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Two Russian FSB Officers, Two Others Indicted for Yahoo Hack

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Two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) along with a fugitive from the FBI’s most wanted list and a Canadian resident have been indicted on a litany of charges connected with hacking attacks against Yahoo that impacted half a billion accounts.

A grand jury in the Northern District of California indicted four men for computer hacking, economic espionage and other criminal offenses connected to the September 2014 Yahoo security breach.

The defendants are FSB officers Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev, 33, and Igor Anatolyevich Sushchin, 43. Alexsey Alexseyevich Belan, aka “Magg,” 29, a Russian national and resident; and Karim Baratov, aka “Kay,” “Karim Taloverov” and “Karim Akehmet Tokbergenov,” 22, a Canadian and Kazakh national and a Canadian resident were also indicted.

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“Cyber-crime poses a significant threat to our nation’s security and prosperity, and this is one of the largest data breaches in history,” said Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “But thanks to the tireless efforts of U.S. prosecutors and investigators, as well as our Canadian partners, today we have identified four individuals, including two Russian FSB officers, responsible for unauthorized access to millions of users’ accounts. The United States will vigorously investigate and prosecute the people behind such attacks to the fullest extent of the law.”

The Justice Department is accusing FSB officers Dokuchaev and Sushchin of protecting, directing, facilitating and paying “criminal hackers to collect information through computer intrusions in the U.S. and elsewhere.” In the case of Yahoo’s breach, they are accused of working with co-defendants Belan and Baratov.

Belan was indicted both in September 2012 and June 2013 and was named one of the FBI’s Cyber Most Wanted criminals in November 2013. Belan was arrested in a European country on a request from the U.S. in June 2013, but escaped to Russia before he could be extradited. An Interpol notice seeking his arrest has been in place since July of 2013. The Justice Department is suggesting that rather than turn Belan in, Dokuchaev and Sushchin used him to gain unauthorized access to Yahoo’s network.

Aside from allegedly paying Belan, the FSB agents are said to have paid Baratov to access webmail accounts outside of Yahoo’s systems.

It is thought Baratov also used Yahoo’s network to line his pockets, as well, by searching Yahoo user communications for credit card and gift card account numbers. The hacker responsible also redirected a portion of Yahoo search engine web traffic to make commissions and enable the theft of the contacts of at least 30 million Yahoo accounts for a spam campaign.

“The criminal conduct at issue, carried out and otherwise facilitated by officers from an FSB unit that serves as the FBI’s point of contact in Moscow on cybercrime matters, is beyond the pale,” National Security Division acting assistant attorney general Mary McCord said. “Once again, the Department and the FBI have demonstrated that hackers around the world can and will be exposed and held accountable. State actors may be using common criminals to access the data they want, but the indictment shows that our companies do not have to stand alone against this threat. We commend Yahoo and Google for their sustained and invaluable cooperation in the investigation aimed at obtaining justice for, and protecting the privacy of their users.”

According to the Justice Department, hackers used unauthorized access to Yahoo’s systems to steal information from a minimum of 500 million Yahoo accounts and then used some of the data to gain access to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google and other webmail providers, including those of Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and private-sector employees of financial, transportation and other companies.

Dokuchaev, a former hacker who was apparently strong-armed into working for the FSB, is already in jail in Russia on treason charges, making it pretty unlikely that he will ever be extradited to stand trial in the U.S.

Baratov was arrested in Canada and is awaiting extradition while Sushchin and Belan remain at large, likely in Russia.

The four men, if convicted, face lengthy prison sentences in the U.S. Sentences for the various charges range in length from two to 20 years.

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Google’s piecemeal privacy changes now let users auto-delete their data

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Google said Wednesday it’s making a handful of privacy changes for users.

In a blog post, the search giant said it’ll make it easier for users to go “incognito” and pause data collection as they use Google’s mobile apps. It’s also adding proactive account security recommendations to its Security Checkup tool.

Google also said it’ll allow its users to auto-delete their data after 18 months.

It explains: Starting today, the first time you turn on Location History — which is off by default — your auto-delete option will be set to 18 months by default. Web & App Activity auto-delete will also default to 18 months for new accounts. This means your activity data will be automatically and continuously deleted after 18 months, rather than kept until you choose to delete it. You can always turn these settings off or change your auto-delete option.

The privacy changes come months after European regulators opened an investigation into Google’s processing of location data on the continent.

Meanwhile, stateside, Google is one of many Silicon Valley tech giants also facing renewed questions about how they reconcile protecting users’ privacy while still providing their technology to law enforcement, amid protests against police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

Over a thousand of Google’s own employees have asked the company to stop selling its technology to police departments across the United States. Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have already pulled the plug on selling their facial recognition technology to police, but left a wide berth to still sell to federal law enforcement.

Google is also facing a $5 billion class action suit in California for allegedly pervasively tracking the internet use of its users through their browser’s “incognito” mode.

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Pax8 and NewCloud Networks Announce New Partnership

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Pax8, the best place to buy cloud solutions, today announced a new partnership with NewCloud Networks®, global provider of cloud computing services, to offer cloud storage and compute resources for Veeam® Cloud Connect Backup and Disaster Recovery.

“Pax8 is in the business of simplifying the cloud buying journey for MSPs, and this partnership with NewCloud enables our partners to seamlessly go to market with Veeam-powered backup and disaster recovery cloud solutions,” said Ryan Walsh, Chief Channel Officer at Pax8. “Together, our certified cloud experts will help partners with their cloud deployments in a cost-effective and secure way. This partnership will also save our partner community time because it eliminates the need to report monthly Veeam usage.”

NewCloud Networks is a Platinum level Veeam Cloud and Service Provider (VCSP) with data centers in nine locations across the USA. Pax8 partners can now offer their end users a cloud repository without the hassle of deploying and managing their own data centers, while seamlessly integrating NewCloud Networks’ cloud infrastructure as a backup and disaster recovery target.

Veeam Cloud Connect is a fully integrated feature of Veeam Availability Suite v10. The solution enables MSPs to offer any Veeam customer a modern approach to data protection and business continuity. NewCloud removes the complexity and offers the support MSPs need to sell and install Veeam-powered backup and disaster recovery solutions for their clients.

“We are excited to become a Pax8 vendor partner and to offer our best in breed cloud solutions, powered by Veeam Cloud Connect, to Pax8’s partner ecosystem,” said Sam V. Kumar, NewCloud Networks’ Founder & CEO. “NewCloud’s nationwide ultra-low latency network with data centers in nine locations makes it easy for partners to leverage and scale existing cloud infrastructure, rather than deploy their own. With the help of Pax8, we will expand our MSP network and enable more partners take advantage of monthly recurring revenue through cloud solutions.”

Partner benefits of the Pax8 and NewCloud partnership include:

  • Unlimited storage for backup as a service for Workstations and Microsoft 365 backup
  • Simplifies the Veeam licensing and eliminates the need for partners to report monthly Veeam usage or commit
  • Support for both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere virtual environments
  • SLA backed Disaster Recovery to help partners meet their end client RPO and RTO needs
  • Fully integrated to the Veeam Availability console for simplified management
  • Offers simplified management of backup environment
  • SOC 2 and HIPAA compliant
  • No ingress or egress bandwidth fees
  • 24/7 support
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3D at Depth Launches Remote Sensing and Remote Data Control Technology

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3D at Depth Inc., the world’s leading expert in subsea laser (SL) LIDAR technology, survey support services, and 3D data solutions recently launched a remote sensing and remoted data control solution to help operators provide a safe, more efficient environment to their operations while increasing their near real-time 3D data intelligence. The remote sensing and remote data control technology is built around expanded capabilities originally embedded in 3D at Depth’s proven subsea LiDAR technology when the company first commercialized in 2014. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the recent downturn in the industry, and the race to advance autonomy into offshore oil and gas operations, 3D at Depth quickly phased in the technology as part of their current standard services.

In order to support the decision-making process across production and exploration, the technology development required design considerations from pre-project planning to data processing and control. The goal was to provide near real-time 3D data to help operators make a more informed quality decision to help balance the benefits and costs associated with subsea assets. With this approach, 3D at Depth developed software simulators that can be installed on the vessel prior to the start of any project to simulate a remote scan or metrology. An additional feature provides flexibility for those vessels with low bandwidth communications to shore. 3D at Depth’s Compressed Remote Command and Control solution enables full control with bandwidths of just 6kb/second, allowing data to be collected offshore and stored on the sensor or a topside computer. The near real-time data quality control is achieved using an improved and trusted enhancement of the RIAAT format and newly named, Compressed Range Intensity Angle Angle Time (cRIAAT). This improved feature enables moving a scan location with bandwidths of 256kb/second less than the collection time. This flexibility allows an onshore operator to receive data and start processing with little or no delays to the offshore operation. This approach can be utilized on many offshore applications including leak detection, static field scans, and metrologies.

The flexibility of third-party system incorporation, such as offshore connectivity allows for varying vessel specifications of ship-to-shore communications capabilities. The short base system is capable of running over a normal 4G network without delays. This allows a 3D at Depth Subsea LiDAR Specialist to collect from a customer’s worksite/location or from one of 3D at Depth’s global office locations. This is especially important during extreme weather events onshore or with complex secure locations where external or outside companies have restrictions on connecting to the client network.

A key added value of 3D at Depth’s remote sensing and remote data control solution is the ability to collect offshore, then process and release onshore. The fast turnaround and shore-based Quality Control leverage the company’s resources and expertise across global time zones. From Houston, Texas, to Perth, Australia, and with our centrally located United Kingdom office, 3D at Depth delivers true global remote collection 24/7 without the extended working hours in any one office location.

“With 3D at Depth’s successful track record in applications such as asset inspection and integrity, leak detection and metrologies, and subsidence; our partners supported the idea of integrating remote sensing and remote data control into their projects,” stated Neil Manning, Chief Operational Officer at 3D at Depth. “Customers see real value in applications focused around seabed stabilization issues and offshore production expansion such as in brown or greenfield developments where touch-less metrologies are required. With positive early-stage results, we quickly realized this should be incorporated into our standard service package. The innovation started with the resident vehicle solution where in 2019 the company demonstrated this capability.”

3D at Depth’s remote sensing and remote data control solution also helps to reduce the risk of crewing offshore while providing additional benefits for today’s global restrictions on compliance requirements.

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