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Axios Systems bring #AxiosGivesBack charity scheme to SITS17

Edinburgh, UK - 23rd May 2017: Following the successful launch of its charity fundraiser in the US, Axios Systems, one of the worldrsquo;s leading IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Asset Management (ITAM) providers, will bring ‘Axios Gives Backrsquo; to the UKrsquo;s leading IT professionals show, SITS17 on the 7th and 8th June.Having debuted at PINK17 in February, Axios Gives Back will donate funds to a charity chosen by attendees over the course of the... Source: RealWire

Axios to showcase enhanced UI and assyst ITAM capabilities amid innovation...

Edinburgh, UK - 18th May 2017: 2017 Info-Tech Champions and one of the worldrsquo;s leading providers of IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Asset Management (ITAM) solutions, Axios Systems, will be present at SITS17, the UKrsquo;s leading conference for ITSM professionals on the 7th and 8th June.The conference, held in Londonrsquo;s Olympia, will showcase the latest in service management thinking and technology and welcomes over 4,000 people and 50 free-to-attend seminar sessions over the two... Source: RealWire

Calnex Ships Industry©#8217;s First 100GbE Jitter Measurement Solution to enable Deployment...

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, May 12, 2017 – Calnex Solutions Ltd today shipped the industryrsquo;s first ever 100GbE Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) Jitter measurement solution to a major North American equipment manufacturer. Providing 100GbE Jitter Generation and Jitter Tolerance measurement capability, the Paragon-100G enables the jitter performance of SyncE network equipment to be fully stressed and validated.The ITU-T standard for SyncE (G.8262) has strict limits for both Jitter Tolerance and Jitter Generation.
Itrsquo;s vital that network equipment can... Source: RealWire

Sopra Steria sponsoring fifth Scotland Top Talent Leadership Programme

Edinburgh – Sopra Steria, the European leader in digital transformation, is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the Scotland Top Talent Leadership Programme, now in its fifth year.

This programme is run by the Society of Information Technology Managers (SOCITM) Leadership Academy in partnership with Sopra Steria, and in association with Scottish Government and Brightsolid, the data centre and cloud hosting specialists.
In five years over which the programme has been run, over 100 students... Source: RealWire

The AI revolution is making game characters move more realistically

Neural network makes for smarter-looking avatars, not just smarter enemies

Sega built a real Warhammer 40K Power Fist, then let me...

Real-life 3000psi Power Fist smash good. Real good.

Crooks and kids (not scary spies paid by govt overlords) are...

Troy Hunt talks down the state-sponsored hack threat Interview Despite the hype about state-sponsored hackers, most breaches are actually the result of either criminal activity or "kids messing around", according to breach expert Troy Hunt. Hunt, operator of the breach notification service Have I Been Pwned, noted that many of the current spate of breach disclosures actually stem from attacks that took place in or around 2012. “We’ve seen anything on this scale since Adobe,” Hunt told El Reg. “Motives differ with LinkedIn, for example, designed to make money.
Sony was state sponsored and Yahoo – if we take them at their word – was state-sponsored.” Hunt expressed doubt about Yahoo!'s contention of a state-sponsored attack which led to half a billion accounts being exposed, referencing recent research by InfoArmor that offered up the theory that criminals were behind the attack. “Blaming state hackers has become like a ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse,” he added. El Reg caught up with Hunt for 30 minutes shortly after he spoke about data breaches and other matters at the ScotSoft conference in Edinburgh on Thursday. He said that large datasets such as the LinkedIn cache were commonly dumped online by hackers when when they are “no longer profitable to sell”.

There are exceptions to this rule such as Ashley Madison, where hackers immediately leaked the purloined data as wide as possible in an effort to embarrass and pressurise the business. Hunt criticised TalkTalk as “negligent” over its October 2015 reach and criticised the record £400k fine imposed by data privacy watchdogs at the ICO as insufficient to serve as any deterrent. “TalkTalk was fined 0.02 per cent of revenue, something that will have no impact on its business,” Hunt said. “TalkTalk was hit by a 15 year old kid using free software, not a sophisticated attacker.” TallkTalk was “negligent” in being unable to defend against the attack it suffered, according to Hunt, a Microsoft regional director and MVP for developer security. Some breaches can have an effect on share price.

For example, the share price of Paysafe dipped before recovering after it emerged that Neteller and acquired firm Skrill had suffered a breach. Running haveibeenpwned has given Hunt a singular insight into major data breaches, how hackers operate and the weaknesses they exploit within organisations.
Some cases show that at least some large organisations are beginning to follow industry best practice of password handling.

For example, metadata from the Dropbox breach shows that the organisation was halfway through moving from the ageing SHA1 technology to pcrypt for password hashing. ®

After Illinois hack, FBI warns of more attacks on state election...

Enlarge / An FBI "Flash" memorandum on state Board of Elections site warns of attacks on two states so far and asks for other states to check their logs.reader comments 41 Share this story Someone using servers in the US, England, Scotland, and the Netherlands stole voter registration from one state's Board of Elections website in June and  attacked another state's elections website in August, according to a restricted "Flash" memorandum sent out by the FBI's Cyber Division.

The bureau issued the alert requesting other states check for signs of the same intrusion. The "Flash" memo, obtained by Yahoo News, was published three days after Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson offered state officials assistance in securing election systems during a conference call.

According to Yahoo's Michael Isikoff, government officials told him that the attacks were on voter registration databases in Illinois and Arizona.

The Illinois system had to be shut down in July for two weeks after the discovery of an attack; the registration information of as many as 200,000 voters may have been exposed. No data was stolen in the Arizona attack, but malware was reportedly planted on the site. While saying the Department of Homeland Security was unaware of any specific threat to election systems, Johnson offered states assistance from the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) "to conduct vulnerability scans, provide actionable information and access to other tools and resources for improving cybersecurity," a DHS spokesperson said, describing the conference call. "The Election Assistance Commission, NIST, and DOJ are available to offer support and assistance in protecting against cyber attacks." The successful hack of the Illinois system began with a scan of the state election board's site with Acunetix, a commercial vulnerability scanning tool used to discover SQL injection vulnerabilities and other site weaknesses.

The attacker used information on an SQL injection bug to then use SqlMap, an open source tool, to access user credentials and data, and the DirBuster tool to discover hidden files and directories on the Web server. Yahoo reports that officials suspected "foreign hackers" for the attack. Ars attempted to contact Acunetix for comment, but received no response. The IP addresses listed as sources for the attacks are associated with commercial dedicated and virtual private server hosting companies: US and UK servers provided by King Servers LTD; Fortunix Networks LP, a custom hosting company with servers in Edinburgh; and Liteserver in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

The use of virtual private servers (likely purchased with WebMoney, bitcoin, or some other anonymous currency) and off-the-shelf tools doesn't suggest any significant amount of sophistication on the part of the attackers.

But state government sites like those affected so far are typically not hardened against attack, so sophistication wouldn't necessarily be required.

Xceed Group prepares RFIB for IT Service Growth

~ Independent IT and business change professional services firm delivers six-month Infrastructure as a Service project to enable RFIB to scale up rapidly ~London, UK, 18th August 2016 – London-based Xceed Group, a leading independent IT management consultancy, has helped RFIB Group Limited to select an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model to support significant future growth plans. RFIB is a Lloyd’s insurance broker with a global presence, which is poised for significant growth over the coming years through a combination of expansion within existing markets and acquisition.

To facilitate this, RFIB needed to improve its IT services by implementing a fully managed support solution that can handle growth without disruption to service whilst also reducing IT security risk. RFIB appointed Xceed Group to manage its transition to an IaaS model ensuring a smooth change management process, within a six-month period.Xceed Group assessed RFIB’s IT estate and ran the selection process for suitable IaaS providers.
In addition, Xceed Group was asked to stabilise RFIB’s existing IT operations and design a target operating model that would provide the necessary business focus and reduce the complexity of managing multiple suppliers. During the six-month project, Xceed Group transformed RFIB’s IT management to a service -focused model, where IT support could be migrated to a service provider. Xceed Group advised on the process of migrating IT services to the new supplier and introduced change management processes to mitigate potential risks ensuring the transition would run smoothly. “Xceed Group worked closely with us to analyse our business and technology platforms and make improvements to the stability of our environment,” said Paul Smith, RFIB CIO. “With a clear understanding of the landscape gained from its analysis, Xceed Group developed an RFI which was distributed to a number of potential suppliers.” The suppliers were assessed for technical competence, understanding of RFIB’s target operating models, the ability to provide a transparent and affordable cost structure, and for cultural fit.

Three final prospective suppliers were issued with comprehensive RFPs, and were scored before being interviewed by Xceed Group and RFIB.

Following commercial negotiations, RFIB chose IT Lab as its IaaS provider. “The project was completed within the six-month timeframe and on completion, RFIB was in an optimal position to run its migration and support its anticipated business growth”, says John Casserly, CEO of Xceed Group. “Xceed Group is now working with RFIB on a new project to upgrade a core business application.” Smith concluded: “Thanks to Xceed Group, we are in a great position to migrate to a secure, scalable and flexible IaaS model that will support our business as it grows. Most importantly, the initiative has improved overall employee satisfaction with the IT function, aligning current team roles with our future business direction.” ENDS About Xceed GroupXceed Group is a leading independent IT Management Consultancy specialising in helping customers to Migrate and Transform technology rapidly while controlling risk. Whether it’s a major Integration or Separation programme driven by M&A or a portfolio of smaller projects designed to drive digital business, Xceed Group helps customers to ‘Move fast without breaking things.’ With unique, patented IP developed to increase the success rates of complex IT change initiatives and practical experience of helping many FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies through major Migration, Integration and Separation programmes Xceed Group is an ideal technology change partner. mX – the Migration Acceleration platform is recognised as a ‘game changer’ for datacentre and cloud migrations and our Proceed Practice and tool-set has been relied on as the single source of truth for some of the largest and most complex banking integration programmes of the last decade. With offices in London, Edinburgh, Dublin and New York, Xceed Group is an independent, private and employee owned company. About RFIBRFIB Group is an established Lloyd’s broker providing insurance and reinsurance intermediation together with risk management advisory and related services. Headquartered in London with an international network of offices, we work with clients of all sizes across all geographies to deliver tailored risk solutions that meet their business objectives. We seek to develop long-term relationships anchored in knowhow and a high quality service. Additional ResourcesLearn more about Xceed on the websiteFollow Xceed on Twitter and LinkedIn PR Contact: Xceed GroupJennifer Reid, CommsCo: jreid@thecommsco.com, +44 (0)208 296 1875, +44 (0)7920012356. PR Contact: RFIBDavid Haggie / Brian Norris, Haggie Partners, 0207 562 4444

Pass the hash for peace, love and security in the quantum...

Boffins smokin' idea to share parts of keys to cook quantum-proof crypto Digital signatures, one of the fundamental parts of cryptography, may one day be threatened by quantum computers – so crypto-boffins are busy devising schemes that can survive a post-quantum world. In a paper that's just landed at the International Association for Cryptologic Research, a group of UK and Belgian researchers are offering up a dig-sig scheme they reckon is a feasible offering for a post-quantum world. As the paper notes, there are currently two research streams examining what to do if Shor's algorithm* ever arrives to render today's signatures crackable. On one hand, there's research into “quantum-safe” systems, which extend the historical “hard problems” approach to the future.

Today's hard problem, factoring very large prime numbers, is exactly what a quantum computer might achieve, so the quantum-safe system propose new, harder problems. The second, which this paper explores, is a universal approach: an “unconditionally secure signature” (USS) scheme, uncrackable according to mathematical proofs. There's a downside, however: USS systems are symmetrical, depending on secret key distribution; that means key distribution becomes a problem and a vulnerability, and most proposals to handle it depend on a trusted third party. The need to pre-distribute keys disqualifies USS from everyday applications, but the authors argue its high security means it's worth the effort for high-value applications (for example, inter-bank channels). The proposal from Ryan Amiri and Erika Andersson of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Aysajan Abidin of Belgium's KU Leuven and iMinds, and Petros Wallden of the University of Edinburgh, is to create a USS that does away with third party for key distribution – and doesn't need anonymous communication channels. The neat idea in the impenetrable academic maths of the typical crypto-paper seems to be this one: to make the scheme work, Amiri et al propose that in a group of participants, the sender starts by sharing a set of hashes with everybody else. Recipients then pass around “a random portion of the keys that they received from the sender”.

The recipients can, therefore, share enough of the keys to assure each other the message is authentic, without revealing enough information to compromise the signature. “A signature for a message is a vector of tags generated by applying the hash functions to the message”, the paper continues. For questions of forging, transferability, and non-repudiation, we'll have to defer to those with sufficient mathematics to decipher the rest of the paper. The authors claim that with respect to other USS schemes: ”We require fewer trust assumptions – the protocol does not require a trusted authority. ”Security in our scheme can be tuned independently of message size, resulting in shorter signature lengths. Our scheme scales more efficiently (with respect to message size) in terms of the number of secret shared bits required.” Nice to know the post-quantum world could still be protected, at least. ® *Bootnote: Shor's algorithm is one of the seminal ideas of quantum computing. Published in 1994, it proposed how to use a quantum computer to find the prime factors of any number, faster than a classical computer. ® Sponsored: Global DDoS threat landscape report

Container Solutions launches subsidiary, Devopsense, to help enterprises succeed with fast-growing...

Devopsense casts its line into the multi-billion pound market for enterprise DevOps transformation.LONDON — 21 June 2016 — Following the successful release of minimesos, Container Solutions continues its game plan to support developers of microservice applications with the announcement of a new subsidiary, Devopsense. Led by DevOps expert Mark Heistek, Devopsense is focused on helping enterprises implement the processes needed to shift from legacy software development models to agile methods, including DevOps. Container Solutions Logo Devopsense provides the training and services enterprises need to successfully harness DevOps as a self-organising force that becomes part of a company’s product development culture. Parent company Container Solutions focuses on engineering services and product development, while Devopsense is structured to focus on consulting with clients to help them embrace the concepts of DevOps, including automation and rapid deployment cycles. Devopsense helps clients organise for DevOps workflows, including new skills, methodologies and application architectures. The team applies first-hand experience to address the issues developers will face. An example includes real-world management of continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) processes so that software delivery and infrastructure provisioning are separate processes, increasing both the speed and control of the DevOps process overall. The company works closely with clients to embed DevOps philosophies throughout the organisation. Start-ups looking for engineering consultation, medium-sized companies looking for implementation and application architecture support, and large enterprises looking for complete transformational services can all work with Devopsense. Container Solutions and Devopsense companies will work closely on engineering support. “Change can be tough. And that’s where we come in. DevOps is more than just a cultural shift, and it’s more than just a way to build software better and faster,” said Mark Heistek, head of delivery and creator of Devopsense. “DevOps is a new way of thinking about how software can add value and sustainable differentiation. Our mission is to advise, coach and guide clients to a DevOps state of mind, learning how to grow, innovate, automate and thrive on what they do best: make great products and serve customers.” Heistek comes to Devopsense from ING Bank, where he helped lead DevOps transformation and was product owner of the TIBCO continuous deployment process and the Continuous Delivery on-boarding team. He also was a continuous delivery coach and trainer, helping software development teams within the organisation make transition to DevOps. “Mark has first-hand experience leading large organisations through the DevOps transformation,” said Jamie Dobson, CEO of Container Solutions. “That experience gave birth to Devopsense. Together with Container Solutions, Devopsense delivers the right combination of engineering and consulting experience to clients, enabling successful transformations. Working together, we can test new tools with real clients, bringing new technologies to market while helping clients succeed at DevOps.” Armon Dadgar, co-founder and CTO of HashiCorp remarked, "At HashiCorp, we believe that a firm starts with its people, organises around process, and leverages tools. DevOps is a new process to drive software development and while the market focus is on tools, I think groups like Devopsense are needed to help organisations clearly understand and adopt the appropriate process." DevOps Trend QuantifiedGartner, Inc. puts the total for DevOps tools at US$2.3 billion for 2015, up more than 20 percent from US$1.9 billion in 2014. This year, the firm expects DevOps to evolve from a niche strategy employed by large cloud providers to a mainstream strategy employed by 25 percent of Global 2000 organisations. (Source: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2999017) In its report, “2016 Trends in Development, DevOps & IT Ops,” 451 Research cites the rapid growth of containers as a primary driver of enterprise DevOps adoption, with artifact versioning, immutable infrastructure, and empathy between development and operations teams as elements of DevOps that are particularly compelling. Devopsense is the latest addition to the Container Solutions constellation of companies, which includes Container Solutions offices in London, Amsterdam and Zurich, and the design agency, Remember to Play, which specialises in design for distributed systems and programmable infrastructure. Together, these companies can service a whole range of needs for clients, including application design, systems integration, implementation, transformation, security audits and even interim corporate management services. About Container SolutionsContainer Solutions is a pan-European company, with offices in Amsterdam, London, Zurich, Edinburgh and Copenhagen. They deliver software engineering services and tools for container-based development. Well established in the container and microservice open source ecosystems, Container Solutions counts among its partners HashiCorp and Mesosphere. More at: http://containersolutions.com/ ### Media Contact: Cathey.co for Container Solutions U.S.:Robert Catheyrobert@cathey.co+1 865.386.6118@robertcathey U.K:Lisa Henshawlisa@cathey.co+44 (0)7985 108887

Xceed Group Recognised in The Sunday Times SME Export Track 100

~ Independent IT and business change professional services firm named as a British top 100 Export SME due to rapid international sales growth ~London, UK, 16th May 2016 – Xceed Group, an independent IT and business change professional services firm, has today been recognised in The Sunday Times Heathrow SME Export Track 100.

The league table charting Britain's fastest growing exporting SMEs, has positioned Xceed Group in 56th place, thanks to its rapid international sales growth over the last two years. Xceed Group logoXceed Group provides IT professional services for a range of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 clients across financial services, telecommunications, media and energy markets. “It’s great to see that further investment in our IP has started to show a really clear return with our FIMS (Flexible Infrastructure Managed Services) practice, having been particularly key to driving our growth in the US,” John Casserly, CEO and Founder of Xceed Group explained. “The Sunday Times Heathrow SME Export Track 100 is based on 2014 financial results and with even greater US success in 2015 and 2016, Xceed Group is very optimistic for next year’s results and hopes to climb even further up the table”.Xceed Group has also had recent success in Switzerland this year, after being approached by a retail bank for programme recovery assistance.

Gary Stewart, Founder and Board Director at Xceed Group, commented: “We’re delighted to be recognised as one of Britain’s fastest growing SMEs for international sales.

Being included in The Sunday Times SME Export Track 100 for fastest growing international sales is a fantastic validation of the services we provide.” “British technology companies are some of the most innovative in the world, and play an important role in driving our economy,” added Stewart. “Receiving this recognition is not just testament to our team’s success, it also evidences our fantastic customer portfolio, and is a brilliant demonstration of the talent and success in this sector.” Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Price, added: “It’s great to see so many small and medium sized businesses successfully trading around the world.

They are the lifeblood of our economy – providing jobs and growth – and they also play an important role in ensuring the UK remains a great trading nation. What these great British brands show is that the demand and opportunity is out there.
I want more companies to follow their lead and seize it.” Other companies that were recognised in the league table include Black Swan Data, Arrow Media and Wilkinson Eyre.

Fast Track was founded in 1997 by CEO Hamish Stevenson. Heathrow Airport is the headline sponsor of SME Export Track 100 for 2016.

ENDSAbout Xceed GroupXceed Group helps customers to migrate and transform technology rapidly, without increasing risk. We are a leading IT Management Consultancy with a track record of delivering high-stakes, complex change programmes. Our game changing migration acceleration platform, mX, accelerates Legacy to New Migration Programmes by over 30%, while increasing control and confidence. We believe big change brings more opportunity than risk, and our positive attitude, unique tools and flexible methodologies consistently deliver increased success rates for change initiatives while also providing lasting organisational agility improvements.In over 12 years of operating with a range of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 clients, many with challenging IT Programmes and Architectures, we have enjoyed consistent growth driven by recommendation & referral. With offices in London, Edinburgh, Dublin and New York, Xceed Group is an independent, private and employee owned company.

Additional ResourcesLearn more about Xceed on the websiteFollow Xceed on Twitter and LinkedIn PR ContactHelen Frear, The CommsCo: hfrear@thecommsco.com, +44 (0)208 296 1875, +44 (0)7824158805.