Two Breaches Show State Election Database Vulnerability

Today's topics include the breach of two state voter registration databases, Dell's name change to Dell Technologies, VMware's revised Cross-Cloud Architecture and the Obama administration's proposed rules that would allow immigrant entrepreneurs to stay in the country longer.

Press reports indicate that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into intrusions of online voter registration systems in two states during July and August. The two states are Illinois, where the voter registration system was taken offline for two weeks in July and in Arizona where the voter registration network was down only briefly.

The reports indicate that about 200,000 records were taken in the Illinois breach, but that the hackers failed in their attempt to take data from Arizona. While federal investigators have not said specifically that the same groups were involved in both attacks, an alert sent to state election officials lists common IP addresses that were used in both attacks. Several third-party sources have identified the attackers as Russians. However U.S. law enforcement sources have not confirmed that.

Dell Inc. is now Dell Technologies. Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell in May announced that the tech vendor would change its name as it works toward closing its acquisition of storage data vendor EMC and its family of federated companies in a massive deal worth around $62 billion. Dell made the announcement during the first day of the EMC World show.

"We wanted to convey a family of businesses and aligned capabilities, and as family names go, I'm kind of attached to Dell," Michael Dell said during his keynote address.

VMware didn't unveil any new products or services Aug. 29 on Day 1 of VMworld 2016, but it did announce a revision of its existing cloud infrastructure under the name VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture. This is essentially a way for VMware customers to manage and secure their applications across clouds and devices in a common operating environment. These workloads can be running in various cloud systems, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM Cloud. Up to now, VMware was designed to run private or hybrid clouds in only single public cloud instances.

More than 40 percent of U.S-based Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants, according to a 2011 report from the Partnership for a New American Economy. Yet too often immigrant entrepreneurs are forced to leave the United States before a business can get off the ground—or, worse, they're forced to leave while they're running it. The Obama administration has proposed a new rule that will make it easier for immigrants who are budding entrepreneurs to remain in the country longer.

The Department of Homeland Security's International Entrepreneur Rule, which isn't subject to congressional approval, proposes to allow individuals a temporary initial stay of up to two years and potential for a one-time extension of an additional three years if they meet certain conditions that are considered on a case-by-case basis.

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