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Happy Earth Day! How Are You Contributing?

April 22, 2013 at 11:32 am PST

earth dayDid you know that you could keep approximately 19 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions out of the atmosphere for each gallon of gas you don’t use? By itself that may not seem like a big number, but for those who commute 5 days a week, 20 days a month and around 260 days a year, that is a lot of carbon emissions.

Telecommuting has become increasingly popular at organizations around the world. Many are developing formal programs and seeing the benefits of increased employee productivity, improved morale and business continuity.  The Association of Commuter Transportation (ACT) reports that 83 percent of the Fortune 100 companies allow employees to telework, including companies such as Google, Microsoft, Genentech and Starbucks.

That’s not all, in fact Read More »

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Cisco Employees To Be Among 1 Million STEM Mentors By 2020

Today, Cisco’s Patrick Finn, Senior Vice President, Public Sector, joined U.S. President Barack Obama and 9 other leading U.S. technology companies and education nonprofits to launch US2020 at the White House Science Fair.

US2020 is an all-hands-on-deck initiative that aims to connect more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals to students from kindergarten through college.

As part of the US2020 initiative, Cisco will utilize the expertise of its workforce and culture of giving back, with the goal of having 20 percent or more of employees volunteering at least 20 hours a year as STEM mentors by the year 2020.

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Customized WordPress, Joomla Brute Force Login Attempts

In recent weeks, the occurrence of brute force login attempts targeting WordPress and Joomla installations have significantly increased in volume, with some entities reporting triple the attempts seen in the past. The attack volume has been so severe that it has led some hosting providers to block all attempts to access wp-login.php, even for site owners or administrators. While blocking all access outright might seem a bit draconian, about 25% of websites globally include WordPress installations – a tremendous attack surface if left undefended.

During the course of its investigation, Cisco TRAC discovered a repository of data believed to potentially be feeding the brute force login attempts. The trove included user lists, site lists, and password lists. Additionally, there is a list that appears to be a compilation of usernames and passwords used in previous brute force login attempts, scrapings from phishing and cracking forums, as well as the Nmap password list of common passwords. The compiled list has over 25,000 entries, half of which were duplicates. After cleaning up the duplicates, we were left with 783 unique usernames and 11,001 unique passwords -- resulting in over 8.6 million possible combinations. However, it doesn’t appear the attackers are going to that extent; the total list of username/password pairs (with dupes removed) contained just over 13,000 combinations.

Examples of some of the more complex passwords discovered include:

  • 1numb2000core
  • 89525560336sasa
  • e10adc3949ba59abbe
  • 56e057f20f883e
  • 3l3c7rocard1ograph$
  • p1206n057ic47i0n
  • kaeLAA$3

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Cisco CEO to 2013 Graduates: #NeverStopLearning

April 22, 2013 at 8:08 am PST

Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers penned a message for 2013 college graduates in the San Jose Mercury News this weekend. Chambers will receive an honorary doctorate from San Jose State University on Friday, April 26th and offered these words of advice for new graduates…and all those of us looking to succeed in the 21st Century: “Never stop learning.”

In part, he wrote:

… “In speaking of new graduates, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman recently wrote that “given the pace of change today, even they will have to reinvent, re-engineer, and reimagine that job much more often than their parents if they want to advance in it.” He says these young people must be “innovation ready,” not just able to find a job, but invent one.

San Jose State University is part of this reinvention. This month, the university announced an expansion to its collaboration with edX, the not-for-profit online learning enterprise founded by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The result is that online courses will be made available to as many as eleven other California State University (CSU) campuses and thousands more students across California.” …

… Everyday across the world we are seeing this type of innovative teaching and learning, setting the stage for a different kind of lifelong training.

That’s what it takes in today’s fast moving, data driven Internet of Everything world. All of us must be innovation-ready, and realize that career growth will go to those who continue to leverage the 21st Century Mind by adapting, discovering, and learning new skills. To all graduates, I say congratulations and offer these three words of advice: Never stop learning.”

You can read his full op-ed here.

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CVRF: A Penny For Your Thoughts

The Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework (CVRF) is a security automation standard intended to make your life easier by offering a common language to exchange traditional security and vulnerability bulletins, reports, and advisories. You can read more about it on the official ICASI CVRF 1.1 page, in my CVRF 1.1 Missing Manual blog series, or in the cvrfparse instructional blog. CVRF 1.1 has been available to the public for almost a year and we would like to know how its helped and how we can improve it. Please take a moment to take the poll and please feel free to share it with any interested parties. Comments are encouraged and welcomed. The more feedback we get, the more we can improve CVRF.

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