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Dispatches from the world of IT


European Cybercrime Center

The European Commission has established a European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol. According to the announcement, the EC3 will be the focal point in the EU's fight against cybercrime. The EC3 was officially launched January 1, 2013 with a mandate to tackle such crimes as online fraud, online child sexual exploitation, and activities that affect critical infrastructure and information systems in the European Union.

The scale of cybercrime represents a considerable challenge to law enforcement agencies, requiring a coordinated approach across borders, and the EC3 is intended to support EU member states and institutions in building operational and analytical capacity for investigations.

Director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, said: "The threats from cybercrime are dynamic and rapidly evolving, but a revolution is now underway in EU law enforcement and the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) will be at its forefront. By building trust and establishing information flows between law enforcement and cybersecurity stakeholders, we will be smarter, faster, and stronger, ultimately resulting in a safer cyberspace for EU citizens and businesses."

The EC3 is hosted by Europol – the European law enforcement agency in The Hague, Netherlands.

Samba 4.0 in the Wild

The Samba team announces Samba 4.0 – the latest version of the free software file, print, and authentication server suite for Microsoft's Server Message Block (SMB) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) file service protocols.

Samba 4.0 goes far beyond simple file and print service capabilities. According to the Samba developers, the latest release is "the first compatible Free Software implementation of Microsoft's Active Directory protocols."

The complete package provides the necessary functionality for Samba to serve as an Active Directory compliant domain controller. In addition to file and print services, Samba 4 includes an LDAP directory server, Heimdal Kerberos authentication server, a secure Dynamic DNS server, and implementations of all necessary remote procedure calls for Active Directory. Samba 4.0 supports all versions of Microsoft Windows clients currently supported by Microsoft, including Windows 8.

Apache Releases Cassandra v1.2

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced Apache Cassandra v1.2.

The latest version of the Cassandra NoSQL database includes clustering across virtual nodes, internode communication, atomic batches, and request tracing. Cassandra is designed to provide linear scalability and fault tolerance on commodity hardware or cloud infrastructures. Data is automatically replicated to multiple nodes for fault-tolerance, and failed nodes can be replaced with no downtime.

Cassandra v1.2 also marks the release of version 3 of the Cassandra Query Language (CQL3), which simplifies application modeling, allows for more powerful mapping, and alleviates design limitations through more natural representation.

Apache Cassandra v1.2 is released under the Apache License v2.0. Cassandra releases include the core server, the node-tool administration command-line interface, and a development shell (cqlsh and the old cassandra-cli). You can download Cassandra 1.2 now at:

Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat announces the general availability of OpenShift Enterprise, an "enterprise-ready PaaS product designed to be installed on-premise within customer data centers or private, public, or hybrid clouds." The product is built on open source-based Red Hat technologies, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, and OpenShift Origin, which is also the basis for Red Hat's online OpenShift PaaS service that has been available in a free beta since May 2011.

OpenShift Enterprise supports Java, Ruby, Python, PHP, and Perl, and it includes a cartridge-based architecture to let customers include their own middleware services. OpenShift Enterprise is available immediately; however, the product is initially offered only in North America, the United Kingdom, and Continental Europe, with plans for global availability in the future. The OpenShift PaaS service is available in developer preview from