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Microsoft Azure Customer Data Deleted In DNS Flaw

Users of Microsoft’s Azure system lost database records as part of a mass outage on Tuesday.

A combination of DNS problems and automated scripts were to blame, said reports.

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Microsoft deleted several Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) databases in Azure, holding live customer information. TDE databases dynamically encrypt the information they store, decrypting it when customers access it.

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Keeping the data encrypted at rest stops an intruder with access to the database from reading the information.

While there are different approaches to encrypting these tables, many Azure users store their own encryption keys in Microsoft’s Key Vault encryption key management system, in a process called Bring Your Own Key (BYOK).

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The deletions were automated, triggered by a script that drops TDE database tables when their corresponding keys can no longer be accessed in the Key Vault, explained Microsoft in a letter reportedly sent to customers.

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The company quickly restored the tables from a five-minute snapshot backup, but that meant any transactions that customers had processed within five minutes of the table drop would have to be dealt with manually. In this case, customers would have to raise a support ticket and ask for the database copy to be renamed to the original.

 

Why were the systems accessing the TDE tables unable to access the Key Vault? The answer stems from a far bigger issue for Microsoft and its Azure customers this week.
An outage struck the cloud service worldwide on Tuesday, causing a range of problems. These included intermittent access to Office 365 in which users had only half a chance of logging on. Broader Azure cloud resources were also down.

 

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This problem was, in turn, down to a DNS outage, according to Microsoft’s Azure status page:

Preliminary root cause: Engineers identified a DNS issue with an external DNS provider.

Mitigation: DNS services were failed over to an alternative DNS provider which mitigated the issue.

Reports suggested that this DNS outage came from CenturyLink, which provides DNS services to Microsoft.

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The company had suffered a software defect, it had said in a statement.

This shows what can go wrong when cloud-based systems are interconnected and automated enough to allow cascading failures.

A software defect at a DNS provider indirectly led to the deletion of live customer information thanks to a lack of human intervention.

CenturyLink seems to be experiencing serial DNS problems lately.

The company, which completed its $34bn acquisition of large network operator Level 3 in late 2017, also suffered a DNS outage in Decemberthat reportedly affected emergency services, sparking an FCC investigation.

Azure users can at least take comfort in the fact that Microsoft is offering multiple months of free Azure service for affected parties.

Source: Naked Security

 


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Access Denied: “Electric Cars Not Ready For Cold Of Polar Vortex”

It’s So Cold, Even Teslas Are Freezing Shut

Snowed In

The polar vortex that walloped the Midwest before heading East also revealed another roadblock to clean transportation.

 

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Electric cars are unable to handle the cold, owners are discovering. Tesla owners are even finding that their vehicles are frozen shut, according to Mashable — suggesting that electric vehicles aren’t fully equipped to replace gas-powered cars just yet.

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The problem of people getting frozen outside of their Teslas could readily be fixed in future model — the specific issue comes from Tesla having chosen a cool design over functional door handles.

Normally, Tesla door handles will slide open when someone approaches, but layers of ice are keeping everything stuck in place. To be fair, Tesla has conducted battery and handling tests in icy conditions, but it seems that the -60 degree F (-51 C) that some Americans are now experiencing is still proving to be too much for the vehicles.

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In future iterations of EVs, Tesla and the Nissan Leaf could be improved with more resilient batteries and more accessible door handles.

But for those who are currently stranded in the cold, there may not be an option beyond waiting for spring.

READ MORE: Tesla door handles are frozen shut in the polar vortex [Mashable]

 

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How We Made It? “Paradise Lost”

Eye Opening Article with Some Very Interesting Predictions (source T.B.D.)

 

 

1-Auto repair shops will disappear.

2-A petrol/diesel engine has 20,000 individual parts. An electrical motor has 20. Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are only repaired by dealers. It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor. Reference: https://youtu.be/-4ygUCbHjTc

3-Faulty electric motors are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots.

4-Your electric motor malfunction light goes on, so you drive up to what looks like a car wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out comes your car with a new electric motor!

5-Petrol pumps will go away.

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Access Denied: “Electric Cars Not Ready For Cold Of Polar Vortex”

6-Street corners will have meters that dispense electricity.  Companies will install electrical recharging stations; in fact, they’ve already started in the developed world. Reference: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4972890

7-Smart major auto manufacturers have already designated money to start building new plants that only build electric cars.

8-Coal industries will go away. Gasoline/oil companies will go away.  Drilling for oil will stop. So say goodbye to OPEC! The middle-east is in trouble.

9-Homes will produce and store more electrical energy during the day and then they use and will sell it back to the grid. The grid stores it and dispenses it to industries that are high electricity users. Has anybody seen the Tesla roof?

10-A baby of today will only see personal cars in museums. The FUTURE is approaching faster than most of us can handle.

11-In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. Who would have thought of that ever happening?

12-What happened to Kodak and Polaroid will happen in a lot of industries in the next  5-10 years … and most people don’t see it coming.

13-Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later, you would never take pictures on  film again? With today’s smart phones, who even has a camera these days?

14-Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had  10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law.  So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years.

15-It will now happen again (but much faster) with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

16-Forget the book, “Future Shock”, welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

17-Software has disrupted and will continue to disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

18-UBER is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world! Ask any taxi driver if they saw that coming.

19-Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties.   Ask Hilton Hotels if they saw that coming.

20-Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world.
This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected. Reference: https://wp.me/P7Y71g-2a1

21-In the USA, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of  IBM’s Watson, you can get legal advice (so far for right now, the basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future, (what a thought!) only omniscient specialists will remain.

22-Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, its 4 times more accurate than human nurses.

23-Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans. Reference: https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/27/17165150/facebook-face-recognition-how-to-turn-off-disable

24-Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars are already here. In the next 2 years, the entire industry will start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car anymore as you will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination.

25-You will not need to park it you will only pay for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.

26-This will change our cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars. We can transform former parking spaces into green parks.

27-About 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide including distracted or drunk driving. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles; with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million miles. That will save a million lives plus worldwide each year.

28-Most traditional car companies will doubtless become bankrupt. They will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

29-Look at what Volvo is doing right now; no more internal combustion engines in their vehicles starting this year with the 2019 models, using all electric or hybrid only, with the intent of phasing out hybrid models.

30-Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi; are completely terrified of Tesla and they should be. Look at all the companies offering all electric vehicles. That was unheard of, only a few years ago.

31-Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, the costs will become cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

32-Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will abandon their towers to move far away to more beautiful affordable neighborhoods.

33-Electric cars will become mainstream about 2030. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.

34-Cities will have much cleaner air as well.

35-Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean.

36-Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact.  And it’s just getting ramped up.

37-Fossil energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that simply cannot continue – technology will take care of that strategy.

38-Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it.  It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any Disease. There are dozens of phone apps out there right now for health purposes. Reference: https://tricorder.xprize.org/prizes/tricorder

WELCOME TO TOMORROW – it actually arrived a few years ago. Let us wake up to the 21st century challenges ….

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