HPE to Focus on Developing The Machine Architecture

Today's topics include HPE's plan to shift the company's focus to The Machine data center architecture, The LizardStresser DDoS attack on Brazilian institutions, Microsoft's security improvements to Windows 10 and the Obama Administration's plan to launch a data-driven justice initiative.

The latest major changes at Hewlett Packard Enterprise this week put a spotlight back onto The Machine, a bold move to reimagine data center architecture.

In a post on the company blog, HPE CEO Meg Whitman announced some executive changes that in large part determined who will oversee the development of The Machine, which is an ambitious effort to build a machine with new technologies designed to handle the massive amounts of data that will be generated through such trends as the cloud, data analytics, the proliferation of mobile devices and the Internet of things.

The Internet of things movement has given rise to a new era of connected, vulnerable devices that are being assembled to enable a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Security firm Arbor Networks is reporting that it has discovered a botnet made up of IoT devices attacking institutions in Brazil with up to 400G bps of attack traffic.

The IoT botnet makes use of the LizardStresser DDoS code that is designed to run on Linux. The LizardStresser code was originally developed by the Lizard Squad DDoS hacker group, which in the past has taken credit for attacks against Lenovo, Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network.

When the Windows 10 Anniversary Update arrives Aug 2, it will include several new security features that are designed to protect data belonging to both consumers and enterprises. Among them is an expansion of Windows Hello's biometric user authentication capabilities.

"We have fully integrated Windows Hello into one seamless stack," Rob Lefferts, director of program management at Microsoft Windows Enterprise and Security, said in a blog post. "The integrated code base in Windows Hello will support the full range of biometric authentication factors and manage user credentials used for authentication."

New identity protection measures will allow organizations to set up Windows Hello on PCs that lack cameras or biometric sensors with companion devices and apps. Once enrolled, a worker can securely access a PC using a wearable, smartphone or other device with biometrics capabilities.

The Obama administration, which eight years ago instituted a "Cloud First" IT modernization policy for all federal offices and agencies, on June 30 issued another IT-related directive—this time aimed at law enforcement agencies of all levels.

Several Silicon Valley companies, including Amazon Web Services, Appriss, Esri, MasterCard and RTI International, will be among the first to supply systems and services to the initiative.

The Data-Driven Justice Initiative is designed to help state and local police and sheriffs—in addition to the courts—gain access to computer technology and software to help make decisions on how to handle criminal suspects following arrest.

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