3-year cost of a sample cost-optimized configuration and software were 63% high than a performance optimized configuration. The key differences are higher costs for performance optimized hardware, but lower costs for the software required in high value compute application, as well as lower operational costs.

- Brian Gracely

As the market for Hybrid Cloud services and solutions evolve, every vendor and cloud provider is attempting to align their offerings to market demands. Wikibon looks at the current offerings and provides guidance to vendors on how to succeed in this market.

- George Gilbert

In this report we look at ad-tech as an example of Systems of Intelligence. Using ad-tech applications, combinations of advertisers, ad agencies, consumers, and publishers -- the advertiser’s marketing ecosystem -- collaborate in real time to personalize an optimal customer interactions with the brand. One software company pioneering video ad-tech, Altitude Digital, pulls all these different pieces together, and highlights the types of function big data ecosystem apps must support.