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Slackware 15.0 RC1 Released

Linux.Slashdot.org - 1 hour 18 min ago
Categories: Linux

What's the Best Ransomware Backup Solution: Disk or Tape?

Slashdot.org - 1 hour 29 min ago
Slashdot reader storagedude writes: With the release of LTO-9, just about every tape vendor has pushed its wares as a solution to the ransomware problem. After all, is there any backup technology that's more air-gapped? Tape IS great for backup — just not so much for recovery. Writing for eSecurity Planet, [CTO of Seagate Government Solutions] Henry Newman notes that not only is disk about 80% cheaper than LTO tape, but even an entry-level RAID card can restore data 6 times faster than tape. "Backup is not about backing up the data, but the time it takes to restore that data to meet your business requirements," writes Newman. "Tape drives are not striped, but disks generally are put into stripe groups," he writes. "With RAID controllers and/or software RAID methods, you can easily get many 10s of GB/sec of bandwidth to restore data from a single set of SAS connections. Doing that with tape is very expensive and requires architectural planning. So the bottom line is you can surely backup to tape and it is cost effective – for backup, that is. If you actually need to restore that data quickly, you have my best wishes." Tape may have a better bit error rate than disk, but disk can be architected in a way that removes that reliability advantage, he notes. "Tape vendors often state that the BER (bit error rate) of tape is far better than disk, which is 100% true, but you can make up for tape's advantage with RAID methods that check the reliability of your data and ensure that what you wrote is what you read. This has been the case with RAID since the early 1990s, with parity check on read to validate the data. With other ANSI standard techniques – which sadly are not used often enough – such as T10 PI/DIX you can achieve data integrity on a single device equal to or greater than tape. The net-net here is disk is far faster than tape, as there is native striping that has been in use at least since the 1980s with RAID methods, and disk can achieve equal data integrity to tape." "The most often overlooked part of data backup is the recovery part – the longer it takes to restore your data, the more damage it can do to your business," Newman writes. He concludes: "Yes, tape can be air gapped but so can disk. Does tape provide better protection against ransomware? Likely, but is it so much slower than disk that you can turn off your system and turn on when you need to. Does having slower restoration make tape a better defense against a ransomware attack? As far as I can see, the marketing claims made by tape vendors do not hold up to a rigorous engineering analysis. If you want to use tape, that is your choice and there might be good reasons, but disk-based backups can be air gapped just like tape, for lower cost and with a much faster recovery time. Why tape vendors are making claims such as this, I will leave it to readers to speculate." But Slashdot reader BAReFO0t takes the "tape" side of the argument. "Being slower does not equal it not working as a solution at all," they argue in a comment on the original submission — adding "Also, it's not even slower, since tape can just as easily be made into a RAID. You can flood ANY bus if you just use enough mirrors, no matter the medium." And a follow-up comment also defended tapes. "If tape meets the service level agreement and provides a reasonable risk mitigation from ransomware, then it's still a perfectly viable solution regardless of certain performance limitations. LTO development would have likely died long ago otherwise." But what do other Slashdot readers think? Share your own experiences and opinions in the comments. What offers a better ransomware backup solution: disk or tape?

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China Tells Its Tech Giants To Stop Blocking Rivals' Links

Slashdot.org - 2 hours 35 min ago
"China fired a fresh regulatory shot at its tech giants on Monday," writes Reuters, "telling them to end a long-standing practice of blocking each other's links on their sites or face consequences." The comments, made by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) at a news briefing, mark the latest step in Beijing's broad regulatory crackdown that has ensnared sectors from technology to education and property and wiped billions of dollars off the market value of some of the country's largest companies. China's internet is dominated by a handful of technology giants which have historically blocked links and services by rivals on their platforms. Restricting normal access to internet links without proper reason "affects the user experience, damages the rights of users and disrupts market order," said MIIT spokesperson Zhao Zhiguo, adding that the ministry had received reports and complaints from users since it launched a review of industry practices in July. "At present we are guiding relevant companies to carry out self-examination and rectification," he said, citing instant messaging platforms as one of the first areas they were targeting. He did not specify what the consequences would be for companies that failed to abide by the new guidelines.

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As Two Pilots Eject, US Military Plane Crashes Into Texas Neighborhood

Slashdot.org - 3 hours 41 min ago
"Y'all a plane just crashed into all those houses," one eyewitness says in an online video. "People jumped out of the plane with parachutes." The two people — jumping from the 38-foot-long training plane — were both hospitalized, reports CNN: Police were notified of the crash...around 10:53 a.m. (11:53 am ET) and on arrival found one pilot who had ejected from the military training jet caught in power lines, Lake Worth Police Chief JT Manoushagian said during a Sunday afternoon news conference. Another pilot also ejected from the training jet and was found in a neighborhood nearby... None of the homes involved in the crash took a direct hit, said Fire Chief Ryan Arthur. A little bit of damage occurred to the areas around the homes, he said. "This incident could've been much worse knowing that this plane went down in a residential area here in Lake Worth," Arthur said. ABC News has more information: One of the occupants was burned by power lines and another landed in a tree as they parachuted to the ground, authorities said. One of the crew members was in critical condition, the other one was in serious condition, authorities said... WFAA-TV reported that the plane crashed in the backyard of a home, and no one on the ground was injured. Power was also knocked out to around 1,300 customers in the area. ABC News identifies the aircraft as a T45 Goshawk fighter jet trainer, a plane first developed in 1974 by McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace (before McDonnell Douglas's 1997 merger with Boeing). But Boeing.com notes they "delivered the 221st and final T-45 training jet to the Navy in November 2009." The company continued to support the T-45 fleet by providing engineering, logistics and support equipment in partnership with BAE Systems, the successor company to British Aerospace, which had supplied the aircraft's rear and center fuselage sections, wing assembly and vertical tail. On Aug. 26, 2010, Boeing joined the U.S. Navy at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, to celebrate the Naval Air Training Command's one millionth flight-hour with the T-45 Goshawk.

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Banks Beware? Amazon, Walmart, IKEA Experiment with Their Own 'Embedded Finance' Services

Slashdot.org - 4 hours 55 min ago
"Anyone can be a banker these days," argues Reuters. All it takes it the right software: Global brands from Mercedes and Amazon to IKEA and Walmart are cutting out the traditional financial middleman and plugging in software from tech startups to offer customers everything from banking and credit to insurance. For established financial institutions, the warning signs are flashing. So-called embedded finance — a fancy term for companies integrating software to offer financial services — means Amazon can let customers "buy now pay later" when they check out and Mercedes drivers can get their cars to pay for their fuel. To be sure, banks are still behind most of the transactions but investors and analysts say the risk for traditional lenders is that they will get pushed further away from the front end of the finance chain. And that means they'll be further away from the mountains of data others are hoovering up about the preferences and behaviours of their customers — data that could be crucial in giving them an edge over banks in financial services... Accenture estimated in 2019 that new entrants to the payments market had amassed 8% of revenues globally — and that share has risen over the past year as the pandemic boosted digital payments and hit traditional payments, Alan McIntyre, senior banking industry director at Accenture, said. Now the focus is turning to lending, as well as complete off-the-shelf digital lenders with a variety of products businesses can pick and choose to embed in their processes... So far this year, investors have poured $4.25 billion into embedded finance startups, almost three times the amount in 2020, data provided to Reuters by PitchBook shows... "Big banks and insurers will lose out if they don't act quickly and work out where to play in this market," said Simon Torrance, founder of Embedded Finance & Super App Strategies. Several other retailers have announced plans this year to expand in financial services. Walmart launched a fintech startup with investment firm Ribbit Capital in January to develop financial products for its employees and customers while IKEA took a minority stake in BNPL firm Jifiti last month. Automakers such as Volkswagen's Audi and Tata's Jaguar Land Rover have experimented with embedding payment technology in their vehicles to take the hassle out of paying, besides Daimler's Mercedes. Some traditional banks are now working with the big tech companies, the article notes, with JPMorgan even buying 75% of Volkswagen's payments business. And it also points out the other thing that could protect their business from encroaching new startups: the possibility of new rules from financial regulators.

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At Least 20 Americans Have Been Hospitalized for Ivermectin Overdoses This Year

Slashdot.org - 5 hours 50 min ago
Oregon Health & Science University reported Friday that in the 45 days before September 14, five Oregonians had to be hospitalized "because they consumed a potent antiparasitic drug despite there being no clinical data supporting its use for COVID-19... "Two people were so severely ill that they had to be admitted to an intensive care unit." The Oregon Poison Center has managed 25 cases involving Oregonians intentionally misusing ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19 between Aug. 1 and Sept. 14... The Oregon Poison Center's recent cases involved a variety of symptoms, including mental confusion, balance issues, low blood pressure and seizure. The patients were in their 20s through their 80s, although most were older than 60. The cases were fairly evenly split between both men and women, and between people attempting to either prevent or treat COVID-19. Some cases involved individuals obtaining a prescription for either human or veterinary forms of the drug. Both the Food and Drug Administration and Merck, which makes ivermectin for human use, have announced there is no scientific data that supports its use for COVID-19. Neither the FDA nor the National Institutes of Health have endorsed its use for COVID-19, and OHSU doesn't recommend any use of ivermectin for COVID-19. They add that "The Oregon Poison Center strongly recommends the public only use scientifically proven and FDA-approved methods to combat the novel coronavirus." But there's also been more hospitalizations from ivermectin overdoses in other states, reports the Arizona Republic. Banner Health, a 50,000-employee health non-profit managing 30 hospitals in six states (and staffing a local poison control hotline) reports that their "Poison and Drug Information Center" received at least 30 calls this year, including 10 in August, and "at least seven cases have resulted in hospitalization, health system officials said." "That is the bare minimum. We expect that there are probably more adverse effects," said Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director for Banner Health's Poison and Drug Information Center. "We are very concerned that people are using this medication inappropriately because we don't know what dose they are using. We don't even know what product they are getting their hands on..." ivermectin has side effects in up to 10% of people who are treated with it, Brooks said. Side effects can include diarrhea, confusion, nausea, vomiting, balance problems and blurred vision... "If they have side effects, then they could end up in the emergency department, further overwhelming the health system in Arizona and the rest of the United States and potentially getting COVID from sitting in a busy emergency department waiting room, or being admitted to the hospital because of ongoing nausea and vomiting." And even in the same state, other organizations also reported more hospitalizations from ivermectin overdoses. "The University of Arizona's Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center, which has had 19 reports related to ivermectin so far this year, including eight who were hospitalized, center director Steve Dudley wrote in an email."

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