IBM (IBM.N) dismissed on Monday a Forbes magazine report claiming the technology firm is preparing to cut about 26 percent of its workforce, which would represent its biggest-ever layoffs.
IBM is cutting jobs, as disclosed in its latest earnings report last week, but those reductions will affect "several thousand" employees, a "small fraction" of what Forbes reported, according to an emailed statement from IBM to Reuters. Forbes had said as many as 112,000 employees could be laid off. - Reuters (full story)
Cringely follow up with this article:
So what's the truth about these job cuts? Well we'll know this week because I hear the notices are already in transit to be delivered on Wednesday. (I originally wrote in the mail but then realized IBM would condemn me if they are coming by FedEx, instead.)
I think IBM is dissembling, fixating on the term 110,000 layoffs, which by the way I never used. Like my young sons who never hit each other but instead push, slap, graze, or brush, IBM is playing word games to obscure the truth.
- Full Cringely post
This makes the rest of the week mighty interesting.
Craig Wiseman January 27th, 2015 01:09:23 PM
There's no one driving the bus.
This has been pretty clear for years, but made even clearer by the dissolution of the Lotus brand.
Who "owns" and drives development for Connections, Portal, Sametime, Notes, Domino, etc.? The entire group of "social" products seems to be on autopilot. Who pushes them and markets them? If you are not in the IBM blackhole, it's impenetrable. And why would anyone not already sucked in care?
OK, what we really mean is that we value you[r renewals] as customers.
Virtually all the products in the Social area are in "milk the customer" mode.
There's no marketing.
Much requested basic maintenance and upkeep is not done.
It's OK if things are left broken as long as customers pay up.
We don't care what you want, it's all about I (BM).
Cringely has a good article about what's about to happen within IBM, go read it and the comments
For many years, when IBM was at its best, it found out what the customer needed and then produced hardware, software, and services to fill the need.
Now, it is hard to say what IBM is about, but it's certainly not about the people and companies that pay it money.
Craig Wiseman January 25th, 2015 11:58:03 AM
A worthy read, particularly the comments:
IBM's reorg-from-Hell launches next week
IBM's big layoff-cum-reorganization called Project Chrome kicks-off next week when 26 percent of IBM employees will get calls from their managers followed by thick envelopes on their doorsteps. By the end of February all 26 percent will be gone. I'm told this has been in the planning for months and I first heard about it back in November. This biggest reorganization in IBM history is going to be a nightmare for everyone and at first I expected it to be a failure for IBM management, too.
But then I thought further and I think I’ve figured it out…
Craig Wiseman January 23rd, 2015 10:57:17 AM
After much worrying non-communication, IBM came out with the initial POODLE for SSL patch and then the POODLE for TLS patch.
These were timely and clean fixes - thank you IBM for these.
I've included an email to IBM support regarding the fact that the POODLE SSL/TLS fixes break Domino as an internet-facing SMTP host... a role it Domino has served for many many organizations since the Notes Server R4 days.
If you are an IBM Domino customer, please call IBM support and open a PMR on this issue. Ask them to add the PMR to SPR LMES9QRUZY this will end weight to this issue and may sway development to actual fix this fundamental issue. (PMR = "Problem Management Record" | SPR = "Software Problem Report")
Craig Wiseman January 16th, 2015 12:56:27 PM
After much worrying non-communication, IBM came out with the initial POODLE for SSL patch and then the POODLE for TLS patch.
These were timely and clean fixes - thank you IBM for these.
However, we've noticed an issue with the impact these fixes have on SMTP traffic.
The issue is that the POODLE fixes completely drop support for SSLv2, which on one level is fine - SSLv2 is insecure. But there's a more subtle issue caused by completely dropping SSLv2 support:
According to various SSL/TLS RFCs (rfc2246)(rfc6176), the opening HELLO may be received even it it's SSLv2 and then a re-negotiate process must be run to upgrade the communication to an agreed, higher level.
Why is this a problem? Because there are a LARGE number of SMTP hosts that try to connect with an SSLv2-signed initial connection and Domino shuts them down. And NO mail gets received by Domino (REMINDER: Domino is a mail server, among its many other roles).
This issue has been raised and pushed by Mark Gottschalk and others - go read that thread. Historically IBM prided itself on providing robust, secure solutions. We're not seeing that here.
SMTP inbound TLS on Domino is incomplete/broken as currently offered. It only satisfies a lawyer's interpretation of 'we have given the clients a solution to the problem', and cannot be used for inbound SMTP by organizations in the real world without the risk of rejecting significant legitimate mail.
- Mr. Gottschalk
Wonder what some mailcontrol.com user is tring to send me? *sigh* I'll never know.
[0468:000A-17CC] 01/15/2015 07:54:23 AM SMTP Server: cluster-a.mailcontrol.com (220.127.116.11) connected
[0468:000A-0FA8] 01/15/2015 07:54:23.44 AM SMTP CITask StateMachine> Received 30 bytes from 18.104.22.168
[0468:000A-17CC] 01/15/2015 07:54:23.44 AM SMTP CITask StateMachine> Sent 182 bytes to 22.214.171.124
[0468:000A-17CC] 01/15/2015 07:54:23.57 AM SMTP CITask StateMachine> Received 8 bytes from 126.96.36.199
[0468:000A-0FA8] 01/15/2015 07:54:23.57 AM SMTP CITask StateMachine> Sent 24 bytes to 188.8.131.52
[0468:000A-0FA8] 01/15/2015 07:54:23 AM SMTP Server: cluster-a.mailcontrol.com (184.108.40.206) disconnected. 0 message[s] received
Craig Wiseman January 15th, 2015 09:12:21 AM
Mr. Thurrott wrote this a year ago, but it's worth a re-read. From a public perspective, Mr. Ozzie kind of disappeared into Microsoft, but it's clear he had the forethough and intelligence to see what was coming.
Microsoft's history is full of baloney legends, like "The Internet Tidal Wave" memo from Bill Gates that allegedly caused the company to "turn on a dime" and embrace the Internet (and in the process squash Netscape). But a more complete and less hagiographic telling of that history should also include those signs that Microsoft missed, and in this case, those memos that Microsoft completely and utterly ignored.
Ray Ozzie wrote at least two of them. And each is, in its own way, as prophetic and important as that Internet Tidal Wave memo.
Head over and read the whole thing:
Craig Wiseman November 1st, 2014 05:34:09 PM
What these are: GOOD Short time, targeted fixes to immediate issues Domino faces.
This is some good, hard news. Updates on what's going to be done and timelines that work.
Remember, the Poodle exploit is *at this point* proof of concept from Google, so we do have a window of time before it becomes a true issue.
This is a very acceptable approach. As I told support... I'm fine with having a Poodle-resistant solution for Domino 8.5.x and moving to full TLS and HTTP in 9.x.
Planned SHA-2 deliveries for IBM Domino 9.x
How is IBM Domino impacted by the POODLE attack?
What we still need: A commitment and roadmap to full TLS 1.2/1.3 and HTTP v2 support, native in Domino, across all platforms.
IBM is committed to delivering a secure and reliable offering. It is our intention to continue to address general enhancements including security updates as is our general practice in our product development cycles or in our ongoing subscription updates.
Craig Wiseman October 21st, 2014 10:37:17 AM
[Background research: Who was Cassandra?]
IBM announced some pretty bad news today... IBM's PAYING GlobalFoundries to take its chip making facility off its hands and IBM's given up on its HUGELY vaunted earnings plans.
If you're interested in why this may be, take a gander at what Cringely been saying for a long, long time:
The Decline and Fall of IBM
(italics are mine)
Even on the surface, IBM in early 2014 looks like a troubled company. Sales are flat to down, and earnings are too. More IBM customers are probably unhappy with Big Blue right now than are happy. After years of corporate downsizing, employee morale is at an all-time low. Bonuses and even annual raises are rare. But for all that, IBM is still an enormous multinational corporation with high profits, deep pockets, and grand ambitions for new technical initiatives in cloud computing, Big Data analytics, and artificial intelligence as embodied in the company's Jeopardy game-show-winning Watson technology. Yet for all this, IBM seems to have lost some of its mojo, or at least that's what Wall Street and the business analysts are starting to think.
Just starting to think? The truth is that IBM is in deep trouble and has been since before the Great Recession of 2008. The company has probably been doomed since 2010. It's just that nobody knew it. These are harsh words, I know, and I don't write them lightly. By doomed I mean that IBM has chosen a path that, if unchanged, can only lead to decline, corporate despair, and ultimately insignificance for what was once the mightiest of American businesses.
If I am correct about IBM, whose fault is it?
Craig Wiseman October 20th, 2014 10:02:14 AM
This seems promising. OK, "promising" is way overselling it.
Really, I guess it's not "promising" when the vendor acknowledges something that customers have been asking about for over 8 years.
But that's not the point:
Re: Poodle SSL vulnerability
We are currently working on statements regarding solutions for our clients with concerns around TLS and SHA-2.
David Kern | Resident Paranoid
STSM, Global ICS Security Architect
Craig Wiseman October 16th, 2014 09:51:56 PM
For over 8 years, there's been post after post, PMR after PMR, IdeaJam idea after idea on upgrade Domino's SSL security in order to keep it current.
(Here's a google search for: Please upgrade Domino SSL )
While they've been very busy apparently doing nothing about this, IBM's also been very quiet about it, although they have acknowledged that IBM's PAYING CUSTOMERS think it's important (see here).
Now, we expect to hear something about how to fix this. SOON. It's not like IBM hasn't had time to prepare.
Give me details!
Bill Malchisky covers the actual vulnerability very well, so I'll send you his way for the techy detail: New SSL3 Exploit: The POODLE Is Here and Lifting Its Leg ( http://planetlotus.org/c4db50 )
Update See the comments for some mitigation options for Domino. UNTIL IBM FIXES THIS.
Craig Wiseman October 15th, 2014 07:50:22 AM
What do you say when you have bad news or no news... when you really should be saying something?
One corporate take is to say as little as possible. (and hope the issue goes away, I guess).
I've blurred the name of the source for this comment, because I don't want her (or is it him?) blamed for my extrapolation.
Related to this issue we have an answer from our colleagues from Level 2 that even the future version 10 does not have the support for it yet - and there is an enhancement request even for that version. The enhancement request for SHA-2 is the most needed one in Domino history. The more customers are requesting it, the more chance there is that IBM will put time and money into fixing it. We added your PMR to this very long list. The software problem report number is SPR # ABAI7SASE6 and APAR #LO46492.
If you haven't yet, please call IBM and open a PMR in support of this SPR/APAR.
C'mon, IBM I want to believe you're going to do the right thing here. and soon.
Craig Wiseman October 6th, 2014 12:04:11 PM
One of the great things about Notes and Domino has been the iterative growth of features. Well, that was true until about 4 years ago. Lately, a lot has been said about IBM's poor performance in keeping Domino's security stack up to date:
Not that we've heard ANYTHING from IBM on this topic, but that's not the point of this post...
The HTTP/2 protocol is rapidly being developed and accepted.
The standardization effort comes as an answer to the rise of SPDY, an HTTP compatible protocol launched by Google and supported in Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer 11 and Amazon Silk browsers.
Full detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP/2
As paying customers of a pretty expensive product, I think we have a fair expectation that we see HTTP/2 support in Domino on the roadmap across all platforms, just as we expect TLS 1.3 and SHA-2+ across all protocols on all platforms.
I have completed the creation of Software Problem Report #ITDL9PMP32 (APAR #LO82258) reporting the issue to the Domino Development team.
I have created Software Problem Report asking that the product be enhanced to do this in a future release.
If you wish, please open PMR in support of this SPR/APAR
Craig Wiseman October 6th, 2014 07:21:39 AM
There's been a justifiable bit of a hullabaloo about security and IBM Domino (nee Lotus Domino).
The biggest point lately concerning Domino's shameful lack of general support for modern Web security has hinged around Domino's support for only the SHA1 hash. What's sad about this is that "The first signs of weaknesses in SHA1 appeared (almost) ten years ago. - Qualys Blog". Ten years ago... back when IBM gave the appearance of caring about Domino's future.
Now Google has announced (bolding is mine):
The use of SHA-1 within TLS certificates is no longer sufficiently secure. This is an intent to phase them out (in 2-3 years). In order to make such a phase-out execute smoothly, rather than be an Internet flag day, we will be degrading the experience when these certificates are used in the wild.
Google's full proposal, "Intent to Deprecate: SHA-1 certificates"
ZDnet discussion, "Google accelerates end of SHA-1 support; certificate authorities nervous"
This apparently means that in Google Chrome, your "secure" Domino websites will get a user interface indicator that there's something wrong, or not up to snuff with your site.
Just to remind you, as of 09/11/2014, here's IBM's official stance on SHA2 support:
click to see on IBM's site
When trying to import the root CA, with a key length of 4096 and SHA-256, the following error appears:
"Certificate signature does not match contents."
Is it possible to use a CA with a key length of 4096 and SHA-256 with Domino 8.x or 9.0.x?
Resolving the problem
No, Domino does not support SHA-2; only MD5, SHA-1, and DSA are currently supported. SPR # ABAI7SASE6 (APAR LO48388) has been submitted to Quality Engineering to request support for SHA-2 in future releases.
IMPORTANT: This SHA1 discussion is only a small piece of this issue. Traditionally, Lotus, then IBM has been a good steward and added new features and security to Domino as things evolved. Before v4.6, Domino didn't even have a web server (actually, it was called the Notes server before v4.6), and SMTP was originally a separate piece that hooked into the Notes server. LDAP, POP3, XML, RSS, etc... all were added and melded into the product over time. We need TLS 1.2+, DKIM, DMARC, etc.
Very simply and clearly, it's time for IBM to continue this process and add full TLS 1.3 support for all Domino services (HTTPS, SMTP, POP3, LDAP, IMAP, etc) on all platforms.
Otherwise, better hope Rose has some room on the plank for you.
Craig Wiseman September 11th, 2014 11:25:15 AM
I posted about this here in 2011. Other good folks have been posting about this as well, here, here, here, here, etc.
Simply put, Domino needs proper, modern TLS 1.3 support across all protocols, including SMTP, LDAP, HTTP, POP, IMAP, etc.
What kind of shocks me is that there's any discussion about making this happen. If I had a product in this situation, the only meetings I'd be having is about WHEN the enhancements will be finished.
IBM is all about security, except... when it isn't?
and, please... let's not hear anyone at IBM say, "We've not head that our customers want this."
What can be done?
+ Call in to IBM support and get them to create a PMR and add it to
"APAR LO48388: ENHANCEMENT REQUEST: SUPPORT SHA-2 ALGORITHM FOR SSL ON DOMINO"
Apparently "APAR LO67453 SPR #YDEN8RNH22 for Enhancement " has disappeared.
+ Comment here at what used to be Notes.net: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/ndseforum.nsf/xpTopicThread.xsp?documentId=0BBA1D75D92075FC85257D3B006FABB8
Craig Wiseman August 25th, 2014 11:51:58 AM
I've been sending versions of this email out for years and years (I had to update it when the term "phishing" came along), so I thought I'd put it up here as well.
Don't let the bad guys get you: How to Prevent Email Worms, Viruses, and Trojans
We have the best anti-spam and Anti-virus software. We have great firewalls, encrypted VPNs, secure servers... but it's not enough to save us from every "Day 0 Attack"*. An email worm*/virus*/trojan* can go worldwide in just minutes or even seconds, but it can take hours for antivirus vendors to analyze, create, and upload signature updates. It takes a bit longer for us to download and deploy them to our servers and PCs. Happily, there are some easy things we can all do to help limit that window of vulnerability and help keep the bad guys out of our systems.
#1: Understand - Knowing what an attachment really is and what it can do is the first step. Any executable* file attached to an email has the potential to be infected, and to infect your PC in turn. This covers a wide range of file types - basically it means any file that can be attached to an email.
#1b: Understand - Know what kind of emails to expect from what senders. For example - UPS, LinkedIn, Amazon.com, and the Better Business Bureau do not send unsolicited emails with ZIP files attached (or any attachments for that matter). If you receive an email from an entity with an attachment you were not expecting - be very suspicious of it.
#2: Purpose - We shouldn't open ANY attachment unless they were specifically requested or expected. Email viruses/worms are sent to email addresses found on infected users' PCs, so just knowing the sender does not protect you - they may be infected. Actually, the most likely person to send you an infected email is someone you know, and they most likely won't even know they are infected and that emails are going out in their name. To make things more complicated, viri & worms today falsify (spoof) the FROM email address, so the message may not even be from it appears to be from. If if you have any question or doubt, see #3.
#3: Is it REQUIRED? - Probably the simplest, but most ignored idea: You don't need to click that greeting card link or open that "kardashian_pics.zip" at work. So, DON'T.
#4: Get Secure - Most viri/worms are written to take advantage of problems with in Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express. Since we use Lotus Notes, we are somewhat protected in that area. However, take the time daily to make sure your antivirus client is up-to-date. Symantec issues new signatures pretty much daily, so check your antivirus and make sure it shows a date from the last few days.
#5: Patch your PC - Microsoft releases updates frequently and we push them out to our PCs. However, in order to not interfere with your work, we allow you to choose when to install them. When you are notified of new updates, please take the time to install them on the day you're notified of new one
* Wikipeida says:
Day 0 Attack: A zero-day (or zero-hour or day zero) attack or threat is a computer threat that tries to exploit computer application vulnerabilities that are unknown to others or undisclosed to the software developer. Zero-day exploits (actual code that can use a security hole to carry out an attack) are used or shared by attackers before the software developer knows about the vulnerability.
The term derives from the age of the exploit. When a developer becomes aware of a security hole, there is a race to close it before attackers discover it or the vulnerability becomes public. A "zero day" attack occurs on or before the first or "zeroth" day of developer awareness, meaning the developer has not had any opportunity to distribute a security fix to users of the software. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-day_attack)
Worm: A computer worm is a self-replicating malware computer program. It uses a computer network to send copies of itself to other nodes (computers on the network) and it may do so without any user intervention. This is due to security shortcomings on the target computer. Unlike a virus, it does not need to attach itself to an existing program. Worms almost always cause at least some harm to the network, if only by consuming bandwidth, whereas viruses almost always corrupt or modify files on a targeted computer. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_worm)
Phishing: The act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing emails may contain links to websites that are infected with malware. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or instant messaging, and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one. Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques used to deceive users, and exploits the poor usability of current web security technologies. Attempts to deal with the growing number of reported phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phishing)
Computer Virus: A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability. A true virus can spread from one computer to another (in some form of executable code) when its host is taken to the target computer; for instance because a user sent it over a network or the Internet, or carried it on a removable medium such as a floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB drive. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_virus)
Trojan Horse: A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is malware that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install but instead facilitates unauthorized access of the user's computer system. "It is a harmful piece of software that looks legitimate. Users are typically tricked into loading and executing it on their systems", as Cisco describes. The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trojan_horse_virus)
Executable: In computing, an executable file causes a computer "to perform indicated tasks according to encoded instructions,"as opposed to a data file that must be parsed by a program to be meaningful. These instructions are traditionally machine code instructions for a physical CPU. However, in a more general sense, a file containing instructions (such as bytecode) for a software interpreter may also be considered executable; even a scripting language source file may therefore be considered executable in this sense. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executable)
Craig Wiseman November 28th, 2012 09:28:43 AM