Robots can outwit us on the virtual battlefield, so let's not put them in charge of the real thing

Techxplore | October 31, 2019

Robots can outwit us on the virtual battlefield, so let's not put them in charge of the real thing
Artificial intelligence developer DeepMind has just announced its latest milestone: a bot called AlphaStar that plays the popular real-time strategy game StarCraft II at Grandmaster level. This isn't the first time a bot has outplayed humans in a strategy war game. In 1981, a program called Eurisko, developed by artificial intelligence (AI) pioneer Doug Lenat, won the US championship of Traveller, a highly complex strategy war game in which players design a fleet of 100 ships. Eurisko was consequently made an honorary Admiral in the Traveller navy.

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Headquartered in Switzerland, the Coop Group operates in retail, wholesale and production sectors. Approximately 2,000 retail outlets in Switzerland and 115 cash-and-carry markets across Europe. Coop Group has a workforce of approximately 77,000 employees across Europe with 53,000 in Switzerland.

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VMware and eero, an Amazon Company, to Deliver Whole-Home Wi-Fi to Remote Workers

VMware | November 01, 2021

VMware Inc. announced it will collaborate with eero, an Amazon company, on work-from-home capabilities that will boost remote network connectivity while extending critical security services to devices connecting to an at-home corporate network. Designed for work-from-home employees in the U.S. and delivered by strategic channel partners, the collaboration is designed to pair eero 6 series mesh Wi-Fi systems with VMware SASE Work from Home solution. In addition, as part of this agreement, VMware is announcing eero is a preferred Wi-Fi provider. “We ask a lot of our home Wi-Fi these days. At any given moment it may be supporting multiple data-intensive tasks: from joining a work video-conference call, to streaming and gaming in 4K, to supporting an online learning environment, and more. When your network is stretched too thin, your work-from-home performance can suffer,” said Sean Harris, vice president of sales and marketing, eero. “Through this collaboration with VMware, we’re able to offer fast, reliable, and more secure Wi-Fi for remote workers.” Deploying VMware and eero solutions together will enable IT teams to extend a better at-home Wi-Fi experience for their employees, working alongside VMware’s solution to deliver cloud networking and cloud security services. Channel partners will be able to offer customers a solution that brings together: eero 6 series mesh Wi-Fi systems featuring Wi-Fi 6: Employees need not be limited to working from one location in the home. eero 6 series mesh Wi-Fi systems feature Wi-Fi 6, delivering fast speeds and solid coverage for simultaneous device usage throughout the home so employees will be able to say goodbye to dead spots in the home and enjoy strong app performance. Employers will have the option to offer eero Pro 6, a tri-band, high-performance mesh Wi-Fi 6 router designed for homes with Gigabit internet connections, or eero 6, a dual-band mesh Wi-Fi 6 router designed for homes with internet connections up to 500 Mbps. With eero Secure, employees will receive an added layer of security for their home Wi-Fi, including parental controls for safe search, content filters, advanced security preventing access to sites flagged as malicious, ad blocking to protect their privacy and speed up their browsing experience, and now data usage insights to better manage time online. VMware SASE is a cloud-hosted solution that will help enable more secure, reliable, and efficient connectivity between user traffic from the eero Wi-Fi network in the home to the applications in public cloud, SaaS cloud and on-premises data centers. VMware SASE brings dynamic remediation capabilities when broadband networks experience packet loss, latency, and jitter. The solution recognizes over 3,000 apps automatically, and intelligently prioritizes business-critical application traffic, providing a better user experience. The solution handles latency-sensitive, real-time traffic like audio, video, VDI and IoT, providing a low-latency optimal path using a global network of SASE Points of Presence (PoPs) close to the eero Wi-Fi users. These PoPs are strategically placed at the doorstep of major SaaS and IaaS providers to offer under 15 milliseconds of latency between users and their applications in the majority of deployments. For IT teams, VMware SASE helps deliver operational simplicity leveraging the centralized Orchestrator to drive networking and security policies. IT can configure these policies and push them to all the remote sites powered by eero Wi-Fi systems. In addition, VMware SASE uses AIOps to give IT teams the visibility they need to determine the actual user experience when users access cloud applications. The solution compares performance benchmarks between different sites and identifies opportunities for improvement. The solution is not limited to simply identifying and analyzing issues, it also helps remediate these issues proactively with a path to self-healing. “This collaboration brings together two work-from-home technology leaders. We share a common vision to have technology be an enabler of a great remote work experience rather than an obstacle. Our technologies have played a critical role in empowering remote workers everywhere and we look forward to bringing our capabilities together to deliver a differentiated mesh Wi-Fi solution to our customers.” Craig Connors, vice president and CTO, Service Provider and Edge, VMware About VMware VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. As a trusted foundation to accelerate innovation, VMware software gives businesses the flexibility and choice they need to build the future. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to building a better future through the company’s 2030 Agenda.

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Vodafone Selects VMware for Automation and Orchestration of All Workloads Running on Core Networks Across Europe

Vodafone | November 12, 2021

Vodafone is now expanding its partnership with VMware to deploy the full VMware Telco Cloud Platform in all European markets. This means that in addition to utilizing Telco Cloud Infrastructure for NFV, Vodafone will leverage VMware Tanzu for Telco and VMware Telco Cloud Automation to orchestrate all network functions and services, regardless of vendor, to run its core networks. Vodafone’s continued partnership with VMware supports the company’s technology strategy, Tech 2025. As part of this five-year plan, Vodafone will focus on developing a network platform starting with the rollout of 5G SA that will be then followed by many other digital network features utilizing cloud-native architecture powered by VMware. These include voice over internet and next generation of videoconferencing and virtual/augmented reality, all orchestrated into the correct network slices according to different customer requirements. “We’ve made great strides in modernizing and virtualizing our core network. Now we must turn our attention to layering in automation, software engineering and cloud-native principles to simplify operations and accelerate how quickly we can deploy new applications. VMware Telco Cloud Platform will help us achieve these goals and reach our Tech 2025 targets faster.” Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Vodafone has already begun the rollout of VMware Telco Cloud Platform in eight markets – Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, and U.K. – and will expand to all 11 of its European markets over time. “As service providers modernize their networks to transition to 5G, they require a single platform to automate and streamline delivery of multi-vendor network functions across network core, RAN and edge. VMware Telco Cloud Platform provides this unifying platform to simplify operations, accelerate automation and increase feature velocity across all parts of the network,” said Sanjay Uppal, senior vice president and general manager, Service Provider and Edge, VMware. “Through its partnership with VMware, Vodafone is modernizing its network infrastructure with automation built in, setting them up for long-term success as they roll out 5G services to even more markets in the coming years.” VMware Telco Cloud Platform is a cloud-native platform that enables service providers to rapidly deploy and efficiently operate multi-vendor CNFs and VNFs with agility and scalability across 5G and other networks that span from the core and the edge to the radio access network (RAN). The two fundamental elements of this architecture are VMware Telco Cloud Infrastructure and VMware Telco Cloud Automation – both of which Vodafone will deploy across its European markets. About VMware VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, app modernization, networking, security, and digital workspace offerings help customers deliver any application on any cloud across any device. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough technology innovations to its global impact.

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Cisco's 6 Unpatched Internal Servers Supporting Virtual Networking Service Compromised

Cisco | June 01, 2020

Cisco gave no details on exactly what, if any, damage was done as a result of the attacks, but said a "limited set of customers" was impacted. Despite this warning, Cisco placed six servers in service on May 7 that were not patched against these vulnerabilities, and the servers were immediately attacked. The vulnerabilities in SaltStack were originally uncovered by security firm F-Secure. Six internal servers that Cisco uses to support its virtual networking service were compromised earlier this month after the company failed to patch two SaltStack zero day vulnerabilities, according to a security advisory sent to customers this week. Cisco gave no details on exactly what, if any, damage was done as a result of the attacks, but said a "limited set of customers" was impacted. If exploited, these zero-day vulnerabilities potentially could have allowed an attacker to gain full remote code execution within the servers. In its Thursday advisory, Cisco states that on April 29, the Salt Open Core team informed those using the SaltStack open-source configuration management and orchestration tool about two critical-rated vulnerabilities, an authentication bypass flaw, CVE-2020-11651, and a directory traversal problem, CVE-2020-11652. Read More: Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure and Storage Solutions Driving Intel's Optane Memory & Storage Sales Despite this warning, Cisco placed six servers in service on May 7 that were not patched against these vulnerabilities, and the servers were immediately attacked, the company acknowledges. "A software component of the Cisco Virtual Internet Routing Lab service was affected by a third-party software vulnerability that was disclosed in late April. Cisco applied the patch in May, and a limited set of customers were impacted by exploitation attempts of the vulnerability," a company spokesperson tells Information Security Media Group. SaltStack Vulnerabilities The vulnerabilities in SaltStack were originally uncovered by security firm F-Secure, which describes them as allowing an attacker "to bypass all authentication and authorization controls and publish arbitrary control messages, read and write files anywhere on the 'master' server file system and steal the secret key used to authenticate to the master as root. The impact is full remote command execution as root on both the master and all minions that connect to it." SaltStack published its own advisory on April 20 and patched the vulnerabilities the following week with the release of versions 2019.2.4 and 3000.2, Alex Peay, a senior vice president at SaltStack, tells ISMG. Cisco's six servers that were compromised are used to support Internet Routing Lab Personal Edition, or VIRL-PE, and Modeling Labs Corporate Edition, or CML, a platform that enables engineers to emulate various Cisco operating systems, including IOS, IOS XR, and NX-OS, Cisco says in the advisory. The servers are: • us-1.virl.info • us-2.virl.info • us-3.virl.info • us-4.virl.info • vsm-us-1.virl.info • vsm-us-2.virl.info The exploitability of the vulnerabilities in the six servers depends upon how the products that the servers' support are enabled. The company advises those using Cisco CML and Cisco VIRL-PE software releases 1.5 and 1.6, which have the salt-master service reachable on TCP ports 4505 and 4506, to inspect the software for compromise, re-image it and then patch it with the latest update. F-Secure described the unpatched vulnerabilities as particularly easy to exploit. "We expect that any competent hacker will be able to create 100% reliable exploits for these issues in under 24 hours," F-Secure says. Attackers Looked for Easy Exploits Peay of SaltStack added that exploits immediately began to show up after the patches were released and publicized as malicious actors attempted to take advantage of the zero-day vulnerabilities before companies were able to install patches. Scott Caveza, research engineering manager at the security firm Tenable, offers a quick rundown of how threat actors use patch information to crack a system. Attackers will often review the code and look at what changes have been made in a patch or release update to determine how the fix was applied. Then working backwards, they can use this information to develop a working exploit and begin scanning and probing for targets across the internet, Scott Caveza, research engineering manager at the security firm Tenable. SaltStack went to great lengths to communicate the problem to its users and offer tools so mitigation efforts were conducted properly, Peay says. This included direct assistance for those lacking skills handling SaltStack along with a service that would scan to validate that the patches were properly applied, he adds. Some security experts question why Cisco did not immediately patch its servers when it was notified of the zero day vulnerabilities. There are management tools that can help with the automation of checking, but even that requires someone setting it up to check for a version of software on a set of servers, so in the end it's the IT person who has to do the work, Jayant Shukla, CTO and co-founder of K2 Cyber Security. Caveza of Tenable notes identifying systems that need a patch involves IT staff checking the version of SaltStack and verifying that versions 2019.2.4, 3000.2 or later have been applied. He points out that plugins are available to assist with this task. Read More: How Virtualization Helps Businesses Overcome Cloud Migration Problems About Cisco Cisco enables people to make powerful connections--whether in business, education, philanthropy, or creativity. Cisco hardware, software, and service offerings are used to create the Internet solutions that make networks possible--providing easy access to information anywhere, at any time.

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Headquartered in Switzerland, the Coop Group operates in retail, wholesale and production sectors. Approximately 2,000 retail outlets in Switzerland and 115 cash-and-carry markets across Europe. Coop Group has a workforce of approximately 77,000 employees across Europe with 53,000 in Switzerland.