Richard Chirgwin

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Juniper preps global policy manager for OpenContrail

Juniper Networks seems to have big plans for its OpenContrail SDN controller: it would like to see it act as a kind of “meta-controller” for multiple cloud and data centre controllers. It's quietly pushed up the first code of what is, for now, dubbed “project Ukai” at Github. The alpha-level code has two top-line aims: to run …
Ethernet cable rises up like a snake (artist's impression). Image via shutterstock

Arista-scat! possible import ban looms after US ITC decision

Ethernet switch vendor Arista faces a possible import ban, after losing a key round in its ongoing patent battle with Cisco. Since 2014, Switchzilla has been pursuing Arista, chiefly on the accusation that the upstart's command-line interface is the same as the IOS CLI. While Arista was cleared over two patents, the ITC has …

Objective-C can fly the COOP, says subversive at Microsoft Research

Objective-C programmers should use message authentication codes to protect sensitive objects and data structures, according to research presented to this week's Usenix Annual Technical Conference (ATC). A Microsoft Research staffer, and software researchers from UC Irving in America and folks in Germany focused on a technique …
Bring out yer dead!

Genes take a shot at rebooting after death

In one of the creepiest bits of science Vulture South has ever encountered, a US scientist has identified 1,000 genes that become active after death. Not just immediately post-mortem, either: some of the genes in question, found in zebrafish, remained active four days after the fish died (and in mice, they were active two days …
Fan

Israeli researcher fans fears: here's another way to cross the airgap

Pity the weary sysadmin who's just finished silencing the loudspeakers in the company's computers to keep data behind the air gap: processor fans can also be used to whisper your secrets. Israeli white-hat Mordechai Guri, who last year fiddled with firmware to transmit crypto keys from computers to feature phones on GSM …
Man reading newspaper with glasses on his head

Advantec HMI vulnerable

Advantech sysadmins: if you use the company's WebAccess human-machine interface (HMI) product, you'll need to upgrade it against newly-disclosed vulnerabilities. The company mistakenly marked a number of DLLs as safe-for-scripting, when they were intended for restricted use; and there's a buffer overflow that can be triggered …

Dutch court says BREIN should get e-book uploaders' names

A Netherlands court has ordered two Usenet providers, Eweka and Usenetter, to hand over subscriber details over alleged copyright violations. The case was launched by anti-piracy group BREIN, which is trying to hunt down whoever uploaded more than 2,000 e-books to Usenet via the providers. Eweka and Usenetter cancelled the …
Black hole - spaghetti visualisation. Artist's impression.  NASA/JPL-Caltech, CC BY-SA

Fat-thumbed a BGP entry? Relax, now your pain has a name

Users are familiar with those occasional events in which a sysadmin fat-thumb results in traffic getting deep-sixed – like, for example, this week's huge Telia outage. It's a problem that plagues the Internet and has done for years: the foundational Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) was designed in an era long-gone where sysadmins …
Fibre below

Quigley: FTTP wasn't a failed project

Founding NBN CEO Mike Quigley has given a speech defending both his legacy and the original fibre-to-the-premises network plan. The speech, given to Melbourne University's Networked Society Institute and the Telecommunications Society, is most notable for the extensive detail Quigley provides to support his case. Posted here …
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Secure Islands digested, Redmond pushes out DLP tool

The offering is based on Redmond's October 2015 acquisition of Israeli firm Secure Islands, whose technology is being integrated into Azure Rights Management (RMS). The aim, quoth Microsoftie Dan Plastina, is to use employee identity as the basis for protecting corporate information. The product, Azure Information Protection, …
Man in a suit drinking tea out doors reading from his tablet

Linux on PS3 white flag

Sony has offered up a settlement in its long-running Linux-on-PS3 class action, and as many as 10 million owners could be in line for a payout. When it first shipped, the PlayStation 3 was celebrated by Penguinistas as the first gaming console that could boot up Linux out-of-the-box. It quickly regretted the decision, because …
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Libarchive needs patching again

Users, developers, sysadmins – World+Dog, really – need to get busy patching libarchive, after Cisco Talos researchers turned up three new vulnerabilities. Described here, the bugs all relate to input validation. CVE-2016-4300 is a heap overflow in its handling of 7zip files: a malicious file can cause an integer overflow, …
European flag with sad face

Intel still chip, chip, chippin' away at the European Commission's anti-trust fine

Intel's rearguard action to avoid a billion-Euro-plus fine continued this week in a Luxembourg court, with the company arguing that the 2009 European Commission penalty was unfair. The ancient spat – it began with an October 2000 complaint by AMD – concerns whether or not rebates Intel paid to OEMs to use its processors …

Boffins map Netflix's Open Connect CDN

Brit boffins have peeled back the covers of how Netflix has built its CDN, by requesting movies from all over the world and working out what the responses told them about the hosts. The research incidentally explains why the entertainment biz wants the Internet exchange (IXP) industry to trim its costs: in the USA, IXPs …

Clouds rain revenue on Adobe's business

Adobe's reported continued growth in its cloud subscriptions, but not enough to satisfy investors. Its Q2 2016 revenue rose 20.4 per cent year-on-year to US$1.4 billion on the back of Creative Cloud subscriptions: the digital media business piled on 26 per cent year-on-year to hit $943 million, with Creative Cloud chipping in …
Elon Musk

Musk's Tesla to buy Musk's SolarCity for US$2.8 billion

Tesla has made a US$2.8 billion offer for another Elon Musk-founded company, home photovoltaic specialist SolarCity. If the share-swap transaction goes ahead, it would (in Tesla's words) create “the world's only vertically integrated energy company offering end-to-end energy products to our customers”. That, the company says …
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Cisco firmware patch lands

Cisco has pushed out firmware for its RV-series wireless routers to patch last week's vulnerability. The HTTP sanitization bug affected the Cisco RV110W Wireless-N VPN Firewall, Cisco RV130W Wireless-N Multifunction VPN Router, and Cisco RV215W Wireless-N VPN Router. The flaw let a remote attacker run commands as root. The …
Afraid of the dark, image via Shutterstock

Oz 'gifted education' program pitching WiFi, vax scare stories

An educational support group attacked for anti-vaccination views is also a fierce opponent of WiFi in schools. The group WiseOnes delivers programs for gifted students in 30 Victorian high schools, but it seems that state's Department of Education vetting didn't pick up its unscientific views about vaccination or WiFi. …
Silhouette of spy discerning password from code uses a command on graphic user interface

Carbonite online backup accounts under password reuse attack

If you're a user of online backup service Carbonite, you're getting a new password. Don't make it one you've used somewhere before. Carbonite has released a statement telling users it's run a system-wide password reset in the face of a password-reuse attack. The company claims its own systems haven't been compromised, but if …

Kremlin wants to shoot the Messenger, and WhatsApp to boot

Russian media outlets report that laws mandating encryption backdoors have been tabled in the Duma. If accurate, you could expect an exodus of US services from the country. This Russian-language report, once the Vulture South hack was able to untangle translations like “proposed a fine messenger”, sets down the basics: those …
Space debris field

DARPA demands brand-new command … IN SPAAACE!

DARPA wants to out-Star-Trek the Trekkies and create the kind of flight deck it reckons it'll need to cope with a future when hostilities could extend to space. The problem, the US military's blue-sky skunkworks says, is that there's already too much stuff in orbit (most of it junk). The high-tech-looking rooms full of screens …

Intel chips in with blockchain code for Hyperledger

The Linux Foundation's Hyperledger Project has another big name on board: Intel. The project was announced in December, but got its first serious impetus back in February when IBM slung its blockchain code into the effort. During this month, the project has coalesced further, and is on the prowl for more contributors. A …

'Nobody cares about your heart-rate'

With CrowdStrike kicking off its Australian office, the company's freshly-minted VP of technology strategy, Michael Sentonas, took time out for a chat to Vulture South. We started the discussion looking at security in the Internet of Things market, where Sentonas says “I look at it and say 'what a disaster'.” The industry, he …
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AirPort owners: Apple's patched a mystery vuln

Apple has run out a security update for its AirPort routers, to fix a nine-month-old DNS parsing vulnerability. The firmware upgrade is here, and covers 802.11n AirPort Express, Extreme and Time Capsule base stations; and 802.11ac AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule versions. The Apple advisory states only that “A remote …
Intel HPC Orchestrator screenshot

Intel-supported Open HPC stack to land in Q4

Along with its Knights Landing chips landing, Intel has unveiled its first implementation of the Open HPC environment. The Intel HPC Orchestrator is a validated software stack designed to give big iron admins the kind of out-of-the-box support more familiar to the enterprise server customer. It wraps up the Open HPC software …