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Author Topic: Tech News Weekly: Edition 15-09  (Read 3461 times)

Ehtyar

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Tech News Weekly: Edition 15-09
« on: April 12, 2009, 03:14:03 AM »
The Weekly Tech News
TNWeekly01.gifHi all.
Hope you're all having a good Easter :)
As usual, you can find last week's news here.


1. Vandals Slash Silicon Valley Fiber Optic Cable (Thanks 40hz)
Spoiler
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/vandals_slash_silicon_valley_fiber_optic_cable
Vandals slashed fiber optic cable in California cutting service to over 50,000 residents and businesses. Some of the lines had previously been declared "National Critical Infrastructure" and AT&T have posted a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

Quote
Things turned semi-chaotic yesterday in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and San Benito counties in California when it was discovered that ten fiber optic cables were purposely cut by vandals. At leaston one of the lines that were cut belongs to AT&T, whose lines were declared national Critical Infrastructure following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. That means whoever is responsible for the vandalism is in violation of both federal and state laws, and to help make sure that they're caught, AT&T is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever did it.

More than 50,000 landline customers lost service as a result of the cuts, including both residential and business customers, as well as connections for ATMs, internet, and bank card transactions. Hospitals, stores, banks, police and fire departments who rely on 911 calls, computerized medical records, and more were all affected.


2. P2P Eavesdrop 'Guilt by Association Attack' Developed
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/09/p2p_guilt_by_association_attack_countermeasure/
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/04/through-bittorrents-randomness-communities-emerge.ars
http://www.physorg.com/news158419063.html
Researchers have found that, although the BitTorrent protocol was designed specifically to prevent it, the possibility of identifying communities of torrenters does exist.

Quote
US engineering researchers say they have identified a new privacy threat to users of peer-to-peer (P2P) networks such as BitTorrent and (perhaps) Skype. Obligingly, however, they have freely released a protective plugin designed to work with a popular torrent client.

According to Fabián Bustamante, computer science prof at Northwestern Uni, BitTorrent users - without realising it - form identifiable "communities" over time, in which their computers connect much more often to certain other users' machines.


3. Conficker Botnet Stirs to Distribute Update Payload
Spoiler
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/09/conficker_botnet_update/
http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2009/04/conficker-self-updates-launches-false-infection-alert.ars
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/040909-conficker-cashes-in-installs-spam.html?hpg1=bn
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10217386-83.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7991422.stm
Everyone's getting excited (see above) about the latest Conficker update. The update was distribibuted through Conficker's p2p update mechanism, and downloads additional unwanted software thought to be related to the Storm worm.

Quote
The Conficker superworm is stirring, with the spread of a new variant that spreads across P2P and drops a payload. It is thought to update machines infected by earlier strains of the worm.

Conficker-E (the latest variant) offers potential clues on the origins of the worm, because of possible links to other malware. Trend Micro reports that the new Downadup/Conficker variant is talking to servers associated with the Waledac family of malware, in order to download further unwanted items.


4. Court: Congress Can't Put Public Domain Back Into Copyright
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/04/court-congress-cant-put-public-domain-back-into-copyright.ars
A US Federal Court has ruled that Congress was acting beyond its authority when, in 1994, it put several works back under copyright despite their copyright previously having expired.

Quote
In 1994, Congress jammed a batch of foreign books and movies back into the copyright closet. They had previously fallen into the public domain for a variety of technical reasons (the author hadn't renewed the rights with the US Copyright Office, the authors of older works hadn't included a copyright notice, etc.) and companies and individuals had already started reusing the newly public works. Did Congress have the right to put a stop to this activity by shoving the works back into copyright? On Friday, a federal court said no.


5. Shocker: Aussies to Build Own Open-access Fiber Backbone
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/04/shocker-aussies-to-build-own-open-access-fiber-backbone.ars
The Australian government has announced it will build a national fiber network to deliver high speed internet across the country, with open access to all ISPs. Anyone who hasn't had dealings with Australia's national ISP, Telstra, will tell you this insanity. Anyone who has, mind you, is jumping for joy. Let's see how long it takes them to decide it's too expensive and sell it to Telstra.

Quote
In a surprising announcement today, Australia kicked off its AUS$43 billion "National Broadband Network," which it calls the "single largest national-building infrastructure project in Australian history." Not only will the fiber network reach all the way to 90 percent of Australia's homes, but it will also be open access and available for use by any ISP.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) scheme has been progressing for some time, but when we last looked in on it in 2008, it was a fiber-to-the-node plan that would offer Australians 12Mbps minimum connections. It was also going to be built by a private company, but incumbent telcos like Telstra (which was government-owned into the 1990s) quickly began to make noise about the open access rules—such conditions might not offer enough of a return on investment.


6. French "3 Strikes" Law Suffers Shocking Defeat
Spoiler
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/04/french-3-strikes-law-suffers-shocking-defeat.ars
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7992262.stm
In a bit of a political blunder for the French government, their graduated response plan for Internet pirates has been voted down in parliament.

Quote
The French certainly have a flair for the dramatic, what with the recent kidnapping of bosses and the near-constant succession of transport and farmers' strikes. Even last night's "graduated response" vote featured its share of parliamentary theatrics, as the controversial Création et Internet law went down to a shocking 21-15 defeat.

That's right—"three strikes" has struck out in France. At least for now.


7. Sun Holds Its Breath But Doesn't Turn Blue
Spoiler
http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/66737.html
Sun's stock price took a dive when it announced it had declined IBMs offer to purchase it for $US7 billion.

Quote
Sun Microsystems has rejected IBM's offer to acquire it for US$7 billion, a move that took the tech industry by surprise and sent Sun stock plummeting.

Speculation is rampant as to why Sun Microsystems spurned the offer -- a move critics view as downright foolish in this economy -- as well as what the two companies may do next, and who else might have pockets deep enough to take IBM's place at the negotiating table.


8. Worm Infiltrates Twitter
Spoiler
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10217681-83.html
A virus is apparently infecting Twitter profiles after StalkDaily.com was allegedly infected. Users are being urged to steer clear of the site.

Quote
A worm apparently infected Twitter on Saturday.

The worm may originate with the StalkDaily.com site, and Twitter warned people against visiting the site or linking to it.

"If you have been locked out of your acct due to the StalkDaily issue, pls do a p/w reset; we may have reset your p/w for safety," Twitter informed its users on Saturday afternoon.


9. Study: Children Exposed to Pornography May Expect Sex to Be Enjoyable [NSFW]
Spoiler
http://www.theonion.com/content/video/study_children_exposed_to
The Onion is reporting that a study has found that children exposed to pornography may mistakenly expect sex to an enjoyable experience.

onion.png



Ehtyar.

4wd

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 15-09
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2009, 08:38:58 PM »
5. All the easier to implement the nationwide ISP mandatory censored internet access since they only have to make it a clause in the contract for any ISP who wants to use it.


Not to mention given the current state of ISP costs in this country, it'll be something like:

$50/month for 100Mb with an included 50MB of downloads..................then shaped to 64k/64k or $10/GB afterwards.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 08:41:51 PM by 4wd »

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 15-09
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2009, 08:41:13 PM »
OH
MY
GOD
How did I not think of that? *crawls in a hole and dies*.

Ehtyar.

4wd

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 15-09
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2009, 08:43:29 PM »
OH
MY
GOD
How did I not think of that? *crawls in a hole and dies*.

Ehtyar.

Call me paranoid and give me a tin foil hat but it was the first thing I thought of when it was announced  :(

Ehtyar

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Re: Tech News Weekly: Edition 15-09
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2009, 08:54:24 PM »
You're absolutely right, that's what's so horrifying.

I believe you are already an honorary member of the tin foil hat brigade ;)

Ehtyar.