Tech Mahindra Collaborates with Amazon to Build Blockchain Services for Supply Chains

Tech Mahindra has partnered with Amazon to provide blockchain-built supply chain solutions for the telco, healthcare, and aviation industries. This Tech subsidiary of Mahindra Group, a leading Indian Conglomerate, has been pursuing blockchain built innovations for a while. It is set to scale its efforts towards other sectors, including financial services and energy, within the next 12-18 months.

Initially reported by the Economic Times, the firm will leverage Amazon’s managed blockchain to integrate industry-based solutions. Consequently, Tech Mahindra clients with access to Amazon Web Services will be able to use the company’s open-source infrastructure on AWS to track their supply-chains via a blockchain ecosystem.

With COVID-19 taking a toll on supply-chain networks, the initiative by Tech Mahindra and Amazon comes as a relief to most industries whose operations are reliant on procurement processes. Tech Mahindra’s Blockchain and Cybersec Practice lead, Rajesh Dhuddu, was keen to highlight the need to ensure sustainability through tech innovations,

“Global businesses are facing sustained headwinds and struggling to collectively navigate and strategize in this new, unchartered territory and facilitate business continuity in the current COVID world … Organizations are advised to leverage technologies like Blockchain to address the challenges and create a competitive advantage for themselves.”

This development coincides with a spike in blockchain innovations for supply chain processes, according to the latest Forrester report. The analysis notes that despite a drop in progress by most blockchain projects, those whose niche is supply chain have actually accelerated following the COVID-19 threat on global networks. Tech Mahindra, which now seems to pull more weight on this area, will assist the healthcare industry in issues tracking, hence easy identification of counterfeit products.

Notably, this Indian Tech giant has been involved in other blockchain projects before the pandemic. Earlier in the year, the firm collaborated with India’s Telengana state to launch a blockchain accelerator; other initiatives include a partnership with Samsung SDS back in 2019 as both company’s started making significant moves in the blockchain market.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

E-Commerce Giant, Amazon, Patents Blockchain Authentication Of Accepted Consumer Products

The world-leading e-commerce platform, Amazon Technologies Inc., filed a patent on blockchain technology for proving the authenticity of consumer goods in its online marketplace. The filing approved and made publicly available on Tuesday, May 26, 2020, describes the platform as an

“interface for verifiable tracking of an item through a supply chain using a distributed electronic ledger.”

The patent titled “Distributed ledger certification” was filed back in July 2017 with the U.S. Patents Office signaling a long term view of Amazon on distributed ledgers.

The platform aims at improving the trustworthiness of an item, service, or party as the world’s online marketplace grows to unseen levels. Currently, systems that lack transparency, coherency, referential integrity, or security set challenges for the global growth of online marketplaces. All these challenges reduce the trust between different parties – a problem that Amazon aims to solve with its DLT network.

The platform aggregates data from manufacturers, distributors, and shippers on an open network architecture to give the consumer real-time trusted information. The patent further touches on a possible implementation of permissioned enterprise network, Hyperledger.

Amazon in blockchain

In late September of last year, the company announced plans of hiring a specialist in blockchain in a bid to integrate decentralized ledger technologies in advertisements on the platform. The project will curb the mistrust between the sellers and buyers to create a more transparent and secure online marketplace.

Additionally, in late 2019, Amazon announced two blockchain-based products in early phase testing – Amazon Managed Blockchain and the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin: Ignition Of A New Bull Rally Or Violent Reversal Down?

  • Oil prices fall to a 20-year low of $11 a barrel
  • Bitcoin and stock market in the mix but Amazon flying, while downward pressure on gold
  • $8,000 needs to be broken and hold for a strong move upwards, $6,300 still expected

After climbing to nearly $7,300 over the weekend, Bitcoin is yet again shedding those gains falling below $7,000 on Monday. At the time of writing, BTC/USD has been trading just above $7k.

These losses are recorded as the price of the main US benchmark crude oil plummeted to as low as a mere $11 a barrel on Monday, a level not seen in about two decades. However, this unusual volatility is expected to be because investors have little interest in buying the futures contract expiring on Tuesday. June’s futures contract was trading higher at about $23 a barrel.

Still, oil buyers are few with global oil consumption expected to be a third lower in April because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazon has never been more powerful

The stock market is also now mixed as the US nears a deal for more support packages for small businesses. However, Amazon has emerged as a winner during the market turmoil as the company capitalizes on people in lockdown and unable to shop normally.

While Amazon is aiming to press to its advantage and dominate, resistance is also heating up. Anti-monopoly activists, immigrant groups, and labor organizations are working together to restrain the company as hundreds of thousands of workers are asked to step up even amidst the fear of health risks.

The company is “working around the clock to get necessary supplies delivered directly to the doorsteps of people who need them” but also firing employees who are speaking out.

“Amazon has never been more powerful, but the consequences of its power have never been more visible,” said Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and one of the leaders of the opposition. “It’s laid bare.”

Break and hold of $8,000 crucial

Meanwhile, the price of US Treasury bonds rose, suggesting investors are still shunning risky assets in favor of safe havens. Gold, however, traded slightly lower as the dollar edged higher amidst the growing optimism around coronavirus treatments and easing of global lockdowns. Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda said,

“The dollar is continuing to apply downside pressure to the yellow metal and may continue to do so if risk appetite wanes in the face of weak corporate results.”

Investors are currently bracing for weak data from quarterly results of corporations.

After four straight green weeks, Bitcoin is looking good but not to analyst Benjamin Blunts, “Seems like everyone over the weekend flipped bull, even the bears i follow flipped bull.” However, with the halving coming up in just over 20 days, there is reason to expect the bullish momentum to build.

“For me, I see a 5 wave decline on hourly with an abc up straight into the 0.618, I’m still short,” said the analyst who is expecting the next move to take us below $6,350 in the next few days.

As for the bullish side, trader Crypto Yoda said, a break of $7,475 could lead to a “strong breakout,” but it would be the break and hold of $8,000 that will be “very bullish and increase chances of a major spike, wiping out Bears and igniting the new rally.”

But again, the pump failure, unable to break the Daily EMA Cluster of $7,600-$7,900, could also lead to a “violent reversal down.”

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Author: AnTy

Revisiting Amazon Move Into DLT With Quantum Ledger Database And Managed Blockchain

Amazon has recently provided some more information about two of its blockchain-related projects. They are the Amazon Managed Blockchain and the Amazon Quantum Ledger Database.

The preview of these new products points out that they are still in a very early phase, but that Amazon is getting consistently more interested in the blockchain technology and that it plans on using it more and more in the near future.

During the presentation, two aspects were especially showcased: the immutability and the verifiability of the blockchain technology. People can use it to enter immutable records and easily verify them in a decentralized manner. This trust aspect is why the company is so interested. Several other companies can use this technology for many purposes.

One caveat of the presentation is that Amazon keeps using the term “quantum ledger” while quantum technology is still not here, which means that it is more of a buzzword than anything else.

The so-called quantum product (see here) was created for cases in which a complete blockchain is not needed, only parts of it. In this case, some of the immutable technology can be used, but in a more centralized way, so that a single entity controls the data. What there is of something really new here is that the database allows for inserts, but not for deleting information.

Amazon Managed Blockchain, (see here) on the other hand, is the real thing. A complete core blockchain product that can be used by companies that are interested in private blockchains. This platform is set to initially have support for Ethereum and the Hyperledger Fabric technology. While Hyperledger is for companies that want to create a private network, Ethereum is better for creating open ones.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Former Amazon Employee Hacked Capital One Bank and Used its Servers to Mine Cryptocurrency

In one of the most significant data breaches to ever be documented, former Amazon Web Services representative, Paige Thompson, is thought to be the brains behind the data violation of Capital One bank.

According to the charge sheet leveled against her, Thompson is believed to have not only breached Capital One bank information but also utilized its serves to secretly mine cryptocurrency. Apart from Capital One, Thompson is also being charged for infringing security protocols of other 30 companies where she managed to gain access to user information.

Federal agents arrested the 33-year-old Thompson for the crimes leveled against her, disclosing that the software engineer expert managed to compromise the country’s seventh most significant financial institution to access the private information of millions of applicants and customers.

According to an indictment that was unsealed on Wednesday, Thompson is facing a buffet of allegations leveled against her by the American government. Thompson was arrested Mid-July for her illegal activities that are said to have also affected more than 100 million Capital One customers who had applied for credit cards. The user information is said to have been stored on a defenseless Amazon server that was misconfigured by the bank.

Ex Amazon Employee Allegedly Managed to Hack Capital One

According to media outlets, Thompson was an employee of Amazon who also served as a system engineer for another cloud hosting company that used to service Capital One. While the cloud hosting company remains anonymous, Amazon Web Services representatives came out publicly to confirm the news of Thompson being a former employee of the company. Even though Thompson used to work for Amazon, she left the company three years before executing the hack.

It is believed Thompson managed to gain access to Capital One’s database by taking advantage of a misconfigured web application firewall.

How Thompson Hacked Capital One Bank

According to the government report, Thompson managed to pilfer Capital One’s computer login details from Amazon servers to gain him access to the company’s user information and servers. Thompson would later abuse the administration rights that she had learned over the company’s servers to both steal user information and use up server capabilities to mine virtual currencies. According to the indictment, such mining activities are usually known as crypto-jacking.

If found guilty, the 33-year-old cross-dresser who lived in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood will be imprisoned for 25 years in prison on one count of computer fraud and abuse and one count of money transfer fraud.

According to the accusations leveled against her, Thompson infringed user information from 30 institutions that include a US state office, an open research college, and a telecommunication combination. This is apart from the accusations of gaining illegal entry to Capital One bank servers and using their computer to mine cryptocurrencies for personal benefit.

Although court records remain dainty on Thompson’s crypto-jacking activities, the amount she earned from her illegal dealing is rumored to be hefty and substantial going by her Slack messages. It appears Thompson was very successful in her crypto-jacking activities going by her boasting cryptographic money messages that have since gone viral.

“I will be in operation soon. In the event I had a helper, I could have allowed them to do the heavy lifting over my crypto-jacking efforts and retire as a stay at home worker,”

Thompson boasted under a nom de plume.

In a move of arrogance and confidence, Thompson posted yet again assuming a different alias on June 26 saying:

“For reasons not known to me, it has come to my attention that I have lost a complete fleet of excavators all simultaneously. Am suspecting one if you guys are onto me.”

After a few weeks, the information hack was noted by Capital One bank prompting them to zero in Thompson’s hacking spectacle.

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Author: Ali Qamar