APRIL 1, 2016 VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1 (past issues)
Hackers Target TNW Coffee Machine, Disrupt Productivity
Recent malfunctions with the Tempered Networks’ coffee machine have been traced to a group of hackers intent on disrupting employee productivity. The touch screen stopped working and the internal boiler temperature wasn’t hot enough to brew coffee -- so many employees have relied on the nearby Tully’s and other coffee shops to fill the void. “We thought the thing just broke until they came to fix it and were locked out of maintenance mode,” explains one employee, “so we ran a trace on the software.” Malware signatures were discovered in the machine’s operating system that traced to a Zostaoyan hacking group. It is believed that the hackers were frustrated by the protection provided by TNW products, and how it impacts their illegal business.
New Licensing Vouchers Integrated with Bitcoin
Shortly after unveiling their new licensing server, the engineering team demonstrated integration with the Bitcoin transactional system. Instead of making a purchase order and going through order fulfillment, customers will be able to request vouchers for additional virtual HIPswitches directly from the new Licensing tab on their Conductors. Bitcoin is the first accepted form of payment due to its cryptographic nature - with secure distributed transactions.
Dan petitioned management for a “Bitcoin Integration Harness” but so far the expenditure has not been approved. Plans involve large numbers of GPU-based servers with water cooling.
SimpleDisconnect Firewall Appliance Announced
A new easy-to-use firewall appliance was launched along with the latest firmware release.
The product line is called “SimpleDisconnect” and starts with a 200-series midrange model. The firewall is controllable via existing the Conductor products, with the addition of a SimpleDisconnect firewall module. With a few clicks, OT and IT personnel can add powerful perimeter filtering for public Internet connections that fall outside the realm of HIPswitch protection. The firewall coordinates securely with HIPswitch identities to allow tunneled traffic per network policy.
Ads Sold on New 400-Series LCD Panel
A new revenue channel was discovered: selling IT-oriented advertisements on the LCD panel present on new 2nd-generation HIPswitch 400s. The 400 is typically housed in data centers and features a 2x20 character LCD module. Instead of simply communicating status, now advertisers can purchase text ads that flash across the display. Tempered Networks has revenue-sharing agreements with customers for this approach. A recent Ganey study showed that IT and OT personnel are a 35% untapped market, with all of the time this group spends isolated from ordinary media outlets.
Inside Sales uses 400-Series Inventory to Build Cube Walls
Multiple daily sales calls didn’t mesh with the new open floor plan for some inside salesmen. The large boxes containing new 400-series inventory provided a clever solution.
“We stacked these boxes to form our own cubicles again,” reported Arthur McGee in sales, “it makes things much easier for the sales calls.”
Before the next shipment of boxes arrives, the sales team faces a dilemma -- the more successful their sales calls, the smaller their privacy barriers become.
Are you a HIPster? Recruiting Campaign Launched
All Employees Issued Stand-up Workstations as Office Chairs Finally Fall Apart
Office chairs have been breaking at a rapid rate. Some of the office chairs didn’t survive the move, and the used ones in the new office just exceeded their limited 2-year warranties. To save costs on replacing all the broken chairs, stand-up workstations are being installed throughout the office. “I like standing throughout my day. I’m still sitting in lots of meetings, so it’s refreshing to stand up while I work,” reports one worker. Another commented, “my tilt function was broken for two weeks before the arms finally fell off. We had to throw that old chair out. I think the new stand-up will be great. Nothing to adjust.”
HIP Flasks Fashioned from Old 100 Chassis
The old, EOL-ed HIPswitch 100 chassis have been re-tooled by a promotional product firm as HIP flasks for storing alcoholic beverages. The HIP flasks were a popular give-away item at the recent RSA Conference booth. “I’m glad we found a use for these old things,” said Jeff L. who demoed at the conference. “We also considered giving them away as hand warmers for the homeless, but that has power supply issues.”
Marshall Adds 3 More Monitors, Wins Megapixel War
The developer rivalry over who has the most displays has been settled, with Marshall adding 3 more UHD LCD displays. The added megapixels have helped him quickly complete a I18N Canadian Internationalization and localization project. A large Canadian order depended on these changes. Now Marshall has 8 total displays, some driven by a ThunderBolt-connected external GPU module.
Tempered Introduces HA HA Mode
What do you do when your backup server fails during a failover? Tempered’s answer is to backup the backup. A new High Availability High Availability Mode enables primary, secondary, and tertiary HIPswitches for failover situations. “This is triple protection. This stuff is super secure, six nines of up time,” comments marketing director Havensley. “For cloud environments, having the HA HA Port is a crucial game changer. Instances may come and go in the cloud, but the HA HA HIPswitch triplet pretty much guarantees uptime. With HA HA, OT can take us seriously.”
HIPswitches Now Perform Evil Bit Detection
New RFC 3514 support was added in the latest firmware release. Inbound packets are now inspected to check if the evil bit is set. If so, they are automatically dropped by the system. The evil bit is a flag in the IPv4 header that helps distinguish between packets having malicious intent and those that are merely unusual. The evil bit check adds yet another layer of protection by thwarting attacks that would otherwise traverse the secure tunnels.
Verizon Int’l Certification Begins, Expected to Complete Early 2023
Verizon cellular certification for operating in international markets, such as Singapore and the Philippines, was kicked off this month. This extensive testing, paperwork shuffling, and re-testing process is forecasted to complete in 2Q 2023. “They basically will test operating the unit in every southeast Asian country for a period of time, not to mention European and Australian tests,” remarked Mike Gunstinson. The lengthy delays are rumored to be attributed to the explosion in popularity of LTE-equipped M2M devices being readied for market.