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The following post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga.
Cyberattacks have made headlines throughout 2021.
Earlier this year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency jointly determined that Russia was behind the disastrous cyber-attack on SolarWinds Corp. SWI, a Texas-based company whose software services are used by hospitals, government agencies, and renowned tech companies. However, Russia has denied any involvement in the attack.
The attacker inserted and executed malicious code into an update of SolarWinds’ Orion IT software products. Up to 18,000 customers downloaded the contaminated software, which gave the attacker access to the system. A dozen big tech companies including Microsoft Corp. MSFT, Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, and Intel Corp. INTC have been identified as 3rd-party victims of the attack.
The rate at which cybercrime is growing is alarming. If it were measured as a country, cybercrime would be the 3rd-largest economy in the world with $6 trillion, just behind the U.S. and China. According to a report by security research company Cybersecurity Ventures cyberattacks will cost the world a total of $10 trillion annually by 2025.
Why the Surge in Cyberattacks?
One reported claim is that Linux, the operating system (OS) that powers almost every cloud server, was not built to run on the cloud. The OS also hasn’t had any major updates like its counterparts Windows and Apple Inc.’s APPL MacOS. This may be leaving Linux with major loopholes that might permit attackers to penetrate a system.
NanoVMs Inc. says its cloud OS based on unikernel technology could replace the old Linux OS, providing a solution to the existing cyber problem.
NanoVMs’s Unikernel-Based Cloud OS
Unikernels, which NanoVMs’s OS is based on, are considered by some to be an effective approach to combat cloud cybersecurity. One of the reasons is that by design, unikernels can only run a single process at a time. This eliminates any possibility of launching another program on the virtual machine (VM) while the other is already running. This shuts the door to what is considered a major vulnerability in Linux known as shellcode exploits or any other remote code execution technique used by attackers.
Unikernels do not have a shell like other operating systems. This puts a wall for hackers to enter into production machines. Hackers cannot execute a code or software on the production machines without first re-deploying it. This feature prevents users from attacks like the famous Equifax Apache Struts attack.
The source code for unikernels contains less code compared to Linux systems, which have millions of codes. Unikernels do not have many libraries or several processes running in the background. The unikernel only has the running application and the underlying software to help it run, narrowing down any potential attacks because the attacker is left with one option — to attack the application and not the entire system.
Unikernels do not provide any mode for user login. Users cannot execute code on production machines; rather, the application is configured at the compilation and deployment stage of an application life cycle. And what’s the advantage? Accidental configurations can be prevented, and hackers might be prohibited from executing code.
You can learn more about NanoVMs and its equity crowdfunding investment campaign at startengine.com/nanovms.
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The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.
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