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SolarWinds Orion Hacked | Gestalt IT Rundown: December 16, 2020


SolarWinds’ flagship Orion platform has been hacked and the CentOS team moves to Stream. We’ll discuss these stories and more on this week’s Rundown.

Oracle Moving to Austin

Texas is getting another California ex-patriot company. Oracle announced that they are moving their global headquarters from Redwood City to Austin. Oracle already has a campus there, built in 2018, ostensibly to capitalize on cheaper labor costs. One employee not making the move is friend of the show Larry Ellison, who will be enjoying his new office in Hawaii. He will be Zooming from Lanai, the island he bought for $500 million.

Twitter Fined Under GDPR

GDPR has finally sunk its teeth into an American company. The Irish Data Protection Commission announced yesterday that they are fining Twitter $546,000 for a violation of GDPR related to a 2018 incident that let private tweets exposed for a period of time. The fine isn’t large but it does represent a landmark of the EU law being enforced on a US company. Twitter admits fault and says that they have complied with breach reporting regulations since the incident.

Intel is Having a Memory and Storage Moment

Intel today launched a number of next-generation products, including SSDs and a new version of their “persistent memory” DIMM. Given the schism between Intel and Micron and the recent spin-off of Intel’s NAND flash and SSD division to SK Hynix.

Vista Acquires Pluralsight for $3.5 Billion

It wouldn’t be December without a Christmas acquisition story. IT training provider Pluralsight is being snapped up by Vista Equity Partners for $3.5 billion. Pluralsight went public back in 2018 and the purchase price is seen as good value for their stock price. The IT training market is heating up with the current state of the world forcing more people to work from home.

CentOS Team Moves to Stream

CentOS is making waves in their community. The distro, which is a community rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, announced this week that they are moving away from the model of rebuilding existing packages that have been released and instead focusing on the CentOS Stream, which is a pre-release software model. The news hits the CentOS community hard, as the release has been used for years to provide developers with a way to test against RHEL without needing to pay for the entire suite. CentOS partnered with Red Hat in 2016 to provide guidance to the project, but the terms and governance so far have made it feel more like an acquisition. The support model for CentOS releases is also changing, with the final date of support for CentOS 7 in 2024 and CentOS 8 falling out of support in 2021.

SolarWinds Orion Hacked

It is definitely not a good week for SolarWinds. The network monitoring giant disclosed that their flagship Orion platform was breached in an attack that targeted the update supply chain. The attack injected a signed DLL that sends data back to outside servers. The attack, named SUNBURST, affected 18,000 customers starting in March 2020. The FireEye attack we reported on last week is related to this situation and could have been the vector for their breach. The US government is racing to contain the situation and CISA has directed them to power down their Orion servers until they can be patched and verified safe. The suspected crew behind this attack is from Russia and efforts are ongoing to identify them and find out how deep this goes.

The Gestalt IT Rundown is a live weekly look at the IT news of the week. It broadcasts live on YouTube every Wednesday at 12:30pm ET. Be sure to subscribe to Gestalt IT on YouTube for the show each week.

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

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