Cisco NX-OS and Puppet: Agentless Data Center Automation
- Enterprise IT departments (and Lines of Business) are under immense pressure to bring applications faster to market.
- To remain competitive, many businesses have either already adapted, or are on the road to adapting agile practices like DevOps so they can innovate faster and deliver time to value.
- To successfully transition to DevOps practices, you need a data center infrastructure and operating system that is modernized, open, and modular with extensive programmability options.
- Cisco and Puppet have worked together on a solution that helps Enterprise DevOps save money and improve time to market.
- Cisco NX-OS is the ideal platform to adopt because it remains as the most open and extensible operating system in the industry, with a rich ecosystem of partners who relentlessly bring new innovations.
- This time, Puppet brings us agentless network automation for Cisco NX-OS, the operating system for Cisco’s data center switches.
AI can weed out spam reviews with limited labeled data
- In a paper published on the preprint server Arxiv.org (“GANs for Semi-Supervised Opinion Spam Detection“), the researchers describe “spamGAN,” a generative adversarial network — i.e., a two-part neural network consisting of generators that produce samples and discriminators that attempt to distinguish between the generated samples and real-world samples — that learns from a limited corpus of annotated and unannotated data.
- Their approach leans on a technique called semi-supervised learning, in which unlabeled data is used in conjunction with small amounts of labeled data to produce an improvement in learning accuracy.
- Specifically, the generator component of spamGAN outputs new sentences given a class label as input, which the discriminator attempts to classify as “real” (sampled from the training data set) or fake (unrealistic).
- The researchers leave to future work experiments with other review data sets, and with a more sophisticated classifier.
AT&T and Comcast announce system to combat robocalls
- AT&T and Comcast are partnering to authenticate calls made between the two networks, letting customers know when there’s a genuine caller — not a spammer — on the phone.
- It won’t cover every call AT&T and Comcast customers receive, but it’s a step in the right direction to battling the scourge of robocalls.
- AT&T says the deal is likely the “nation’s first” to authenticate calls between two providers through the SHAKEN/STIR (which stands for “Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs” and “Secure Telephony Identity Revisited”) protocol.
- The SHAKEN/STIR protocol works by using digital certificates to verify whether a call is actually coming from where it says it is.
- In February, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai applauded carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile that pledged to take steps toward implementing the SHAKEN/STIR protocol into their networks.
AT&T CEO interrupted by a robocall during a live interview
- At an Economic Club event in Washington, DC today, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was interrupted on stage by a robocall, pausing an interview in front of dozens of people and driving home that absolutely no one is safe from the spam epidemic.
- Over the past few months, regulators at the Federal Communications Commission have been feeling the pressure from lawmakers and consumers who are urging them to put an end to the relentless onslaught of robocalls people receive every day.
- FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has repeatedly threatened some method of regulatory intervention if carriers like AT&T and Verizon don’t step up with a solution, but he and the commissioners have yet to propose any new rules for carriers.
- After pushback from consumers, carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile offered a free spam filter for calls, but as Stephenson can now attest, it doesn’t make any difference.
Malware rises from the dead to take vengeance on cryptocurrency trading firms
- A Trojan-style malware that did the rounds a couple of years ago has risen from the ashes, and is reportedly going after Israeli fintech and cryptocurrency trading software companies.
- It used a novel technique to infect computers, using a downloader called Carp and malicious macros in Microsoft Excel documents to compile the source code into an executable which then deploys the malware.
- The Cardinal RAT malware uses data embedded into a Bitmap (BMP) image file that is loaded on to the victim’s computer during installation.
- According to Unit 42, both victims were fintech companies based in Israel that make software for forex and cryptocurrency trading.
- Unit 42 believes that the malicious files find their way onto machines through lure documents attached to spam messages that were sent to individuals thought to operate as forex and cryptocurrency traders.