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Cisco to Pay $2 Billion In Patent Dispute? | Gestalt IT Rundown: October 7, 2020

Cisco may have to pay up in a patent infringement case, the US Treasury is warning against paying ransomware crews, and acquisitions galore on this episode of the Gestalt IT Rundown!

Show Notes

VMware Buying SaltStack

During VMworld, one of the announcements that slipped under the radar was VMware buying cloud automation platform SaltStack. SaltStack is being positioned to help augment the vRealize automation offerings already availble from VMware and broaden the reach of the platform to all the corners of the data center. Financing details were not disclosed in the announcement, but SaltStack had previously raised about $28m in funding.

Juniper Buying Netrounds

Also last week, Juniper Networks announced their intenet to acquired Netrounds. The company, which presented at Networking Field Day 20, is known for being a software-based assurance platform to provide monitoring and test data on both wired and wireless networks. Details were not disclosed, but the acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Office365 Went Down for Six Hours

Microsoft had a bit of an issue last week with Office365 and other services. Customers noticed the outage on September 29th and watched as it rolled across many cloud software applications. Microsoft engineers battled against the outage and were finally able to trace the root cause back to a recent change that created unintended consequences. The change was undone and Microsoft was able to restore service after approximately six hours.

Cisco to pay $2 billion for Patent Infringement

Cisco may have to open up their wallet to the tune of almost $2 billion. A lawsuit from Centripetal Networks that has been going on since 2018 has worked its way through the courts but not in the favor of Cisco. Centripal alleges that they developed anetwork protection system funded in part by the US Government. They patented poritions of the solution and then showed it to Cisco under a strict NDA. The suit alleges Cisco then introduced similar functionality into some of their programmable products a short time later. The judge stated that the appearance of simliar functionality in Cisco’s products so soon after the meetings between the two “goes beyond mere coincidence”.

Tokyo Stock Exchange Knocked Offline Due to Hardware Bug

Last Thursday was a bad day for the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Trading had to be halted for the entire day and all orders were canceled due to a huge outage. The problem came from a faulty piece of hardware that needed to be replaced, but when the exchange attempted to fail over to backups the exchange crashed. The timing couldn’t have been worse, as October 1 is the start of the fourth quarter of the year. This was also the first full shutdown of the exchange since they went digital back in 1999.

US Treasury Issues Warning About Paying Ransomware Crews

The US Treasury recently published guidelines regarding ransomware payments. The growing trend of having a piece of malwre infect your entire system and encrypt files has beomce lucrative for many enterprising criminals. They newest wrinkle is that many of them are being sponsored by nation states and have found themselves placed on sanctions lists put out by the US Government. This means that if you, as a compnay, pay to have your data unlocked you could be held liable by the Treasury department and fined or sued! The new guidelines state that companies need to get law enforcement invovled as soon as possible and will need to call the Treasury to get approval to pay sanctioned organizations for data retrival. However, there is no guarantee the Treasury will let you off the hook.

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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