Apr 11, 2017

Microsoft invests in "hackers-as-a-service" startup

Former NSA analysts Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr have raised $21.25 million in new funding for their company, Synack — a sort of "good-hackers-as-a-service." The Silicon Valley startup's twist is that it hires vetted security researchers (currently from 46 countries), and then pays them to poke holes through its customers' networks — holes that could otherwise be found by bad actors. Kaplan tells Axios why that works:

You can't really beat a Russian hacker unless you have a Russian hacker on your side.

Why it matters: Synack is catching the eye of major enterprises like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Singtel, all of which are now investors. Synack will be able to lean on these companies' sales organizations, Kaplan says, adding that they could aid in international growth efforts.

Deal details: Microsoft Ventures led the funding round, with additional participation from HPE, Singtel Innov8, and existing investors like GGV Capital, GV (formerly Google Ventures), and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. A rep from Microsoft Ventures will join the board, as will Proofpoint CEO Gary Steele. Synack has now raised more than $55 million in total funding.

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Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Buttigieg campaign claims Nevada caucuses were "plagued with errors"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's campaign wrote a letter on Sunday asking the Nevada State Democratic Party to release early vote and in-person vote totals by precinct and address certain caucus errors identified by campaigns, The Nevada Independent reports.

The big picture: The campaign alleges that the process of integrating early votes on caucus day was “plagued with errors and inconsistencies,” and says it received more than 200 incident reports from precincts around the state.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus threat grows, threatening some drug supplies

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

As the novel coronavirus continues spreading globally and China grapples with a limited production capability, there's a growing risk to about 150 prescription drugs in the U.S., sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The coronavirus has spread to more countries, with both South Korea and Italy stepping up emergency measures amid rising case numbers on Sunday. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,467 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 58 mins ago - Health