The Cloud Connection July 2023

CloudBuzz | InsideScoop | TrendTracker | SectorSpotlight | NewsBites

In each edition, I’ll bring you the latest updates to keep you informed and connected in the rapidly evolving world of technology

enterprise cloud

Cloud Buzz – iseek awarded VMware Cloud Verified

iseek has achieved VMware Cloud Verified status. 

VMware Cloud Verified means that iseek has met all of VMware’s requirements for cloud infrastructure design and configuration. VMware Cloud Verified Partners are able to provide superior cloud solutions and services to clients with unparalleled performance. Along with iseek’s management and support capabilities, this means your mission-critical workloads will outperform the competition, stay cutting-edge with enterprise-grade hardware, and provide the elasticity and scalability that VMware is known for.

Criteria to Becoming a VMware Cloud Verified Partner

In order to qualify as a VMware Cloud Verified Partner, iseek has met the following three criteria:

  • iseek meets the requirements for VMware Cloud Provider Platform (VCPP).
  • iseek’s VMware infrastructure design has been validated to meet requirements for performance and service availability.
  • iseek meets the training requirements for our personnel, both VMware Engineering and Sales certifications.

Why is VMware Cloud Verification Important to You?

iseek’s VMware Cloud Verified status is incredibly important for customers. It signifies that iseek has met all infrastructure and software requirements. For our customers, that means:

  • You can compete in your market with superior elasticity and scalability for your workload demands.
  • You can quickly spin up or down workloads for test environments or go to market with solutions even more quickly.

Choose VMware Cloud at iseek

iseek’s Cloud is a fully managed enterprise-grade environment that offers:

  • Fully managed infrastructure and virtual machines with 24/7/365 on-site support.
  • Redundancy at the software and hardware levels.
  • High Speed networking.
  • DDoS Attack Protection.
  • Veeam Backups.
  • DRaaS Options.
  • Secure firewall and load balancing.

Inside Scoop – Adelaide Cloud zone is live

Our network of iseek Cloud zones underpins the important work we do for our customers. With 5 zones, 7 Data Centres and numerous points of presence available to serve customers across Australia, iseek’s Cloud infrastructure supports digital transformations for organisations nationwide.

Recently we announced enhancements to our offerings, including the introduction of the VMware Verified certification and the launch of VMware on iseek. Now, we’re bringing these improvements even closer to our customers in Adelaide with the creation of a new Cloud zone.

This platform is more than just a product – it’s a tool for business transformation. By leveraging our latest offerings, organisations can fundamentally change their approach to doing business. Whether it’s streamlining operations, enhancing productivity, or innovating services, the potential impact is significant.

Trend Tracker:  WhatGPT? Evolution of AI tools for malicious use

The rapid growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools for malevolent purposes is a cause for concern in the cybersecurity industry. The well known AI, ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, has security controls in place to prevent misuse. Yet this hasn’t stopped researchers discovering ways to force ChatGPT to respond to queries it would normally steer clear of, this is known as jailbreaking

However, earlier this year it was found that a hacker had created his own chatbot with a malicious bent: WormGPT, a chatbot designed to assist cybercriminals. In a worrying trend, the hacker had made WormGPT available for purchase online. Marketed as an AI model without ethical guardrails, WormGPT proved to be a powerful tool capable of producing expert phishing campaigns.

Adding to the concern is the recent identification of another chatbot, FraudGPT, created with a similar malevolent intent. The author touts FraudGPT as exclusively targeted for offensive security purposes, such as crafting spear phishing emails, the creation of cracking tools, and carding activities.

These tools are now readily available for purchase on dark web marketplaces under subscription basis, making them accessible to a broad range of potential malefactors. The ease of availability of such tools presents a significant challenge to cybersecurity firms and organisations worldwide, forcing them to constantly evolve their defence mechanisms against increasingly sophisticated threats.

The growing use of AI for malicious purposes underscores the need for stringent regulations and ethical guidelines in AI development. As technology continues to evolve, so does the dark side of it. The cybersecurity industry must remain vigilant, investing in research and development to stay ahead of the threats posed by these unregulated AI tools.

Sector Spotlight – Exchange Online Breached

A recent hack, disclosed earlier this month, has raised alarm among officials. The attackers managed to use a stolen or falsified Microsoft signing key, which the company employs to verify its customers. This key allowed the hackers to impersonate any Microsoft Exchange or Outlook email user and gain permission to access employee email accounts.

Security researchers from the cloud security firm Wiz scrutinised the method employed by the hackers, as detailed by Microsoft. They concluded that anyone in possession of the signing key could have potentially expanded their access and signed into other widely used Microsoft cloud services, including SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive. The compromised Microsoft Account (MSA) key could have enabled the hacker to forge access tokens for multiple types of Azure Active Directory applications, said Wiz in a blog post outlining its discoveries.

The company further added that this includes any application that supports personal account authentication, including customer applications that offer the “login with Microsoft” option. Although Microsoft has since revoked the key to prevent its use in future attacks, Wiz pointed out that the attackers may have left behind backdoors in applications that could enable them to return. The firm also stated that some software could still acknowledge a session initiated by an expired key. Read more here

News BitesFan demand, #BenderGate and the return of an old favourite

In the futuristic world of Matt Groening’s animated series Futurama, people live forever by having their heads placed in liquid-filled jars. 

Futurama is the TV show equivalent, having miraculously cheated death on multiple occasions, and living on for another season despite #BenderGate!

Episode 1 aired last week on Disney+ for a trip down nostalgia lane.

And finally, as always, feedback is welcome. Which topic was of interest? What do you want more or less of? Other suggestions? Or just a chat on tech? Please let me know, have a great day and enjoy!

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