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Cisco Shakes Up Security Team | Gestalt IT Rundown: September 22, 2021

The news out of Cisco this morning is some shuffling of the security executives. And the US Treasury announced sanctions against cryptocurrency exchange SUEX OTC for their part in handling payments from crews holding data hostage. We discuss these stories and more on this week’s Rundown.

LTO 9 Launches from Fujifilm

Most enterprise data still ends up on tape, and Fujifilm and IBM made a long-expected announcement this week: LTO-9, the next-generation tape format, is here. Storing 18 TB natively (or 45 if you turn on compression), this is pretty much exactly what everyone expected for the last few years, and we already know the roadmap through LTO-12.

Mirantis Offers Data Center as a Service

Mirantis appears to be playing in the hybrid cloud market as they announce a new offering called Mirantis Flow. Flow is designed to help smaller companies solve the hybrid cloud problem by offering a service to manage cloud-native data center pieces no matter where they live. Mirantis has said that their container engines as well as their OpenStack environment is capable of leveraging Mirantis Flow to migrate workloads between public and private instances. This is a software-only solution, as hardware must either be provided by the customer or rented from partners like Equinox. The service runs $15,000 per month for 1,000 vCPU licenses and some VM migrations and 24/7 support.

FBI Held Decryption Keys for Kaseya Attack

Think back to the bygone days of….July and the Kaseya ransomware outbreak. The assault claimed 1,500 companies and sparked a huge outcry about leveraging fleet management tools to distribute malware. The attack has been attributed to REvil and made the crew go to ground because of the scale of it. A new report from the Washington Post says that the FBI got their hands on a decryption key for the malware used by REvil within days of the attack but decided to hold onto it without mentioning it to the affected companies. The plan was to launch an operation to disrupt the crew before distributing the key but their disappearance caused them to end up sharing a tool on July 21.

Google Cloud Promises Data Will Never Be Lost Again

Google announced that they are adding extension to their Cloud Storage offering to help protect your data. Google has already offered storage buckets than span across regions but today’s announcement brings custom region selection and the ability to set a 15 minute RPO backed by an SLA. In addition, GKE is gaining a new backup service for container data to ensure it doesn’t disappear into the ephemeral void where containers go to die. Filestore Enterprise also offers synchronous replication for very large applications across multiple zones in a region to prevent outages.

Oracle Says Feds Only Want AWS or MS

You’d think that with the Department of Defense canceling the JEDI contract that we’d be done talking about it, right? Yeah, you’d think that. Enter the darkest Sith Lord of them all, Darth Larry Ellison. Oracle asked the US Supreme Court this week not to dismiss their JEDI lawsuit. Why? Because they believe that no matter what happens in the new JWCC contract the DoD is only going to be choosing between Amazon and Microsoft, shutting out the 8th largest cloud provider in the world. No word yet from any of the parties about this legal maneuvering, but rest assured that if anyone knows how to keep a lawsuit going, it’s Oracle.

Japan Might Approve WD and Kioxia Merger

WD is looking to grow again and one of their NAND partners is on deck. Kioxia and WD have a joint partnership in Japan and Kioxia recently withdrew their proposed IPO due to potential trade complications between the US and China souring the sales of chips. Instead, WD is proposing to purchase those shares for around $20 billion. Japanese politicians have said they would approve the merge provided that the company doesn’t move all their facilities to the US.

Feds Say SUEX Sucks, Show Sanctions

After spending most of 2021 fighting against ransomware crews, the US Treasury is finally taking a page out of Hollywood and “following the money”. This week they announced sanctions against cryptocurrency exchange SUEX OTC for their part in handling payments from crews holding data hostage. SUEX looks particularly sketchy as it is registered in the Czech Republic but is operated out of Russian offices. Per the report, some 40% of the transaction history of SUEX is illegal in nature and at least eight different ransomware variants show up in the transaction history. The sanctions freeze their assets in the US and prevent US-based companies from doing any sort of business with them under threat of fines and other nasty things.

Cisco Shakes Up Security Team, Golly Gee!

The news out of Cisco this morning is some shuffling of the security executives. Security unit chief Gee Rittenouse is reported leaving the company and Shalia Shankar is taking over that portfolio in addition to her existing cloud and network security team duties. Rittenhouse came to Cisco in 2014 and is behind the drive to create SecureX, the model that Cisco has put forward as the way to do security in a modern age and they’ve presented on a number of times at Tech Field Day events. The email detailing the change in leadership said that Rittenhouse would be helping to transition over the next few months but was mum on the rest of the details.

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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