Is Blockchain Technology Seriously Overvalued?

Is Blockchain Technology Seriously Overvalued?

What amazes me these days is how people can take an idea and place a value on it, without fully understanding the idea. Then numerous 3rd parties leverage this idea into new ideas and package them into speculative instruments and trade them. When the idea in the first place is really not an idea, but an educated guess, with secrets you get the Bitcoin.

What is Blockchain Technology?

Please it was not invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, this technology has been around since software was invented. There is nothing new or cutting edge with it. In fact I would argue Napster was one of the first to leverage this type of technology in the mainstream, but who remembers that? Just look at the word itself “Block” and “Chain”. For the non-tech people out there which means most of everyone, Blockchain is a chain of blocks that continuously grows. Think of opening a Microsoft Word document, then force your cat or dog to jump up and down on the keyboard, now look at the word document…there you just created a blockchain. The cat and dog is the encryption. Now this chain of blocks is saved across multiple computers (nodes) all over the planet. Each time the cat or dog is forced to jump up and down on the keyboard the block is updated and this chain grows and must be verified on ALL the nodes in the chain at the same time, if one computer fails the process must start all over. Nothing in the Chain of blocks can be deleted it just grows on forever. I am not going to get into the all the bells and whistles of the processes but in a nutshell that’s it.

Cryptocurrencies

This creates major problems when we deal with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, along with all the other stupid guesses being thrown around right now. As the chain grows it consumes more resources. Each transaction would require more energy than the previous one, because the chain has grown.

There really is no value to Cryptocurrencies when the core technology continues to grow in size. Kicking the can down the road hoping that we technology people will fix it or write temporary fixes hoping that other factors of the industry will create software and hardware systems in the future to keep up with the chain demand is nuts. Does anyone remember Y2K?

What I find very upsetting is that the cryptocurrencies idea was to bring free money transfers to everyone on the planet, and to remove the trusted 3rd party from the transaction. Sadly the trusted 3rd parties that cryptocurrencies where supposed to remove have embraced this technology. Private Blockchains VS Public Blockchains boy sounds like a cloud computing conference. Obviously Blockchain technology was flawed from the beginning when it came to Cryptocurrencies for the individual.

I do agree that fiat currencies are under a lot of pressure, yes the markets appear to be fixed, yes the paper gold and paper silver markets are overleveraged, but I will tell you Blockchain Technology is Seriously Overvalued and it is NOT the answer in the long term. Unless you want to wait 30 to 45 minutes for your Bitcoin mastercard to process your peer to peer transaction block for your lunch or dinner, and have huge amounts of servers consuming huge amounts of energy for your transaction, say goodbye to your bandwidth too. The internet crawls to a stop…

Good luck out there.

We do use Blockchain Technology in systems that track transmission of encryption cycles of network communications between groups of nodes, so this technology is useful. If speed is of no issue, and security is, then this type of Technology is interesting, but then again other technology does a better job. I wouldn’t give huge amounts of value on Blockchain Technology, and have industries be able to borrow large sums of venture capital based solely on this technology, remember the .COM crash?

Good luck out there!

Unsupported software systems: Microsoft shuts down support for Windows 8.1, upgrade to Windows 10 ends today.

Unsupported software systems: Microsoft shuts down support for Windows 8.1, upgrade to Windows 10 ends today.

New York, NY – Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 is essentially a dead operating system. Microsoft ended mainstream support on January 9th. There will be no new features, or bug fixes. There is a last-ditch upgrade to Windows 10 via the Microsoft assistive technology loophole, but it ends today January 16, 2018.

All software has a lifecycle. It gets developed, released, updated, and eventually completely over written for a newer version. There is nothing to stop you from using unsupported software, but the dangers are huge.

Basically the unsupported software has no further updates, no bug fixes, no technical support, then there are the security weaknesses, and security bugs that can be exploited by hackers. We have seen ransomware attacks that are designed to target unsupported software systems. Ransomware systems like Wanncry and Petya have been very active in this field.

Unsupported Software Risks

Bottom line

If your version of any software system is no longer supported, you are putting your business at risk.

Devices connected to your network are more integral to your business then you think. Which means that a virus on any device could cause a major business disruption.

Although you can believe you can accept the risk of running unsupported software, you should treat it as a temporary strategy.

Unsupported software systems will expose your corporate network to cyberattacks. The cost and resources required to replace unsupported software will be much greater then making sure your software is supported. The perceived cost and impact of an adverse event caused by the unsupported software is huge, and can possibly put your organization out of business.

If your organization has decided to allow the use of unsupported software, senior management should fully understand the risks, and they should establish a policy for preventing unsupported software on its network. Such a policy must be part of the business risk management plan. It should specifically identify resources and earmark funding to implement the policy.

What can you do?

1) Inform senior management about the risks of running unsupported software.
2) Establish a corporate wide policy for preventing unsupported software use on your networks.
3) Ensure the corporate wide policy aligns with your corporation’s risk management plan.
4) Identify resources and earmark corporate funding to implement the policy.
5) Contact Adept Technologies: www.adepttech.com.

We at Adept Technologies have replaced numerous unsupported software systems in our industry.

Contact us today to see how Adept Enterprise can help your organization.

Call us toll free 1-888-392-9623

North Korea Escalating Cyber-Attacks

North Korea Escalating Cyber-Attacks With Little Fear of Retaliation (http://www.eweek.com)

Technology

Online attackers from North Korea reportedly stole confidential military documents, including war contingency plans drawn up by U.S. and South Korean forces. Without any downside, such attacks will continue, security experts say.

The data, part of a massive haul of 235 gigabytes taken during an intrusion spanning the months of August and September 2016, was only recently identified as the South Korean government pieced together what was taken.

Lee Cheol-hee, a South Korean lawmaker and member of the parliamentary defense committee, said that attackers had infiltrated the Defense Integrated Data Center, according to The Washington Post. The stolen data includes war plans and a scheme to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in the event of war, according to the South Korean lawmaker. The attack happened last year, but only 20 percent of the documents have so far been identified.

…….Continue reading at www.eweek.com

My Two Cents: I read that the documentation stolen was located in a network not connected to the internet. That a so called maintenance port was accessed with a laptop that acted as a go between the North Koreans and the South Korean systems. I am shocked that such a high classified network did not alert the South Koreans that a unknown device had attached itself to their system and was accessing data. But of course spies have access if they are already in the inside and are authorized access. I would review all the authorized user access records and locate the spies within the organization…. but then again don’t believe what you read…

Amazon explains big AWS outage

Amazon explains big AWS outage (http://www.geekwire.com)

Technology

Amazon explains big AWS outage, says employee error took servers offline, promises changes.

Amazon has released an explanation of the events that caused the big outage of its Simple Storage Service Tuesday, also known as S3, crippling significant portions of the web for several hours.

RELATED: AWS cloud storage back online after outage knocks out popular sites

Amazon said the S3 team was working on an issue that was slowing down its billing system. Here’s what happened, according to Amazon, at 9:37 a.m. Pacific, starting the outage: “an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended.”

Those servers affected other S3 “subsystems,” one of which was responsible for all metadata and location information in the Northern Virginia data centers. Amazon had to restart these systems and complete safety checks, a process that took several hours. In the interim, it became impossible to complete network requests with these servers. Other AWS services that relied on S3 for storage were also affected.

About three hours after the issues began, parts of S3 started to function again. By about 1:50 p.m. Pacific, all S3 systems were back to normal. Amazon said it has not had to fully reboot these S3 systems for several years, and the program has grown extensively since then, causing the restart to take longer than expected.

Amazon said it is making changes as a result of this event, promising to speed up recovery time of S3 systems. The company also created new safeguards to ensure that teams don’t take too much server capacity offline when working on maintenance issues like the S3 billing system slowdown.

Amazon is also making changes to its service health dashboard, which is designed to track AWS issues. The outage knocked out the service health dashboard for several hours, and AWS had to distribute updates via its Twitter account and by programming in text at the top of the page. In the message, Amazon said it made a change to spread that site over multiple AWS regions.

Continue reading at http://www.geekwire.com

My Two Cents:
We were working with the ESRI ArcGIS Web Services API when it went down. I was not aware that ESRI leveraged the Amazon S3 Cloud systems. If you are going to run API Services, make sure you have redundancy. I was surprised. The old saying “do not put all your eggs in one basket” is obviously alive and well with some Tech corporations.

German nuclear plant suffers cyber attack designed to give hackers remote access

German nuclear plant suffers cyber attack designed to give hackers remote access (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Technology – Security

German nuclear plant suffers cyber attack designed to give hackers remote access

A nuclear power plant in Germany has been found to be infected with computer viruses, but they appear not to have posed a threat to the facility’s operations because it is isolated from the Internet, the station’s operator said on Tuesday.

The Gundremmingen plant, located about 120 km (75 miles) northwest of Munich, is run by the German utility RWE.

The viruses, which include “W32.Ramnit” and “Conficker”, were discovered at Gundremmingen’s B unit in a computer system retrofitted in 2008 with data visualisation software associated with equipment for moving nuclear fuel rods, RWE said.

Malware was also found on 18 removable data drives, mainly USB sticks, in office computers maintained separately from the plant’s operating systems. RWE said it had increased cyber-security measures as a result.

W32.Ramnit is designed to steal files from infected computers and targets Microsoft Windows software, according to the security firm Symantec.

First discovered in 2010, it is distributed through data sticks, among other methods, and is intended to give an attacker remote control over a system when it is connected to the Internet.

Conficker has infected millions of Windows computers worldwide since it first came to light in 2008. It is able to spread through networks and by copying itself onto removable data drives, Symantec said.

RWE has informed Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), which is working with IT specialists at the group to look into the incident.

The BSI was not immediately available for comment.

My Two Cents:
Again…The DOE, and FERC need to address cyber security problems as a national security clear and present danger issue (TLP) RED level. I personally feel that the DOE and FERC are NOT the type of government agencies that mission statements are for this type of national security challenge (Protecting the USA Power Grid(s)). The DHS, US-CERT and FBI need to take control and get some move on in this power industry…