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Spying on Worker Emails Gets New Hurdle in EU Court Ruling

(Bloomberg) — Prying into workers’ emails just became a bit harder following a European Court of Human Rights ruling that a company violated a Romanian man’s privacy rights by firing him after spying on his personal Yahoo! Inc. chats.
Romanian authorities hadn’t properly protected the employee’s “right to respect for his private life and correspondence,” the court’s Grand Chamber ruled Tuesday in an 11-6 vote. “They had consequently failed to strike a fair balance between the interests at stake.”
The ruling focused on the fact the Romanian courts had failed to look at whether the employee had been given prior warning that his communications may be monitored by bosses.
See also: SolarWinds MSP Acquires SpamExperts to Boost Mail Offering
A lower court in the ECHR ruled in January 2016 that it wasn’t unreasonable for companies to monitor private communications made during working hours.
The ruling highlights the issues that countries around the world have in balancing citizens’ rights and the need to protect national security interests. Privacy campaigners welcomed the decision saying it offers important protections to workers’ rights.
However, Privacy International did sound a note of caution.
The ruling “doesn’t give an absolute right to privacy to employees,” the advocacy group said in a statement.
Vague Boundaries
“As the boundaries of work and private life become even more vague, particularly with the rise of the

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After Days at Work, Houston Data Center Staff Finally Went Home

 Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge
As Hurricane Harvey was preparing to slam Houston and the surrounding areas last Friday, data center operators with facilities in the region staffed up, with the knowledge that the staff may be unable to leave work for an undetermined number of days. As had been feared, Harvey’s landfall, followed by unprecedented, devastating flooding in Houston, resulted in submerged roads, leaving most of them stranded at work.
This Tuesday, five days later, many were finally able to return home; but not all of them still had homes to return to. “As with so many Texans impacted by this disaster, some of our team members either lost their homes entirely or suffered severe damage from flooding,” Edward Henigin, CTO at Data Foundry, said.
See also: Hurricane Harvey: Delivering Managed IT Services During a Catastrophe
The Austin-based data center provider has two facilities in Houston, and the company has been sending extra staff there to support their colleagues in dealing with their new reality.
Data Foundry is also ensuring all its employees have a roof over their heads. “We have secured housing for anyone who lost their home or is unable to access their home, and we are collecting and providing supplies for our team members and other residents who need them,” Henigin said.
See also: Four Providers’ Houston Data Centers Online, but Access Roads Flooded
Companies including Data Foundry, Equinix, and CyrusOne had the same teams in their

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School District Data Center Hit By Ransomware

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge
A school district in South Carolina lost access to data on close to half of the servers in its data center sometime over the summer. In what the district characterized as a ransomware attack, data on the servers was encrypted and as a result made inaccessible by its staff, Dorchester School District Two said in a statement, assuring student and staff that no personal information had been compromised.
“A thorough investigation determined this was a ransom request and there was no identity theft involved and no student or staff information had been accessed or compromised,” the statement read.
After negotiations (presumably with the attackers), the district paid a $2,900 ransom to decrypt the files.
Ransomware attacks, where the attackers demand money (usually in the form of cryptocurrency) in exchange for giving the victim access to their data, have become commonplace in recent years, most of them targeting individual users. But attacks on organizations have been on the rise.
Earlier this year, two global-scale ransomware attacks targeted organizations large and small. The so-called WannaCry attack in May spread across more than 150 countries, affecting among others Britain’s National Health Service. The following month, a second attack, which spread a virus called Petya, affected healthcare providers around the world, as well as companies like Maersk and FedEx.
The Dorchester school district did not specify when the

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OpenStack ‘Pike’ Focuses on Basics Instead of Gee-Whiz New Features

Brought to you by ITPro
There’s a new release of OpenStack, the open source infrastructure-as-a-service platform for cloud computing. The new release, Pike, isn’t chock-full of new features, as OpenStack’s focus for the next several releases will be on stability, scalability, performance and ease-of-use.
Actually, this is a good time for the platform’s developers to step away from any mad rush to add new features and concentrate on improving the basics. Back in April, when we reported on Open Stack’s ninth User Survey, we noted that although use of the platform was on the rise, in some cases user satisfaction was declining, most likely over usability issues.
The most notable improvement to Pike, according to at least one media pundit, is that the new OpenStack is easier to deploy and update. If true — I haven’t been brave enough to try installing OpenStack yet — this will be welcome news throughout the data centers where the platform is deployed. Simply put, it has a reputation of being a bear to deploy and just as difficult to update.
OpenStack is becoming easier for IT organizations to incorporate into their plans in other ways as well.
“With new delivery models like private-cloud-as-a-service, it’s easier than ever to adopt OpenStack through the open source ecosystem where users are not locked into a proprietary technology or single vendor,” the OpenStack Foundation said in a statement.

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SolarWinds MSP Acquires SpamExperts to Boost Mail Offering

Brought to you by Talkin’ Cloud
SolarWinds MSP announced Tuesday that it has acquired SpamExperts, an Amsterdam-based mail security solutions provider. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
Founded in 2005, SpamExperts offers SaaS-based mail protection and mail archiving services for IT service providers, including web hosts, MSPs, ISPs and telcos. In a statement, SolarWinds MSP says that SpamExperts will augment its SolarWinds MSP Mail offering, promising to provide more details in the next 30 days.
See also: SpamExperts Releases Open Source Anti-Spam Framework OrangeAssassin
In an email to partners, posted to the Web Hosting Talk forum, SpamExperts said that the acquisition will bring no immediate changes, only more opportunities.

We have some exciting news to share with you.
SpamExperts has been acquired by SolarWinds® MSP the leading global provider of comprehensive, scalable IT service management solutions.
As you know, SpamExperts has provided SaaS-based mail protection and mail archiving services for best-in-class MSPs, ISPs, telcos, and other IT service providers globally for more than ten years. SolarWinds MSP empowers more than 20,000 IT service providers worldwide with technologies to fuel their success. Solutions that integrate layered security, collective intelligence, and smart automation—both on-premises and in the cloud, backed by actionable data insights, help IT service providers get the job done easier and faster. SolarWinds MSP

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DreamHost Considers Appeal After Court Demands Subscriber Data

DreamHost is considering its next move after a judge last week ordered the Los Angeles-based web hosting company to comply with a government warrant seeking information about subscribers to the anti-Trump website disruptj20.org.
DreamHost’s general counsel Chris Ghazarian said that while overall he sees the decision as a win, the company would have preferred even more content being removed from the warrant or the warrant being invalidated all together.
“Now our team and I are considering our next steps which are essentially whether or not we are going to appeal, and we’ll make that decision very soon,” Ghazarian said in an interview with The WHIR.
Chief Judge Robert Morin ruled on Thursday that DreamHost had to turn over subscriber data, but under a much narrower scope than first anticipated. Morin told the District of Columbia Superior Court that in an order to “balance the First Amendment protections and the government’s need for this information” he would oversee which data prosecutors’ intend to seize and use of the data to ensure it is limited to individuals connected to the riots.
Ghazarian said that the Department of Justice (DoJ) pulled back quite a bit in what they initially asked for, including removing the request for IP addresses.
“The entire process overall has been a win because I don’t think anybody really expected the government number one to back down from their original warrant, especially since we tried to have a professional

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Codero Appoints Former Hostway CEO John Martis President and CEO

Web hosting provider Codero has named John Martis president and CEO, the company announced today.
Martis will take over from current co-CEOs Leo Staurulakis and Bill King effective September 5, while Staurulakis and King will continue to sit on the company’s board of directors, with Staurulakis remaining as board chairman.
Martis’ track record includes founding ISP American Digital Network, which he built into a multi-million dollar company. He also draws on hosting industry experience from his time with Hostway, which transitioned from a shared hosting focus to dedicated servers and managed hosting under his leadership, and Abacus America (Aplus.Net), for which he oversaw data center operations, system engineering and software development as executive vice president. In 2013, when current Hostway president and CEO Emil Sayegh was CEO of Codero, Martis was president and CEO of Hostway.
“Codero provides sophisticated products at scale so that all companies, regardless of size, can leverage advanced IT solutions at their own pace,” Bill King, current Codero co-CEO and a member of Codero’s board of directors, said. “John’s proven track record of engaging customers and leveraging strategic partnerships will be instrumental in Codero’s continued growth.”
“Codero has the rare combination of passionate customers, leading products and remarkable employees,” Martis said. “Codero’s dedication to market innovation and providing best-in-class

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Report: ‘Unofficial’ Ports & Database Services Biggest Cyberattack Targets for SMBs

Brought to you by The VAR Guy
If there were any doubts as to the magnitude to which cyberattacks impact IT service providers, the rash of high-profile attacks in the first half of 2017 should have definitively erased them. From Russian hacks to WannaCryto NotPetya, the slew of ransomware and other cyberattacks leading to data breaches has brought cybersecurity to the forefront of everyone’s minds, whether or not they work in IT.
However, as channel partners are well aware, there is more to the cybersecurity story than attacks that make the headlines. A new report by Calyptix Security that analyzes threat intelligence data collected exclusively from small business networks in North America. Threat Intelligence Report: 24 Hours of Inbound Attacks on Small Networks reviewed intrusion detection alerts captured from about 800 network security devices at small businesses across the U.S. and Canada
Ben Yarbrough, CEO of Calyptix, says he wanted the study to drill down to network security data from the smallest networks – those ranging from about 5 to 100 endpoints. Intrusion detection alerts were collected from security appliances at these networks for a single 24-hour period in August 2017 for the report.
“Cyber security research tends to either ignore small businesses or roll them into a larger group, such as ‘networks with fewer than 500 endpoints.’ But is a network with 400 devices really a small business environment? We don’t think so, and that’s

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Four Providers’ Houston Data Centers Online, but Access Roads Flooded

Brought to you by Data Center Knowledge
Houston data centers operated by four providers have remained online since Hurricane Harvey made landfall Friday evening, but streets surrounding at least most of the facilities are flooded, cutting off customer access.
The hurricane (which experts have referred to as unprecedented) and subsequent flooding have left more than 100,000 residents and businesses without electricity as of Monday morning, but Equinix, CyrusOne, Data Foundry, and Digital Realty Trust data centers in Houston have not lost utility power. Staff at the facilities are safe, according to sources.

But forecasters say a lot more rain is coming, so more flooding and more power outages are likely.
“This is a landmark event for Texas,” CNN quoted FEMA Administrator Brock Long as saying. “Texas has never seen an event like this.”
While customers may or may not have to access the data centers before the streets are dry and cleared (and techs living in Houston probably have other things to take care of at this time), the flooding may complicate fuel deliveries in the event of a prolonged power outage that would require running on backup generators.
Many data center operators have national fuel-delivery contracts that put them second in line behind hospitals, first responders, and other public-safety organizations, to receive fuel supplies.
See also: Hurricane Preparation Tips for Data Center Managers
As of Monday morning, HO1 IBX, the Houston data center

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Telcos Move to Sharing Economy as Fiber Dream Grips Europe

(Bloomberg) — The sharing economy is spreading to European telecommunications providers, which are collaborating to speed the delivery of ultra-fast broadband over fiber-optic cables.
Carriers like Orange SA and  Vodafone Group Plc have long partnered on mobile-phone masts and equipment to save money. They’re starting to take a similar approach with fiber as they prepare for the data demands of next-generation applications like virtual reality and self driving cars.
Preliminary talks reported this week between Vodafone and BT Group Plc in the U.K., where full-fiber coverage sits at 2 percent, may widen a trend that’s also taken hold in Spain and Portugal, where fiber is directly available to more than 70 percent of buildings.
“The cost of fiber is a problem,” said Bengt Nordstrom, a telecom consultant at Northstream AB in Stockholm. “Investments are very high and sometimes it may be very difficult to justify the spending.”
Fiber costs about 500 pounds ($641) per home passed in the U.K., and operators typically need a 30 percent take-up rate to make a decent return, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. BT’s Openreach network unit has put the cost of fully covering 10 million buildings with fiber, its proposed target for the mid-2020s, in the billions of pounds.
Carriers can’t avoid the investment, with the need for fixed and wireless networks to be more integrated in the future. Data use is rising at home and on mobile devices and fiber will be required

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