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Cryptowall, USB's, emailed malware and "honor among thieves"

Mon, 2015-11-02 02:23

 I'm sure many of you have heard recently of the rising prevalence of ransomware, particularly Cryptolock/Cryptowall and the growing prominence of walk-in Bitcoin exchanges and Buttonwood meetups.

 Cryptowall is a case in point of the malware. Spread mainly by infected email and "found" or shared USB memory sticks.

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What is CryptoWall?
https://www.pcrisk.com/removal-guides/7844-cryptowall-virus

What is CryptoWall?
The CryptoWall ransomware virus infiltrates users' operating systems via infected email messages and fake downloads (for example, rogue video players or fake Flash updates). After successful infiltration, this malicious program encrypts files stored on users' computers (*.doc, *.docx, *.xls, *.ppt, *.psd, *.pdf, *.eps, *.ai, *.cdr, *.jpg, etc.) and demands payment of a $500 ransom (in Bitcoins) to decrypt them. Cyber criminals responsible for releasing this rogue program, ensure that it executes on all Windows versions (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8). CryptoWall ransomware creates HELP_DECRYPT.PNG, HELP_DECRYPT.HTML and HELP_DECRYPT.TXT files within each folder containing the encrypted files.


"Note that at time of writing, there were no known tools capable of decrypting files encrypted by CryptoWall without paying the ransom." 12 September 2015 
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There is generally no good business reason why typical corporate workstation/laptop users should:
- have local administrator access
- have enabled USB ports
- need to open office productivity tools documents containing macros

These features should be disabled.

My "honor among thieves" statement relates to the tendency, as observed, that payment of the "ransom" in Bitcoins has been the only current successful way of retrieving the encrypted data/disks. The alternative is frequent backups.

Attending OpenWorld? Come and say HI!

Fri, 2015-10-23 16:09

We’re ready, are you??  As you plan your schedule for next week, please be sure to stop by PeopleTools booths at the Demogrounds area in Moscone West, first floor. The Demogrounds will be open Monday through Wednesday, and you’ll find us in 3 pods in section 3155. Rumor has it that we’re back in the far corner to attract traffic throughout the entire vendor fair. Do you have questions about Selective Adoption? The Fluid UI? PeopleSoft on the Cloud? Be sure to stop by.

We’ll also have our PeopleTools experts available to chat with you in the Meet the Experts hall on Wednesday at 1:45 - stop by Moscone West 3001A and get answers to your questions. We’re not trying to put the Support Center out of business, so DON’T bring your list of open SRs…but if you have some things you’ve been wondering about, run them past us - we’ll share our thoughts.

See you next week!

Oracle Open World Less Than A Week Away!

Mon, 2015-10-19 13:40

Open World is Oracle's biggest and most important conference, and PeopleSoft/PeopleTools is well-represented again this year. The PeopleTools tech team is presenting many sessions on topics that we think you will find interesting and informative.  (This optimism is born out by the pre-registration numbers for the Tech sessions.)  Come visit us in the PeopleTools demo pods as well. 

We hope you will be attending Open World '15, and if you do, please consider coming to see us at these sessions:

SESSION TITLE DATE / TIME LOCATION CON8596 PeopleSoft Developer: Tips and Techniques Monday, Oct 26
12:15 MW 3007 CON8203 Using PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface for Exceptional HR Self-Service Tuesday, Oct 27
11:00 Palace - Twin Peaks S CON8585 PeopleSoft Technology Update Tuesday, Oct 27
4:00 MW 2008 CON8587 PeopleSoft’s User Experience Roadmap: It Is PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface Tuesday, Oct27
5:15 MW 3016 CON8598 Develop an Effective PeopleSoft Selective Adoption Strategy Wednesday, Oct 28
11:00 MW 3016 CON8591 PeopleSoft in the Cloud: PeopleSoft’s Cloud Deployment Architecture Wednesday, Oct 28
12:15 MW 3014 CON8600 Customer View: Adapting to Take Advantage of PeopleSoft Wednesday, Oct 28
3:00 MW 3016 CON8595 Putting It to Work: PeopleSoft Automated Configuration Manager Wednesday, Oct 28
3:00 MW 3014 CON8593 PeopleTools Security Features Wednesday, Oct 28
4:15 MW 3016 CON8592 Simplified Analytics: The Latest Generation of PeopleSoft Reporting Wednesday, Oct 28
4:15 MW 3014 CON8204 How to Make the Most of the PeopleSoft Selective Adoption Model Wednesday, Oct 28
4:15 Palace - Twin Peaks N CON8602 PeopleTools Platform and Infrastructure Roadmap Thursday, Oct 29
9:30 MW 3016 CON8599 Putting It to Work: Rolling Out PeopleSoft’s Suite of Lifecycle Management Tools Thursday, Oct 29
10:45 MW 3016 CON8589 Putting It to Work: PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface Component Thursday, Oct 29
12:00 MW 3014 CON8588 Simplifying Complex Processes with New PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface Activity Guides Thursday, Oct 29
10:45 MW 3014 CON8594 Putting It to Work: Securing Your PeopleSoft Environment Thursday, Oct 29
12:00 MW 3016 CON8586 PeopleSoft Technology: Executive Panel Thursday, Oct 29
1:15 MW 3014 CON8590 Putting It to Work: Configuring a PeopleSoft Applications Cluster Thursday, Oct 29
2:30 MW 3014 CON8601 Putting It to Work: Getting the Most Out of PeopleSoft RESTful Services Thursday, Oct 29
2:30 MW 3016

Fluid Navigtion Design Guidelines Available

Fri, 2015-10-16 17:49

Many customers have asked us about guidance for developing in PeopleSoft's Fluid User Interface.  To address that, PeopleSoft's Information Development team has recently published a new guide for designing navigation in Fluid.  The way users navigate in the Fluid UI is quite different (and more efficient) than in classic PeopleSoft pages.  The new guidelines are available here.

The guidelines cover the philosophy of Fluid navigation focusing on the following:

  • Multiple paths for users to access functionality.
  • Users’ ability to choose the path that is most effective for them.
  • Use of Related Actions to make navigation work across all paths.

Classic PIA navigation uses a locator link (“breadcrumb”) menu with a deep menu hierarchy. Fluid navigation takes an entirely different approach, using homepages and tiles as the starting points for navigating to both Fluid and Classic pages. Further navigation to Fluid and Classic transactions is achieved through a variety of vectors like the Nav Bar, Related Actions, Search, and more.  The following 'how-to' topics are covered:

  • Create new homepages.
  • Add tiles to homepages via the Tile Repository.
  • Add a component tile to any homepage from within the component.
  • Add tiles to the NavBar.
  • Reorder tiles in the NavBar.
  • Add favorite components to My Favorites in the NavBar

In addition, we've published a Fluid UI documentation update, that covers troubleshooting, clarifications to official product docs, updates, and significantly, guides on the CCS that PeopleSoft uses to develop our applications.

New PeopleTalk on Security

Fri, 2015-10-16 17:15

So it looks like I've gone mainstream!

I had the opportunity to have a talk with Marc Weintraub which has been posted on the PeopleSoft YouTube channel, here:

In this episode of PeopleSoft Talk, Marc talks with Greg Kelly about PeopleSoft security.
https://youtu.be/w9n00P2xJCE

Don't forget to review the links in the associated My Oracle Support document:
My Oracle Support - Useful PeopleSoft Security Links: DocID 2060772.1  https://support.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=2060772.1

 

See other videos on the PeopleSoft channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUhQ7fBYvSqlGVSNMxRNPfg

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Accessibility Guide Updated

Fri, 2015-10-16 12:38

We've updated the PeopleSoft Accessibility Guidelines for 8.54.  This guide is for people developing using PeopleTools, who want to insure that their designs conform to current accessibility standards.  The PeopleSoft Applications development teams employ these same guidelines.  You can download them from My Oracle Support:  https://mosemp.us.oracle.com/epmos/faces/DocumentDisplay?id=1941471.1   This document applies to the new Fluid User Interface.

PeopleSoft publishes our VPATs (accessibility conformance declarations) here.

General accessibility guidelines for PeopleSoft are documented here.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";}

Upgrade your SES Database From 11.2.0.3 to 11.2.0.4 for the PeopleSoft Search Framework - link fixed

Wed, 2015-07-29 18:33
An Oracle database Upgrade from 11.2.0.3 to 11.2.0.4 is available for Secure Enterprise Search (SES) with PeopleSoft.  This document on My Oracle Support (Document 2022818.1) provides step by step instructions for performing the upgrade.  Note that this upgrade is available for PeopleTools 8.53 or higher on Unix/Linux environments.

New PeopleSoft Technology Spotlight Series Available

Tue, 2015-07-21 12:37

The PeopleSoft Spotlight Series is a new video-based learning resource that will help you get a deeper understanding of our latest Oracle PeopleSoft technologies, features and enhancements.  Watch these videos to gain insight on how you can take advantage of these features in your enterprise.

Senior Strategy Director Jeff Robbins is your host for the Tools and Technology PeopleSoft Spotlight Series.  Jeff introduces each video and summarizes key points covered in the session. Members of the PeopleSoft development organization take you into detail on each subject, helping you plan for, roll out, and gain value from these PeopleSoft enhancements.

The first sessions in our series focus on the game-changing Selective Adoption and the cutting edge PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface. Selective Adoption is the new method by which customers will update and maintain their PeopleSoft systems.  The Fluid UI enables PeopleSoft users to use PeopleSoft applications across form factors. 

Each video takes less than an hour and contains helpful resources. Look for more sessions of the PeopleSoft Spotlight Series in the near future.

Were you at Alliance, Collaborate, Interact this year, or wished you were?

Wed, 2015-07-15 18:40

This year, as well as uploading my PDF presentation, I've uploaded a couple of additional files.

The one you may find interesting is a short form Security Check List.

You can find it here: 

This is a supplement to the Securing Your PeopleSoft Application Red Paper (it includes the link) and it covers a number of points I've discussed with customers over the years. I include most of the check list as slides in my session but the PDF is an expanded set. The check list also contains a number of useful links.

In the discussions with customers we frequently find there are topics they have overlooked because they don't appear directly related to PeopleSoft security, but they are part of the overall infrastructure security and often managed by people outside of the PeopleSoft team. It's more important that as teams are reduced in size, that you build collaborative, virtual teams in the rest of your organization. I hope the check list will also provide the conversation starters to help build those virtual teams.

If you think some of the points are  topics by themselves, let me know and I can work on building out the information.

I appreciate any and all feedback. 

Coming Soon - PeopleTools Customer Beta Program

Tue, 2015-07-14 15:07
The PeopleTools team continues to push forward, ever improving the features and capabilities of PeopleTools.  Recently, you may have seen some of the planned enhancements for PeopleTools 8.55 discussed on MyOracleSupport in the Planned Features and Enhancements area.  This document has replaced the Release Value Proposition that has been used previously to highlight features to look for in the upcoming PeopleTools release. 

There are a number of cool features that we’re working on, including the Cloud Deployment Architecture (CDA) which will provide greater flexibility in the installation and patching of environments.  Additional planned features include Analytics for PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM), Fluid dashboards/homepages and Simplified Analytics….just to name a few.

 We plan to kick off the PeopleTools 8.55 Beta Program in the relatively near future, and have an opening for a customer who’s willing to closely partner with us.  If you are looking to get your hands on the next release so that you can thoroughly test out some of these features in your own environment to see the benefits, perhaps you are the one we’re looking for.  Does your team have the skills and desire to take beta code and run with it?  Can your organization get a standard beta trial license agreement signed promptly?  We want to work with a customer that’s going to dive in, and really exercise the new features - If that’s you, email me (mark.hoernemann@oracle.com) and let’s talk.  Please keep in mind that this is a small beta – I’ve only got room for one, maybe two customers.   

Interaction Hub Image Now Available on the PeopleSoft Update Manager Home Page

Tue, 2015-06-30 11:23

As noted in a recent post, the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub is now part of the Selective Adoption Process.  You can get the first image now on the PUM home page.  (At the PUM home page, choose the PeopleSoft Update Image Home Pages tab, then select the Interaction Hub Update Image page from the drop down.)  This means customers can use the PeopleSoft Update Manager and our other life cycle tools to manage their upgrade and maintenance process for the Hub.  There is also a white paper posted there that describes the baseline customers must reach to start taking these images. 

Note that this will be the only way for customers to take maintenance and updates going forward, so we encourage everyone to move to the Selective Adoption process as soon as is feasible for your organization. This move brings the Interaction Hub in line with all other PeopleSoft applications, which use the Selective Adoption process.  This process also offers customers additional value and control, and enables you to benefit from the value of the latest features with a greatly streamlined life cycle process.  

For customers that are eager to learn more, there are many resources on Selective Adoption and PUM on the PUM home page as well as on our YouTube channel.

This first image of the Interaction Hub is functionally equivalent to the current release (9.1/Revision 3), but taking it gets you on the Selective Adoption process.  Some great enhancements are coming the the next image.


Cost of PeopleSoft vs SaaS and Other Options

Mon, 2015-06-22 12:32

There is a lot of publicity around SaaS and various cloud options for enterprise applications these days.  This leaves PeopleSoft customers wondering whether they should stay with PeopleSoft and what that real cost comparisons are.  Is SaaS really less expensive for them?  Is it really the best option for their business?   What are the factors they need to consider?  Can they stay with PeopleSoft and run it in the cloud, getting the best of both worlds?

Quest, the international user group organization recently published an informative article titled How Much Does Your ERP Cost?  In this short article, the author provides ways to consider cost, but importantly, examines the value of these systems to the enterprise and why that should be a factor in your decision.  The author interviews several customers in assessing these questions.  Worth a read.

The PeopleTools CAB is Looking to Expand

Thu, 2015-06-11 13:31
The PeopleTools Customer Advisory Board is comprised of PeopleSoft technology strategists and a small group of customers that are leaders - both in their organizations and the PeopleSoft customer community as well. Our members are the decision makers who set directions and priorities for their PeopleSoft applications.

The PeopleSoft Technology team is looking to expand our CAB with a few individuals who are familiar with the business side of managing PeopleSoft applications. No propeller on top of your hat? No worries! We are NOT looking to talk about the next widget for Process Scheduler. We ARE looking for senior management responsible for their PeopleSoft implementations who understand the customer value provided with the latest delivered technology. We look to our CAB to validate our direction and messaging. We depend on them to represent the larger customer community, not just their own organization, when providing feedback to us. The ideal candidates are:

1) Knowledgeable in PeopleTools and technology in general

2) Adopting current functionality in their PeopleSoft Applications

3) Leaders in the user community

4) Willing and able to participate in face to face CAB meetings (1-2 times per year) and conference calls as needed

5) Sharing what they have done with the user community through conference presentations or web casts

Does your organization have a history of rapidly adopting new PeopleSoft technology? Are you working on your plan to implement Fluid UI and reap the rewards? Has PTF become a key part of your testing strategy? Have Engineered Systems changed what you do with PeopleSoft? Are you rolling out enhancements via Selective Adoption? Do you consistently evaluate new functionality and look for ways for your business to benefit from it? If you are one of the people we’re looking for and would like to be considered for the PeopleTools Customer Advisory Board, please contact mark.hoernemann@oracle.com to receive an application where you can share the criteria that set you apart from other customers.

New Info Center for Planned Features and Enhancements

Wed, 2015-06-03 12:13

PeopleSoft is moving more of it's communication and collateral to the web.  Instead of publishing documents in file format, we'll be posting most of our collateral on various web sites like My Oracle Support (MOS) and the PeopleSoft Info Center.  

As an example of this practice, instead of publishing a Release Value Proposition as a document file, we are posting that type of information on MOS.  Visit the Technology tab to view the planned features for the next release of PeopleTools.  This includes the PeopleTools overall roadmap, as well as descriptions of upcoming features and capabilities planned for the next release.  You'll read about our plans for the User Expience, Development Tools, Infrastructure, Reporting and Analytic Tools, and Life-cycle Management Tools.  There is also a page covering the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub, which provides a roadmap as well as descriptions of upcoming features for the next image.

This move enables us to provide information faster and update it more frequently.  Information will be fresher. Look for more postings like this in the near future for many types of collateral formerly published in file format.

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