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Selection of Australian banknotes

TPG ups offer for iiNet to AU$1.56bn, includes clever cash kicker

Australia's TPG Telecom has increased its offer for internet service provider iiNet, leapfrogging a counter-bid by the M2 group to emerge as the preferred buyer. TPG upped its offer by 11 per cent, to about AU$1.56bn or $9.55 a share, payable in cash or TPG stock. Rival suitor M2 Group is offering $9.67 per share, but iiNet's …

Cisco's Chambers: white box is dead and WE KILLED IT

Cisco's now-outgoing CEO John Chambers has reiterated his belief that the Borg has already beaten off the white-box market. In an interview with CNBC – transcript here (with editing suggesting voice recognition rather than human transcription) – Chambers says that extending the company's lock-in strategy across platforms and …

Nvidia ices Icera modem division, says it's leaving mobile chips biz

Nvidia has said it will wind down its Icera wireless modem business as it looks to exit the mobile computing market, where it has struggled to compete against the likes of Qualcomm and Samsung. The move comes ahead of the chipmaker's earnings report for the first quarter of its fiscal 2015, which is due to arrive on Thursday. …
Window to the world by https://www.flickr.com/photos/armydre2008/ CC 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Key ADSL contributor Joseph W Lechleider dies at 82

The man who put the “asymmetric” in front of DSL has died aged 82. As an engineer at Bellcore – Bell Communications Research, later Telecordia Technologies – Joseph Lechleider worked in a research team trying to solve the problems of digital telecommunications. In those days, analogue transmissions were limited by line …
Departing Cisco CEO John Chambers

Cisco CEO Chambers to step down, passes baton to Robbins

Analysis Cisco has finally made the long-anticipated decision about a replacement for long-time CEO John Chambers: 49-year-old Chuck Robbins. Robbins is no newcomer to Cisco, having been with the company since 1997. His most recent role was as senior veep for worldwide operations, and Cisco's announcement also credits Robbins with …
Reliance free internet from Internet.org

Zuck'ed up: Facebook opens up free internet in India – but bans HTTPS

Facebook's Internet.org has loosened the stranglehold on its free internet service in India and other countries. Now potentially any website can be accessed for free via the service as long as the site ditches HTTPS, JavaScript, and other things. The social network offers free mobile internet access to people in India, Tanzania …
Shaun Nichols, 4 May 2015
Burning copyright symbol. Photo by: Martin Fisch http://www.flickr.com/photos/marfis75/ on flickr"

Kill all geoblocks says Internet Society of Australia

Geoblocking content should be banned under international trade treaties, according to the Internet Society of Australia. The radical proposal emerged in ISOC-AU's appearance at the Senate committee looking at the proposed site-blocking amendments to Australia's copyright act. With Hollywood hard-balling (all the way up to …

Bruce Schneier's Data and Goliath – solution or part of the problem?

Page File Special Think of some of the ways the Enlightenment helped advance the human individual. The ability to shape your identity. The ability to own and control your stuff. Economic autonomy. All three help to define the modern world, they’re ways we know that ‘now’ is not like ‘before’. All three are founded on the sanctity of the …

How ICANN pressures 'net engineers to give it behind-the-scenes control of the web

Behind-the-scenes efforts by ICANN's lawyers to force the internet community to grant it perpetual control of critical internet functions have been exposed. Citing a cultural default of openness and transparency, negotiation teams from both the regional internet registries (RIRs) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) …

ICANN's bill for clawing global DNS from Uncle Sam: $7m and counting

Domain-name overseer ICANN is failing in two fundamental tasks, according to the US government, while spending millions of dollars of internet users' money trying to take control of the critical IANA technical contract. In a letter sent earlier this month from the Senate's Judiciary Committee to the White House new “IP Czar” …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Apr 2015
Ethernet by https://www.flickr.com/photos/razor512/ CC2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Brocade adds more Ethernet to storage

Brocade's announced another chunk of its IP strategy, this time with an eye to drawing network-attached storage (NAS) devices into its warm embrace. The idea, A/NZ senior director Gary Denman told Vulture South, is to give IP-attached storage the kind of SLA support and manageability that Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN …
Verizon

Verizon tags majors to craft SDN future

Verizon has taken the leap into the world of software-defined networking, announcing a strategy and its initial partner list for a multi-year rollout. For now, the partner list for the giant's umpteenth network transformation strategy are Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Networks, Cisco, Ericsson and Juniper Networks. The company told …

Why the US government reckons it should keep phone network kill-switches a secret

Analysis The US government has argued that the rules around how and when it is allowed to shutdown phone networks must remain secret because the disclosure could endanger lives. In a court filing [PDF] this week, lawyers from the Department of Justice argued that public disclosure of Standard Operating Procedure 303 (SOP 303) "would …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Apr 2015
The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution

New EU security strategy: Sod cyber terrorism, BAN ENCRYPTION

“It is unacceptable that a Kalashnikov can be bought easily on the internet,”* thundered European Commission number two Frans Timmermans yesterday, as he presented the Commission’s plans to combat terrorism. So what’s he going to do about it? That’s right, hold a consultation. The much-trumpeted new EU Security Strategy is …
Jennifer Baker, 29 Apr 2015
crash test dummies

Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

New cars sold in the EU from March 2018 will have to phone the authorities if they think they've been in a crash. A watered-down version of the eCall proposal has found favour with the EU Commission, meaning when a car or light van crashes, it will automatically summon the emergency services. It will use the emergency number of …
Simon Rockman, 29 Apr 2015

Tax shouldn't be taxing – unless you're Barracuda Networks

Barracuda Networks reported a satisfyingly chunky revenue rise for its final 2015 quarter and full year, ended February 28, but losses dove unexpectedly deep due to taxation manipulations. Revenues for the fourth fiscal 2015 quarter were US$72.2m, up 19.7 per cent on the year-ago's $60.3m, and 2.6 per cent higher sequentially. …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2015
Hacker kitten

SOHOpeless Realtek driver vuln hits Wi-Fi routers

Twenty months of optimism has come to nought, so the Zero Day Initiative has gone public with a vulnerability in the Realtek SDK that's inherited by at least two broadband router vendors. The vulnerability that the HP-owned TippingPoint initiative discovered, here, is in the SDK's SOAP implementation. The minigd SOAP service …

DDoSsers use reflection amplification to crank up the volume to 100Gbps+

DDoS attacks have grown in volume yet again with 25 attacks larger than 100Gbps globally in Q1 2015, according to the latest stats from DDoS mitigation firm Arbor Networks. The majority of recent super-sized attacks leverage a reflection amplification technique using Network Time Protocol (NTP), Simple Service Discovery Protocol …
John Leyden, 28 Apr 2015

ICANN wants total control of DNS while breaking its own bylaws to block .africa probe

ICANN broke its own bylaws – and acted in a way "fundamentally inconsistent" with its role as the world's DNS overlord – while restricting efforts to make itself more accountable to netizens. That striking judgment [PDF] comes this month from an independent review team at the International Centre For Dispute Resolution (ICDR). …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Apr 2015

New antenna supports all three wireless charging standards

A new antenna design aims to solve the two major problems with wireless charging: the mess of standards and the limitations of transmitting power by radio. The antenna, built by Chicago company NuCurrent, can support the wireless charging standards of Qi, the Power Matters Association (PMA) and the Association for Wireless Power …
Simon Rockman, 28 Apr 2015
Clouds in blue sky

HP switch upgrade hopes to sneak SDN onto network, quietly

Interop HP has used Interop as the venue for its latest switch launch, putting software-defined networking (SDN) alongside speeds and feeds in the marketing pitch. The way HP sees it, mobility – not just the cellphone but also the proliferation of WiFi devices – is the big deal that demands SDN. The old-world attitude to the network, …
MIPS Creator CI20 development board

MIPS quietly bares its processor architecture to universities

The MIPS processor architecture behind many graphics cards and the PlayStation 2 is being laid bare by its licensee Imagination Technologies. While ARM and Intel dominate the chip market, the MIPS third option is still a significant player in the industry – but what goes on inside processors is a closely guarded secret. …
Simon Rockman, 27 Apr 2015
Man drinking through a straw CC2.0 attribution Bradley Gordon https://www.flickr.com/photos/icanchangethisright/

Riverbed retires RVBD from NASDAQ after private equity swoop

Riverbed is no longer a publicly-traded company, as the buyout of its stock by private equiteer Thoma Bravo and Teachers’ Private Capital concluded late last week. The deal was announced last December and appears to have been influenced by activist investor Elliot Management which reckons Riverbed could be doing better. All …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/ by Found Animals Foundation CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/foundanimalsfoundation/

Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

On-call +NSFW Welcome back to On-call, our planned-to-be-fortnightly look at the things readers have been asked to do in the course of their employment, often at odd hours. This week, reader Guy* wrote to tell us about a gig he scored in the mid-nineties, where “my first task was to find out where all our bandwidth was going when the office …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Apr 2015

Internet kingmakers drop ego, devise future of DNS, IP addys etc

Five months after the release of a bloated, ego–driven mess of a plan to shift control of the top level of the internet from the US government to the internet community, a greatly improved version 2.0 has been offered for public comment. The 90–page Response to the IANA Stewardship Transition Coordination Group Request for …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Apr 2015
The Dell Z9100-ON  open networking switch

Dell expands open networking program with new switches

Dell has celebrated the first birthday of its open networking program by launching more products. The program is part of Dell's take on software-defined networking with its core idea being that punters might want to buy kit running an operating system other than that devised by its maker. This arrangement differs from white box …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015

Citrix decides to share its WAN optimisation with the world

Citrix has sold WAN optimisation kit for ages, but hasn't pushed its HDX technology far beyond its base of application and desktop virtualisation users. Until today, when it shoved the newly-badged “CloudBridgeVirtual WAN” into the sunlight. Citrix's schtick is that branch offices don't (always) need expensive connectivity: …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Apr 2015
White boxes

Freescale preps white box switch for Interop launch

Freescale has looked at the software-defined network market and decided it likes what it sees: the company is launching into the white box market in partnership with Advantech. The coming network services switch, to be detailed at next week's Interop show in Las Vegas, will use Freescale's QorIQ T4240 silicon the company says. …
Cloud

Australia's favourite(ish) telco taking SDN to the world

Australia's dominant telco Telstra is about to try and make itself a global brand for those considering intercontinental software-defined networks (SDN). Telstra acquired Pacnet in 2014, partly to get its hands on the company's submarine cables and 16-point-of-presence Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN). The PEN is billed as Asia's …
Data Centre

Pica8 pokes SDN traffic into labelled BGP paths

Getting SDN working across the WAN is becoming the hot topic of the month: white box SDN OS provider Pica8 is the latest to take a shot at the problem. The company has announced that it's adding support for labelled Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) in the 2.6 release of its PicOS operating system. It's hardly a new standard – RFC …

Infosec bod's brag: Text editor pops Avaya phones FOREVER

RSA 2015 Dr Ang Cui says Avaya's Ethernet office phones can be permanently compromised using nothing more than a text editor (and a few lines of Python.) The Columbia University PhD and Red Ballon Security cofounder revealed to the RSA security conference in San Francisco a few more details about the vulnerabilities he found last year in …
Darren Pauli, 22 Apr 2015

Broadcom tops US$2 billion in March quarter

Broadcom reckons its exit from the cellular baseband modem business was a win, with better cashflow and more money handy to invest in its core business. At the company's latest analyst session, chair and CTO Henry Samueli said that the exit had also given Broadcom the chance to enter “adjacent markets”. The company narrowly …
Cloud

IEEE chaps propose QoS for SDN across the public internet

Software-defined networking (SDN) is fine in the data centre, but rubbish across multi-domain WANs, something a group of IEEE engineers wants to solve. Their proposal, on Arxiv, is to copy the cloud notions of abstraction and orchestration into Internet connections. Sucking nourishment out of the academic prose, the IEEE …

Evil Wi-Fi kills iPhones, iPods in range – 'No iOS Zone' SSL bug revealed

RSA 2015 A vulnerability in iOS 8 can be exploited by malicious wireless hotspots to repeatedly crash and reboot nearby Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods, security researchers claim. Skycure bods Adi Sharabani and Yair Amit say the attack, dubbed "No iOS Zone", will render vulnerable iOS things within range unstable – or even entirely …
Darren Pauli, 22 Apr 2015

ID yourself or get NOTHING (except Framework), snarls Metasploit

Metasploit Pro and Community users outside North America now need to prove who they are, thanks to changes introduced this week and a tightening of encryption export rules. The open source Metasploit Framework (a computer security project) is not affected by the new rules. "[This] is yet another reminder that governments have …
John Leyden, 21 Apr 2015

No, Optus: don't try US-style net neutrality arguments in Oz

Netflix has ignited the Internet neutrality debate in Australia, something that was previously not a major issue in the nation. The odd structure of Australia's Internet (compared to America's, at least) has long been criticised. Too few international links in too few hands makes connectivity to the US relatively expensive, and …
Facepalm by Ron Mander

D-Link: sorry we're SOHOpeless

D-Link's SOHOpeless HNAP vulnerability hasn't been fixed, but readers will be pleased to know that the company is very, very, very sorry that it exists. The company issued a patch on April 10 for its design-over-substance AC3200 series routers, but that "fix" blew a hole in the device's authentication routines. Tactical Network …

Australia mulls dumping the .com from .com.au – so you can bake URLs like chocolate.gate.au

Australia may ditch the .com in .com.au and offer citizens straight .au domain names following increased competition from the explosion of dot-word addresses. A discussion paper [PDF] published by the .AU Domain Administration (AuDA) puts forward the case for making the aforementioned change. It notes that while it has …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2015

Tale of 2 cyber-confabs: Govts, nerds on one side. Shock hotel room searches on the other

Analysis Last week, the fourth annual global conference on cybersecurity (GCCS) was held in The Hague in the Netherlands. The two-day conference is put on by a different government each year, starting with the first in London in 2011. It is billed as a place for "representatives from governments, private sector and civil society" to meet …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Apr 2015

That's right: FBI agents can't pretend to be ISP repairmen to search homes without a warrant

Evidence gathered by FBI agents who posed as broadband repairmen to enter a suspect's villa without a warrant has been thrown out by a US judge. The District Court of Nevada has decided [PDF] that the g-men violated the Fourth Amendment rights of poker ace Wei Seng Phua when they searched his Las Vegas bolthole while disguised …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Apr 2015
pipes

Web advertising giant (Google) to spew ads over web – using HTTPS

Google has vowed to serve ads over HTTPS from its massive advertising network. The move will make it easier for website owners to go fully SSL-protected, serving their webpages and ads over HTTPS rather than just the pages over HTTPS and mixing in ads over HTTP, which is insecure. It also means each ad and its link can't be …
Darren Pauli, 20 Apr 2015

NatWest and RBS' mobile banking apps go TITSUP

UPDATE RBS and NatWest customers have been left unable to access their accounts via the banks' mobile apps. In an identically-worded tweet both banks said this morning: "We're sorry if you're having trouble getting into Mobile Banking, we're working hard to resolve the issue. Thank you for your patience." NatWest and RBS are currently …
Kat Hall, 20 Apr 2015