Tag Archives: Wednesday

FIN7 members arrested after stealing 15 million credit card records

FBI indictments unsealed Wednesday detailed the alleged crimes of three members of the FIN7 cybercrime gang who have been arrested and are in custody in Seattle.

Ukrainian nationals Dmytro Fedorov, Fedir Hladyr and Andrii Kopakov were arrested by the FBI and are in custody. Each has been charged with 26 federal offenses, including conspiracy, wire fraud, computer hacking, access device fraud and aggravated identity theft.

The FBI described the three hackers as “high-ranking members” of the FIN7 cybercrime organization — also known as the Carbanak Group — in a press release. The FIN7 group has been connected with attacks on more than 100 businesses and data breaches across 47 states in which “more than 15 million customer card records from over 6,500 individual point-of-sale terminals at more than 3,600 separate business locations” were stolen.

The FBI admitted it didn’t expect FIN7 to disappear following these arrests, but framed the indictments as a major blow to the group.

“The naming of these FIN7 leaders marks a major step toward dismantling this sophisticated criminal enterprise,” Jay Tabb, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office, said in a statement.  “As the lead federal agency for cyber-attack investigations, the FBI will continue to work with its law enforcement partners worldwide to pursue the members of this devious group, and hold them accountable for stealing from American businesses and individuals.”

However, security vendor FireEye wrote in a blog post that while FIN7 may pause activity for a short time, the group would continue in one form or another.

“Depending on the organizational and communication structure of the group, it is also plausible that multiple subgroups could form and carry out independent operations in the future. Recent campaigns, as well as those using tactics that were atypical for historical FIN7 campaigns, such as the SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission] campaigns with widespread targeting, may be representative of semi-autonomous groups pre-existing within, or cooperating with, the FIN7 criminal organization,” FireEye researchers wrote. “Certain malware families and techniques transcend strictly defined threat groups, and may be re-used by developers and operators as they transition between organizations and campaigns.”

FIN7 activity

According to the FBI announcement, FIN7 primarily targeted companies in the “restaurant, gaming and hospitality industries,” across the U.S., U.K., France and Australia. The FBI described FIN7’s methods as using spear phishing, adding that the group “accompanied emails with telephone calls intended to further legitimize the email” in order to trick users into installing Carbanak malware.

FireEye expanded on this based on its history of FIN7 activity, saying the group was connected to attacks across the U.S. and Europe in the hospitality, restaurant, travel, education, gaming, construction, energy, retail, finance, telecom, high-tech, government, software and business service industries.

Kimberly Goody, cybercrime analysis manager at FireEye, based in Milpitas, Calif., also clarified the distinction between Carbanak malware and the commonly used Carbanak Group name via Twitter.

The FBI noted that FIN7 even made attempts to appear legitimate.

“FIN7 used a front company, Combi Security, purportedly headquartered in Russia and Israel, to provide a guise of legitimacy and to recruit hackers to join the criminal enterprise,” the FBI wrote. “Combi Security’s website indicated that it provided a number of security services such as penetration testing. Ironically, the sham company’s website listed multiple U.S. victims among its purported clients.”

FireEye confirmed some of FIN7’s job postings through Combi Security.

“While the recruitment of unwitting individuals as puppets has been a common component of at least some criminal schemes — for example, reshipping mules who are recruited through postings on career sites advertising attractive work-from-home jobs — FIN7’s veiling of full-scale financial compromises as legitimate offensive security engagements is particularly notable,” FireEye researchers wrote. “The apparent success of Combi Security in recruiting unsuspecting individuals in this manner, may lead to more of this type of technical recruitment by cyber criminals in the future.”

National Oilwell Varco selects Microsoft Dynamics 365 to enhance sales and service operations | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 18, 2018 — On Wednesday, National Oilwell Varco, a leading provider of technology, equipment and services to the global oil and gas industry, and Microsoft Corp. announced an agreement to collaborate on digitally enhancing NOV’s sales platform and field service operations to deliver premier experiences, including project management and drilling operations, to the oil and gas industry.

As oil and gas producers continue to push to optimize productivity and minimize downtime, NOV is leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 to streamline business processes, access real-time data and insights, and revolutionize field service operations with a digital, mobile-first approach. With Microsoft cloud-powered solutions, NOV is enriching legacy systems and processes to drive consistency and visibility across platforms. The goal is to increase revenue generation while reducing revenue leakage and improve service margins through greater efficiencies, higher levels of customer satisfaction, and better retention rates. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 is enabling employees across NOV’s departments to be more adaptable, reliable and efficient.

“At NOV, we’re passionate about delivering the highest level of customer service,” said Clay Williams, chairman, president, and CEO. “Field service is the link between our customers and manufacturing, and with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power BI, we’re able to better understand our customers’ needs, identify the appropriate resources for each task, and effectively address the issue, creating a seamless experience.”

Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning solutions, allowing NOV’s sales and commercial teams to effectively identify and capture field service opportunities and service managers to better allocate jobs and resources. Field technicians can also access detailed job descriptions complete with customer information, service needs, and the equipment necessary to accurately and efficiently complete the task.

“NOV continues to invest in state-of-the-art technology and innovations to support the goal of delivering premier customer service,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “Today, NOV is doubling down on its commitment to customers with Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and business applications by enabling customer- and data-driven insights and actions.”

About NOV

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE: NOV) is a leading provider of technology, equipment, and services to the global oil and gas industry. NOV has been pioneering innovations that improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of oil and gas operations since 1862. The depth and breadth of NOV’s offerings support customers’ full-field, drilling, completion, and production needs. NOV powers the industry that powers the world. Visit www.nov.com for more information.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

National Oilwell Varco selects Microsoft Dynamics 365 to enhance sales and service operations | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — July 18, 2018 — On Wednesday, National Oilwell Varco, a leading provider of technology, equipment and services to the global oil and gas industry, and Microsoft Corp. announced an agreement to collaborate on digitally enhancing NOV’s sales platform and field service operations to deliver premier experiences, including project management and drilling operations, to the oil and gas industry.

As oil and gas producers continue to push to optimize productivity and minimize downtime, NOV is leveraging Microsoft Dynamics 365 to streamline business processes, access real-time data and insights, and revolutionize field service operations with a digital, mobile-first approach. With Microsoft cloud-powered solutions, NOV is enriching legacy systems and processes to drive consistency and visibility across platforms. The goal is to increase revenue generation while reducing revenue leakage and improve service margins through greater efficiencies, higher levels of customer satisfaction, and better retention rates. Using Microsoft Dynamics 365 is enabling employees across NOV’s departments to be more adaptable, reliable and efficient.

“At NOV, we’re passionate about delivering the highest level of customer service,” said Clay Williams, chairman, president, and CEO. “Field service is the link between our customers and manufacturing, and with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power BI, we’re able to better understand our customers’ needs, identify the appropriate resources for each task, and effectively address the issue, creating a seamless experience.”

Microsoft Dynamics 365 unifies customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning solutions, allowing NOV’s sales and commercial teams to effectively identify and capture field service opportunities and service managers to better allocate jobs and resources. Field technicians can also access detailed job descriptions complete with customer information, service needs, and the equipment necessary to accurately and efficiently complete the task.

“NOV continues to invest in state-of-the-art technology and innovations to support the goal of delivering premier customer service,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “Today, NOV is doubling down on its commitment to customers with Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and business applications by enabling customer- and data-driven insights and actions.”

About NOV

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NYSE: NOV) is a leading provider of technology, equipment, and services to the global oil and gas industry. NOV has been pioneering innovations that improve the cost-effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and environmental impact of oil and gas operations since 1862. The depth and breadth of NOV’s offerings support customers’ full-field, drilling, completion, and production needs. NOV powers the industry that powers the world. Visit www.nov.com for more information.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Microsoft tops Thomson Reuters top 100 global tech leaders list

(Reuters – Thomson Reuters Corp (TRI.TO) on Wednesday published its debut “Top 100 Global Technology Leaders” list with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) in the no. 1 spot, followed by chipmaker Intel Corp (INTC.O) and network gear maker Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O).

The list, which aims to identify the industry’s top financially successful and organizationally sound organizations, features U.S. tech giants such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) , Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) , International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) and Texas Instruments Inc (TXN.O), among its top 10.

Microchip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (2330.TW), German business software giant SAP (SAPG.DE) and Dublin-based consultant Accenture (ACN.N) round out the top 10.

The remaining 90 companies are not ranked, but the list also includes the world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and social media giant Facebook Inc (FB.O). ( bit.ly/2B8eowE )

The results are based on a 28-factor algorithm that measures performance across eight benchmarks: financial, management and investor confidence, risk and resilience, legal compliance, innovation, people and social responsibility, environmental impact, and reputation.

The assessment tracks patent activity for technological innovation and sentiment in news and selected social media as the reflection of a company’s public reputation.

The set of tech companies is restricted to those that have at least $1 billion in annual revenue.

According to the list, 45 percent of these 100 tech companies are headquartered in the United States. Japan and Taiwan are tied for second place with 13 companies each, followed by India with five tech leaders on the list.

By continent, North America leads with 47, followed by Asia with 38, Europe with 14 and Australia with one.

The strength of Asia highlights the growth of companies such as Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), which became the first Asian firm to enter the club of companies worth more than $500 billion, and surpassed Facebook in market value in November.

Reuters is the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, which produced the list.

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru, editing by Peter Henderson

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Microsoft announces quarterly dividend | Stories

Dividend of $0.42 per share payable in March

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 29, 2017 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.42 per share. The dividend is payable March 8, 2018, to shareholders of record on Feb. 15, 2018. The ex-dividend date will be Feb. 14, 2018.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, financial analysts and investors only:

Investor Relations, Microsoft, (425) 706-4400

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. Shareholder and financial information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/investor.

Microsoft holds annual shareholders meeting | Stories

REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 29, 2017 — Speaking to shareholders at Microsoft Corp.’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella highlighted how digital technology is driving transformation, and the opportunity for Microsoft to help its customers and partners thrive in this evolving world.

“Every customer is looking for both innovative technology to drive new growth, and a strategic partner that can help them build their own digital capability,” Nadella said. “Microsoft will continue to deliver differentiated solutions using new technologies, like cloud, artificial intelligence and mixed reality, to empower our customers to grow and thrive.”

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood shared highlights of Microsoft’s strong performance over the past fiscal year including continued growth in its commercial cloud business. Hood noted that Microsoft’s innovation road map, disciplined investment and world-class talent position the company well for continued growth and deliver value for shareholders.

President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith discussed Microsoft’s plans to modernize its headquarters in Redmond through new construction and renovations. This investment underscores the company’s continued commitment to create an exceptional place to work and enhance economic opportunity for the entire region.

The following proposals were acted on by the company’s shareholders at the meeting:

  • Re-elected 10 directors and elected four new directors to serve until the next annual meeting of the shareholders: Reid Hoffman, partner at Greylock Partners; Hugh Johnston, vice chairman and chief financial officer of PepsiCo Inc.; Penny S. Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Capital and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce; and Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International. All director nominees received a vote of more than 98 percent of votes cast.
  • Approved, on a nonbinding advisory basis, the fiscal year 2017 compensation of the company’s named executive officers. The advisory measure received more than 95 percent of votes cast.
  • Approved a yearly advisory vote on executive compensation. The advisory measure received more than 90 percent of votes cast.
  • Ratified the selection of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the company’s independent auditor for fiscal year 2018, with over 98 percent of votes cast.
  • Approved material terms of the performance goals under the Microsoft Corporation Executive Incentive Plan, with a vote of more than 98 percent of votes cast.
  • Approved the Microsoft Corporation 2017 Stock Plan, with a vote of 96 percent of votes cast.

Microsoft’s board of directors consists of John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent chairman; William H. Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Reid Hoffman, partner at Greylock Partners; Hugh Johnston, vice chairman and chief financial officer of PepsiCo Inc.; Teri L. List-Stoll, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Gap Inc.; Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft; Charles H. Noski, former vice chairman of Bank of America Corp.; Dr. Helmut Panke, former chairman of the board of management at BMW AG; Sandra E. Peterson, group worldwide chair for Johnson & Johnson; Penny S. Pritzker, founder and chairman of PSP Capital and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce; Charles W. Scharf, chief executive officer of The Bank of New York Mellon Corp.; Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International; John W. Stanton, chairman of Trilogy Partnerships; and Padmasree Warrior, chief executive officer of NIO USA Inc.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Media Relations Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Microsoft Connect(); registration | Microsoft

Wednesday, November 15th Wednesday, November 15th

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM EST

Journey to the intelligent cloud

Scott Guthrie

Scott will share how Microsoft is empowering developers to lead the new digital revolution by creating apps that will have a profound impact on the world.

11:15 AM – 12:30 PM EST

Building the intelligent apps of the future

Seth Juarez

We asked top Microsoft developers what it might look like to build tomorrow’s intelligent applications – they agreed to show us! Join Miguel de Icaza, Scott Hanselman, and others as they demystify the magic of AI and what it can do for your applications.

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM EST

Channel 9 interviews & fireside chats

Channel 9 live Q&A interviews with keynote speakers, demoers and surprise guests – moderated by Christina Warren.

2:00 PM – 2:50 PM EST

Application modernization with Microsoft Azure

Corey Sanders

Learn how Azure helps modernize applications faster with containers and how you can use serverless to add additional functionality while keeping your production codebase ‘clean’. We’ll also learn how to incorporate DevOps throughout your apps lifecycle, and take advantage of data-driven intelligence.

2:00 PM – 2:50 PM EST

Build and ship apps faster with C# and Visual Studio Mobile Center

Nat Friedman

See Microsoft’s vision for the future of developer productivity. Create beautiful, native apps and powerful cloud services with shared C# in Visual Studio. Continuously build, test, distribute, and monitor your apps with Visual Studio Mobile Center.

3:00 PM – 3:50 PM EST

How to get started with Microsoft AI

Joseph Sirosh

Join Joseph Sirosh, Corporate VP of the Cloud AI Platform, as he walks through the Microsoft AI platform and capabilities to allow any developer to infuse intelligence into their applications and target entirely new scenarios enabled by the latest innovations in AI.

3:00 PM – 3:50 PM EST

Azure DevOps simplified

Brian Harry

Brian Harry showcases the new and noteworthy additions to Azure, Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server 2018 that are enabling organizations to further evolve and streamline their DevOps processes and speed of deployment. Brian will demonstrate how easy it is to get started with a Continuous Delivery pipeline to deploy your applications into the cloud and then extend these further as your application and your team grow.

4:00 PM – 4:50 PM EST

Build intelligent apps with Microsoft data platform

Rohan Kumar

Data, AI and Cloud are transforming businesses across industries, while empowering developers to build new, delightful apps for their users. Join this session to learn how to easily integrate data into your applications across hybrid and open source environments, using your choice of languages (like java, node.js, .NET, Python), databases (like SQL, NoSQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL) and big data products (like Hadoop). You’ll see code in action, get ideas on what you can do for your users, and learn how Microsoft’s data and AI innovations can help along the way.

4:00 PM – 4:50 PM EST

Developer tools for app innovation

Julia Liuson

In this session, Julia Liuson, CVP for Developer Division at Microsoft, takes a detailed look at how Visual Studio, Visual Studio for Mac, Visual Studio Code, and .NET empowers developers to create innovative apps. You’ll learn all about the exciting capabilities we have just added to our products and get a sneak peek at what we are working on for the future.

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NetApp HCI launches at subdued user show

LAS VEGAS — NetApp on Wednesday displayed the centerpiece of its annual user conference, the NetApp HCI platform built on SolidFire all-flash arrays, launching its long-delayed foray into hyper-convergence.

The hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) appliance was supposed to be the highlight of the NetApp Insight user conference at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, although the mood was decidedly subdued in light of the mass shooting that took place here earlier this week.

“For us, this announcement is just to let everyone know that the product is out on the market,” said Aaron Delp, director of marketing for NetApp emerging technologies.

Delp said early access customers have placed orders for the system, but he declined to disclose how many or who they were. He said NetApp will start shipping the HCI gear toward the end of October. Product specs have been available since June.

As with its entry in all-flash storage, NetApp is several years late to the HCI market and has ceded territory to Dell EMC, Nutanix, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and other rivals. Even longtime NetApp FlexPod partner Cisco last year unveiled HyperFlex HCI, based on file-system and fabric technology it developed with Springpath.

“This is NetApp’s declaration that it has an HCI solution. HCI has reached the point where customers are starting to issue requests from vendors. Not having an HCI product was becoming a problem for NetApp,” said Howard Marks, chief scientist and founder of DeepStorage, a storage advisory and testing firm in Hoboken, N.J.

“I think this is more of a defensive move than NetApp playing offense. I don’t think it’s going to be a huge source of net-new customers for NetApp,” Marks added.

Is NetApp selling CI or HCI? Does it matter?

NetApp HCI integrates the first version of the SolidFire Element OS to be fully developed by NetApp after it acquired SolidFire in 2015. This marks version 10 of Element OS, and NetApp is continuing SolidFire’s tradition of naming upgrades according to the periodic table. This version is called Element Neon.

Not having an HCI product was becoming a problem for NetApp.
Howard Marksfounder, DeepStorage

John Rollason, a NetApp senior director of products and solutions marketing for next-generation infrastructure, said the vendor wants to make it easy for customers to install, manage and scale the product.

“There is an absolute shift in the market of people moving away from as much of the [manual] configuration as possible. They want a simple and programmable infrastructure,” Rollason said.

This will be NetApp’s first stab at hyper-convergence. It was among the vendors to announce a hyper-converged product based on VMware’s short-lived EVO:RAIL partner program in 2014. But NetApp never brought that product to market.

The NetApp HCI appliance expands its use case for SolidFire SF-Series storage arrays. NetApp continues to sell SolidFire SF-Series arrays as a separate storage product from its FAS and EF-Series all-flash systems.

SolidFire flash storage modules also are offered as an option in NetApp’s FlexPod converged infrastructure. The NetApp FlexPod SF combines SolidFire storage with Cisco servers.

NetApp HCI combines SolidFire SF storage arrays, Element Neon scale-out block software and a NetApp-designed compute server. It does not run storage through a hypervisor, which is a hallmark of most HCI platforms. NetApp HCI requires four nodes to start, but Element OS allows compute and storage nodes to be added individually. A base building block consists of two SolidFire storage nodes running Element OS and two compute nodes for VMware vSphere. Two open bays allow for linear scaling of compute or storage independently with Element OS, which is written natively for quality of service.

Element Neon integrates with NetApp Data Fabric, OnTap features

Compute and storage nodes come in small, medium and large sizes. NetApp HCI storage nodes provide 2.8 TB, 5.8 TB and 11.4 TB of raw storage. Compute nodes range from a small of 16 cores and 256 GB of RAM, medium sizes with 24 cores and 512 GB of memory to large versions with 36 cores and 768 GB of memory.

Element Neon is integrated with NetApp Data Fabric features and capabilities. These include replication of SnapMirror snapshots between Element and Data OnTap operating systems and the ability to back up data from SolidFire to NetApp AltaVault backup appliances and StorageGRID object stores. VMware ESXi and vCenter virtualization management come preinstalled with a NetApp SolidFire vCenter plug-in.

New software in the NetApp HCI stack includes the Intuitive Deployment Engine and Active IQ cloud-based analytics.

“From a scaling point of view, we think that’s one of the big differentiators we have. You can scale compute and storage independently and don’t get the HCI tax that is common with first-generation platforms. As you scale nodes, you get all of their capabilities,” Rollason said.

The challenge now for NetApp is closing the gap with competitors. Marks said NetApp would have led the market had it been two years earlier with its HCI product. “Now, they have to fighting a battle against someone who’s already taken Pork Chop Hill,” Marks said. 

According to IDC research, Dell EMC passed Nutanix as the HCI market leader in the second quarter of 2017. IDC put the total HCI market at $763.4 million for the second quarter.