January 15, 2021
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Today's Tech Buzz
Microsoft, Google cloud services targeted by attackers
(Pixabay)
Researchers are monitoring hacking group Chimera, which has been targeting Google and Microsoft cloud services without being detected for years, in at least one case. The group employs a series of tactics to perform password-spraying attacks and compromise admin accounts.
Full Story: Dark Reading (free registration) (1/14) 
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Technology & Trends
Data stolen from the recent SolarWinds hack is now being sold online by a website called SolarLeaks, and that data includes the source code from Cisco, Microsoft and FireEye. SolarLeaks is offering to prove the validity of the source code through a file-hosting service.
Full Story: SiliconAngle (1/14) 
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IT Channel
Cisco Systems has reached a new accord with Acacia Communications to buy the optical technology company for roughly $4.5 billion, a 64% premium over their original agreement after legal action by both sides had threatened the deal. Cisco hopes to leverage Acacia's coherent optics technology to support its "Internet for the Future" strategy.
Full Story: FierceTelecom (1/14),  MarketWatch (tiered subscription model) (1/14),  The Wall Street Journal (1/14) 
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IBM expands hybrid cloud strategy with Taos buy
(David Ramos/Getty Images)
IBM is looking to bolster its cloud migration and transformation services with the purchase of Taos, a cloud-focused managed services provider. IBM's John Granger says Taos will add "the deep expertise, public cloud partnerships and innovative solutions needed to drive growth and adoption of IBM's hybrid cloud platform throughout the Americas."
Full Story: ZDNet (1/15) 
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IT Workforce
Microsoft President Brad Smith gave an impassioned presentation in the wake of the SolarWinds security breach, calling on the industry to protect the "technology supply chain." He also addressed the challenges that may arise from artificial intelligence as it relates to personal privacy and law enforcement.
Full Story: S&P Global Platts (free registration) (1/13) 
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Amazon engineer says teacher inspired her career
(Pixabay)
An eighth-grade math teacher's suggestion that student Nashlie Sephus attend a hands-on engineering camp for girls at a nearby university led to a promising career path for Sephus, who now manages the Amazon Web Services machine-learning group. Sephus is giving back to her hometown of Jackson, Miss., by funding a tech hub, as well as a local nonprofit offering technical assistance to students.
Full Story: IEEE Spectrum online (1/13) 
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Policy Watch
A guide released by the National Security Agency encourages enterprise networks to use internally hosted DNS servers instead of turning to third-party DNS resolvers. The agency says this measure guarantees "proper use of essential enterprise security controls, facilitates access to local network resources and protects internal network information."
Full Story: ZDNet (1/14),  BleepingComputer (1/14) 
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CompTIA News
CompTIA A+ is the starting point for a career in IT. The certification equips learners to troubleshoot and problem solve a variety of issues, qualifying you for an entry-level IT job. The CompTIA Blog has more insight into the benefits of becoming CompTIA A+ certified.
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Today's attack surface has radically changed due to long-standing trends in cloud adoption and recent global events. Join CompTIA and GDIT on January 27 for a free mini bootcamp on "Securing the Post-modern Attack Surface: Tactics and Strategies for Securing Emerging and Emerged Technologies." Cybersecurity experts will share insights on the steps that organizations are taking to address the constantly morphing attacks being waged today. Visit CompTIA Mini Bootcamp to register.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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