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Salt peppered with holes? Automation tool vulnerable to auth bypass: Patch now

‘The impact is full remote command execution as root on both master and all minions’ Hackers can penetrate Salt servers and potentially control other servers from there The Salt configuration tool has patched two vulnerabilities whose combined effect was to expose Salt installations to complete control by an attacker. A patch for the issues was released last night, but systems that are not set to auto-update may still be…

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Vodafone issues a stay of execution for Demon domain hold-outs

Vodafone has declared a stay of execution for the venerable Demon sub domain, extending the licence until September 2020. Having snuffed out the last vestiges of Demon Internet in 2019, Vodafone was left to deal with the Demon sub-domain, which it had licensed to Namesco three years ago. It had always been a short-term deal, and those who wanted to stick with their old Demon addresses were transformed into…

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Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker’s paired with Spotify over the internet, don’t you?

If you let your mates pair their Spotify accounts with your smart speakers, beware – the connection persists across the internet, not just across your home Wi-Fi network, as some assumed. Spotify’s Connect support page tells users to ensure that the two devices are on “the same Wi-Fi network”, but as users discovered as far back as 2016, that isn’t strictly necessary. Reg reader Peter recently found that he…

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Cheshire Police celebrates three-year migration to Oracle Fusion by lobbing out tender for system to replace it… one year later

Cheshire cops have begun tendering for a new £11 million ERP system just a 12 months after the current one – Oracle Fusion – went live following a three-year migration. In a notice published last week, Cheshire Constabulary, on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said it was looking for a “supplier to provide a solution, or combination of systems” to “support functions including finance and…

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Indian IT outsourcing giant Wipro picks Nutanix to help tame Oracle

Wipro and Nutanix have bonded over managing databases after the Indian services company created a new range of “Digital Database Services” based on the hyperconverged upstart’s tooling. The essence of the service is database-as-a-service – if your database runs on Nutanix. Wipro’s not fussed if you run Nutanix’s own appliances, or the Nutanix stack on hardware from Lenovo, Dell or HPE. Nor do Wipro or Nutanix care how you…

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Where were you in drought season? Interstellar comet 2I/Borisov dumped 230 million litres of water as it whizzed through Solar System

Vid The interstellar comet 2I/Borisov shed nearly 230 million litres of water as it whizzed through our Solar System during its visit last year, according to measurements gathered by NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. The clumpy ice rock is best known for being the first alien comet, as opposed to the interstellar asteroid Oumuamua, to venture into our Solar System. As it approached the Sun, the warmth from its…

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UEFI the right to cloud security: Google makes shielded VMs its default cloudy option

Google’s decided UEFI the right to secure cloud VMs, by making its Shielded VMs the default option in its cloud. The cloud dabbler introduced Shielded VMs as an option in mid-2018. The VMs use a virtual trusted platform module (vTPM) and UEFI firmware to make it hard to sneak in malicious firmware, dud drivers, rootkits and other nasties that could mess up a VM as it launches. Now Google…

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UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy

Analysis The UK has decided to break with growing international consensus and insist its upcoming coronavirus contact-tracing app is run through centralised British servers – rather than follow the decentralized Apple-Google approach. In a blog post just before the weekend, the CEO of the National Health Service’s tech unit NHSX Matthew Gould, and the app’s main overseer Dr Geraint Lewis, said their new smartphone application will launch “in the…

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Free users become losers as AI startup with AWS bills to pay pursues viral opportunity

Speech recognition purveyor Otter.ai has added the ability to offer realtime transcription of Zoom meetings, at the expense of some elements out of its free plan. Otter makes a very well-regarded realtime speech-to-text app that works well even on low-end smartphones and can handle multiple speakers reasonably well. The companion website lets users search transcriptions with a click anywhere in transcribed text immediately playing the relevant piece of original…

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Tata Consultancy Services tells staff to go to their rooms and stay there, even after the pandemic passes

Indian technology services giant Tata Consultancy Services will increase its use of remote working in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview with pay TV channel India Live, Tata (TCS) Chief Operating officer N Ganapathy Subramaniam said “Customers are happy and employees are happy” as all service levels have been met. “We observe better throughput and productivity,” he said, adding that “People have become a lot more…

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