Tag Archives: Wednesday

Maze ransomware gang pledges to stop attacking hospitals

The notorious Maze ransomware gang announced Wednesday that it will not attack any healthcare organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has put a strain hospitals and public health agencies in recent weeks as governments across the globe struggle to contain the spread of COVID-19, also known as the new coronavirus. Some security vendors have expressed concern that coronavirus-related threats could soon include ransomware attacks, which would have a crippling effect on healthcare and government organizations working on treatment and containment of the virus.

But at least one cybercrime outfit is pledging to refrain from such attacks, at least on healthcare organizations. The Maze ransomware gang, which last year began “shaming” victims by exfiltrating and publishing organizations’ sensitive data, promised to ” stop all activity versus all kinds of medical organizations until the stabilization of the situation with virus,” according to an announcement on its website.

BleepingComputer, which first reported the announcement, also contacted other ransomware operators about stopping attacks on healthcare and medical organizations during the pandemic. The DoppelPaymer gang also pledged to stop such attacks, though other ransomware groups such as Ryuk and Sodinokibi/REvil did not respond to Bleeping Computer’s queries.

The Maze gang’s pledge, however, says nothing about attacks on city, state or local governments or public health agencies. The Maze gang also said it will “help commercial organizations as much as possible” during the pandemic by offering “exclusive discounts” on ransoms to both current and future ransomware victims; the cybercriminals said they will provide decryptors and deleted any data published on its website.

A screenshot of the Maze ransomware gang's announcement that it will not attack healthcare organizations during the coronavirus pandemic.
A screenshot of the Maze ransomware gang’s announcement that it will not attack healthcare organizations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite the promises of the DoppelPaymer and Maze ransomware gangs, it’s unclear how much control they have over what organizations are attacked. Many outfits use a ransomware-as-a-service model where they develop the malicious code and then sell it to other cybercriminals, which are often called affiliates.

These affiliates then conduct the actual intrusions, data exfiltration and ransomware deployment and pay the authors. Many ransomware incidents are initiated through phishing emails and brute-force attacks on remote desktop protocol instances; threat researchers have said it’s likely that ransomware actors aren’t specifically targeting organizations by name or industry and are merely capitalizing on the most vulnerable networks.

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Avaya revenue slump expected to continue in 2020

Avaya shares closed down 5% Wednesday after the company failed to hit its financial targets for the fourth fiscal quarter and predicted that revenue would likely decline again in 2020.

Avaya brought in $723 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, despite projecting revenues between $735 million and $755 million. The quarter capped a year of disappointing returns, with the company generating just under $2.89 billion after initially telling investors it would sell between $3.01 billion and $3.12 billion worth of products and services.

Avaya attributed its underperformance in the fourth quarter in large part to a delay in executing a 10-year $400 million deal to sell phone systems and contact center software to the Social Security Administration. A competing vendor has challenged the contract, sparking a procurement review that Avaya expects will further delay revenues at least through the current quarter.

Meanwhile, the Avaya revenue slump is projected to continue in fiscal 2020, which began Oct. 1, with the company forecasting receipts of $2.81 billion to $2.89 billion. But analysts credit Avaya for at least significantly slowing the rate of its revenue decline in the two years since emerging from bankruptcy in late 2017.

Company executives said 2020 would be a transformational year for Avaya as it finally introduces a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offering in partnership with RingCentral. The product will plug a gap in the vendor’s portfolio, which cloud-based competitors had exploited to steal the longtime customers of Avaya’s on-premises gear.

But Avaya is poised to face a significant challenge in a few years, said Steve Blood, analyst at Gartner. Many large enterprises aren’t ready to replace on-premises communications gear because they spent a lot of money on it. But, eventually, that calculation will change.

In the meantime, Avaya is selling maintenance and other services to those customers. The company has highlighted the growth of its software and services segment, which now represents 83% of total revenue, up from 71% in fiscal 2015.

“Avaya will talk about that as having loyal customers,” Blood said. “We will look at that differently. We don’t think they are so much loyal as they need a stop-gap to hold off while they build their strategy with other providers.”

Avaya’s answer to that impending problem has been to invest in a single-tenant cloud product called ReadyNow. It gives each customer a separate instance of the software on servers in an Avaya data center. The architecture allows for a higher level of security and customization than would be possible in a multi-tenant cloud. Avaya said its large enterprise customers prefer that approach.

Partnerships have emerged as another critical aspect of Avaya’s cloud strategy. Avaya is now relying on vendors like RingCentral and Afiniti to deliver innovative products and features. Just last week, Avaya announced it would partner with Google to bring a suite of AI capabilities to contact center customers in 2020.

Avaya plans to begin reporting to investors the percentage of revenue attributable to cloud, partnerships and emerging technologies combined. As of last quarter, that figure stood at 15%, but Avaya expects it will reach 30% once the RingCentral partnership ramps up.

The cloud alone accounted for 11% of revenue in fiscal 2019. That’s up from 10% last fiscal year but below the company’s original estimate of 12% to 14%. Avaya has sold nearly 4 million licenses for cloud telephony and contact center software, up from 3.5 million at the end of fiscal 2018.

Meanwhile, Avaya is retooling its executive team. On Tuesday, Avaya announced that its top cloud executive, Gaurav Passi, was no longer with the company.

Anthony Bartolo will become chief product officer overseeing on premises and cloud portfolio next month. He is currently a top executive at Tata Communications, a networking and communications service provider, and previously spent four years with Avaya.

As part of the shuffle, Chris McGugan, currently senior vice president of solutions and technology, will become CTO.

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Google releases TensorFlow Enterprise for enterprise users

Google Wednesday launched TensorFlow Enterprise, which promises long-term support for previous versions of TensorFlow on its Google Cloud Platform.

The new product, which also bundles together some existing Google Cloud products for training and deploying AI models, is intended to aid organizations running older versions of TensorFlow.

The product is also designed to help “customers who are working with previous versions of TensorFlow and also those where AI is their business,” said Craig Wiley, director of product management for Google Cloud’s AI Platform.

Open sourced by Google in 2015, TensorFlow is a machine learning (ML) and deep learning framework widely used in the AI industry. TensorFlow Enterprise, available on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), provides security patches and select bug fixes for certain older versions of TensorFlow for up to three years.

Also, organizations using TensorFlow Enterprise will have access to “engineer-to-engineer assistance from both Google Cloud and TensorFlow teams at Google,” according to an Oct. 30 Google blog post introducing the product.

“Data scientists voraciously download the latest version of TensorFlow because of the steady pace of new, valuable features. They always want to use the latest and greatest,” Forrester Research analyst Mike Gualtieri said.

Yet, he continued, “new versions don’t always work as expected,” so the “”dive-right-in” approach of data scientists is often at conflict with an enterprise’s standards.

Google’s TensorFlow Enterprise support of prior versions back to three years will accelerate enterprise adoption.
Mike GualtieriAnalyst, Forrester Research

“That’s why Google’s TensorFlow Enterprise support of prior versions back to three years will accelerate enterprise adoption,” Gualtieri said. “Data scientists and ML engineers can experiment with the latest and greatest, while enterprise operations professionals can insist on versions that work will continue to be available.”

TensorFlow Enterprise comes bundled with Google Cloud’s Deep Learning VMs, which are preconfigured virtual machine environments for deep learning, as well as the beta version of Google Cloud’s Deep Learning Containers.

To be considered for the initial rollout of TensorFlow Enterprise, however, organizations must have spent $500,000 annually, or commit to spending $500,000 annually on Google Cloud’s Deep Learning VMs, Deep Learning Containers, or AI Platform Training and Prediction products, or some combination of those systems.

Over the past several months, Google has made progress in a campaign to offer more tools on its Google Cloud Platform to train, test, and deploy AI models. In April 2019, the tech giant unveiled the Google Cloud AI Platform, a unified AI development platform that combined a mix of new and rebranded AI development products. At the time, analysts saw the release as a move to attract more enterprise-level customers to Google Cloud.

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TigerGraph Cloud releases graph database as a service

With the general release of TigerGraph Cloud on Wednesday, TigerGraph introduced its first native graph database as a service.

In addition, the vendor announced that it secured $32 million in Series B funding, led by SIG.

TigerGraph, founded in 2012 and based in Redwood City, Ca., is a native graph database vendor whose products, first released in 2016, enable users to manage and access their data in different ways than traditional relational databases.

Graph databases simplify the connection of data points and enable them to simultaneously connect with more than one other data point. Among the benefits are the ability to significantly speed up the process of developing data into insights and to quickly pull data from disparate sources.

Before the release of TigerGraph Cloud, TigerGraph customers were able to take advantage of the power of graph databases, but they were largely on-premises users, and they had to do their own upgrades and oversee the management of the database themselves.

“The cloud makes life easier for everyone,” said Yu Xu, CEO of TigerGraph. “The cloud is the future, and more than half of database growth is coming from the cloud. Customers asked for this. We’ve been running [TigerGraph Cloud] in a preview for a while — we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from customers — and we’re big on the cloud. [Beta] customers have been using us in their own cloud.”

Regarding the servicing of the databases, Xu added: “Now we take over this control, now we host it, we manage it, we take care of the upgrades, we take care of the running operations. It’s the same database, but it’s an easy-to-use, fully SaaS model for our customers.”

In addition to providing graph database management as a service and enabling users to move their data management to the cloud, TigerGraph Cloud provides customers an easy entry into graph-based data analysis.

Some of the most well-known companies in the world, at their core, are built on graph databases.

Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all built on graph technology. Those vendors, however, have vast teams of software developers to build their own graph databases and teams of data scientists do their own graph-based data analysis, noted TigerGraph chief operating officer Todd Blaschka.

“That is where TigerGraph Cloud fits in,” Blaschka said. “[TigerGraph Cloud] is able to open it up to a broader adoption of business users so they don’t have to worry about the complexity underneath the hood in order to be able to mine the data and look for the patterns. We are providing a lot of this time-to-value out of the box.”

TigerGraph Cloud comes with 12 starter kits that help customers quickly build their applications. It also doesn’t require users to configure or manage servers, schedule monitoring or deal with potential security issues, according to TigerGraph.

That, according Donald Farmer, principal at TreeHive Strategy, is a differentiator for TigerGraph Cloud.

It is the simplicity of setting up a graph, using the starter kits, which is their great advantage. Classic graph database use cases such as fraud detection and recommendation systems should be much quicker to set up with a starter kit, therefore allowing non-specialists to get started.
Donald FarmerPrincipal, TreeHive Strategy

“It is the simplicity of setting up a graph, using the starter kits, which is their great advantage,” he said. “Classic graph database use cases such as fraud detection and recommendation systems should be much quicker to set up with a starter kit, therefore allowing non-specialists to get started.”

Graph databases, however, are not better for everyone and everything, according to Farmer. They are better than relational databases for specific applications, in particular those in which augmented intelligence and machine learning can quickly discern patterns and make recommendations. But they are not yet as strong as relational databases in other key areas.

“One area where they are not so good is data aggregation, which is of course a significant proportion of the work for business analytics,” Farmer said. “So relational databases — especially relational data warehouses — still have an advantage here.”

Despite drawbacks, the market for graph databases is expected to grow substantially over the next few years.

And much of that growth will be in the cloud, according to Blaschka.

Citing a report from Gartner, he said that 68% of graph database market growth will be in the cloud, while the graph database market as whole is forecast to have at least 100 percent year-over-year annual growth through 2022.

“The reason we’re seeing this growth so fast is that graph is the cornerstone for technologies such as machine learning, such as artificial intelligence, where you need large sets of data to find patterns to find insight that can drive those next-gen applications,” he said. “It’s really becoming a competitive advantage in the marketplace.”

With respect to the $32 million TigerGraph raised in Series B financing, according to Xu it will be used to help TigerGraph expand its reach into new markets and accelerate its emphasis on the cloud.

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Microsoft announces quarterly dividend increase and new share repurchase program – Stories

Annual shareholders meeting set for Dec. 4, 2019

REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 18, 2019 — Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.51 per share, reflecting a 5 cent or 11% increase over the previous quarter’s dividend. The dividend is payable Dec. 12, 2019, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2019. The ex-dividend date will be Nov. 20, 2019.

The board of directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases. The new share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, may be terminated at any time.

In addition, the company announced the date for the 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting, to be held on Dec. 4, 2019. Shareholders at the close of business on Oct. 8, 2019, the record date, will be entitled to vote their shares.

This year’s annual shareholders meeting will be held virtually and hosted by Satya Nadella, chief executive officer; Amy Hood, chief financial officer; Brad Smith, president and chief legal officer; and John W. Thompson, Microsoft independent board chair. A virtual meeting format provides a consistent experience to all shareholders regardless of location, as well as the opportunity for global, multilingual and interactive access to a dialogue with its senior executives and directors.

As with previous shareholders meetings, a business update from senior executives will be followed by a 30-minute question and answer session with shareholders. Microsoft’s board of directors will also attend the meeting to hear shareholders’ questions and feedback. More information about the virtual format can be found on the Microsoft On the Issues blog.

In addition to providing the live webcast of the annual meeting, shareholders will have the option to view the annual meeting through Microsoft Teams at www.microsoft.com/investor. As with previous meetings, the transcript with video and audio of the entire meeting will be available on the Microsoft Investor Relations website following the meeting.

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, financial analysts and investors only:

Investor Relations, Microsoft, (425) 706-4400

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications, (425) 638-7777, [email protected]

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers, and 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.

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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, [email protected]

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, [email protected]

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.