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  The Telecom Digest for February 21, 2011 Volume 30 : Issue 44 : "text" Format Messages in this Issue:

New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users(Monty Solomon)
Re: New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users(Fred Atkinson)
Apple Is Weighing a Cheaper iPhone(Monty Solomon)
Verizon screwed me, again(Telecom Digest Moderator)
Black ops: how HBGary wrote backdoors for the government(Monty Solomon)

====== 29 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 01:26:05 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com>
To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org.
Subject: New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users 
Message-ID: <p06240838c9851295bd81@[]>

New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users

February 16, 2011

You may think the only people capable of snooping on your Internet 
activity are government intelligence agents or possibly a talented 
teenage hacker holed up in his parents' basement. But some simple 
software lets just about anyone sitting next to you at your local 
coffee shop watch you browse the Web and even assume your identity 

"Like it or not, we are now living in a cyberpunk novel," said Darren 
Kitchen, a systems administrator for an aerospace company in 
Richmond, Calif., and the host of Hak5, a video podcast about 
computer hacking and security. "When people find out how trivial and 
easy it is to see and even modify what you do online, they are 

Until recently, only determined and knowledgeable hackers with fancy 
tools and lots of time on their hands could spy while you used your 
laptop or smartphone at Wi-Fi hot spots. But a free program called 
Firesheep, released in October, has made it simple to see what other 
users of an unsecured Wi-Fi network are doing and then log on as them 
at the sites they visited.

Without issuing any warnings of the possible threat, Web site 
administrators have since been scrambling to provide added 



***** Moderator's Note *****

Hype, Shame, Cynicism, Laziness, and Incompetence.  Cheap, obvious, and
cynical exploitation of ignorant computer users. Give-'em-what-they-want 

I could monitor an open hot-spot ten years ago, and, in case it wasn't
obvious, the only important word in this despicable bit of
once-over-lightly penmanship is "unsecured".

The solution is both easy and obvious: SSL. And as for security, any
Internet cafe worthy of the name has its SSL fingerprint posted on
every wall - and offers wired connections as well.

Whomever penned this piece of crud should be sent back to journalism
school, assuming he ever attended.

Bill Horne

Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 15:52:15 -0700 From: Fred Atkinson <fatkinson.remove-this@and-this-too.mishmash.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger Threats to Wi-Fi Users Message-ID: <ke63m6184b83ba46j654j1k1qcub8ri021@4ax.com> On Sat, 19 Feb 2011 01:26:05 -0500, Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> wrote: >Until recently, only determined and knowledgeable hackers with fancy >tools and lots of time on their hands could spy while you used your >laptop or smartphone at Wi-Fi hot spots. But a free program called >Firesheep, released in October, has made it simple to see what other >users of an unsecured Wi-Fi network are doing and then log on as them >at the sites they visited. Only invades unsecured wireless networks? Anyone who is running an unsecured network without WPA2 is advertising their vulnerability. Has anyone here made themselves familar with a program called 'Netstumbler'? Have you heard of 'War Driving'? If Firesheep can only invade unsecure networks then what good is it? You can invade an unsecure network without it. There is free software on the Internet that allows you to crack a network secured by WEP. I don't remember the name of it, though. But WPA2 is right now the most secure protocol as far as I know. But I'm sure that sooner or later that someone will crack it and there will be a new means of encryption even better. Fred
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 01:39:20 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Apple Is Weighing a Cheaper iPhone Message-ID: <p0624083fc98515de82b8@[]> http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/18/technology/18apple.html Apple Is Weighing a Cheaper iPhone By MIGUEL HELFT and NICK BILTON February 17, 2011 SAN FRANCISCO - Apple has been exploring ways to broaden the appeal of the iPhone by making the popular device less expensive and allowing users to control it with voice commands. But contrary to published reports, Apple is not currently developing a smaller iPhone, according to people briefed on Apple's plans who requested anonymity because the plans are confidential. Apple's engineers are currently focused on finishing the next version of the iPhone, which is likely to be similar in size to the current iPhone 4, said one of the people. The person said Apple was not planning to introduce a smaller iPhone any time soon. Analysts expect the new iPhone to be ready this summer. Another person who is in direct contact with Apple also said that the company would not make a smaller iPhone at this time, in part because a smaller device would not necessarily be much cheaper to manufacture and because it would be more difficult to operate. More important, a phone with a smaller screen would force many developers to rewrite their apps, which Apple wants to avoid, the person said. Steven P. Jobs, Apple's chief executive, appeared to reinforce that last point recently when he praised the iPhone's uniformity, contrasting it with phones based on Google's Android software, which come in many formats. "We think Android is very, very fragmented and getting more fragmented by the day," Mr. Jobs told financial analysts in October. "We think this is a huge strength of our approach compared to Google's." Another senior Apple executive said during a private meeting recently that it did not make sense for the company to make multiple iPhone models, noting that Apple would stick with its practice of dropping the price of older models when it introduced a new one. The iPhone 3GS is now available for $49 with a two-year contract that helps subsidize the price of the device in the United States. As part of its effort to find new customers for the iPhone, Apple plans to make it easier to operate the device through voice commands, removing an obstacle for people who do not like using a virtual keyboard, said another person with knowledge of Apple's plans. Apple is also considering changing internal components of the device to bring costs down. "Although the innards of the phone, including memory size or camera quality, could change to offer a less expensive model, the size of the device would not vary," said the person, who has worked on multiple versions of the device. Another person with knowledge of Apple's plans said that the company was actively building a more versatile version of its MobileMe service, which allows users to store music, photos and files online and have them accessible on all their devices. The current version of MobileMe, which costs $100 a year, has failed to catch on with consumers. Rivals like Google and others offer similar services free. The new version of MobileMe is expected to be free and would allow users to synch their files without using a cable. "The goal is that your photos and other media content will eventually just sync across all your Apple devices without people having to do anything," the person said. If more iPhone users stored files online, Apple could make cheaper devices with less storage. Flash storage is one of the iPhone's most expensive components. Apple has dominated the high end of the smartphone market, but the company is facing increasing competition from devices running Google's Android, which collectively outsell the iPhone. Analysts said it would make sense for Apple to introduce a cheaper iPhone, especially in overseas markets where carriers do not subsidize handsets. Unsubsidized handsets are often called "prepaid." "If they are going to be a player in the global market they have to have a prepaid option," said Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray. But Mr. Munster said that to be successful, a prepaid iPhone would have to be able to run the more than 300,000 apps available in the App Store. A. M. Sacconaghi Jr., an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, said that a low-priced iPhone could help Apple expand its unit sales of the device sixfold. In recent days, some published reports, citing anonymous sources, said that Apple was building a smaller iPhone. One report gave the code name of the project as N97. Several people with knowledge of Apple's plans said that N97 was the code name for the Verizon iPhone 4, which was introduced this month. Miguel Helft reported from San Francisco, and Nick Bilton from New York. ***** Moderator's Note ***** I'll look at an iphone the day Jobs implements my Presbyopia[tm] model (US and Foreign Patents Pending). It has a YellowTooth[tm] interface which can be connected to any nearby YellowTooth[tm] enabled HDTV so as to ... MAKE A SCREEEN THAT CAN BE SEEN WITHOUT A MICROSCOPE! ... Or, Apple can continue to produce TinyType[tm] devices that are designed to be readable only by empty-brained twenty-somethings who think paying $100 per month for a friggin phone is normal. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 11:11:03 -0500 From: Telecom Digest Moderator <redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Verizon screwed me, again Message-ID: <20110220161103.GA10583@telecom.csail.mit.edu> This is getting obscene. Verizon did it to me again. As I wrote before, MegaPath abandoned service to my town while I was on vacation. I got home to find that my DSL service had been disconnected. There is another part of the story: I have been using Google Voice for my phone calls for a long time, because my son was running up hundred-dollar-plus phone bills calling everyone he knows every day. He assumed that I would pay the bill and do nothing - proof that youth is wasted on the young - but I placed "no toll" restrictions on the line and relied on Google to make LD phone calls. Of course, no Internet means no Google Voice, and my wife asked me to resolve the situation so that she could use the phone. I called the Verizon "Service" representative - I'll call her Anne - and asked to have the restrictions removed. She told me it would happen within the hour. After that, Anne told me that there was a pending order to remove Speakeasy DSL, and she sold me the second tier of Verizon's DSL service, with a scheduled start date of 2/23. Two hours later, at 4:30 PM on a Friday before a long weekend, the toll restrictions were still there. I called Verizon's number again. The man I spoke to said, again and again and again, that he wouldn't "yes me to death" at the same time he was trying to "maybe" me to death. He said the order to remove the toll restictions had been created after the DSl order, and that meant it had been due-dated 2/21, but that he would talk to the order bureau to try to get it changed back to the date I had been guaranteed. The order bureau, he told me, closes at Six PM: I suspect that was also the time when his shift ended. The toll restrictions are still in place. I know what happened: Anne was eager to lock in her commission for a DSL sale before she left for whatever cave she calls home, so she broke her promise, lied to me, and left the first thing I had asked for as "last" on her to-do list. This is what passes for "service" from Verizon now, and I urge all my readers to switch to other companies. Feel free to mention my name. -- Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 20 Feb 2011 12:22:01 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Black ops: how HBGary wrote backdoors for the government Message-ID: <p0624084dc986fddef13f@[]> Black ops: how HBGary wrote backdoors for the government By Nate Anderson On November 16, 2009, Greg Hoglund, a cofounder of computer security firm HBGary, sent an e-mail to two colleagues. The message came with an attachment, a Microsoft Word file called AL_QAEDA.doc, which had been further compressed and password protected for safety. Its contents were dangerous. ... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/black-ops-how-hbgary-wrote-backdoors-and-rootkits-for-the-government.ars/
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