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RSA supremo rips 'failed' security industry a new backdoor, warns of 'super-mega hack'

RSA 2015 RSA president Amit Yoran tore into the infosec industry today, telling 30,000 attendees at this year's RSA computer security conference that they have failed. “2014 was yet another reminder that we are losing this contest,” Yoran said in his keynote this morning at the annual event in San Francisco, California. “The adversaries …
Darren Pauli, 21 Apr 2015

RSA boss packs his fishing rod and heads for the hills

Art Coviello is retiring from his exec chairman role at the top of RSA, EMC's security business, leaving behind an acquisition that never bought in big bucks for the T Rex of the storage world, and was blighted by NSA backdoor revelations in 2013. RSA is known in the security world for its SecurID tokens and the fact that its …
Chris Mellor, 04 Feb 2015
Booth babe banhammer

Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits

The organizers of this year's RSA security conference have made at least one thing clear to exhibitors: no booth babes. The industry shindig has sent out a new dress code banning scantily clad models, regardless of gender, from wandering the show floor. The rules dictate that exhibitors cannot wear shorts, tank tops and halter …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Mar 2015

Win a free pass to RSA Conference Europe

Prize draw RSA Conference 2013 opens its doors in Amsterdam on October 29: wanna go? The Register is a media partner for this top ranking IT security event, and we have two free delegate passes to give away. We will select the winner by way of prize draw open to all subscribers to The Register's weekly IT security newsletter. On Wednesday …
David Gordon, 21 Oct 2013
Job cuts jpeg

Layoffs at EMC's RSA security division

RSA, the security division of EMC, has confirmed plans to restructure its business, a move than means an unspecified number of long-term staffers will be shown the door. Details are scarce, for now, but RSA said that it plans to make new hires that will more than offset job losses by start of 2014. It wrote in an email: While …
John Leyden, 20 Sep 2013
Tony Blair closes the RSA 2012 conference

Infosec experts boycott RSA conflab over alleged 'secret' NSA contract

More security researchers are boycotting next month's US edition of the RSA Conference in protest against an alleged "secret deal" the company is said to have struck with the National Security Agency. Last month Reuters reported that the NSA "secretly paid" RSA Security $10m in return for making the Dual_EC_DRBG random number …
John Leyden, 08 Jan 2014

Give hackers your data, says former RSA man

Former RSA chief scientist Ari Juels has outlined a cunning way to foil crackers: let them think they've busted into a system and then give them fake data to play with. The idea is not entirely novel because Juels last year proposed a scheme he called “Honeywords” in this paper, co-authored with RSA founder Ronald Rivest. …

RSA comes out swinging at claims it took NSA's $10m to backdoor crypto

RSA has hit back at allegations stemming from Edward Snowden's latest whistleblowing – specifically, the claim that it secretly took US$10m from the NSA in exchange for using the deliberately knackered Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator (Dual EC DRBG) in its encryption products. The EMC-owned security outfit …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2013
Strawberries suitable for growing in space. Credit: Purdue University

Give young infosec boffins more cash or BAD THINGS will happen – RSA boff

RSA Europe 2013 Declining support for young science and technology researchers from the US government could hurt technology innovation in the long term, a top computer scientist has warned. Robert Griffin, chief security architect at information security biz RSA, said complaints about funding featured in all three pairs of Nobel Prize …
John Leyden, 31 Oct 2013
Video camera

Anonymity is the enemy of privacy, says RSA grand fromage

RSA Europe 2013 A dogmatic allegiance to anonymity is threatening privacy, according to Art Coviello, executive chairman of RSA. Coviello cast anonymity as the "enemy of privacy" because it gives "free reign to our networks to adversaries" with "no risk of discovery or prosecution." The head of EMC's security division told delegates at the RSA …
John Leyden, 29 Oct 2013

RSA boss demands revamp of outdated privacy, security regs

RSA Europe Corporate security policies that simply adopt regulations and obsess over privacy are stuck in the last century, according to senior execs at security biz RSA. Tom Heiser, president of the EMC-owned outfit, told delegates to the RSA Europe conference that efforts to comply with red tape and standards is fruitless as the rules …
John Leyden, 10 Oct 2012

Stop saying 'Cyber Pearl Harbor,' RSA boss pleads

RSA 2013 Art Coviello, executive president of RSA, used the opening keynote of the RSA conference to criticize the habits of some in the industry for spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) as a marketing tool. "I absolutely hate the term 'Cyber Pearl Harbor'," he said. "I just think it's a poor metaphor to describe the state we are …
Iain Thomson, 26 Feb 2013

Ransomware scum find the sweet spot to coin it without copping it

RSA 2015 RSA chief information security officer David Martin says ransomware scum may have reached the sweet spot between extorting users and avoiding law enforcement heat. Martin says ransomware extortionists' demands top out at about US$10,000, a sum sufficiently low to get reluctant companies to pay and to prevent time-poor police …
Darren Pauli, 30 Apr 2015

What the bleedin' Dell is this? IT giant mulls unit selloffs – report

Reuters reports Dell is thinking of selling off non-core assets to clear the decks before the EMC acquisition and raise $10bn. Four candidate businesses are mentioned: Quest Software IT management with its systems management, security and business intelligence functions SonicWall email encryption and security Rapid …
Chris Mellor, 03 Nov 2015

Tucci’s terrible dilemma: Unlock EMC value without destroying the Federation

Comment War could break out in EMC's investor ranks any day now as the standstill agreement between EMC's board and activist investor Elliott Management runs out this month. Elliott wants the federation structure or status changed so that hidden investor value inside EMC can be unlocked for investors' benefit. This means the potential …
Chris Mellor, 30 Sep 2015

EMC buys cloudy Canuck security company CloudLink

EMC has bought CloudLink – a 20-person Canadian firm specialising in cloud data security software – for an undisclosed price. The software is SecureVM, which provides end-to-end data encryption for hybrid clouds, covering both at-rest and in-flight data for virtualised servers. It’s been an EMC Select Partner since 2013 and …
Chris Mellor, 17 Apr 2015

Dell buys out EMC in mega-super-duper $67 BEEELLLION deal

EMC/Dell deal Dell has confirmed it is buying storage giant and virtualisation player EMC in a deal valued at $67bn, as we reported earlier today. Privately-owned Dell is scooping up the publicly listed EMC in the industry’s biggest ever tech buyout. The buyout breaks the record established by the $25bn Hewlett-Packard-Compaq deal in 2001 …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Oct 2015

MS scolds businesses for failing to eradicate 7-year-old malware

Zero-day threats and custom malware get all the publicity, but age-old malware strains including ZeuS and Conficker remain active in UK corporates. “The bad guys don’t have to be smart, they can use something that’s 7-8 years old,” Stuart Aston, chief security advisor at Microsoft UK, told delegates at the RSA Unplugged mini- …
John Leyden, 04 Jun 2015
Headshot of Trojan horse

Banking trojan scourge gallops on, despite more fences

RSA 2015 Banking botnets persist as a threat despite recent high-profile takedowns which only achieve a temporary calming effect, according to a new study from Dell SecureWorks. Between mid-2014 and early 2015, coordinated efforts involving law enforcement and private-sector industry disrupted three of the most active banking botnets ( …
John Leyden, 23 Apr 2015

RSA won't talk? Assume SecurID is broken

Comment It's been a week since RSA dropped a vaguely worded bombshell on 30,000 customers that the soundness of the SecurID system they used to secure their corporate and governmental networks was compromised after hackers stole confidential information concerning the two-factor authentication product. For seven days, reporters, …
Dan Goodin, 24 Mar 2011
management management3

EMC and VMware doing the old in-out shows the board is on the job

Comment The finance, storage and virtualisation communities have all been abuzz in recent days, following industry chatter that EMC might buy back the shares in VMware it doesn't already own – or that VMware might buy EMC. Both suggestions have been met with many sharp intakes of breath as pundits contemplate these financial …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Aug 2015
EMC federation logo

EMC formalises its Federation

For a year or so now EMC has described its core storage business as “EMC II” (for information infrastructure) and positioned the overarching “EMC” brand as applying to a “federation” of companies including VMware, RSA and Pivotal. Earlier this week, EMC seems to have formalised the existence of the Federation by popping up …
Simon Sharwood, 02 May 2014
Nunslinger: The Complete Series

Dell buying EMC: Is this the end times, or the road to salvation?

Sysadmin Blog: Dell bought EMC. The internet promptly lost its mind. Make no mistake, the Dell-EMC merger is a pretty big deal. Everyone has news, thoughts and analysis on the subject. While I feel The Register's coverage has been pretty neutral so far, the internet at large has posted rather a lot of doom and gloom. The most common phrase …
Trevor Pott, 16 Oct 2015
Toilet roll printed with fake US $100 bills

EMC and Dell considering 'a combination' – report

Update EMC and Dell are considering “a combination”, says The Wall Street Journal. Details of just what's on the table are sketchy. The Journal's referring to the usual folks familiar with the matter. Would some sort of tie-up make sense? Or more sense than the scuppered EMC/HP merger? Dell's storage range isn't as broad or deep as …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Oct 2015

EMC profits flatline as VCE joins the storage-tastic federation

For its third quarter EMC reported good numbers but the news is overshadowed by the expected VCE announcement and the activist investor pressure on the Hopkinton firm. EMC recorded a satisfyingly chunky nine per cent uptick in consolidated quarterly revenues for its third 2014 quarter – a round $6bn compared to $5.5bn a year ago …
Chris Mellor, 22 Oct 2014
Eugene Kaspersky in Sydney

Duqu 2.0: 'Terminator' malware that pwned Kaspersky could have come from Israel

Eugene Kaspersky reckons hacking into his firm's corporate network was a "silly" move by cyberspies, but independent experts are far from convinced. All seem agreed that the rare attack by a state against an leading information security firm is bad news for corporate security more generally, as it shows attacks are getting more …

NTT Com Security to wed UK cyber specialist Nebulas, say sources

NTT Com Security is to acquire rapidly growing London-based Nebulas Solutions Group, according to well-placed industry tipsters. Talks between the pair progressed in recent weeks though details of any financial exchange were not available at the time of writing. Nebulas is unlikely to come cheap. Sources tell us specialist …
Paul Kunert, 27 Feb 2015

158 new malware created EVERY MINUTE

Malware monitors PandaLabs says 227,747 new malware samples are released every day. The findings from its recent survey found 20 million samples were created in the third quarter of 2014. Three quarters of infections were trojans while only 9 percent were viruses and 4 percent worms. The number of trojans rose 13 percent over …
Darren Pauli, 06 Nov 2014

EMC gobbles access-control biz Aveksa? Computer says... yes

EMC has acquired privately held Aveksa, which touts identity and access management technology to modest-sized businesses. Financial terms of the deal, announced on Monday, were undisclosed. Aveksa - headquartered in Massachusetts but runs an office in Blighty's capital - develops gear that allows companies to control access to …
John Leyden, 09 Jul 2013
True humility - the Curate's egg

EMC's curate's egg sees revenues waiting for new product take-offs

EMC’s first quarter results were like the curate's egg; good in parts, but hit by currency problems, job cuts and unsatisfactory core storage revenues in others. First-quarter 2015 revenues were up 2 per cent to $5.6bn, compared to $5.5bn a year ago, with EMC II (the core storage biz) revenues disappointing. The top-line number …
Chris Mellor, 23 Apr 2015

Microsoft to embed RSA data cop in Windows

Microsoft is adopting technology from EMC's RSA security division for Windows to police data and prevent loss and theft of information. The companies announced Thursday Microsoft will license RSA's data loss prevention (DLP) engine for future versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and "similar" products. Microsoft …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Dec 2008
Blackmail image

TorrentLocker ransomware pestilence plagues Europe, bags $500k

TorrentLocker, one of the most widespread pieces of ransomware, has claimed thousands of victims since it first surfaced in February 2014, according to new research. Out of 39,670 infected Windows systems, 570 or 1.45 per cent have paid the ransom to criminals to decrypt their locked-up files, according to infosec biz ESET. The …
John Leyden, 18 Dec 2014

Lenovo shipped lappies with man-in-the-middle ad/mal/bloatware

Lenovo is in hot water after being caught intentionally shipping laptops with software that steals web traffic using man-in-the-middle attacks. The "Superfish" software was present on laptops sold until late last month and stole all manner of web traffic using fake, self-signed, root certificates to inject advertisements into …
Darren Pauli, 19 Feb 2015

RSA ups channel programme

RSA Security is changing its channel programme to offer more rewards to "committed partners". The programme, called SecurWorld, will offer better rebates to resellers who are fully-certified. Dealers will also have access to a portal of support tools and training information. The company believes the issue of IT security is …
John Oates, 26 Apr 2005

RSA loses sales and security jobs in EMC restructuring

RSA Security is to scrap staff as part of a restructuring plan aimed at boosting efficiency across parent firm EMC. The redundancies affect security researchers as well as sales and support staff across each of RSA's business units, according to reports. The layoffs are part of an ongoing restructuring process across EMC that …
John Leyden, 09 Jan 2008

Microsoft: NSA snooping? Code backdoors? Our hands are clean!

RSA 2014 Microsoft's isn't involved in mass spying or putting backdoors in its software, Redmond's VP of Trustworthy Computing Group Scott Charney told the RSA conference. Why? Because it's unethical and bad for business, he said. "We've not been concerned about the Snowden disclosures because we've been principled," he said. "We do …
Iain Thomson, 25 Feb 2014

EMC's turbulent trifecta temporarily ties Tucci to top table

Comment Succession, transformation and a customer buying pattern sea-change are simultaneously embroiling EMC’s top management and board in a perfect storm, according to CEO Joe Tucci in the quarterly results earnings call. Six months after Joe Tucci’s last – and deferred – retirement date from running the EMC Federation, where he is …
Chris Mellor, 23 Jul 2015
Internet map

Crap hospital databases next goldmine for cyber-crooks, say Microsoft's botnet slayers

RSA 2014 The low levels of security in healthcare IT systems, and the high value of its data, is going to make the sector the next big target for scammers, according to the Microsoft-backed team that takes down botnets. "Healthcare is really in a disadvantaged place in cyber-security," said Patrick Peterson, CEO of security firm Agari, …
Iain Thomson, 28 Feb 2014

PATCH FREAK NOW: Cloud providers faulted for slow response

Hundreds of cloud providers are still vulnerable to the serious FREAK cryptographic vulnerability. Skyhigh Networks found that 766 cloud services are still at risk 24 hours after FREAK was made public, based on an analysis of more than 10,000 different services. The average company is using 122 potentially vulnerable services. …
John Leyden, 05 Mar 2015
Rotary phone

Dell-EMC deal could be a game-changer for mobile networks, too

EMC/Dell deal As carriers race towards virtualisation, software-defined networking and increasingly complex back office IT platforms, they will increasingly bump into suppliers from the data centre world. IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and others are already very familiar to them, but now there will be a new powerhouse, if Dell’s record- …
Wireless Watch, 19 Oct 2015
Plate of food (teaser pic)

RSA domain glitch derails UK online retailers

RSA has apologised for a domain name registration glitch, which left clients of its payment processing service unable to process payment as normal last Thursday. Pizza purveyor Domino's, Dabs and others were hit by the snafu, which meant transactions either timed out or failed. In response to the problems, some …
John Leyden, 22 Jul 2008

EMC reports mixed results, fingers axe: 'Reduction in force' planned

+Comment Storage giant EMC has announced its plans to lay off an unspecified number of staffers in Q1 and said in an SEC filing that it would record restructuring charges in the range of $130m to $150m. In the final few months of last year, EMC increased its revenues by $1bn, quarter on quarter, with Pivotal and VMware growing strongly, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jan 2015
apple mac malware vxer

Ex-NSA security bod fanboi: Apple Macs are wide open to malware

A former NSA staffer turned security researcher is warning that bypassing typical OS X security tools is trivial. Patrick Wardle, a former NSA staffer and NASA intern who now heads up research at crowd-sourced security intelligence firm Synack, found that Apple's defensive Gatekeeper technology can be bypassed allowing unsigned …
John Leyden, 07 May 2015

Put down that iPad! Snoopware RECORDS your EVERY gesture, TAP on iOS, Android

A security researcher has developed a proof-of-concept malware capable of capturing the actions of users on touchscreen devices. Senior security consultant Neal Hindocha and his colleagues at Trustwave were able to brew up similar strains of prototype malicious code for both rooted Android and jailbroken iOS devices. The line of …
John Leyden, 05 Feb 2014

RSA in three-way mating dance

RSA Security has confirmed it is talks with at least one potential bidder after the New York Times said storage giant EMC was closing in on the company. The NYT said RSA was talking to EMC "or at least one other bidder” about an acquisition which could be worth more than $1.8bn. The firm’s board will review final bids before …
Joe Fay, 29 Jun 2006
Shuffling cards

EMC reshuffles deck, reveals Core Technology SUPER DIVISION

EMC is collapsing its divisional structure some more and combining its VMAX/VNX unified storage operation with DPAD, its Data Protection Division, to form a Core Technology Division. The new division will be run by Guy Churchward, current DPAD president. XtremIO products will move into the new division as of 1 January, 2015. …
Chris Mellor, 15 Oct 2014
graph up

RSA crypto attack poses threat to DRM

Security researchers have developed a new approach to breaking the RSA algorithm that creates new problems for the development of effective rights management software. Cryptoanalysts already known the time taken to make different calculations using the same encryption key might, in theory at least, give attackers code-breaking …
John Leyden, 23 Nov 2006

So many 'cyberspying hackers' about... and most of you are garbage

RSA Europe 2013 Cyber-espionage groups are too numerous to count and are often far less skilled than their reputation suggests, according to threat-trackers. Costin Raiu, director of global research at Kaspersky Lab, estimated that anything between 100 to 200 hacking crews operate in China alone. Despite the hype abut zero-day attacks, many …
John Leyden, 30 Oct 2013
Photo of HP Enterprise office

Merging HP and EMC – hold on, wait, hear us out. The cap is still on the bottle of crazy pills

Comment Does an EMC-HP merger make more sense now than last year when the two titans' inability to agree on a price put a stop to the idea? HP could join the EMC Federation as a servers-and-networking business, and stand alongside EMC II (EMC Information Infrastructure, aka storage), VMware (virtual server software), and Pivotal (big- …
Chris Mellor, 05 May 2015
graph up

RSA Conference heads for Docklands

After this year's visit to the south of France and last year's to the greenery of Vienna's Stadtpark, RSA Conference Europe is moving to east London next year, more specifically to the fleshpots of Docklands and the ExCel exhibition centre. ExCel is famed for only being accessible via the tiny driverless trains of the Docklands …
Bryan Betts, 24 Nov 2006


George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury
shutterstock_183801788_container ship

Chris Mellor

The SAN growth glory days are well and truly over, so where next?

Tom Whipp

Insurance industry insider tells all
Crypto fingers


Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0
Follow the money – or, at least, our projections
Boats storm girl photo via Nikolina Mrakovic
The puppets from Team America: World Police gather at a bar for drinks.