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Teenage boy bailed until November over TalkTalk incident

The 15-year-old boy arrested in connection with the investigation into the alleged data theft from the TalkTalk website has been bailed until a date in November. Arrested on the evening of Monday, 26 October, a 15-year-old was taken into custody by officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), working alongside …

TalkTalk attack: UK digi minister recommends security badges for websites

The UK's digital minister Ed Vaizey has floated the idea of adding kitemarks to websites that have strong security measures in place, following the attack on TalkTalk's business last week. Speaking in Parliament on Monday in response to an urgent question on data breaches and consumer protection, following the ransack of …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Oct 2015

TalkTalk incident management: A timeline

Timeline Contradictory statements issued by TalkTalk regarding the third data breach the company has experienced this year have provided inadequate information to the telco's customers about their data, while effectively insulating the company from questions regarding its security practices with insubstantive, and at times incoherent, PR …
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

Google and cable pals oppose LTE-U's spectrum grab plan

America's National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has recruited a bunch of high-profile supporters in its attempt to fend off the Federal Communications Commision's interest in LTE-U. LTE-U is a spectrum-plus-standards proposal under which wireless kit could opportunistically use empty spectrum, even if a …
Suitcase full of money

Broadcom lowers cone of silence over results

Broadcom has pleased investors, turning in Q3 financials that saw its profit rise in the face of falling revenue. After a tough couple of years which, among other things, saw it exit the cellular baseband modem market, and with investors unhappy at the US$37 billion Avago takeover of the company, the results were welcomed, …

Web giants, Sir Tim slam Europe's net neutrality rules on eve of vote

Netflix, Reddit, Tumblr, Kickstarter and other tech companies, as well as the creator of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, are urging European politicians not to vote in favor of net neutrality regulations on Tuesday. Both have sent letters highlighting a number of "loopholes" that have been introduced as the …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Oct 2015
Fibre Optic by Barta IV cc 2.0 attribution

It's almost time for Australia's fibre fetishists to give up

Last week, BT and Alcatel Lucent let it be know that their experimental broadband-over-copper technology had achieved 1.8 gigabits per second over a 100m copper strand. nbnTM, the company building Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has already trialled, the successor to VDSL and progenitor to XG.Fast …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Oct 2015

'iOS 9 ate my mobile broadband plan'

Apple is being sued over an iOS 9 feature that allegedly gobbled its way through people's monthly mobile data plans. The class-action legal challenge [PDF], filed on Friday in the US District Court in San Jose, California, alleges that Apple enabled by default a connection-boosting feature called Wi-Fi Assist that resulted in …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Oct 2015
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Ofcom won’t hold back in latest mobile spectrum auction

Comment Ofcom has announced its plans for the promised auction of 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum. And it’s “steady as she goes”. A total of 190 MHz of new spectrum will be auctioned: 40 MHz of spectrum within the 2.3 GHz band (2350-2390 MHz) and 150 MHz of spectrum within the 3.4 GHz band (at 3410-3480 MHz and 3500-3580 MHz). But, …
Simon Rockman, 26 Oct 2015

US broadband giants face 'deceptive speed' probe in New York

An investigation has been launched by New York's attorney general to determine whether giant ISPs Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Cablevision have misled customers on broadband speeds. According to reports, AG Eric Schneiderman's top enforcement counsel, Tim Wu, fired off letters to the companies on Friday, demanding – among …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Oct 2015

Would Dutch T-Mobile sale open door for Deutsche to buy KPN?

A simple statement this week leaked to Bloomberg that T-Mobile Netherlands is about to be put up for sale, uncovers a wealth of potential intent from all quarters. Immediately everyone is guessing who might buy it; our question is what does this allow to happen after that sale has gone through? We have often given the opinion …
Faultline, 26 Oct 2015
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk attack: 'No legal obligation to encrypt customer bank details', says chief

TalkTalk continued on its quest to be painted merely as a victim of crime today, while the budget ISP's website remained offline following a huge attack on its business earlier this week. In an interview with the Sunday Times, Harding said that her company was under no "legal obligation" to encrypt sensitive customer data, …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Oct 2015

TalkTalk attackers stole 'incomplete' customer bank data, ISP confirms

TalkTalk confirmed on Saturday afternoon that incomplete bank details were lifted by crims, even though its core systems were not targeted in the attack on its business earlier this week. The budget telco said that its website had been plundered by malefactors. However, TalkTalk claimed that complete credit card details of …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Oct 2015
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk hush-hush on compo for up to 4 million customers after mega cyber attack

TalkTalk boss Dido Harding went from one Blighty news broadcaster to another on Friday, admitting that the budget telco had screwed up but declining to commit to compensating customers affected by the major criminal attack on its system. The ex-jockey claimed that it was too early for TalkTalk to know the extent of the …
Kelly Fiveash, 24 Oct 2015

American robocallers to be shamed in public lists

US phone watchdog the FCC will publish a weekly updated list of annoying robocalling companies. The regulator's Consumer Help Center will reveal the telephone numbers of all robocaller operations, and organizations that flout do-not-call rules. The tables can be used by phone filtering software to block cold callers. The FCC …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Oct 2015

TalkTalk CEO admits security fail, says hacker emailed ransom demand

Dido Harding, the chief executive of TalkTalk, has confessed her company should have done more to protect its customers' personal information, and has confirmed a seemingly related blackmail attempt. Harding told BBC News that she had personally received an email which included a ransom demand from "an individual or a group, …
Cash on scales. Pic: Images Money, Flickr

TalkTalk shares drop 10.7% despite research that breaches don't cause drops

Shares in TalkTalk dropped by 10.7 per cent this morning after the company released a statement admitting that a "cyber attack" may have exposed the data of its four million customers. TalkTalk is contacting all of its customers following what it called "a significant and sustained cyber attack" and intends to offer them free …
Panic button

Chaos at TalkTalk: Data was 'secure', not all encrypted, we took site down, were DDoSed

Chaos reigns at TalkTalk as the telco appears to be claiming that a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack led to customer data being compromised – despite that being technically infeasible. A contradictory series of claims in a TalkTalk statement published this morning has suggested the company does not understand the …

Want to slash your phone bill? Go to jail. Go directly to jail

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has slashed phone call prices for prisoners. The FCC considered prison call rates because they're often exorbitant: some prisons outsource the phones used for “inmate calling services” (ICS) and receive payment for doing so. Providers of ICS then charge prices rather …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Oct 2015

TalkTalk: Hackers may have nicked personal, banking info on 4 million Brits

TalkTalk is in the process of telling its four million subscribers that it has fallen victim to a “sustained cyberattack” – and it is possible that personal information including bank details have been pilfered. The UK ISP took down its website yesterday, telling us this was not related to a broadband outage, and the site …
Paul Kunert, 22 Oct 2015

How to stop ICANN becoming FIFA of the internet – a plan forms

The internet community has published the key details of its plan to improve accountability at the domain-name overseer ICANN when it takes control of the critical IANA contract next year. That's the contract that gives ICANN the reins to the planet's DNS, IP address allocation, and the nitty-gritty details of today's …
Kieren McCarthy, 22 Oct 2015

TalkTalk website STILL down on day TWO

Updated Breaking: Talk Talk confirms it has been the victim of a "sustained cyber-attack." Internet provider Talk Talk is in the second day of its outage woes, with its website still on its knees and customers continuing to report connectivity issues. The issue first appeared yesterday at 3pm. However, according to outage website …
Kat Hall, 22 Oct 2015

IoT's sub-GHz 802.11ah Wi-Fi will be dead on arrival, warn analysts

The new 802.11ah Wi-Fi standard has yet to hit the market in full, and some fear it never will. Analysts at ABI Research predict that by 2020, four years after the first devices are scheduled to arrive, 802.11ah support will only ship in about 11 million devices annually. This slow growth means manufacturers will either have …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Oct 2015

TalkTalk website hit by outage, broadband customers also KO'd

Updated Internet provider TalkTalk has once again been hit by an outage, which has brought its own website down and is reportedly affecting a number of broadband customers. At 3.30pm, outage website Down Detector recorded a spike reports of issues with the provider. The provider's website says: The TalkTalk website is unavailable …
Kat Hall, 21 Oct 2015
Telstra copper in broken pit

NBN's good-to-go dates remain confidential

Bill Morrow, CEO of nbnTM, the organisation building Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has sparked a political storm over patch cables. Speaking to a Senate Estimates hearing yesterday, Morrow also said the company's “ready for service” documents – which tells staff and retailers when individual premises can be …

AT&T, Verizon probed: 'No escape from biz broadband packages'

The FCC is probing AT&T and Verizon over claims the telcos are locking companies into expensive business broadband contracts. The US regulator confirmed in an investigation order [PDF] that officials are examining the two carriers, plus CenturyLink and Frontier Communications, for unlawful business practices. "We conclude …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Oct 2015

Virgin Media boss urges UK watchdogs not to pick wrong BT battle

Broadband World Forum Virgin Media CEO Tom Mockridge was – just like his peers in the ISP game – preoccupied with regulatory policy during a keynote speech at the Broadband World Forum on Tuesday. In a carefully worded speech, the Kiwi said that the "attack" on BT from rival UK telco bosses, who have called for the company's Openreach division to …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Oct 2015

Accidental homicide: how VoLTE kills old style call accounting

Korean and US telco researchers have sounded what's probably the first death-knell of voice calls, demonstrating a variety of problems – some fundamental – with how Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) works. The Carnegie-Mellon CERT has wrapped the problems up in this advisory, based on this ACM paper. The problems, which we'll describe …

SeaMeWe-3 cable connecting AU to Asia patched, new fault found

The SeaMeWe-3 cable break that's given Australian 'net users performance headaches has been fixed, but the cable's developed a second fault that won't be repaired until the end of the month. At the end of September, Vulture South reported the cut to the cable. Even with traffic routed around the disruption, the cable cut was …
Rotary phone

Dell-EMC deal could be a game-changer for mobile networks, too

EMC/Dell deal As carriers race towards virtualisation, software-defined networking and increasingly complex back office IT platforms, they will increasingly bump into suppliers from the data centre world. IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and others are already very familiar to them, but now there will be a new powerhouse, if Dell’s record- …
Wireless Watch, 19 Oct 2015
Indian mobile use

India's mobile operators move to head off dropped-call refunds

India's mobile operators are doing battle against the country's telecommunications regulator over plans to refund customers for dropped calls. If the plan proceeds, from January 1 2016 Indian mobile phone subscribers would get a discount for calls dropped if it's the fault of the provider's network. Only the caller's network …
Cat drinks water from bath tap

Sprint sprints away from no-throttle policy – punishes 'unlimited' network hoggers

Sprint has confirmed plans to once again throttle data usage of customers who go over a 23GB limit each month. The company, which is the fourth largest mobile carrier in the US with nearly 58 million subscribers on its books, said that it was "unfair" to allow such behaviour to continue unchallenged, given that 97 per cent of …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Oct 2015

How to get 10Gbit/s home broadband in the US: Step 1. Move to Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga, Tennessee: a Bible Belt city with a population of 170,000, ish. Winner of the All-America City Award in 1962. The birthplace of the tow truck and Moon Pies (that's Wagon Wheels to Brits). The Glenn Miller Orchestra even made a record in honor of the place. Speaking of records, the city is now offering 10Gbps …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Oct 2015
Silhouette of spy discerning password from code uses a command on graphic user interface

Think your mobile calls and texts are private? It ain't necessarily so

Mobile networks around the world have been penetrated by criminals and governments via bugs in signalling code. Security holes have been found in a technology known as Signalling System 7 (SS7), which helps to interconnect international mobile networks across the globe. AdaptiveMobile has uncovered evidence of global SS7 …
John Leyden, 16 Oct 2015

Windows Mobile 10 nears point of no return

A fresh version of Windows Mobile 10 has wobbled off Redmond's servers, and landed on devices enrolled in the Windows Insider programme. There are no major surprises in Build 10549, which is an incremental update. It remains a mishmash of UI styles and experiments, and rebuilt apps that fall far short of the functionality of …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Oct 2015
No junk mail. Pic: gajman, Flickr

Virgin Media filters are still eating our email – Ntlworlders

The woes of Virgin Media account-holders are no closer to being resolved, with continued reports of customers unable to access their email. Last week The Register reported that subscribers affected by the ISP's migration from Google's Gmail service were first forced to wade through hundreds of spam messages to get …
Kat Hall, 16 Oct 2015
Snail photo Jurgen Schoner CC wikimedia

Cheer up: UK mobile networks are perkier than Germany's

The UK's mobile infrastructure is notorious for its hotspots and poor coverage, and we got LTE later than almost everyone else in Europe. But when it works, it actually works better than the Germans'. STL Partners has measured the real world performance of apps and webpages over mobile networks in five European countries. They …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Oct 2015
NBN Logo

New NBN build plan full of linguistic holes that will explain away delays

nbnTM, the organisation building Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has revealed a glorious three year construction plan it says will see “9.5 million homes and businesses” on the network “by September 2018.” The plan, (PDF), was announced in a press release in which newly-minted communications minister Mitch Fifield …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2015
Telephone. Copyright: macinate

EU’s digi VP: More telco consolidation! What about competition?

After just one year in the job, Europe’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has already made a name for herself as being tough on telecoms mergers. Now her colleague, veep Andrus Ansip, has publicly backed her, telling industry representatives in Brussels this week that competition, not M&As, is the future. Last …
Jennifer Baker, 15 Oct 2015

Vodafone exceeds own upper broadband speed limit to hit 80Mbps

El Reg reader Jerry Vernon has been in touch to express his amazement that Vodafone can supply broadband to his Birmingham address at a 80Mbps, noticeably faster even than its 76Mbps Ultrafast Fibre package. That's according to the telco's broadband speed checker (see here), which does indeed indicate breathtaking velocity: …
Lester Haines, 15 Oct 2015
Photo by Irene Fertik, USC News Service

How do you create an SLA and status page for the whole internet? Meet IANA: Keepers of DNS

When control of the internet's naming and numbering systems is handed over by the US government to domain system overseer ICANN, there will be one big change: it will be subject to a service level agreement drawn up by the internet community. ICANN's IANA department runs the world's DNS, IP address allocation, and other tasks …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Oct 2015
Vint Cerf

Internet daddy Vint Cerf blasts FCC's plan to ban Wi-Fi router code mods

Vinton Cerf has added his name to a campaign begging the FCC to scrap plans to ban custom firmware on Wi-Fi routers and other wireless devices. The internet pioneer is among 260 signatories on an open letter urging the US watchdog not to pass a proposed package of rules [PDF], formally known as Docket 15-170. The suggested …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Oct 2015