Richard Chirgwin

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed

Trump’s new ZTE tweet trumps old ZTE tweets that trumped his first ZTE tweet

On Friday, United States president Donald Trump Tweeted that ZTE will be allowed to sell into America again, subject to board changes, security controls, and a fine. May 9, 2018: ZTE closed down In more stable policy circles, the Chinese vendor was on the outer because of national security fears, and in the face of an American …
In memoriam

Vale: Atari co-founder Ted Dabney dies at 81

Atari co-founder and co-creator of the legendary Pong, Ted Dabney, has died aged 81 from esophageal cancer. His death was announced yesterday in a brief Facebook post by games historian Leonard Herman, author of the video game history series Phoenix. According to Eurogamer, Dabney was diagnosed with the cancer in late 2017, …
IT Crowd's Roy:on the phone

FBI to World+Dog: Please, try turning it off and turning it back on

The FBI has reminded the world it wants us to reboot our routers to try and help it identify VPNFilter-affected routers. It first asked for reboots last Wednesday, May 23, in the Department of Justice VPNFilter media release, but on Friday added a stand-alone public service announcement emphasising its "IT Crowd" strategy. …

Buggy software could lock a Jeep's cruise control

Fiat Chrysler America is recalling 4.8 million vehicles in the US to fix a software bug that could lock the vehicle's cruise control. Until it's fixed, owners of some Ram pickups, Jeep SUVs, and other Chrysler and Dodge vehicles are being warned against using cruise control. The auto-maker's recall announcement said: In …
businessman shrugging - illustration via shutterstock

NAB mainframe turns its TOESUP* after power outage, offline 7 hours

The National Australia Bank has been sharply criticised after a seven-hour outage on Saturday that took down its ATMs, EFTPOS, Internet banking, mobile banking services, and call centre operations. The bank has pointed to a problem in its Melbourne mainframe system as the cause of the outage. By knocking out payment …
Shutterstock brick wall by StockStudio

Cisco admins: Hold that IOS XR update while you get new firmware

Eight Cisco NCS 6000 line cards need firmware upgrades, after Switchzilla learned they could be bricked by an IOS XR upgrade. The operating system upgrade in question is IOS XR 5.2.x. What Cisco found is that a number of line cards in the NC6 range with “updated 500 MHz ternary content-addressable memory (TCAM)” could either …
ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP STACK WITH COMPASS AND PENCILS

Tufts boffins track device location without GPS or towers

Tufts University boffins believe the combination of 5G and the Internet of Things will make it impossible for networks to track the expected tens of billions of connected devices. Their answer, proposed in this week's Proceedings of the IEEE, is an algorithm that places less importance on anchors like base stations or GPS …
Hammer, spanner and screw

Electron patches patch after security researcher bypassed said patch

In an update last week, the developers of Electron – the toolkit used to craft widely used apps from Skype and Slack to Atom – shipped a patch to their January patch, and now, an infosec researcher has explained why. A remote-code execution vulnerability, CVE-2018-1000006, was found in Windows applications developed using …

Zimmerman and friends: 'Are you listening? PGP is not broken'

ProtonMail has weighed into 2018's worst branded-bug PR disaster, EFAIL, with a simple statement: “PGP is not broken”. The discoverers of the bug in e-mail client encryption implementations started the ball rolling ahead of their disclosure in the middle of this month. Münster University professor Sebastian Schinzel started …
NBN Co fixed wireless antenna

Waiting for 100 Mbps NBN on wireless? Errr, umm, sorry about that

Households hoping to one day access 100 Mbps fixed wireless services on the National Broadband Network got a hard let-down last night, when CEO Bill Morrow said the rollout would not proceed. Delivering 100 Mbps over fixed connections has caused nbn™ and its retailers trouble, to the extent that in January, the company stated …
End of the line (train line). Photo by Shutterstock

Doc 'Cluetrain' Searls' privacy engine project is just the ticket for IEEE

David “Doc” Searls, coauthor of 1999's cyber-utopian Cluetrain Manifesto, has persuaded the IEEE to launch one of two new projects seeking to inject a dose of ethics and privacy awareness into the world of technology. The IEEE announced the two efforts today. One, initiated by Searls, is IEEE P7012, which aims to create a “ …
Shutterstock soft serve ice cream

OpenStack had a summit, so everyone's talking about it

Juniper Networks announced a tie-up with Red Hat integrating Red Hats OpenShift Container Platform and OpenStack Platform into Juniper's Contrail Enterprise Multicloud. The Gin Palace said this lets customers run and manage applications and services on any VM, any container, and any cloud environment. They note that the …
cloud

Open Source MANO Release FOUR lands

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has dropped the latest iteration of its open source management and orchestration (OS MANO, or OSM) environment. Landing just six months after release 3, OSM Release FOUR focuses on usability and interoperability, according to ETSI. The features plucked out by ETSI in …
Enigma machine Shutterstock

US Senator Ron Wyden to Pentagon: Encrypt your websites

As if trying to buy a flying fleet of F-35s wasn't enough, now the Department of Defense is being asked to secure its Websites. In a letter [PDF] sent by US Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to the DoD's CIO Dana Deasy, Wyden points out that HTTPS and HSTS (to direct browsers to the HTTPS site if they request the unencrypted version) …
Lab tech with urine sample - Shutterstock

Oz sports’ pee-samplers outed buying Cellebrite phone-crack kit

Australia is ramping up its use of phone-cracking technology to crack serious criminals: its peak sports anti-doping body has taken a Cellbrite licence. ASADA, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, announced the near-AU$13,000 licence at the government's tender site in April. The announcement says ASADA is using the …
Wray

FBI's flawed phone tally blamed on programming error. 7,800 unbreakable mobes? Er, um...

The FBI apparently gilded the lily in its long campaign against consumer cryptography, telling the world it held more locked phones than it did. At issue is the Feds' claim that it has seized 7,000 phones it can't crack because they're encrypted. FBI boss Christopher Wray upped the ante in December 2017, telling a …

Big bimmer bummer: Bavaria's BMW buggies battered by bad bugs

A security audit conducted by Tencent's Keen Security Lab on BMW cars has given the luxury automaker a handy crop of bugs to fix – including a backdoor in infotainment units fitted since 2012. Now that the patches are gradually being distributed to owners, the Chinese infosec team has gone public with its security audit, …
man with finger pressed to lips

Google listens to New Zealand just long enough to ignore it

New Zealand courts are asking Google to take down content associated with current criminal proceedings, to the usual and resounding “No” from the Chocolate Factory. In a row that's been bubbling along for months, lawyers and judges in New Zealand have repeatedly complained that Google retains stories and images subject to …
Shutterstock Turtle

Grilled over failed DoE project, Turnbull's Transformers turn turtle

Australia's Digital Transformation Agency (DTA) appears unable to explain its involvement in a failed AU$20m Department of Education IT project that was cancelled last week. Under questioning from Labor Senator Douglas Cameron during a Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee hearing yesterday, neither DTA CEO Gavin …

ACCC grabs pliers, extracts AU$1.5 million from Optus

Already out-of-pocket by way of customer compensation, Optus has been hit with an AU$1.5 million fine from the Federal Court over its National Broadband Network transition processes. In an action launched by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the court found two misrepresentations Optus made to customers. The …
Battleship by Darwin Brandis from Shutterstock

Router admin? Bored? Let's play Battleships using BGP!

Playing Battleships over the Border Gateway Protocol probably wasn't a scenario considered by the standard's authors, but UK blogger Ben "Jojo" Cox has explained how to do it. Cox's tutorial is part amusement, part warning, because while explaining the protocol (and why it's hard to fix), he pointed out that in the 32 bits …
DDOS

Summoners of web tsunamis have moved to layer 7, says Cloudflare

Attackers have noticed that the world is getting better at fending off massive distributed denial-of-service attacks, and are trying to overwhelm application processes instead. So says DDoS-deflector Cloudflare, which reckons it's seen a spike in cyber-assaults trying to exhaust high-level server resources, such as per-process …
Facebook-style hands shake

Qualcomm readies 60GHz goodies for Facebook's Terragraph

Qualcomm has backed Facebook's plan to take over the mobile network with its Terragraph project: the chip-designer has revealed it's prepping silicon for backhaul systems using today's 802.11ad and 11.ay in the future. In the backhaul space, Qualcomm has its eye on the 20 to 25 per cent of cellular base stations not served by …
Dunce

Victoria's educational apps-for-students let creeps contact kids

Updated Google and the Victorian Department of Education have set parents, students, teachers, and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner a poser: at what point does a feature become a vulnerability? Or just too creepy to put in front of kids? Victoria's teachers and students have adopted a system based on Google Apps …
Cortana

Your parents love you, Cortana. That's why we bought you an upgrade

Microsoft's decided its Cortana speech assistant needs a bit of buffing to survive in a world where Google AI can book restaurants and a parrot can turn the lights off with Alexa*, so the company has acquired a conversational-AI startup called Semantic Machines. The company announced the purchase by saying its goal is …

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018