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Microsoft springs for new undersea cables to link US, UK, Asia

Microsoft has invested in two new cables to connect its North American data centers with facilities in Ireland, and it says it will soon help build similar data networking links to Asia. "Over the past 9 months, Microsoft has been significantly investing in subsea and terrestrial dark fiber capacity by engaging in fiber …
Neil McAllister, 11 May 2015
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Boffins set to reveal state of play on fully duplex comms - on the same FREQ

A conference at Bristol university is set to reveal the current state of the art on Full Duplex technology, which allows for transmitting and receiving signals on the same frequency at the same time. The idea that a radio can simultaneously shout and listen has been regarded as both old, established technology and a bonkers …
Simon Rockman, 11 May 2015

Tor kills cloud-bundling bridge software because nobody will maintain it

Lack of people willing to keep its code updated has led the Tor Project to kill off its Amazon Web EC2 instances and the Tor Cloud service they ran. While Tor Cloud was a neat idea – let users run up Tor bridges on Amazon and donate that bandwidth to Tor for other users – software has to be maintained, and nobody wants the job …
Telstra phone booth by Ed Dunens from Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/blachswan/

Telstra builds trans-continental land bridge for data

If you want to bring data from Europe or Asia to Australia, routing it to the city of Perth on the nation's west coast is a good idea because the bits spend less time on a submarine cable. For traffic from the USA, routes to Sydney on the east coast are similarly sensible. Once you land that data you then have the chore of …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2015
Angela Merkel. Pic: Christliches Medienmagazin

Red-faced Germans halt NSA cooperation after Euro spying revealed

Germany has reportedly pulled the plug on cooperation with the NSA following controversy over the role of its BND secret service assisting with US spying ops targeted at European politicians and firms, including Airbus.‬ BND's listening station in Bad Aibling has reportedly stopped passing on intelligence harvested from local …
John Leyden, 7 May 2015

Fake Cisco box pushers cuffed by Intellectual Property Police

A London-based criminal outfit suspected of flogging $10m (£6.6m) in counterfeit Cisco networking gear to the US has been arrested by the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU). Three men aged 38, 36 and 35, were arrested last week by City police on suspicion of running the counterfeit business. An …
Kat Hall, 7 May 2015
Cloud

Net admins: the white box world HASN'T forgotten you

Pervasive security and deeper monitoring: that's what Big Switch Networks is pitching as the centrepiece of the next iteration of its Big Tap Monitoring Fabric, version 4.5. This system is designed to fit in the network packet broker (NPB) space – the out-of-band sniffer network that raises alerts admins if something's going …

IETF updates TLS/SSL best practice guidance

Do: start rolling TLS 1.3, support TLS 1.2, and DTLS 1.2. Don't: negotiate sessions using TLS 1, TLS 1.1, SSL 2 or SSL 3. Those are the Internet Engineering Task Force's latest recommendations, set out in RFC 7525, Recommendations for Secure Use of Transport Layer Security (TLS) and Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS). The …

Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

Collision 2015 We should rent our Nest thermostats, Sonos speakers and August smartlocks, according to Jason Johnson, the CEO of internet-of-doorlocks upstart August. Speaking at the Collision conference in Las Vegas earlier today, Johnson bemoaned how difficult it was to get smart tech into the home and challenged the industry to come up with …
Infosec

Lenovo system update flaws plugged, security world not impressed

Lenovo faces renewed accusations of lax security practices - just three months after the Superfish debacle - after it was obliged to fix flaws in its software update system. Security researchers at IOActive uncovered a mechanism that would have allowed hackers to create a fake certificate authority in order to sign executables. …
John Leyden, 6 May 2015
America

Snowden scandal latest: NSA, GCHQ lingo-spies replaced by unstoppable RHINEHART robots

The NSA has been using software to convert intercepted phone calls into transcripts stored in searchable databases, it is claimed. It is also entirely believable: Dragon Dictate isn't exactly top secret, is it? Documents leaked by Edward Snowden and published by The Intercept on Tuesday show that Uncle Sam's spies, and their …
Iain Thomson, 6 May 2015

DEFCON 23 to host Internet of Things slaughterfest

The Internet of Things (IoT) will, come August, be torn apart in a new hacking slaughterfest announced for DEFCON 23. The contest run by the brains behind the router-smashing SOHOplessly Broken challenge aims to stain the carpet with the blood of internet accessible gadgets and junk as hackers tear apart devices to capture flags …
Darren Pauli, 6 May 2015

Borg boosts future cable broadband biz with DOCSIS 3.1 boxen

Cisco's joined the DOCSIS 3.1 game, launching an access platform it says will scale from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps as what it calls a “hub in a box” environment. The refresh of the company's cable access platforms adds DOCSIS 3.1 to the existing version 3.0 support, increases the platform's subscriber density, and cuts down overall …
Cloud

ARM joins the NFV race with virtual set-top box spec

ARM has become the latest silicon vendor to pitch a major network function virtualisation (NFV) strategy, and has announced a partnerships with Applied Micro and Netzyn, and with Enea. Under the ARM-Applied Micro-Netzyn agreement (announced here), the three partners will create and demonstrate a virtual set-top box for pay TV …
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. …