The Big Issue: Ransomware
With the wanna cry ransomware outbreak this week and many people vulnerable to the attack many people are very paranoid in using their computer fearing they might get infected as well. Not to worry though here are some steps you can take in order to protect yourself:
Step 1: Install Anti-Virus / Anti-Malware
Step 2 : Stop Clicking Suspicious links
Stop opening suspicious links or attachment sent to you by email or instant messages . Think about for a bit do you really order something from UPS/DHL etc that they need you to check it out via email ? Hackers are sending these emails that try to convince users to open suspicious attachments that contain the virus . Don’t be stupid think twice before opening any email attachment especially if its from some random person you don’t even know .
Step 3 : Upgrade your system
Install the latest updates for your system and consider upgrading your system . Most of the users affected by the Wannacry ransomware are people using outdated operating systems such as windows XP and windows 7 which Microsoft has stopped rolling out updates a while ago . Since the attack Microsoft was forced to release patches for the Operating Systems to stop the virus from spreading . Its quite logical that many companies might still use older operating systems because of driver issues with older hardware which still work and there is no need to change them , if that is the case then proper network security should take place that will prevent a virus from spreading if the older system does manage to be infected.
Step 4 : Switch to Linux
I can not stress how much more secure Linux is and how stable it is . Sure there are viruses out there for Linux and Mac but they are much less in comparison to Windows Os and for good reason , since the user base is much smaller . Linux might not be for everyone but there is a Linux Distribution out there that can fit the needs of any individual be it playing games, composing music , running a server etc.
With Canonicals decision to end its development for the Unity desktop environment , which has been the standard environment for Ubuntu , it has seen many changes as a company in the last couple of days. Founder Mark Shuttleworth has taken back his position as CEO of Canonical making many employees leave the Linux Distro powerhouse any many more leaving On formal notice.
The Canonical creator is cutting figures after an exterior evaluation of his company by potential new financial backers found overstaffing and tasks that lacked emphasis.Tasks have been sliced because of this restructuring, notably the long-promised but never realised Unity 8 convergence project for device and desktop.
Some personnel were bid an instantaneous goodbye without forewarning.It is also claimed inner “town hall” meeting calls were organised with other personnel, alerting them of the looming slashes before El Reg broke the news to the entire world.
A spokesperson for Canonical informed “The Register” these layoffs are being conducted in a different ways around the world because the business operates in a variety of territories with different “regulatory requirements”. They recognized that this is creating doubt for employees.
Virtualization has many benefits one of which is the reduction of power usage from running multiple physical servers and having to cool them all. Instead of running 16 physical servers we can run 4 physical servers each running 4 virtual servers cutting down on maintenance costs and and cooling of the servers . If any of the virtual operating systems fails at any point we can recover from an older snapshot of it in seconds reducing the downtime of the server to a minimum .
Even if the physical server has a problem or requires maintenance we can migrate already running Virtual machines to an other physical server without interrupting its services and without even the user noticing . Transfer is done through gigabit Ethernet with speeds of up to 1 GB/S .
Big companies use server for hosting websites , ftp servers, call centers etc. Running these services on different physical servers means more money is spent on buying maintaining and cooling the servers. This in turn will have much smaller maintenance cost, less room to store it in and has a smaller upfront cost than having multiple physical servers . The overall foot print of the data center will be much less since we don’t need to house as much servers so we can save space . Virtualization allows easy installation of multiple Virtual machines at once for example we can clone a Virtual machine as many times as we like.
Further more virtualization removes dependency on particular hardware there for we dont need to keep identical hardware on hand in case something fails so IT can save money by buying cheaper hardware . In addition organizations can build standby servers in case of disaster and transfer the VM without any issues to the standby servers. We can isolate applications in a virtual machine and even if one of the virtual machines manages to get a virus it cannot spread to the host or other virtual machines as it is “sand boxed” in the VM. Also we can use older software by just installing an older operating system on a virtual machine and continue running older services from it.
When using Distributed Resource scheduling If a virtual machine requires more power it will use unallocated resources from other virtual machines to balance the load between them. This allows it to be optimized automatically due to load.
Virtualization affects software and hardware , it allows programers to write parallel programs for large clusters of computers to use for example clusters of computers can be used to crack passwords or render large 3d images. Also it allows users to reuse old software that its now incompatible with new hardware by using virtualization. Further with virtualization we can have a dedicated file server where all the programs and data of the servers are stored leaving server storage for critical systems files of operating systems . Essentially cloud computing need virtualization to exist as cloud computing is essentially an on demand service on the internet . So you can rent your own web hosting server . When you rent your own web hosting server you are essentially renting a virtual machine in a remote location outside your business or home.
Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Ubuntu for tablets and phones is dead, and that the Ubuntu desktop OS will be reverting back to GNOME instead of using Unity. This is a major change coming to Ubuntu since Unity has been the default desktop interface for about 6 years.
For some people this might be a big relief since Unity is known to be “heavy” as a desktop interface but for others which have become accustomed to it might have a difficult time transitioning.