The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2022

This years Sydney to Hobart was a stunning race. Coverage on broadcast TV in Australia started with good coverage by Seven West Media’s 7+ service. The stunning coverage included a view of the four simultaneous start lines for the different classes:

Four start lines of the 2022 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, taken from @CYCATV on YouTube

Sadly, the broadcast TV coverage ended just after the start. With 7+ on the sail of one of the boats, I was expecting a bit more coverage.

Luckily the CYC had an intermittent live stream on YouTube, with Peter Shipway (nominative determinism at work there), Gordon Bray and Peter Gee hosting.

The primary website for the race this year was, and this year this appeared to be running via AWS CloudFront.

Time for a quick health check, with SSL Labs:

After noting this is CloudFront, I notice that its resolved as IPv4 only. Shame, as IPv6 is just two steps away: tick a box in the CloudFront config, and publish an AAAA record in DNS. Its also interesting that some of the sub-resources being loaded on their page from alternate origins are available over IPv6 (as well as good old IPv4).

Talking of DNS, a quick nslookup shows Route53 in use.

Back to the output, a B. Here’s a few items observed on the SSLLabs report:

  • TLS 1.1 is enabled – it’s well past time to retire this. Luckily, TLS 1.2 and 1.3 are both enabled.
  • Even with TLS 1.2, there are some weak ciphers, but (luckily?) the first one in the list is reasonably strong.
  • HTTP/2 is not enabled (falling back to HTTP/1.1).
  • HTTP/3 is not enabled. Even more performance than HTTP/2.
  • Amazon Certificate Manager (ACM) is in use for the TLS certificate on CloudFront

It also says that there is no DNS CAA record, a simple way to lock out any other CA provider being duped into mis-issuance of a certificate. A low risk, but a (free) way to prevent this.

Turning to, we get this: output for, December 2022

Unfortunately, looks like no security related headers are sent.

Strict Transport Security (HSTS) is a no-brainer these days. We (as a world) have all gone TLS for online security, and we’re not heading back to unencrypted HTTP.

The service stayed up and responsive: well done to the team who put this together, and good luck with looking through the event and finding improvements (like above) for next year.

Cyber Insurance: EoL?

The Chief Executive of insurance company Zurich, Mario Greco, recently said:

“What will become uninsurable is going to be cyber,” he said. “What if someone takes control of vital parts of our infrastructure, the consequences of that?” 

Mario Greco, Zurich

In the same article is Lloyds insurance looking for exceptions in Cyber insurance for those attacks that are state based actors, which is a difficult thing to prove with certainty.

All in all, some reasons that Cyber Insurance exists is to cover from a risk perspective the opportunity of spending less on insurance premiums (and having financial recompense to cover operational costs) that having competent processes around software maintenance to code securely to start with, detect threats quickly, and maintain (patch/update) rapidly over time.

The structure of most organisations to have a “support team” who are responsible for an ever growing list of digital solutions, goaled on cost minimisation, and not measured against the amount of maintenance actions per solutions operated.

Its one of the reasons I like the siloed approach of DevOps and Service Teams. Scope is contained to one (or a small number of similar) solution(s). Same tech base, same skill set. With a remit to have observability, metrics and focus on one solution, the team can go deep on full-stack maintenance, focusing on a job well done, rather than a system that is just turned on.

It’s the difference between a grand painter, and a photocopier. Both make images; and for some low-value solutions, perhaps a photocopier is all they are worth investing in from a risk-reward perspective. But for those solutions that are the digital-life-blood of an organisation, the differentiator to competitors, and those that have the biggest end-customer impact, then perhaps they need a more appropriate level of operational investment — as part of the digital solution, not as a separate cost centre that can be seen to be minimised or eradicated.

If Cyber insurance goes end-of-life as a product in the insurance industry, then the war on talent, the focus to find those artisans who can adequately provide that , increases. All companies want the smartest people, as one smarter person may be more cost effective than 3 average engineers.

AWS Consulting Services Partners and Certifications, December 2022

I had previously posted about AWS Consulting Services Partners and Certifications in July 2022. Its been six months, so I decided to run the numbers again.

This time, there were 945 partners in the data set, up from 882 in July by 62 new organisations or a 7.1% increase.

What was clear is that much of this growth is at the lower levels but we can also see some growth in the larger buckets of certs, with two exceptions.

The 100-200 category saw a drop in the number of partners in this space, but only by 5 organisations. Similarly, the 200-300 space remained stable at 43 organisations, but I know of several businesses that have migrated from the 200+ to 300+ category. so others have moved into this grouping from the lower levels.

Dec 2022276262158107432614251519
Jul 202224425214811243258201218
ASW Certifications held by Consulting Services partners in the AWS Partner Finder

Is at the 400-500 grouping that an increase of 75% has been seen, from 8 organisations to 14.

Furthermore, raw data shows that there are 9 organisations who would fit in a 5000+ certification grouping – who combined would have 117,317 AWS certifications.

The largest? 36,098 certifications goes to Accenture, followed by 14,740 at IBM, and Deloitte on 14,605. Deloitte would be #2 if they grouped Deloitte Shanghai and Deloitte Tohmatsu together. Similarly, NTT is in the partner data as 5 separate organisations.

Cert CountConsulting Services Company Name
9673Tata Consutling
Top 10 by Certification count, December 2022

Increased AWS IPv6 Announcements

IPv6 has been something I have long championed, ever since establishing the first tunnels in the last 1990’s when I was working at UWA. Its also something I was pushing to AWS Service Delivery teams when I worked at AWS in the early 2010s, and in my time at Ajilon/Modis/Akkodis, I have set IPv6 as a stretch goal for all AWS projects to support as a standard.

What’s interesting to see is the increase in IPv6 related announcements from ASW in the What’s New page by year:

Number of IPv6 related posts on AWS What’s New page, as at 19 Dec 2022.

It’s clear that IPv6 is now a first class citizen. Coverage is pretty strong, and customers not only can, but in my opinion should, be targeting dual stack solutions, or in some use cases, IPv6-only deployments.

As System Operators (Sys Admins), DevOps and Developer folk, you should be fully comfortable with another transport protocol. Any considerations around addressing should be minimal. In the on-premises desktop/end-user-compute environment, your internal networks are possibly all IPv4 only, but your corporate proxy should now be dual-homed. (It should also be supporting TLS 1.3 and HTTP/3).