A HuaweiGoogle smart speaker was reportedly being developed before the US ban

first_img Post a comment In addition to adding Huawei to the entity list, Trump at the same time signed an executive order essentially banning the company in light of national security concerns that Huawei had close ties with the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that charge. Following the blacklisting, Google locked Huawei out of its Android updates, though the Commerce Department granted it a three-month general license in late May to update existing devices. Likely as a result, Huawei at the end of May moved to trademark the name of its own operating system, “Hongmeng,” in Peru. Huawei and Google declined to comment.First published at 2:14 p.m. PT on July 29. Updated at 2:53 p.m. PT: Huawei declined to comment; July 30 at 1:26 p.m. PT: Google declined to comment Huawei ban: Full timeline on how and why its phones are under fire Huawei secretly helped build North Korea’s wireless network, leaked documents suggest Huawei 5G ban could spread further How 5G got tied up in a trade war between Trump and China Tags The Huawei ban 0 1:23 Huawei’s P30 looks like fantastic forbidden fruit Smart Home Mobile Smart Speakers & Displays 18 Photos Share your voice Huawei was reportedly working on a smart speaker with Google. Angela Lang/CNET Huawei and Google were co-developing a smart speaker before the Chinese tech giant was blacklisted and banned in the US, according to a new report. Work on the smart home product was halted in May, The Information said Monday, citing several sources. Huawei was blacklisted in May when it was added to the United States’ “entity list,” But US companies will be able to sell equipment to Huawei, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed earlier this month, if they get licenses when there’s no threat to national security. Last week, US President Donald Trump reportedly agreed to award licensing deals between American companies and Chinese tech giant Huawei in a “timely” way. The Huawei smart speaker would have been powered by Google Assistant and been unveiled in September and sold in the US, The Information said.  “We worked on this project with Google for a year and made a lot of progress. Then everything suddenly stopped,” a Huawei employee reportedly said.  Google Huawei Now playing: Watch this: Huawei’s homegrown OS faces a steep uphill climblast_img read more

Market week Key factors likely to increase postbudget volatility

first_imgTraders are likely to be risk-averse in the first market session on Monday, February 4, as the stand-in finance minister Piyush Goyal presented feel-good interim budget 2019 provoked some edge-of-the-seat tension because of extreme market volatility.The markets should trade range bound, now that traders have priced in the feel-good factor the budget provided.The corporate world is right in the thick of an earnings season with some key market movers expected to announce their December quarter results during the week.The week is also expecting a key Reserve Bank of India (RBI) policy meeting giving the markets cause to be cautious.The benchmark indices ended up on the day of the budget on Friday, after Goyal announced steps to boost consumer spending. However, the indices sharply slid off the day’s highs amid concerns over the confusing fiscal math.After rising 521 points (1.44 per cent) in intra-day trade, Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Sensex ended just 213 points or 0.6 per cent higher at 36,778. The index’s upward momentum was helped by stocks in the automobile, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and realty sectors.National Stock Exchange (NSE) Nifty 50 swung wildly on Friday, February 1, as parliament’s budget session progressed. It hit a high of 10,983 and slumped to the red to touch a low of 10,813 points. Nifty 50 recovered marginally to end in the green closing at 10,893, marking a change of 63 points or 0.58 per cent.Banking stocks that account for a fourth of the index weightage fell sharply amid a spike in government bond yields that hit investor sentiment.Market observers attributed the early rally to the initial euphoria from the slew of announcements. Motilal Oswal, chairman and managing director of Motilal Oswal Financial Services, said that announcements such as the cut in income tax should help corporate earnings growth.Friday’s gainers like Hero Moto Corp and Maruti Suzuki India that rose 7.5 per cent and 5 per cent respectively could consolidate their gains during the week, but traders could expect some profit-taking.The badly battered banking stocks including YES Bank, State Bank of India, and ICICI Bank may remain under further pressure, according to observers.Concerns over extra borrowing could haunt the market through the week as the massive election-year sops begin to weigh on the fiscal balance. However, the market could find traction in the hope of increased consumer spending from the Rs 75,000-crore outlay for farm sector relief and the rebate declared for middle-income earners by freeing incomes up to Rs 5 lakh from the income-tax.Central bank meetingThe RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting later in the week assumes significance after the interim budget contains steps to boost consumption demand. If the central bank cuts repo rates and CRR to ease pressure on banks the market will react positively.EarningsCoal India (Buy Back), IDBI Bank, IRB Infrastructure, Indian Overseas Bank and Exide Industries will be announcing quarterly results on Monday (February 4).Tech Mahindra, GAIL, HPCL, ACC, BHEL, Punjab National Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, IDFC First Bank, DLF, Apollo Tyres, Tata Global and Dish TV will be announcing their results on February 5.Lupin, Cipla, Siemens, Adani Ports, Adani Power, JSW Steel, and Allahabad Bank, will come out with quarterly results statements on February 6.February 7 will see the December quarter results of Tata Motors, Aurobindo Pharma, Britannia, Adani Enterprises, Coffee Day, Cadila Healthcare, and Arvind and Grasim.Mahindra & Mahindra, NHPC, BPCL, and Engineers India will come out with their results on February 8.FII activityForeign investors have turned net buyers and this will augur well for the market. FIIs have bought about Rs 1,300-crore worth of shares so far, according to reports.last_img read more

Seize the Season

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Sometimes it snows in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during the holidays and sometimes it doesn’t, but there’s one thing Chris Padilla, 31, and Shannon Jacques, 34, can always count on: It’ll be the busiest time of year for their business on eBay and their retail drop-off store. “When it comes to holiday selling around here, it’s a huge push of people coming in,” says Padilla, whose business, E-Sell4Dollars (eBay User ID: e-sell4dollars), has weekly sales of between $6,000 and $9,000.Padilla also knows that the holidays are a make-or-break time, because that’s when push really comes to shove. Every one of the thousand details that come with running a business on eBay becomes more critical than ever, from carrying the right products to making sure orders get to last-minute gift-givers in time. “Shipping is crazy,” Padilla says. “If you have 300 to 400 packages going out and you have to have them out in a couple of days, it can be a challenge.”Preparation is the key to surviving and prospering during the holiday madness. “Like anything else, luck favors the well-prepared,” says Todd Lutwak, eBay’s senior director of seller development. “The more you think about this and the earlier jump that you get, the better off people usually are.”Early BirdsOne seller’s early start may look like a late start to someone else. Barry A. Goldblatt, owner of Epower2go Inc. (eBay User ID: epower2go) in Plano, Texas, reached PowerSeller status only three months after starting on eBay. Goldblatt, who’s been selling online through other channels for years, says January is not too soon to begin preparing for the year-end holidays. In January, conventional retailers liquidate unsold inventory at steeper discounts than at any other time of year. So shortly after New Year’s Day he’s not just thinking about what he’ll sell during the next holiday season, he’s actually buying inventory. “The only way you [can] compete is to go to other sellers and retailers and pick up what they’re dumping after a big season,” says Goldblatt, 59.For other sellers, clearing the shelves may assume more importance than stocking them. Padilla, for instance, has to clear space in his drop-off location for the flood of items customers bring to him to sell over the holidays. While clearing space is important, it doesn’t require starting a year in advance. “Usually, we’ll start preparing the store the month before the holidays,” he says.You can decide when to start prepping by coordinating your schedule with the holidays you are serving. “Know the calendar and work backward,” Lutwak says. “Know when things like Hanukkah are, and go 15 or 20 days back.” That amount of time should give you the opportunity to get your items listed, complete the listings, receive payments and ship the items for delivery before the holiday in question, he says. “During the holiday season, buyers are incredibly sensitive to delivery times,” he adds. “So you’ve got to work from those days backward.”You may want to start working even earlier to make sure all your systems are tuned up for the expected rush. For instance, design holiday listing templates well ahead of time so you’ll be able to quickly place items for sale when the time comes. Padilla creates templates featuring holiday-themed décor, such as Christmas lights.Earlier still, begin building inventory so you won’t run out of hot items just when demand peaks. It’s important to purchase inventory at an economically feasible price, but you can’t buy something just because it’s cheap. Before acquiring any inventory, Goldblatt checks eBay listings to see how many other sellers offer the same or similar items. “If you’re not careful, you’ll buy something that 20 or 30 other people are already selling on eBay,” he says. “Then you can only compete on price.”Lutwak suggests paying attention to your own shopping experiences when deciding what to stock for the holidays. Start buying for your gift list as early as you can and take notes when you see shortages of popular products developing. Those items might be good candidates for your own eBay sales. “If you’re having trouble finding quantities in October, it’s a pretty good indication that come the holiday season, that stuff might be even more scarce,” Lutwak says.While looking for mass-produced goods that are inexpensive or in high demand, keep a sharp eye out for products that are always in short supply. “Look for the magic eBay buzzwords–limited edition, exclusive and so on,” Lutwak says. When you have something truly rare or even one-of-a-kind, what you paid for it assumes much less importance, and competition from other sellers becomes almost irrelevant.Best PracticesGood listing practices always carry great relevance, and the holidays are no exception. “The standard listing best practices apply: Write a great item title, use the proper keywords, have a great picture,” Lutwak says. “If you’re selling multiple quantities, using a listing subtitle is a good idea. And be concise. Give the buyer all the information they need to make a purchase decision without scrolling.”Some other practices come into play at the holidays. As one possibility, Lutwak suggests adding gift-giving recommendations. A listing for a toy, for instance, might describe it as a great gift for both boys and girls ages 5 and under. “During the holiday season, people are shopping for others and not really themselves,” he says. “It’s really good to say, ‘This is a great gift for the man who has everything,’ and that sort of thing.”Goldblatt sets up gift-giving categories on his site and tries to write titles for them that sizzle. For example, he picked “Palm Pilot Riot” for a category consisting of items related to Palm Pilot handheld computing devices. He takes time to shoot extra-sharp pictures and packs more of them into his listings than at other times. “You have just a few seconds to get somebody’s attention,” he says. “If it takes more than a few seconds to find something they want, you’ve probably lost them.”Descriptions also become more detailed. “If somebody’s buying a gift, they want to know everything about it,” Goldblatt says. “Was it new in the box? Was it properly stored? We try to answer every question that we can without being so verbose that the customer won’t read all of it.”Timing is everything during the holidays–more so than at other times of the year. While most sellers use the conventional seven-day listing, they may leave listings up for fewer days as the gift-giving days get closer to make sure listings will be completed in time for payment and shipping. Alternatively, Padilla says, sellers will use 10-day auction-style listings for special items to give bidders plenty of time to submit their offers. He’ll create listings as short as one day for things like tickets for events that are taking place very soon.Standing OutCreating effective listings isn’t the only move eBay sellers can make to rise above the crowd of sellers that appears during the holidays. Standing out starts with knowing who you want to stand out to, says iRebound owner Pedro Rivarola (eBay User ID: pjcrr1), who sells about $1,500 worth of exercise equipment on eBay each week. “I have a profile of my buyers,” says Rivarola, 58. “Most of them come from California, and most are women between [their] late 30s and late 60s. So I need to have that in mind.”Having an accurate customer profile comes in handy when executing strategies that are designed to help you stand out. For instance, offline advertising is a key component of many holiday-season selling plans. Rivarola mails post cards and catalogs to addresses he’s collected from past customers and can use the profile data he’s created to identify lists of other likely customers.To encourage people to give him a try, Rivarola offers free goodies such as T-shirts to people placing orders. “I need to give away something,” he says. “I need to make them believe that they’re [getting] a great deal by buying my product.” Don’t forget your eBay status when you’re looking for a way to stand out with offline ads. Rivarola includes his PowerSeller status, positive feedback rating and Detailed Seller Rating comments on his postcards and other mailers. “They will trust that because eBay is a reputable company, and my feedback is 100 percent positive,” he says.Direct mail isn’t the only channel you can or should use to bring buyers to your listings. “We do a lot of advertising through the local paper, and we do advertising online,” Padilla says. “We are also all over the Yellow Pages, which has worked out for us. If people are looking in the collectibles and antiques categories there, they’ll find a color ad with our name on it.”If shoppers are searching for gifts on eBay, they are often looking for hard-to-find items not available in their local stores or, even more frequently, for affordable prices–depending on the category and specific item. Goldblatt believes good pricing starts with good buying. “I have this idea that there needs to be a 4 to 1 ratio between what an eBay seller could buy something for and successfully sell it vs. what a standard retailer could do,” he says. This means that if an item retails for $10, for example, an eBay seller has to get it for no more than $2.50 to be able to reliably sell it for a profit.The holidays are also a good time to go beyond the auction-style listing format, Lutwak says. That’s because shoppers may be in a hurry and therefore uncomfortable with the delay and uncertainty of an auction. These buyers want other shopping formats such as Buy It Now so they can move on to the next item on their shopping list. “I’m not telling people not to sell in the auction format,” he says. “But that time of year is a good time to also sell in another [format], such as Fixed Price.”Another way to approach pricing is to use the Best Offer feature on Fixed-Price listings. “It’s a great feature on eBay, and we’ve enhanced it this year,” says Lutwak. Best Offer allows you to automatically accept an offer over a specified amount. “Say you have a product you sell for $100,” says Lutwak. “You can tell the system, I’ll accept any offer over $94. If someone makes an offer of $97, it’ll say go.”One time you’ll want to go with an auction-style listing is when you have a hot item that’s sure to draw attention from many motivated bidders. However, take care not to set the bid floor too high. “People on eBay don’t like auctions that start off too high,” says Padilla, who urges his clients to set bid prices at no more than $9.99 for almost everything.Your customers won’t like everything they buy, of course, and sometimes they’ll want to return items. When that happens, most sellers who have a perfect feedback rating have a no-questions-asked policy. “If they don’t get it or it gets there broken, we don’t argue,” says Goldblatt. Instead, they apologize and offer to replace the item at no cost–including shipping–or they immediately issue a credit. “We try to make it as simple as possible,” he says. “There’s probably no way to maintain 100 percent positive feedback ratings as we get bigger, but our goal is to do that for as long as possible.”Clearly, Padilla offers great customer service: He has sustained perfect feedback ratings on more than 5,000 transactions. He also does not change his policies during the holidays. “We always try and keep firm on our return policies,” he says. “We say everything is sold as-is. However, if we ever get a buyer who has a concern or is not satisfied, we always try to offer other options. We’ll get them to send it back and we’ll replace it if it’s something we have more than one of. We really try to work with them.”Shipping for SuccessWorking with customers during the holidays means making sure they get their purchases in time to give as gifts on the appropriate day. For this, Goldblatt emphasizes shipping items as soon as possible. “Typically, if someone orders in the morning, it ships that afternoon,” he says. “If it’s ordered in the afternoon, it ships the next day. We ship Priority Mail, which is reasonably fast.”Rivarola offers express shipping as an option during the holidays, but few take advantage of it because of the cost–his trampolinelike rebounders weigh 37 pounds, which means rapid shipping costs a lot. “We can do it, but it will be quite expensive,” he says. “And we cannot just give [express shipping] to them for free unless we raise the price.”Speaking of costs, this year shipping is going to cost more across the board than it has in the past, Goldblatt says. He and other eBay sellers have all had to cope with higher prices from their shipping suppliers as fuel costs have climbed. The preferred coping strategy is to pass it on to customers, despite the occasional complaint. “We can’t take a hit on shipping,” he says. “We have to sell it for what it costs us to ship and pack.”Fortunately, there’s one solution to shipping and packing conundrums that doesn’t cost a penny: Include clear, honest and detailed shipping information in every listing. That’s especially important during the time-strapped holidays, Lutwak says. Padilla likes to use a table or matrix showing the date items need to be purchased by for them to arrive for the holiday. “We push that to make sure buyers know when they have to get their item paid for if they want to have it in time,” he says.Tables and matrices don’t work so well when it comes to international shipping. The vagaries of customs procedures in different countries mean shipments can be unexpectedly and unavoidably held up, Padilla says. “With international shipments, it’s hard to fully guarantee anything, because it’s so dependent on the customs offices.” Despite the reliability issue, Lutwak urges sellers to offer international shipping. New shipping features on eBay make it easier than ever to print labels and obtain discounts from shippers for international deliveries. And depressed U.S. currency valuations make U.S. sellers more competitive than ever to shoppers in other countries, he says. Also, international shoppers already represent a big market. Says Lutwak, “During the last holiday, I had certain electronics sellers tell me that more than 50 percent of the business was international business.”No matter where they come from, shoppers always like to save money on shipping. Padilla leverages that love of discounts by offering reduced shipping on multi-item purchases during the holiday season. “A lot of Stores won’t do that because it requires a lot more work,” he says. “But we see an increase in sales when we do. If [customers are] looking through your Store and you offer combined shipping, they’ll look for something else they can buy so they can save on shipping.”Service CountsEven offering truly remarkable savings may not help if customer service falls short. And good customer service is largely just a matter of being ready and willing to communicate with customers about what concerns them, says Rivarola. “When you understand the issues of others and you are behind your product whatever happens, you say, ‘Call me anytime, and I will solve it, whatever it takes,'” he says. “That’s real customer service.”Sometimes during the holiday rush, sellers mistakenly try to take shortcuts on answering questions, especially when they’ve made extra efforts to write listings that answer almost any conceivable question, Lutwak says. He points out that many holiday shoppers have never done business with you or even on eBay, so when they ask questions, it may not be because they don’t know the answer. They sometimes just want to reassure themselves that a responsive individual is behind that listing. “Answering questions quickly is always a really good best practice,” Lutwak says. “Often when buyers see you answer a question, you’ll see a bid or purchase.”After a purchase, it’s a good idea to send out a comprehensive e-mail announcing that the product has shipped, thanking the customer for the purchase and prompt payment, and providing other information such as tracking numbers and expected delivery dates. Rivarola goes even further than that, mailing a handwritten thank-you note to every customer. “It takes a little more time,” he says, “but that’s the way it should be.”Goldblatt regards the opportunity for this kind of after-sale follow-up as one of the best features of the holidays. Sure, the end of the year is a critical period for all kinds of sellers, not just those on eBay. But most, if not all, sellers hope to be in business for well beyond this holiday season. So Goldblatt aims to take advantage of the extra traffic to drive more than this year’s sales.”It’s a time when we get a lot more visitors, and we know that,” Goldblatt says. “So we’re also using it to build business for succeeding years and get more people to connect to us via the mailing list. That’s really where we’re headed.”Mark Henricks writes on business and technology for leading publications and is author of Not Just a Living. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global August 1, 2008 15 min readlast_img read more

Recap Major South Cheshire road closed due to accident

first_imgUPDATE: The accident has now cleared A major road in South Cheshire is closed following an accident this evening. The A50 Newcastle Road is shut in both directions between Love Lane (Fourlanes End) and A534 Congleton Road ( Arclid Traffic Lights, Arclid Green) – between Rode Heath and Arclid. The accident is understood to involve two vehicles and traffic is moving very slowly in the area as a result. Inrix, the traffic data company, reports the closure was put into place at 6.05pm. It is unclear how long the closure will be in place for at this stage. We will bring you further updates on this incident when they become available. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Read MoreTop stories on StokeonTrentLive Police search for missing woman Driver named following fatal collision Punter found hiding in bushes center_img Dad slams ‘disgusting’ hospital window Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . Want to keep up to date with the latest traffic and travel news?Each day Stoke-on-Trent Live journalists bring you the latest news on the roads and railways across Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire, South Cheshire and further afield to help keep you on the move. For the very latest updates on roads including the M6, A500, A50 and more, visit our dedicated traffic and travel news channel here. We also run a live news feed each weekday, which you can access on our website’s homepage from 7am to 9pm from Monday to Friday. And for more as-we-get-it updates on the roads across the region and beyond, join The Sentinel’s traffic and travel Facebook group here. Location of the closure (Image: Inrix)last_img read more

Log monitoring tools for continuous security monitoring policy Tutorial

first_imgHow many times we have heard of organization’s entire database being breached and downloaded by the hackers. The irony is, they are not even aware about anything until the hacker is selling the database details on the dark web after few months. Even though they implement decent security controls, what they lack is continuous security monitoring policy. It is one of the most common things that you might find in a startup or mid-sized organization. In this article, we will show how to choose the right log monitoring tool to implement continuous security monitoring policy. You are reading an excerpt from the book Enterprise Cloud Security and Governance, written by Zeal Vora. Log monitoring is a must in security Log monitoring is considered to be part of the de facto list of things that need to be implemented in an organization. It gives us the power of visibility of various events through a single central solution so we don’t have to end up doing less or tail on every log file of every server. In the following screenshot, we have performed a new search with the keyword not authorized to perform and the log monitoring solution has shown us such events in a nice graphical way along with the actual logs, which span across days: Thus, if we want to see how many permission denied events occurred last week on Wednesday, this will be a 2-minute job if we have a central log monitoring solution with search functionality. This makes life much easier and would allow us to detect anomalies and attacks in a much faster than traditional approach. Choosing the right log monitoring tool This is a very important decision that needs to be taken by the organization. There are both commercial offerings as well as open source offerings that are available today but the amount of efforts that need to be taken in each of them varies a lot. I have seen many commercial offerings such as Splunk and ArcSight being used in large enterprises, including national level banks. On the contrary, there are also open source offerings, such as ELK Stack, that are gaining popularity especially after Filebeat got introduced. At a personal level, I really like Splunk but it gets very expensive when you have a lot of data being generated. This is one of the reasons why many startups or mid-sized organizations use commercial offering along with open source offerings such as ELK Stack. Having said that, we need to understand that if you decide to go with ELK Stack and have a large amount of data, then ideally you would need a dedicated person to manage it. Just to mention, AWS also has a basic level of log monitoring capability available with the help of CloudWatch. Let’s get started with logging and monitoring There will always be many sources from which we need to monitor logs. Since it will be difficult to cover each and every individual source, we will talk about two primary ones, which we will be discussing sequentially: VPC flow logs AWS Config VPC flow logs VPC flow logs is a feature that allows us to capture information related to IP traffic that goes to and from the network interfaces within the VPC. VPC flow logs help in both troubleshooting related to why certain traffic is not reaching the EC2 instances and also understanding what the traffic is that is accepted and rejected. The VPC flow logs can be part of individual network interface level of an EC2 instance. This allows us to monitor how many packets are accepted or rejected in a specific EC2 instance running in the DMZ maybe. By default, the VPC flow logs are not enabled, so we will go ahead and enable the VPC flow log within our VPC: Enabling flow logs for VPC: In our environment, we have two VPCs named Development and Production. In this case, we will enable the VPC flow logs for development VPC: In order to do that, click on the Development VPC and select the Flow Logs tab. This will give you a button named Create Flow Log. Click on it and we can go ahead with the configuration procedure: Since the VPC flow logs data will be sent to CloudWatch, we need to select the IAM Role that gives these permissions: Before we go ahead in creating our first flow log, we need to create the CloudWatch log group as well where the VPC flow logs data will go into. In order to do it, go to CloudWatch, select the Logs tab. Name the log group according to what you need and click on Create log group: Once we have created our log group, we can fill the Destination Log Group field with our log group name and click on the Create Flow Log button: Once created, you will see the new flow log details under the VPC subtab: Create a test setup to check the flow: In order to test if everything is working as intended, we will start our test OpenVPN instance and in the security group section, allow inbound connections on port 443 and icmp (ping). This gives us the perfect base for a plethora of attackers detecting our instance and running a plethora of attacks on our server: Analyze flow logs in CloudWatch: Before analyzing for flow logs, I went for a small walk so that we can get a decent number of logs when we examine; thus, when I returned, I began analyzing the flow logs data. If we observe the flow log data, we see plenty of packets, which have REJECT OK at the end as well as ACCEPT OK. Flow logs can be unto specific interface levels, which are attached to EC2 instances. So, in order to check the flow logs, we need to go to CloudWatch, select the Log Groups tab, inside it select the log group that we created and then select the interface. In our case, we selected the interface related to the OpenVPN instance, which we had started: CloudWatch gives us the capability to filter packets based on certain expressions. We can filter all the rejected packets by creating a simple search for REJECT OK in the search bar and CloudWatch will give us all the traffic that was rejected. This is shown in the following image: Viewing the logs in GUI: Plain text data is good but it’s not very appealing and does not give you deep insights about what exactly is happening. It’s always preferred to send these logs to a Log Monitoring tool, which can give you deep insights about what exactly is happening. In my case, I have used Splunk to give us an overview about the logs in our environment. When we look into VPC Flow Logs, we see that Splunk gives us great detail in a very nice GUI and also maps the IP addresses to the location from which the traffic is coming: The following image is the capture of VPC flow logs which are being sent to the Splunk dashboard for analyzing the traffic patterns: The VPC Flow Logs traffic rate and location-related data The top rejected destination and IP address, which we rejected AWS Config AWS Config is a great service that allows us to continuously assess and audit the configuration of the AWS-related resources. With AWS Config, we can exactly see what configuration has changed from the previous week to today for services such as EC2, security groups, and many more. One interesting feature that Config allows is to set the compliance test as shown in the following screenshots. We see that there is one rule that is failing and is considered non-compliant, which is the CloudTrail. There are two important features that Config service provides: Evaluate changes in resources over the timeline Compliance checks Once they are enabled and you have associated Config rules accordingly, then you would see a dashboard similar to the following screenshot: In the preceding screenshot, on the left-hand side, Config gives details related to the Resources, which are present in your AWS; and on the right-hand column, Config gives us the status if the resources are compliant or non-compliant according to the rules that are set. Configuring the AWS Config service Let’s look into how we can get started with the AWS Config service and have great dashboards along with compliance checks, which we saw in the previous screenshot: Enabling the Config service: The first time when we want to start working with Config, we need to select the resources we want to evaluate. In our case, we will select both the region-specific resources as well as global resources such as IAM: Configure S3 and IAM: Once we decide to include all the resources, the next thing is to create an Amazon S3 bucket where AWS Config will store the configuration and snapshot files. We will also need to select IAM role, which will allow Config into put these files to the S3 bucket: Select Config rules: Configuration rules are checks against your AWS resources, which can be done and the result will be part of the compliance standard. For example, root-account-mfa-enabled rule will check whether the ROOT account has MFA enabled or disabled and in the end it will give you a nice graphical overview about the output of the checks conducted by the rules. Currently, there are 38 AWS-managed rules, which we can select and use anytime; however, we can have custom rules anytime as well. For our case, I will use five specific rules, which are as follows: cloudtrail-enabled iam-password-policy restricted-common-ports restricted-ssh root-account-mfa-enabled Config initialization: With the Config rules selected, we can click on Finish and AWS Config will start, and it will start to check resources and its associated rules. You might get the dashboard similar to the following screenshot, which speaks about the available resources as well as the rule compliance related graphs: Let’s analyze the functionality For demo purposes, I decided to disable the CloudTrail service and if we then look into the Config dashboard, it says that one rule check has been failed: Instead of graphs, Config can also show the resources in a tabular manner if we want to inspect the Config rules with the associated names. This is illustrated in the following diagram: Evaluating changes to resources AWS Config allows us to evaluate the configuration changes that have been made to the resources. This is a great feature that allows us to see how our resource looked a day, a week, or even months back. This feature is particularly useful specifically during incidents when, during investigation, one might want to see what exactly changed before the incident took place. It will help things go much faster. In order to evaluate the changes, we will need to perform the following steps: Go to AWS Config | Resources. This will give you the Resource inventory page in which you can either search for resources based on the resource type or based on tags. For our use case, I am searching for a tag value for an EC2 Instance whose name is OpenVPN: When we go inside the Config timeline, we see the overall changes that have been made to the resource. In the following screenshot, we see that there were a few changes that were made, and Config also shows us the time the changes that were made to the resource: When we click on Changes, it will give you the exact detail on what was the exact change that was made. In our case, it is related to the new network interface, which was attached to the EC2 instance. It displays the network interface ID, description along with the IP address, and the security group, which is attached to that network interface: When we start to integrate the AWS services with Splunk or similar monitoring tools, we can get great graphs, which will help us evaluate things faster. On the side, we always have the logs from the CloudTrail, if we want to see the changes that occurred in detail. We covered log monitoring and how to choose the right log monitoring tool for continuous security monitoring policy. Check out the book Enterprise Cloud Security and Governance to build resilient cloud architectures for tackling data disasters with ease. Read Next: Cloud Security Tips: Locking Your Account Down with AWS Identity Access Manager (IAM) Monitoring, Logging, and Troubleshooting Analyzing CloudTrail Logs using Amazon Elasticsearchlast_img read more

Train station near Disneyland Paris evacuated last night

first_img Friday, August 19, 2016 << Previous PostNext Post >> The Canadian Press Posted by Share PARIS – A train station close to Disneyland Paris was evacuated for two hours Thursday evening as bomb disposal teams were called in to examine a suspicious package.An Associated Press reporter witnessed how police and security staff of the SNCF, France’s national rail operator, sealed off Marne-la-Vallee train station, 25 kilometre (15 miles) east of the French capital.Thousands of travellers were later allowed to get back to the train station, yet the train traffic remained partially disrupted.Paris’ police confirmed there had been an intervention due to a “suspicious package” in the train station, but didn’t immediately provide any more details.Disneyland Paris said the park remained open to the public.Stations close to the site have been evacuated several times in recent weeks in what turned out to be false alarms amid a summer of tensions after a string of deadly extremist attacks.The park hosts about 15 million visitors a year, more than any attraction in Europe.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthThe French government held a special meeting Wednesday to discuss security measures, including a decision to increase the number of troops patrolling in sensitive sites of the Paris region as the new school year is about to start. Train station near Disneyland Paris evacuated last nightlast_img read more