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Security: Impunity leads to cyber crime to operate widely free in Brazil

There are evidences that Brazilian cyber criminals are cooperating with the Eastern European gangs involved with ZeuS, SpyEye and other banking Trojans, sharing know-how and exchanging favours.

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With almost no legislation and very few arrests, the Brazilian cyber-criminals are motivated on ripping off their own fellow nationals and local businesses.

Sadly, the Brazilians are bracing for another tough year. With a high level of corruption in all levels of the government, no investments in education and with an legislation from the stone age, the cyber criminals have the certain of no punishment and are making many victims.

See 6 tips for staying safer online

A global survey conducted by ESET revealed that between January and November 2015, Brazil had the highest levels of global spread of some of the major banking Trojans, corresponding for 82% of all global detections of the TrojanDowloader.Banload, 72% of the Spy.Bancos and 52% of the Spy.Banker.

In 2014 Brazil was ranked the most dangerous country for financial cyber-attacks. As shocking as it sounds, sensitive data about almost every Brazilian citizen in the open.

As a safe measure, make sure you check the source of the document before you click and download it to your device – The Win32 / TrojanDownloader.Banload is a family of malware that focuses on breaking into the security solutions and perform download other malicious code aimed at stealing bank details.

To minimize the risks, at the personal level, make sure you use strong passwords, don’t share personal information on social network and use multi-authentication factor allied with an updated anti-virus and host firewall.

Many of these malicious codes are based on social engineering and pose as a trusted document in order to deceive their victims – This particular threat (Win32 / TrojanDownloader.Banload) pretends to be an Office document, however, has a double extension .docx_.scr. Its propagation occurs, especially through e-mails, where users believe that this is a Word document, when it is actually an executable file.

No matter your size or the size of your organisation. No one is too small to be a target for cyber criminals.

Do you think that you are safe here in Australia or anywhere in the world? The cyber criminals have no borders. According to the ESET Virus Radar, the number 1 threat is the Win32/Bayrob, followed by the JS/Exploit.Agent.NKZ.

My personal note to you: Start 2016 by making sure your systems are up to date, that you have an anti-virus and host firewall installed and updated and that you follow the basics of security. Visit the Microsoft Safety and Security Center at https://www.microsoft.com/security/default.aspx

If you interested in learn more about the cyber crime, there is an interesting white paper published by Trend Micro, which I recommend.

Sources:

Image: Freedigitalphotos/Stuart Miles

Azure ASR’s SLA-backed enhanced VMware to Azure solution is now ready to replicate your on-premises workloads to Azure

You heard right. Microsoft has launched an enhanced version of its Azure Site Recovery (ASR) targeted especially for VMware customers.

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The concept of ASR is very simple: organisations will be able to replicate their VMware virtual machines (VMs) to Azure, update and then run them in Azure as a disaster recovery option. They will be charged a small amount by VM but won’t have to pay for compute or storage until the VM is up and running in Azure.

To note, Azure Site Recovery, as part of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS), enables your organisation to gain control and manage your workloads no matter the source: Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware or OpenStack.

 

Some of the key ASR characteristics:

  • With non-disruptive recovery testing, you can easily test the failover of your VMware virtual machines to Azure within minutes, and validate your workload’s performance in Azure, without impacting on-going replication or the production workload.
  • With ASR-integrated failback, start replicating your Azure virtual machines back to your on-premises ESXi environment, and failback to the original or an alternate location when your on-premises site is once again available for use.
  • Heterogeneous workload support, automated VMware vCenter Server discovery
  • Continuous data protection (CDP), one-click failovers with ASR Recovery Plan
  • Rich health monitoring and e-mail notifications.

I’ve been working with ASR for a while and I definitely recommend it.

Ready to start using ASR? Check out additional product information, to start replicating your workloads to Microsoft Azure using Azure Site Recovery today. You can use the powerful replication capabilities of Site Recovery for 31 days at no charge for every new physical server or virtual machine that you replicate.

You can read the announcement at https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ga-enhanced-migration-and-disaster-recovery-for-vmware-virtual-machines-and-physical-servers-to-azure-using-asr/

Technologies that work together to create Microsoft’s SDN solutions

January 10, 2016 1 comment

With the upcoming Windows 2016 and System Center 2016, there will be many technologies that will work together to create Microsoft’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions and the best part is that you can already check them by downloading and deploying Windows 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview.

  • Hyper-V Network Virtualization, which enables virtualization of tenant networks on top of a shared physical network infrastructure. , which are being performed by hardware appliances (such as load balancers, firewalls, routers, switches, and so on) are increasingly being virtualized as virtual appliances. Microsoft has virtualized networks, switches, gateways, NATs, load balancers, and firewalls.
  • Network Controller, which provides a centralized, programmable point of automation to manage, configure, monitor, and troubleshoot virtual and physical network infrastructure in your datacenter.
  • RAS Gateway for High Availability and failover, which can be deployed in multitenant mode to provide network traffic routing to and from virtual and physical networks, including the Internet.
  • Software Load Balancing (SLB) for SDN, which can be used to evenly distribute tenant and tenant sub-networks traffic among virtual network resources. The Windows Server SLB enables multiple servers to host the same workload, providing high availability and scalability.
  • Datacenter Firewall. A new service. It is a network layer, 5-tuple (protocol, source and destination port numbers, source and destination IP addresses), stateful, multitenant firewall. When deployed and offered as a service by the service provider, tenant administrators can install and configure firewall policies to help protect their virtual networks from unwanted traffic originating from Internet and intranet networks.
  • Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) and Switch Embedded Teaming (SET). When you use a converged NIC to combine both RDMA and Ethernet traffic using a single network adapter, it will help you reduce the capital expenditures that are associated with each server in your datacenter, because you need fewer network adapters to manage different types of traffic per server.  The converged NIC allows you to use a single network adapter for management, Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA)-enabled storage, and tenant traffic. SET is a NIC Teaming solution that is integrated in the Hyper-V Virtual Switch. SET allows the teaming of up to eight physical NICS into a single SET team, which improves availability and provides failover.
  • Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). When configured Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) provides you with the ability to manage the routing of network traffic between your tenants’ VM networks and their remote sites. BGP reduces the need for manual route configuration on routers because it is a dynamic routing protocol, and automatically learns routes between sites that are connected by using site-to-site VPN connections.
  • System Center. VMM can be used to deploy Software Defined Networks

 

Source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt590952.aspx

System Center and Cloud Technologies showcase at SCU Australia

December 25, 2015 1 comment

For the FIRST time ever, System Center Universe is coming to Australia in 2016! This is a first-class community conference where you can mingle with experts and fellow industry professionals to explore new technologies. The conference has been running for many years in Asia, typically Singapore and Malaysia and also in Europe and USA.

This one days event will be showcasing upcoming System Center solutions and Cloud Technologies with integration of the latest Windows 10!

Who should attend SCU?

System Center Universe Australia is a technical conference for administrators, engineers, architects, project managers and other technical-oriented people that are focused on Microsoft products and technologies. Less technical oriented people can still benefit from the conference by getting a broad overview of problem-solving solutions and of course by connecting to exhibitors and community specialists.

Why is SCU different from other conferences?

SCU is a first-class community conference that lives from inputs and ideas from people who are part of the community and knows about real-world requirements and solutions. That said, we are not marketing-driven but to present the latest and greatest content with the best speakers. Sessions are presented with lots of live demos and can go technically deep, mainly down to level 300 or 400 (advanced and expert). Attending SCU gives you ready-to-use knowledge and allows you to connect and build long-term relations with speakers and attendees from all over the world.

Conference Date
March 11, 2016

Conference Venue
Crown Promenade Melbourne, Australia

Conference Language
English

REGISTER NOW – XMAS SPECIAL

Device Management with the NEW System Center Configuration Manager

Microsoft announced a new release (version 1511) of System Center Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection.

This release provides key new capabilities:

  • Comprehensive support for Windows 10, giving you multiple options to deploy, update, and manage Windows 10 in the way that makes sense for your business:
    • It enables “in-place upgrade” to move systems from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 directly to Windows 10 much faster than before.
    • It enables IT to keep Windows 10 devices up-to-date and get a better insight into the Windows 10 deployments with new configurable deployment rings and the servicing dashboard as well as identify devices that are managed via Windows Update for Business.
    • More frequent and easier to install updates.
    • More choice for managing Windows devices: now, you can use ConfigMgr to manage Windows 10 devices via MDM directly, without needing to store data in the cloud.
  • Improved unified device management. ConfigMgr provides an improved unified device management platform for customers using System Center Configuration Manager integrated with Microsoft Intune to manage PCs, servers, and mobile devices. This release enables faster updates to bring new Intune features to your hybrid deployments. Some of the new hybrid features that you can expect to see in this release are support for Mac OS X MDM, Windows 10 Edition Upgrade, customized terms of use, and more.

Click here to watch an Overview of ConfigMgr

It can be downloaded from the Microsoft Evaluation Center, MSDN, and Volume Licensing Service Center.

 

Microsoft released System Center 2016 TP4

Microsoft today announced the release of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4.

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This new build includes new features that enables hybrid datacenter solutions.

Running at cloud scale also produces technology innovation for management. System Center 2016 brings cloud learnings to the datacenter, enabling seamless management of complex environments. Moving into the hybrid world, System Center 2016 combines with Microsoft Operations Management Suite to provide an integrated, 360-degree view across any cloud, any operating system, from infrastructure to applications. Management anywhere means IT has the ability to take robust data about system performance, security, and emerging issues and turn that into action as rapidly as possible. With management tools designed to handle complexity, IT can allow for more agility in the environment as a whole. Core enhancements in System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4 include:

  • Advanced software-defined datacenter support for Windows Server 2016 including new technologies such as patching of hosts while provisioning, simplified logical network creation, scale-out file server with Storage Spaces Direct and SAN storage automation, and improved storage monitoring.
  • Protecting customer IP through shielded VM’s and Guardian Host deployment and management
  • Easy to use monitoring improvements in Operations Manager through data-driven management of alerts and enhanced visualization

Download Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-technical-preview

Download System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-system-center-technical-preview

 

Microsoft Windows Server 2016 TP4 released

Microsoft today announced the release of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4.

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This new build includes new features that enables hybrid datacenter solutions.

The three main features: Hyper-V Containers, Software-defined datacenter capabilities and increase agility and Enhanced management capabilities:

Hyper-V: Now includes an early preview of nested virtualization, along with Direct Device Assignment, and improved PowerShell support for VM upgrades. Nested virtualization can be used in dev and test scenarios and is a key enabling technology for Hyper-V Containers.

  • Networking:  high availability for the network controller, better East-West load balancing, enhanced container networking, and support for live migration. New: Virtual Machine Multi-Queue to enable 10G+ performance.
  • Storage:  Storage Spaces Direct to support all-flash configurations with NVMe SSD and SATA SSD devices, and Erasure Coding for increased storage efficiency. Also in this release, support for Storage Health Service provides easier health monitoring and more streamlined operations, with a single monitoring point per cluster. Storage QoS now supports adjusting the normalization size of the algorithm from the current default 8 KB settings. Additional enhancements are designed for increased control, such as maximum bandwidth settings for a VHD/X.
  • Security: Enhancements to shielded VMs and the Host Guardian Service are directed toward ensuring readiness for production environments. Just Enough Administration, which limits administrator rights for additional security, has been expanded to domain controllers and server maintenance roles.

 

Make innovation easier with Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4.

Core enhancements in System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4 include:

  • Advanced software-defined datacenter support for Windows Server 2016 including new technologies such as patching of hosts while provisioning, simplified logical network creation, scale-out file server with Storage Spaces Direct and SAN storage automation, and improved storage monitoring.
  • Protecting customer IP through shielded VM’s and Guardian Host deployment and management
  • Easy to use monitoring improvements in Operations Manager through data-driven management of alerts and enhanced visualization

Download Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 4: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-technical-preview

Download System Center 2016 Technical Preview 4: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-system-center-technical-preview