Richard Chirgwin

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NSW government innovates, with visa workers taking over IT roles

The New South Wales (NSW) Public Service Association has hit the ceiling about the Australian state's decision to hire IT staff from overseas for the outsourcing of its ServiceFirst shared service operation. Last year, ServiceFirst was contracted out to Unisys and Infosys. The PSA says 32 overseas staff had been deployed in …
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Bare metal switches racked up a whole $23m of sales in H1 2016

Bare metal switches are mostly still in lab deployments, it seems: according to analyst IHS Markit, sales of branded bare metal switches hit US$23m. For perspective, a giant like Cisco turns over close to $8bn in switch revenue in a half-year. IHS Markit put the first half of 2016 as worth about 125 per cent more than for the …
Swiss army knife in cloud

Microsoft adds SDN automation to System Center's Virty Manager

Microsoft's J.C. Hornbeck has valiantly tried to announce VMM SDN Express for Microsoft System Center VMM: a bundle of automation scripts covering SDN stack deployment; setup inputs; and a dummy parameters file. More accurately, perhaps, Microsoft has nearly added software-defined networking (SDN) automation to its System …

GET pwned: Web CCTV cams can be hijacked by single HTTP request

An insecure web server embedded in more than 35 models of internet-connected CCTV cameras leaves devices wide open to hijacking, it is claimed. The gadgets can be commandeered from the other side of the world with a single HTTP GET request before any password authentication checks take place, we're told. If your camera is one …

A Rowhammer ban-hammer for all, and it's all in software

A group of German researchers reckon they've cracked a pretty hard nut indeed: how to protect all x86 architectures from the “Rowhammer” memory bug. It's been 18 months since “Rowhammer” first emerged, and responses have largely come from individual vendors working out how to block the “bit-flipping” attacks in their own …

AWS milking its cattle to herd code into an updated Chalice

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has quietly flicked the iteration counter on its Chalice Python serverless development framework to 0.4 and 0.5. First offered in July, Chalice still counts as a developer preview while Amazon rounds out its feature set. Today's additions are local testing; and multifile application support. So devs …

Cisco stre...tches vulnerability disclosure timeline out to 90 days

Cisco's decided it's going to give 90 days' grace on vulnerability disclosures, to let (mostly) commercial vendors catch up with their bug-fixes. While the best commercial vendors – especially those with bug bounties and a public pro-security stance – are getting better at responding to notifications, they're held back by …
inspector clouseau

'NBN leak' documents sent to Jason Claire are privileged, says House of Reps committee

Some of the “NBN leak” documents seized by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are covered by parliamentary privilege, says the House of Representatives Privileges Members' Interests Committee, which yesterday published its report into the documents. After a complaint by nbn™ over documents passed to the opposition's former …

The Internet Society is unhappy about security – pretty much all of it

The Internet Society (ISOC) is the latest organisation saying, in essence, “security is rubbish – fix it”. Years of big data breaches are having their impact, it seems: in its report released last week, it quotes a 54-country, 24,000-respondent survey reporting a long-term end user trend to become more fearful in using the …

ESA: Sorry about Schiaparelli, can we have another €400 mill?

Later this week in Lucerne, Switzerland, the European Space Agency (ESA) will ask its 23 member states' ministers for a €400 million top-up to its ExoMars program. In an audio conference on Friday, director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration David Parker said the cash injection “includes all the technical work needed …
hacker

Japan investigating defence network break-in

Japanese defence officials are investigating a reported penetration of the country's high-speed Defence Information Infrastructure (DII) network. The attacks, which Bloomberg attributes to a possible state-based actor, took place in September but have only now come to light. The DII network is shared by the country's Defence …
Bulls_eye_target

Tech giants warn IoT vendors to get real about security

The heavyweights behind the Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group (BITAG) are sick of Internet of Things (IoT) startups foisting insecure rubbish on consumers, and have fired a report that looks like a stern warning that IoT bandwagon-hoppers need to get their houses in order. The group – which counts vendors like Cisco …
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CompSci boffins offer new bug-rating system to get you home on time

If you're in charge of a couple of thousand boxen, you can't patch every vulnerability report at once, so sysadmins will welcome help sorting out their priorities. That's what a couple of researchers hope to offer in what they call NCVS, the Non-Intrusive and Context-Based Vulnerability Scoring framework: making sense of the …

How to confuse a Euro-cop: Survey reveals the crypto they love to hate

European Union (EU) citizens can now get an idea of what their governments want – and are doing about – cryptography regulation. The new opportunity comes courtesy of an freedom of information request by Bits of Freedom, summarised by privacy researcher Lukas Olejnik here. The news is bleak: the responses to a survey sent to …
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NASA sets fire to stuff in SPAAACE. On purpose. Because science

VIDEOS NASA's released the videos of its Saffire II experiment, in which the space agency borrowed the Mythbuster's incendiary habits and burned stuff in space. It's all in the name of science, naturally: as we noted on Monday, the agency wants to know how things burn in low gravity, so they can work on better fire control techniques …

Debian putting everything on the /usr

Debian is preparing to revise its default file system mapping to bring it in in line with other major distributions (like Fedora and CentOS). Evidence of the shift can be found in the bootstrap option that's arrived in its unstable branch, where Debian dev Ansgar Burchardt posted news that mailing list announcement: “ …
Vintage BBC experimental colour transmission testcard section

Samsung fires $70m at quantum televisions

Samsung's beefing up one of the divisions that hasn't been burned by its Galaxy Note 7 disaster, acquiring a US company that specialises in quantum dots for displays. Under its previous name Color IQ, the takeover target QD Vision was already licensing technology to TV makers like Philips, LG, Sony, and TCL Group in China. “ …
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It's a nice day for a Net wedding: Macom buys Applied Micro Circuits

Connectivity collaborators Macom and Applied Micro Circuits have decided to tie the knot, with Macom laying out US$770 million in cash and shares to seal the deal. In September, the two companies got together with BrPhotonics to show off a 100 Gbps pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4) module running on a single wavelength. Macom …
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

It's time: Patch Network Time Protocol before it loses track of time

The maintainers of the Network Time Protocol daemon (ntpd) have pushed out a patch for ten security vulnerabilities. Leading the fixfest is a trap-crash turned up by Cisco's Matthew Van Gundy. If ntpd is configured with the trap service enabled, a malformed packet causes a null pointer dereference and crash it. A Windows bug …

Signal security revealed: A triple-Diffie-Hellman with a double ratchet

Signal developer Open Whisper Systems has quietly posted some important documents for developer consumption: the specifications of its signature verification, key agreement, and secret key protocols. The posts are dated 20 November, although a Tweet from 4 November suggests the documentation was stealth-published earlier. The …
NBN

NetComm kicked to the curb by nbn™ for fibre-not-quite-to-the-home

Nearly 20 years after it was a supplier to Optus' hybrid fibre coax build, Australian comms-kit-maker NetComm will help replace the network. The company yesterday announced it's won a contract to supply one-port and four-port nodes for the National Broadband Network's Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) services. In NetComm's …

MP Kees Verhoeven wants EU to regulate the Internet of S**t

The Democrats 66 (D66) party, currently in opposition in The Netherlands, hopes it can legislate insecure stuff away from the Internet. The suggestion comes in a multi-part initiative put together by MP Kees Verhoeven, who also wants The Netherlands to fund a local threat analysis capability and a national cyber security …
DNS privacy slide from Dan Gillmor, ACLU

IETF plants privacy test inside DNS

The Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF's) years-long effort to protect Internet users has taken a small step forward, with one option for better Domain Name System (DNS) privacy reaching the test stage. "Stubby", created by the getdns project team, lets users test encrypted DNS queries. The idea isn't to flick the switch …
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Brocade's sales growth outpaced by costs, ahead of Broadcom buyout

Ahead of its acquisition by Broadcom, Brocade has turned in another quarter of growing revenue but slumping net income. Revenue for the quarter was up 12 per cent year-on-year to US$675 million, and the company's full year 2016 result at $2.35 billion was 4 per cent better than 2015. Fourth quarter profit was $66 million ( …
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Apple unplugs its home LAN biz, allegedly

Apple has pencilled in the end-of-life date for its 17-year-old AirPort product line. The news comes courtesy of Bloomberg, which probably got it right even if it does describe routers as "access points that connect laptops, iPhones and other devices to the web without a cable." The report notes that wireless networking isn't …