VMWARE

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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Service provider network are on the verge of significant and lasting change.leading operators have started to re-architect their networks for the service that will underpin their commercial success in the 5G era.


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DESKTOP

IPVanish Announces Commitment to Privacy Amidst Indian Data Legislation

IPVanish | June 20, 2022

IPVanish, a no-log VPN provider, has released its formal response to impending internet surveillance and data retention legislation in India. In a blog post published on June 7, IPVanish stated that they will not compromise on their no-logs policy despite this new directive demanding logs from VPN providers. According to this new legislation, VPN providers would be required to collect certain customer data and may need to provide that information to Indian authorities. While the directive is not set to go into effect until later this month, IPVanish remains firm in its stance on protecting its customers’ privacy and will continue operating its Indian servers for the time being. Should the directive be enforced, IPVanish has stated that they will continue to prioritize their consumers' privacy and will take any required action, including shutting down physical servers in India to comply with the Indian government's directive. “Privacy will never be something we sacrifice, While we will remain watchful of this impending legislation in India, IPVanish is standing firmly by our zero traffic logs policy, and is prepared to take proper action should the law go into effect.” Subbu Sthanu, VP of Strategy & Product Management at IPVanish In April, IPVanish had its technology and no-log VPN privacy practices audited and certified by a respected independent third-party cybersecurity consulting firm. The IPVanish VPN service delivers: Secure access to the fastest VPN in the world End-to-end network encryption and data protection User-friendly apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire TV A verified no-logs policy 24/7 customer support About IPVanish: IPVanish is a worldwide online privacy and freedom advocate. Providing secure access to shared IPs and servers in 75+ locations, IPVanish consistently tests as the fastest VPN service globally, while maintaining industry-best security, reliability, and privacy protection standards.

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SERVER VIRTUALIZATION

Virtual Reality In Gaming Market Research Shows High Growth Rate Of 29% - TBRC

The Business Research Company | February 25, 2022

Virtual reality in gaming market consists of sales of virtual reality gaming hardware and software devices by entities (organizations, sole traders, and partnerships) that offer the ability to take players into the game in real-time. Virtual reality technology uses computing hardware, software, and other VR peripherals to create virtual environments that immerse the user in the game's 3D environment. The global VR in gaming market size is expected to grow from $9.39 billion in 2021 to $12.13 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.2%. The change in the virtual reality in gaming market growth trend is mainly due to the companies stabilizing their output after catering to the demand that grew exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The virtual reality in gaming market is expected to reach $33.65 billion in 2026 at a CAGR of 29%. How 5G Is Shaping The Virtual Reality In Gaming Market 5G-based VR cloud games are shaping virtual reality in gaming market. 5G VR cloud is a combination of cloud, virtual reality, and 5G connectivity in gaming. Major companies operating in virtual reality in gaming sector are focused on developing 5G based VR cloud games to offer customers low latency and high bandwidth services. For instance, in May 2020, Archiact, a Canada-based VR games studio merged with Migu Co. Ltd., a China-based consumer technology company to bring VR games to its 5G cloud gaming platform. Archiact states that by teaming with Migu, it will be able to work together to establish the vision of 5G VR cloud gaming, making VR even more available. Virtual Reality In Gaming Market Overview The main types of components in virtual reality in gaming are software and hardware. Virtual reality gaming software builds immersive 3D environments which can be used in VR games. The virtual world is created by software developers, who create a virtual environment for users so that they can interact with the place and objects in that environment. The different types of games include racing, adventure, fighting, shooting, mystery thriller, puzzle, and science fiction and use various devices such as personal computers, gaming consoles, mobile devices. Such software is used by verticals including commercial spaces and individuals. Key Players And Their Activity In The Virtual Reality In Gaming Industry Major players in the virtual reality in gaming market are Facebook Technologies LLC., Google, HTC Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Fove Inc, Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC, Nintendo Co. Ltd., Razer Inc., Oculus HR, Microsoft Corporation, ZEISS Group, Advanced Micro Devices, Sega Corporation, Kaneva LLC, Nvidia, Qualcomm, bHaptics Inc., and Electronic Arts Inc. Mergers and acquisitions help players maintain their position in the market. In February 2020, Facebook, a US-based social networking service company acquired Sanzaru Games for an undisclosed amount. Sanzaru Games is a US-based video game development company. This acquisition enabled Facebook's persistent interest in propping up VR gaming firms and aligning them around their goals while allowing them to operate autonomously. About The Business Research Company The Business Research Company is a market intelligence firm that excels in company, market, and consumer research. Located globally it has specialist consultants in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, chemicals, and technology. The World's Most Comprehensive Database The Business Research Company's flagship product, Global Market Model, is a market intelligence platform covering various macroeconomic indicators and metrics across 60 geographies and 27 industries. The Global Market Model covers multi-layered datasets which help its users assess supply-demand gaps.

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VPN

NordVPN extension now on Microsoft Edge

NordVPN | December 15, 2021

NordVPN has officially launched the NordVPN extension for Microsoft Edge browser, available on all platforms compatible with Edge. The new extension is extremely light and fast so users can switch between locations within seconds. Microsoft Edge browser is based on Chromium, which means users can install the NordVPN extension via the Chrome Web Store. With this release, NordVPN is unlocking full official support for people who were already using other NordVPN extensions on Edge. We knew many users were installing the NordVPN extension for Chrome on the Microsoft Edge browser. That's why we decided to improve their experience by releasing an official NordVPN extension designed for Edge. In terms of functionality, the new extension works exactly the same way as the ones for Chrome and Firefox, giving users a seamless experience across browsers." Vykintas Maknickas, Product Strategist at NordVPN Apart from Edge, NordVPN has browser extensions for both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. "We're constantly looking for ways to enhance our user experience. For example, we recently added M1 Mac compatibility and increased our bug bounty program to $50K for all Nord brands, including NordPass, NordLocker, and NordLayer. As part of a broader effort to shift Nord Security and our brands into a broader cybersecurity suite, pushing all of these initiatives brings us closer to doing exactly this," says Vykintas Maknickas from NordVPN. To stress the importance of privacy online, NordVPN recently released the findings of its research on browser cookies and how browsing habits create different privacy and security risks. NordVPN is the first brand in the Nord Security family of products and was established in 2012. NordVPN became the premier VPN solution of choice worldwide throughout the years, now serving more than 14 million users. Nord Security has also expanded its scope to include security solutions for businesses and advanced encryption tools for consumers, including NordPass, NordLocker, and NordLayer. About NordVPN NordVPN is the world's most advanced VPN service provider used by over 14 million internet users worldwide. NordVPN provides double VPN encryption, malware blocking, and Onion Over VPN. The product is very user-friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 5,000 servers in 60 countries worldwide. One of the key features of NordVPN is the zero-log policy.

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VMWARE

Cybercriminals Target Linux-based Systems With Ransomware and Cryptojacking Attacks

VMware | February 09, 2022

As the most common cloud operating system, Linux is a core part of digital infrastructure and is quickly becoming an attacker’s ticket into a multi-cloud environment. Current malware countermeasures are mostly focused on addressing Windows-based threats, leaving many public and private cloud deployments vulnerable to attacks that target Linux-based workloads. VMware, Inc. released a threat report titled “Exposing Malware in Linux-based Multi-Cloud Environments.” Key findings that detail how cybercriminals are using malware to target Linux-based operating systems include: Ransomware is evolving to target Linux host images used to spin workloads in virtualized environments; 89 percent of cryptojacking attacks use XMRig-related libraries; and More than half of Cobalt Strike users may be cybercriminals, or at least using Cobalt Strike illicitly. Cybercriminals are dramatically expanding their scope and adding malware that targets Linux-based operating systems to their attack toolkit in order to maximize their impact with as little effort as possible. Rather than infecting an endpoint and then navigating to a higher value target, cybercriminals have discovered that compromising a single server can deliver the massive payoff and access they’re looking for. Attackers view both public and private clouds as high-value targets due to the access they provide to critical infrastructure services and confidential data. Unfortunately, current malware countermeasures are mostly focused on addressing Windows-based threats, leaving many public and private cloud deployments vulnerable to attacks on Linux-based operating systems.” Giovanni Vigna, senior director of threat intelligence at VMware As malware targeting Linux-based operating systems increases in both volume and complexity amid a rapidly changing threat landscape, organizations must place a greater priority on threat detection. In this report, the VMware Threat Analysis Unit (TAU) analyzed the threats to Linux-based operating systems in multi-cloud environments: ransomware, cryptominers, and remote access tools. Ransomware Targets the Cloud to Inflict Maximum Damage As one of the leading breach causes for organizations, a successful ransomware attack on a cloud environment can have devastating consequences.(2) Ransomware attacks against cloud deployments are targeted, and are often combined with data exfiltration, implementing a double-extortion scheme that improves the odds of success. A new development shows that ransomware is evolving to target Linux host images used to spin workloads in virtualized environments. Attackers are now looking for the most valuable assets in cloud environments to inflict the maximum amount of damage to the target. Examples include the Defray777 ransomware family, which encrypted host images on ESXi servers, and the DarkSide ransomware family, which crippled Colonial Pipeline’s networks and caused a nationwide gasoline shortage in the U.S. Cryptojacking Attacks Use XMRig to Mine Monero Cybercriminals looking for an instant monetary reward often target cryptocurrencies using one of two approaches. Cybercriminals either include wallet-stealing functionality in malware or they monetize stolen CPU cycles to successfully mine cryptocurrencies in an attack called cryptojacking. Most cryptojacking attacks focus on mining the Monero currency (or XMR) and VMware TAU discovered that 89 percent of cryptominers used XMRig-related libraries. For this reason, when XMRig-specific libraries and modules in Linux binaries are identified, it is likely evidence of malicious cryptomining behavior. VMware TAU also observed that defense evasion is the most commonly used technique by cryptominers. Unfortunately, because cryptojacking attacks do not completely disrupt the operations of cloud environments like ransomware, they are much more difficult to detect. Cobalt Strike Is Attackers’ Remote Access Tool of Choice In order to gain control and persist within an environment, attackers look to install an implant on a compromised system that gives them partial control of the machine. Malware, webshells, and Remote Access Tools (RATs) can all be implants used by attackers in a compromised system to allow for remote access. One of the primary implants used by attackers is Cobalt Strike, a commercial penetration testing and red team tool, and its recent variant of Linux-based Vermilion Strike. Since Cobalt Strike is such a ubiquitous threat on Windows, the expansion out to the Linux-based operating system demonstrates the desire of threat actors to use readily available tools that target as many platforms as possible. VMware TAU discovered more than 14,000 active Cobalt Strike Team Servers on the Internet between February 2020 and November 2021. The total percentage of cracked and leaked Cobalt Strike customer IDs is 56 percent, meaning that more than half of Cobalt Strike users may be cybercriminals, or at least using Cobalt Strike illicitly. The fact that RATs like Cobalt Strike and Vermilion Strike have become a commodity tool for cybercriminals poses a significant threat to enterprises. “Since we conducted our analysis, even more ransomware families were observed gravitating to malware targeting Linux-based systems, with the potential for additional attacks that could leverage the Log4j vulnerabilities,” said Brian Baskin, manager of threat research at VMware. “The findings in this report can be used to better understand the nature of this malware and mitigate the growing threat that ransomware, cryptomining, and RATs have on multi-cloud environments. As attacks targeting the cloud continue to evolve, organizations should adopt a Zero Trust approach to embed security throughout their infrastructure and systematically address the threat vectors that make up their attack surface.” Methodology The VMware Threat Analysis Unit (TAU) helps protect customers from cyberattacks through innovation and world-class research. TAU is composed of malware analysts, reverse engineers, threat hunters, data scientists, and intelligence analysts at VMware. To understand how to detect and prevent attacks that bypass traditional, file-centric, prevention strategies, TAU focuses on techniques that were once the domain of advanced hackers and are now moving downstream into the commodity attack market. The team leverages real-time big data, event streaming processing, static, dynamic and behavioral analytics, and machine learning. TAU applied a composition of static and dynamic techniques to characterize various families of malware observed on Linux-based systems based on a curated dataset of metadata associated with Linux binaries. All the samples in this dataset are public and therefore they can be easily accessed using VirusTotal or various websites of major Linux distributions. TAU collected more than 11,000 benign samples from several Linux distributions, namely, Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, Fedora, CentOS, and Kali. TAU then collected a dataset of samples for two classes of threats, namely ransomware and cryptominers. Finally, TAU collected a dataset of malicious ELF binaries from VirusTotal that were used as a test malicious dataset. TAU started collecting the dataset in June 2021 and concluded in November 2021. 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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