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Copyright © 2014 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
The Telecom Digest for Oct 24, 2014
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|Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:12:15 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: As Apple Pay Arrives, Witnessing the Next Step in Money. Maybe. Message-ID: <A76047E6-6F22-4A89-9E44-72BB9BD6D471@roscom.com> As Apple Pay Arrives, Witnessing the Next Step in Money. Maybe. Commerce experts say they think the involvement of Apple could be the impetus that moves mainstream consumers to digital payments. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/21/technology/as-apple-pay-arrives-witnessing-the-next-step-in-money-maybe.html [Attachment of type text/html removed.]|
|Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:06:24 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Saving money on roaming is still hard - or, how a new startup failed me Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Saving money on roaming is still hard - or, how a new startup failed me Attach Arrivals promises easy solutions to service abroad, but it's not foolproof yet. by Cyrus Farivar Oct 18 2014 Every time I go to Europe, I make a mental list of things that I need to take with me: electrical adapters, a small stash of euros, and local SIM cards. In a tiny SD card case, I even keep a paper clip and SIMs from various countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Iceland) to ease travel. But if I'm going to a country I haven't been to before, I have to do my research. I ask friends and check PrepaidGSM.net to find out what provider offers the best mobile data service. Then, I have to figure out where and how to get a local SIM. In short, it's a pain. That's why I was thrilled to learn about Attach Arrivals, a new San Francisco startup. http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/10/saving-money-on-roaming-is-still-hard-or-how-a-new-startup-failed-me/|
|Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:28:12 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Chinese government launches man-in-middle attack against iCloud Message-ID: <email@example.com> Chinese government launches man-in-middle attack against iCloud Targeting new iPhone users to capture user credentials, monitors find. by Sean Gallagher Oct 20 2014 Ars Technica GreatFire.org, a group that monitors censorship by the Chinese government's national firewall system (often referred to as the "Great Firewall"), reports that China is using the system as part of a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack on users of Apple's iCloud service within the country. The attacks come as Apple begins the official rollout of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on the Chinese mainland. The attack, which uses a fake certificate and Domain Name Service address for the iCloud service, is affecting users nationwide in China. The GreatFire.org team speculates that the attack is an effort to help the government circumvent the improved security features of the new phones by compromising their iCloud credentials and allowing the government to gain access to cloud-stored content such as phone backups. ... http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/10/chinese-government-launches-man-in-middle-attack-against-icloud/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** The article contains a screenshot of the warning users see when they are asked to accept the forged "iCloud" certificate. Unfortunately, users don't understand digital certificates or what the warning means. Bill Horne Moderator|
|Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:19:33 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Staples likely breached, retailer defenses back in spotlight Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Staples likely breached, retailer defenses back in spotlight Time to start sharing data and making corporate networks more secure. by Robert Lemos Oct 21 2014 Ars Technica Office supply retailer Staples is investigating a possible breach of its systems following reports from the banking industry of fraudulent credit and debit card transactions at stores in the northeastern United States. On Tuesday, the company acknowledged that a breach may have occurred and that it had contacted the appropriate law enforcement agencies. The retailer declined to provide further details. http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/10/staples-likely-breached-retailer-defenses-back-in-spotlight/|
|Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:25:24 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: California woman charged with using spyware to tap a police officer's phone Message-ID: <email@example.com> California woman charged with using spyware to tap a police officer's phone Investigators say Kristin Nyunt intercepted sensitive law enforcement information. by Megan Geuss Oct 20 2014 Ars Technica On Friday, a Monterey County woman was charged with wiretapping a police officer and possessing "illegal interception devices," according to the Northern California District Attorney's office. The District Attorney said that Kristin Nyunt, age 40, allegedly intercepted communications made by a police officer on his mobile phone. Nyunt is the ex-wife of former Pacific Grove Police Commander John Nyunt, and she has already been sentenced to eight years and four months in prison after pleading guilty in July to five counts of identity theft, two counts of computer network fraud, one count of residential burglary, and two counts of forgery. In the latest charges [PDF], the District Attorney accused Nyunt of using illegal spyware including MobiStealth, StealthGenie, and mSpy to intercept "sensitive law enforcement communication" in real time. Nyunt allegedly placed the spyware on a police officer's phone surreptitiously, although court documents do not detail how or why. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/10/california-woman-charged-with-using-spyware-to-tap-a-police-officers-phone/ http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Nyunt.pdf|
|Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 10:07:53 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Bennett) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Businesses Are Turning to Beacons, and It's Going to Be O.K. Message-ID: <54490BB9.firstname.lastname@example.org> From the NY Times article: "In order for any beacon-led action to happen on a phone, you must install an app that communicates with beacons. And installing one kind of app doesn't mean you are authorizing all beacons to talk to your phone. An N.F.L. app, for example, can communicate only with the beacons the N.F.L. has installed. However, some apps might have broader reach, so be careful." Ah, there it is, the requisite "be careful" proviso. The only real dark cloud in a piece that otherwise sticks to the general tone of most "tech" reporting: Life will be great when your toaster is connected to the internet, so let's get on board! Never mind that most of the apps you install probably enable intrusive mechanisms of one kind or another. Never mind that the TOS and EULAs [that most users accept blindly] grant the purveyors of said apps the right to do all this and more at any time, the clause being buried somewhere in the 30,000 or more words of the agreement, or in one of several equally long and onerous agreements referenced and linked within. Oh, and never mind that turning an app's tracking/snooping "off" sometimes does nothing. The Foxit PDF reader app is a perfect example, and there are doubtless many more. And now, a rebuttal of sorts to this very post, built right in: This entire rant is nothing new. Privacy advocates, bunker-dwellers, hacktivists and all manner of digital misanthropes have been beating this drum for years. The drumbeat is only audible to for those who are already tuned to the correct wavelength, so the result is just more preaching to the converted. The rest of us [read: the majority] believe that things are fine just the way they are, which is exactly how we got to now. It took many decades on this earth, but the one thing I finally "got" about America is this: Most [99 percent] of the time, governments and corporations give the people exactly what the people want. Jim ==================================== The future? Yeah, I've heard of it.|
|Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:14:18 -0700 (PDT) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: FCC Further Tweaks Signal Booster Rules Message-ID: <email@example.com> By Laura Stefani, CommLawBlog, October 20, 2014 Some rules relaxed while measures added to prevent interference to wireless networks Back in early 2013, the FCC took steps to help consumers deal with the dreaded cell phone phenomenon of dead spots by allowing the use of private signal boosters. (Readers should recall that boosters receive and re-transmit cell phone signals to improve coverage in their immediate vicinity.) And now, underscoring its interest in encouraging such devices, the Commission has tweaked its rules. But be forewarned, the tweaks are highly technical and unless you're deeply involved in the manufacturing side of the booster universe, you shouldn't expect to notice any dramatic changes. To recap, there are two classes of approved boosters, Consumer and Industrial. Consumer boosters, in turn, come in two flavors, Wideband Consumer Boosters (designed to boost signals of more than one cell provider) and Provider-Specific Consumer Signal Boosters (designed to boost the signals of just a single cell provider). All Consumer Boosters are subject to "Network Protection Standards" (NPS), although those standards differ somewhat between the two different types of Consumer Boosters. http://www.commlawblog.com/articles/unlicensed-operations-and-emer/ Neal McLain 10-22-14 2315 CDT|
|Date: Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:39:52 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Obama signs "BuySecure" initiative to speed EMV adoption in the US Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Obama signs "BuySecure" initiative to speed EMV adoption in the US Home Depot [and] Target also promised to start using chip-and-pin terminals by Jan 2015. by Megan Geuss Oct 19 2014 Ars Technica On Friday, President Obama signed an executive order to speed the adoption of EMV-standard cards in the US. The transition to EMV - an eponymous acronym of Europay, MasterCard, and Visa, the companies that developed the standard - has been slow to gain traction in the US. The EMV standard will require credit card companies to stop relying on the magnetic stripe cards that are common today and move toward cards with embedded chips that will offer more secure credit card transactions. Lawmakers and credit card companies confirmed earlier this year that the US would make the transition to EMV cards in October 2015. But over the past several months, retail stores like Target, Home Depot, Michaels, Neiman Marcus, and more have sustained major hacks that caused the retailers to lose credit card information and personal information of millions upon millions of customers, giving new urgency to the call for more secure credit cards. ... http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/10/obama-signs-buysecure-initiative-to-speed-emv-adoption-in-the-us/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** This seems to fly in the face of the cell-phone makers attempts to position "smart" phones as secure money-transfer mechanisms. Bill Horne Moderator|
|Date: 22 Oct 2014 18:53:25 -0000 From: "John Levine" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Cell phones and towers Message-ID: <email@example.com> >What are the best options for bring multiple carrier signals to the >address? A very easy approach would be to get femtocells from the carriers of interest. Those are tiny cellular base stations that use your broadband connection as backhaul. Verizon will sell you one for about $250: http://www.verizonwireless.com/accessories/samsung-network-extender-scs-2u01/ AT&T Microcell for $319: http://www.amazon.com/Microcell-Wireless-Booster-Antenna-Compatible/dp/B004F1F9P6 Sprint Airave: http://www.amazon.com/Sprint-Airave/dp/B0035TLZ3O T-Mobile personal cellspot: http://www.t-mobile.com/offer/wifi-calling-wifi-extenders.html The alternative is an antenna on the roof pointed at the cell tower, if you have line of sight, connected to a cell booster. Before you do that, go up on the roof where the antenna would be with your phone and see if you get a usable signal. If not, I'd go the femtocell route. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006MGPIVC/ref =pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_3 R's, John|
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