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SolarWinds Topic of Senate Panel Discussion | Gestalt IT Rundown: February 24, 2021

SolarWinds is testifying before a Senate panel and Malware is hiding backup control servers on the Blockchain. We discuss these stories and much more in this week’s Rundown.

Starlink to Provide Phone Service Via Satellite

The next time your phone rings, it could be Elon Musk calling. Or, more specifically it’s him providing the line. Starlink filed a plan to start offering phone service for their customers last week. The details show that Starlink is looking to be designated as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for the purposes of providing broadband to some states where they have funding but need a different designation to do the work. This would allow them to provide emergency backup phone service through the government Lifeline program.

ScienceLogic Raises $105 Million for AIOps

Infrastructure monitoring company ScienceLogic is in the news with a fresh funding round of $105 million. The company is rolling out AIOps integration in their platform, meaning leveraging AI for analyzing data and providing enhanced statistics about the state of an enterprise’s devices. The AIOps functionality enhances their existing monitoring and alerting platform and looks to be focus of future development. Tom, you recently wrote about ScienceLogic.

Pure Storage Embraces SMB and Fibre Channel

Pure Storage has announced updates to their signature storage platforms, FlashArray and FlashBlade. These include more Fibre Channel in FlashBlade and SMB support in FlashArray.

Xilinx Introduces SN1000

Xilinx is moving into the smart NIC market. This week they announced a new faster offering, the SN1000. This card offloads network and storage processing from the host CPU to a cluster of cheaper processors to accelerate I/O performance. The SN1000 supports up to 100 gigabit Ethernet and has a 16-core ARM CPU with FPGA support.

Malware Hides Backup Control Servers on the Blockchain

Malware is getting more and more creative. Researchers have been analyzing a botnet for the past two years and found that it has stayed up and resilient because it’s using the blockchain to recover itself. When the command and control servers are taken offline by security teams the malware looks to a specific bitcoin wallet for the IP address of the new servers. The wallet is updated with value by trading the smallest value of Bitcoin possible, the Satoshi. This has allowed the botnet to stay online for longer than expected but researchers can now disrupt the botnet by sending coins to the wallet.

SolarWinds Topic of Senate Panel Discussion

SolarWinds is going to have their day in Washington, along with FireEye, Microsoft, and others. The company at the center of a massive hacking story from late 2020 is testifying before a Senate panel about how nation-state hackers were able to breach their development servers and infect government agencies for data exfiltration. The hearings are expected to take several days but the main narrative so far appears to be that no one can really know the scope of the attack because no one is required to disclose the extent of the hack in the company unless sensitive data is involved.

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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