Hu's Place

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Recently the Wall Street Journal published an article by Christopher  Mims, What’s Missing in the Electric-Vehicle Revolution: Enough Places to Plug In . In this article he described the experience of a driver of a 2017 Chevrolet Volt, who drove from Tampa, Fla. to Fort Carson, Colo., who spent about 58 hours on the road, a journey of 1,900 miles which would have only taken 30 hours In a gasoline-powered vehicle. This time difference was due to his need to regularly power up the Bolt’s battery at a “fast” charger—so called because they’re many times faster than typical home chargers. (Fast charging stations provide 50kw, compared to home charging stations ...
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Current public-key algorithms for encryption are dependent on one of three hard mathematical  problems: the integer factorization problem, the discrete logarithm problem, or the ellipti-curve discrete logarithm problem. Although current computers do not have the processing power to solve these problems and decipher our encryption keys, all these problems can be easily solved by a sufficiently powerful quantum computer.  Current quantum computers in the 50 to 100 Qubit range are not a threat today. However, if we believe Neven’s Law that the quantum computer is gaining computational power at a doubly exponential rate, it won’t be too long before this happens. ...
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Hack Proof Encryption

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One of the basic ingredients for cyber security is the use of hack proof encryption. It is always amazing to me when I hear that someone’s data was stolen because it was not encrypted. Data can be encrypted through hardware or software systems. Hitachi storage systems can encrypt data at rest and Hitachi systems like Hitachi Content Platform can encrypt data in flight and in the cloud.   There are three basic ingredients that are required to make a hackproof encryption method. First you need an algorithm that converts your message into a string of meaning less characters. Second you need a way to produce random numbers to combine ...
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During the dot-com bubble in the 1990s, cyber liability insurance gained popularity as a layer of protection for these new companies against unauthorized system access, computer viruses and data loss. Back then, companies had it easy compared to the cybercrime and data breaches that organizations deal with today. Today cyber liability Insurance is all about ransomware which is roiling the Liability insurance market. Ransomware insurance is used to pay ransom demands. The Lake City, Florida City Council decided to pay a ransom of 42 bitcoin, then worth about $460,000 at the cost of a $10,000 deductible, which they paid to their cyber insurer, Beazley, an underwriter ...
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The average cost of a ransomware incident as reported by Purplesec.us used to be    2018 – $4,300 2019 – $5,900 2020 – $8,100 This was mostly targeting small businesses. In 2021 this took a dramatic turn. On May 7, 2021, a cyberattack on the U.S.’s largest fuel pipeline, Colonial Pipeline forced a shutdown that triggered a spike in gas prices and shortages in parts of the Southeast. The operator of the Colonial Pipeline learned it was in trouble at daybreak on May 7, when an employee found a ransom note from hackers on a control-room computer. By that night, the company’s chief executive officer came to a difficult ...
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Infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders are looking to use artificial intelligence (AI) in their infrastructures to gain a competitive advantage. T he winners are those who can run more models with more complex algorithms and do it faster than their competitors. To win, you need faster access to more data at a lower cost than your competition and the workloads are diverse and fundamentally different from any other workload the organization may have run in the past. I&O leaders are often unprepared to address the storage requirements and data management challenges for the growing datasets of large- scale machine learning (ML), AI and HPC analytics. ...
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Object storage began as an economical way to archive large amounts of unstructured data. Today vast amounts of data have been archived on object storage where they also gain the benefits of scalability, protection, compliance, and cost efficiency. Up to now, enterprises have been reluctant to use object storage for tier-1 application due to the meta data management overhead associated with object storage. Now Hitachi Vantara makes it possible for organizations to realize these same benefits, and more, with their Tier-1 workloads such as AI/ML, analytics, data warehouses and S3 cloud applications while maintaining the performance levels that they require. Tier-1 ...
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As I reported in my last post , the introduction of the Chia Coin cryptocurrency has literally exploded the storage market. The reason behind this is that It relies on a linked blockchain of mathematical constructs based on a proof of having storage space (Disk or SSD) over a time period. This is said to be less demanding in electricity supply than popular crypto currencies like bitcoin and ether, which relies on a proof-of-work which requires large amounts of CPU processing. The demand is being driven by “farmers” (the equivalent to miners in bitcoin) who earn Chia Coin when they are selected to propagate the block chain. When the blockchain broadcasts a challenge ...
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In 2020 the amount of data that was created and replicated exceeded previous expectations due to the pandemic which required more people to work and learn from home. The amount of data for 2020 is now expected to come in at 64.2 zettabytes, up from 41 zettabytes in 2019. At the beginning of this year the projection for 2021 had been increased to 79 zettabytes. Now that number may have to be increased due to another phenomena which started in April with the announcement of Chia. If you are in the storage industry, you know about Chia since it has bumped up the cost of SSD’s in just a matter of weeks, especially high performance NVMe SSDs. Chia is the new ‘Eco ...
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If you filled up your gas tank during the Memorial Day Holidays in the U.S., you found that the price of gas was the highest in seven years. The Average price of regular gas across the United States was reported to be $3.05 per gallon. To those of us living in California, that sounded cheap since the average price in California was $4.20 due to our higher taxes. This spike in gas prices was partially due to the ransomware hack of the Colonial Pipeline, a major artery delivering fuel from Gulf Coast refineries to the East Coast, which was shut down for about a week prompting widespread outages at gas stations in many states, causing panic buying and higher prices. ...
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The Colonial Pipeline Ransomware story continues to provide valuable lessons in Cyber Security. The latest lesson is reported by Technologyreview.com . One of the cardinal rules of the cat-and-mouse game of cyberwarfare: Don’t let your opponents know what you’ve figured out.  During World War II, the British had figured out how to decipher the German’s Enigma cipher machine as early as 1942 and had knowledge of German troop and supply movements during most of the war. The German’s believed in the invincibility of the machine since the Enigma Machine had 13x10 114 possible cipher patterns which would be impossible to decipher ...
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Colonial Pipeline who supplies gasoline and jet fuel to the eastern United States resumed operation of the pipeline which was shut down by a ransomware attack on May 7.  This created widespread fuel shortages and panic buying in major cities along the east coast. Colonial Pipeline returned to operation on May 15, after reportedly paying 75 bitcoin or about $5 million to the hackers according to  Bloomberg . In earlier reports, the company said that they would not be paying the ransom. In actuality, Bloomberg reports that the company paid the hefty ransom in cryptocurrency within hours after the attack due to the immense pressure faced by Colonial Pipeline to ...
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Last week I posted a blog on ransomware and pointed out the cost of recovery and some of the Hitachi tools that can protect against ransomware. By Friday of that week the United States had suffered its worst cyberattack on its critical infrastructure through a ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline which delivers approximately 45 percent of the East Coast's petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel. The DarkSide ransomware group was quickly identified as being responsible for the Colonial Pipeline attack. The gang stole almost 100 gigabytes of data hostage, threatening to leak it onto the internet, but the FBI and other government ...
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The New York State Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) reports that ransomware attacks have almost doubled in the last year. Ransomware is where a cyber attacker installs malware that encrypts a victim’s computer system or files then demands a fee or ransom to unlock the encrypted data. Payment is enabled by the increasing use of crypto currencies which are untraceable. Research by BlackFog , a Crypto Security Company anticipates that a business is attacked by a cybercriminal  every 11 seconds  and damage costs from these attacks will hit around  $20 billion by 2021 . With damages from all cybercrime expected to hit  $6 trillion  this year (up from ...
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Before I joined the Corporate world, I spent six years in the Marine Corps. After several years as an enlisted man I was commissioned as an officer and my first assignment was as the platoon leader of a rifle platoon of 46 men. That is a very coveted job and only the top graduates of the Marine Officers Basic School could be considered for that position, since it is a leadership position. Two Marine Corp veterans, Dan Carrison and  Rod Walsh, explain what Marines mean by leadership and how it contrasts with a corporate term “Management”. I would like to share this with my Hitachi Colleagues. One of the words you will never hear a Marine Corps officer, ...
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The miniaturization of semiconductor transistors has driven the growth in computer performance for more than 50 years. As miniaturization approaches its limits, bringing an end to Moore’s law, performance gains will need to come from software, algorithms, hardware and the need to move from general purpose to specialized processors. New applications like Deep Learning and autonomous vehicles are demanding even faster processors while mobile devices and IoT require lower power consumption as well as increased performance. One of the major changes has been the movement to RISC processors made by ARM (Advanced RISC Machines). RISC processors are designed ...
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Quantum computers promise to have a major positive impact on society. How else will we have the capability to process the exabytes of data and turn it into useful information to develop new cures for cancer, improve security, and boost artificial intelligence. However, building the hardware that will enable that paradigm change is one of the greatest technological challenges facing humanity. In 2019, which seems like a lifetime ago due to the Pandemic, Google announced that their quantum computer was the first to perform a calculation that would be practically impossible for a classical supercomputer. This is known as Quantum Supremacy. Its quantum computer, ...
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For more than 100 years, Hitachi has focused on developing the social infrastructure that provides the foundation for nearly every aspect of modern life. Our founding spirit is built on three words that guide the way we work. Wa (Harmony):  We respect the opinions of others and discuss matters frankly, but also fairly and impartially. Makoto (Sincerity):  We approach issues openly, honestly and respectfully, in the spirit of true teamwork. Kaitakusha-seishin (Pioneering Spirit):  We strive to lead in our areas of expertise, promoting the limitless potential of individuals while pursuing new challenges and higher goals. These values form the ...
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Being an IT guy in a technology company, I don’t get out often enough into the real working world. So I was surprised lately when I heard about our Lumada solution being implemented in a coal mining operation in Australia. I was surprised because the solutions they used were the same as in any other high tech companies, except they had a lot more sensors and data points to work with and they were very highly regulated. The images of coal mining was also very different than what I usually associated with coal mining. Here is the face of today’s Coal Mining Operations. This is the operations room of the Bengalla Mining Company in New South Wales that ...
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The SolarWinds Hack

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In January, the United States went through a tremendous time of upheaval, with the soaring number of deaths from the pandemic, political unrest, and racial discord. While all this was happening, we now learn that the United Stated suffered the greatest cyberattack in history which had been happening for nearly a year, and whose full effects are not yet understood.   A group of hackers, likely from a foreign government, had gotten into a network management company called SolarWinds and infiltrated its customers’ networks. This access was then used to breach everything from Microsoft to US government agencies, including the US Treasury and departments of Homeland ...
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