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TELECOM Digest Sun, 24 Apr 2005 19:17:00 EDT Volume 24 : Issue 181 Inside This Issue: Editor: Patrick A. Townson Peer-To-Peer Users Share More Than Stolen Songs (Lisa Minter) CMU Says Hacker Broke Into Computers (Monty Solomon) Law May Help Freeze ID Theft/2003 Law Gives Californians Help (Solomon) Politics in Telecom (email@example.com) Verizon/MCI (Steven Lichter) Re: How We Made Our Own Carnivore (John McHarry) Re: How We Made Our Own Carnivore (Dean) Re: Lingo (Primus Telecommunications) Horror Story (R. T. Wurth) Re: It Happened Again (Walter Dnes) Re: Last Laugh! One Way to Get 911's Attention (Tony P.) Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer; other stuff of interest. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: 24 Apr 2005 14:13:41 -0700 From: Lisa Minter <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Peer-To-Peer Users Share More Than Stolen Songs By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - College kids looking for free music may have popularized Internet file-trading software, but the technology is now used by everyone from penny-pinching phone callers to polar explorers. Even the recording industry is changing its tune as labels that for years have waged a legal war against "peer-to-peer" companies are now allowing authorized technology. "I never thought you'd hear this from me, but the record industry has, mostly, been fairly cooperative," said Wayne Rosso, who is launching an authorized service called Mashboxx http://www.mashboxx.com while the US Supreme Court considers the entertainment industry's copyright suit against Grokster, his old peer-to-peer company. Peer-to-peer, or P2P, software allows users to connect directly to each others' computers, bypassing the powerful servers that underpin much of the Internet. Web pages, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations and other material usually stored on servers can thus be made public directly from a user's hard drive. That makes online communication much simpler, said Steve Crocker, who helped develop an early version of the Internet as a graduate student in the 1960s. "When you think about the amount of hardware and bandwidth and storage that we all have available on the most common of machines and then you think about how hard it is to actually work together, there's a huge disparity," said Crocker, whose Shinkuro software http://www.shinkuro.com allows people in different locations to work on the same document. Encrypted communication keeps snoops and hackers at bay. High-school teachers in Washington have turned to Shinkuro to develop lesson plans, and researchers on a polar icebreaker have used it to send back photos of unusual ice formations, Crocker said. Two online standards-setting bodies, the Internet Engineering Task Force and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, have developed agendas and other material with Shinkuro, he said. Skype Technologies' peer-to-peer Internet phone service ( http://www.skype.com ) allows users anywhere in the globe to talk to one another for free. A service called "Freenet Web" ( http://freenet.sourceforge.net ) helps people communicate in countries like China, where online content is rigorously censored. Users donate portions of their hard drive to host Web pages and other files, and the software keeps their identities private. PLAYING BALL On March 29, the same day the U.S. Supreme Court heard the recording industry's case against Grokster, Rosso sat in a nearby hotel room searching the Internet for free music. Scouring several P2P networks at once, he quickly found and downloaded a copy of the Beatles' "Drive My Car." But the version that came out of his laptop's tiny speakers included a voice-over urging him to buy an authorized copy. One click and 99 cents later, a voiceover-free version of the song filled the room. Rosso's Mashboxx software is one of several P2P platforms that actually promise to pay record labels when their songs are copied. Mashboxx relies on a technology called Snocap ( http://www.snocap.com ) that can identify songs by their digital "fingerprints" and allow copyright owners to control them as they wish. A record label could decide to make a low-fidelity version of the song available for free, for instance, or let the song play three times before requiring a payment. A test version of Mashboxx should be out by May, Rosso said. Another industry-authorized P2P platform called Peer Impact, currently in an invitation-only test mode, adds an extra incentive: Users get credit toward more music purchases when others copy their songs. That approach has been used for a year now by a company called Weed ( http://www.weedshare.com ), whose format has proven popular with independent artists. Users don't need special software to download Weed songs. A band can sell its Weed-encoded songs through its own Web site, but it also makes money when fans copy songs from one another. "It's completely decentralized," Weed President John Beezer said. "We want people who are interested to find music quickly." Beezer said Weed has been most successful so far with cult artists like Sananda Maitreya ( http://www.sanandapromotion.com ), formerly known as Terence Trent D'Arby. Agreements with major labels are in the works, Beezer said. Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily, and discuss these items 24/7 in our conference room area http://telecom-digest.org/chatpage.html ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 01:09:26 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> Subject: CMU Says Hacker Broke Into Computers More than 5,000 alerted to possible identity thefts By Bill Schackner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette A hacker who tapped into business school computers at Carnegie Mellon University may have compromised sensitive personal data belonging to 5,000 to 6,000 graduate students, staff, alumni and others, officials said yesterday. The breach confirmed by officials in the Tepper School of Business is the latest in a recent string of campus computer break-ins nationally and the second since early March affecting Tepper. There is no evidence that any data, including Social Security and credit card numbers, have been misused, officials said. But they have begun sending e-mails and letters alerting those affected. They include graduate students and graduate degree alumni from 1997 to 2004, master's of business administration applicants from September 2002 through May 2004, doctoral applicants from 2003 to this year, and participants in a conference that was being arranged by the school's staff. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05111/491836.stm ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 12:18:11 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Law May Help Freeze ID Theft / 2003 Law Helps Californians Law May Help Freeze ID Theft A 2003 statute allows Californians to block access to their credit reports. Few knew about it until the ChoicePoint scandal. By David Colker and Rong-Gong Lin II Times Staff Writers California residents have the ultimate weapon against identity theft -- but few know it. That may be changing, however, as a rash of security breaches putting personal information at risk has heightened public concern about privacy. The weapon is a little-known California law -- the only one of its kind in effect -- allowing residents to freeze access to their credit reports. Such a step effectively prevents identity thieves from opening unauthorized credit accounts in the names of their victims. Inquiries about the law, which took effect in 2003, have risen dramatically in the last few months, state officials said. And it has generated attention across the country as well: This year, 22 states considered legislation that allows consumers to freeze their credit reports. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-credit23apr23,0,6012053.story ------------------------------ Subject: Politics in Telecom From: email@example.com Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 20:48:42 GMT Organization: Road Runner High Speed Online http://www.rr.com http://www.time.com/time/magazine/printout/0,8816,1053595,00.html Any Kerry Supporters On The Line? The Bush Administration Punishes Some Democrat Backers By VIVECA NOVAK AND JOHN DICKERSON excerpts: The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission meets three times a year in various cities across the Americas to discuss such dry but important issues as telecommunications standards and spectrum regulations. snip-- At least four of the two dozen or so U.S. delegates selected for the meeting, sources tell TIME, have been bumped by the White House because they supported John Kerry's 2004 campaign. snip-- Only after the start of Bush's second term did a political litmus test emerge, industry sources say. The White House admits as much: "We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively, and -- call us nutty -- it seemed like those who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would have some difficulty doing that," says White House spokesman Trent Duffy. Those barred from the trip include employees of Qualcomm and Nokia, two of the largest telecom firms operating in the U.S., as well as Ibiquity, a digital-radio-technology company in Columbia, Md. [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Well, politics is what did me in a few years ago, as many of you may recall. The Digest was getting, albiet a very small, allowance monthly from International Telecommunications Union in Geneva, CH. That is, until I started objecting to the way that ICANN, Vint Cerf and MCI were administering the 'new internet' (the post 1994 reforms than ICANN instituted.) Bingo, ITU cut me off with no further adieu. Of course we did not have (either) Bush in those days, we had Clinton and Gore (the man who 'invented' -- or was it 'discovered' -- the internet) but still, one does not speak against ICANN and the powers that be unless you are independently wealthy or otherwise live happily on gruel and peanut butter. You'll be sorry if you do (speak out) as many can tell you. PAT] ------------------------------ From: Steven Lichter <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Verizon/MCI Organization: SBC http://yahoo.sbc.com Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2005 21:11:10 GMT Anyone think Verizon will give up now? I sure hope so. My stock has been in the dumps since GTE merged with Hell Atlantic. ------------------------------ From: John McHarry <email@example.com> Subject: Re: How We Made Our Own Carnivore Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 23:36:37 GMT Organization: EarthLink Inc. -- http://www.EarthLink.net On Sat, 23 Apr 2005 13:21:18 -0500, Lisa Minter wrote: > If you like what they have to say, then you can build your own > sniffer with this program. Just download the version which goes > with your operating system: > http://www.rhizome.org/carnivore/ > We tried it here on Patrick's computer network and it is sitting here > right now sniffing at his weather station stuff and some email on > another computer. It is fine to run a sniffer on your own lan, but larger systems, like university lans, usually consider a promiscuous ethernet port, which is key to sniffing, as network abuse. You are likely to get kicked off, or worse. For diagnostic sniffing, using Linux, I am partial to Ethereal, which is mostly a graphic front end to tcpdump. It can be set to trace specific protocols, which gives it very similar capabilities, although not as user friendly. ------------------------------ From: Dean <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: How We Made Our Own Carnivore Date: 23 Apr 2005 17:06:58 -0700 But Lisa, isn't this rather irresponsible? I mean how can you be sure this software is only sniffing your own machines (perfectly alright I guess) and not spying on you (i.e. sending info about you on to whomever) or spamming other netusers? I assume you don't know the people behind this software. Don't you think it's better to avoid installing "mystery" software on any machine, particularly one connected to the Internet? Dean Lisa Minter wrote: > I assume you all know about the FBI and their 'Carnivore' program > which spies on people by sniffing their computer packets and uses > this ill-gotten information to get guys in trouble. Some fellows in > New York City developed their own Carnivore thing based on information > taken from FBI files. Don't ask me how they got into the FBI files. > http://rhizome.org/carnivore/How_We_Made_Our_Own_Carnivore.txt > If you like what they have to say, then you can build your own > sniffer with this program. Just download the version which goes > with your operating system: > http://www.rhizome.org/carnivore/ > We tried it here on Patrick's computer network and it is sitting here > right now sniffing at his weather station stuff and some email on > another computer. Of course, I presume you could also use this > Carnivore to spy on people and their credit card numbers or things > like that on the net, but why would you want to do something wrong > like steal credit card numbers and passwords? > If you administer a computer network at your school or company, I > don't see any reason why you couldn't use this in the routine course > of your duties at work, etc. Just use this tool in an ethical and > honest way, as all guys do when they use their computers; the way the > government does its business. Patrick said it should make a good > worthwhile project for readers this weekend. > Lisa M. [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The people at the Radical Software Group and rzihome.org can be trusted not to load unwanted junk on one's computer, and things you might happen to see on other computers come to you in 'read only' mode. That is, nothing which passes through the ether that you happen to view can 'jump out' and attach itself to you. So they are reasonably safe to deal with. Lisa did warn us against abusing credit card numbers and passwords which happen to pass through the ether, and the law provides serious penalties against making personal gain of ill-gotten knowledge which does not belong to us, just like on ham radio when you are tuning the dial and overhear a conversation not intended for yourself. You cannot do it! If you have any questions about what is, and is not honest on the internet these days, see our illustrated manual, Honesty and the Internet at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/honesty.html and anyway, a _real_man_ always knows how to adjust his computer to avoid stepping in a pile of dung as he makes his way though the barnyard which used to be the commons traveling down the non-highway. PAT] ------------------------------ Subject: Re: Lingo (Primus Telecommunications) Horror Story From: R. T. Wurth <email@example.com> Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 22:51:10 GMT Organization: AT&T Worldnet [posted and mailed] Ed <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in news:email@example.com: > Here's my VOIP phone story: > I signed up for Lingo on August 13, 2004. They've never sent me > equipment and they've never let me quit. [... details snipped. ] > In total, Primus Telecommunications has charged my card a total of 4 > times successfully. In addition, it has made other unsuccessful > attempts as well. > Each time the charge on my card has been reversed by MBNA. So far, > Primus Telecommunications has received zero dollars from me and has in > turn given me zero telephone service. > Today, I received a letter saying I've got 10 days to pay Primus > Telecommunications 61.99 or they turn me over to a collection agency. [...] > What would you do if you were in my situation? > Ed Know your rights with respect to collection agencies. Just say "No," and they have to leave you alone. See the Fair Collection Practices Act summary at the US Gov't's Consumer Info Center: <http://www.pueblo.gsa.gov/cic_text/money/fair-debt/fair-dbt.htm> Rich Wurth / firstname.lastname@example.org / Rumson, NJ USA ------------------------------ From: News Subsystem <email@example.com> Subject: Re: It Happened Again Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: 24 Apr 2005 22:39:00 GMT TELECOM Digest Editor wrote: >> You might want to think about investing in a good anti-spam appliance. >> Of course for that to be feasible, you must host your own email (run >> your own mail server) which I am not sure you do. > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Alas, I do not. The mail server is > purely part of the MIT system, besides which, I am not sure I am > smart enough to run a mail server. PAT] There are a couple of services which allow you to administer your SMTP-stage filters, without having to administer the MTA. It's not for everybody. - you're basically using a separate ISP for inbound email, so you'll have to pay for it. For someone with your level of incoming traffic, that might be a lot. - you do have to take responsibility for your own filtering decisions and blocking choices. It does help to understand CIDRs, whois, and DNSbls, etc. My provider has a "user-friendly menu", but to get the maximum benefit it helps to dive into the config file with vim - you'll probably have to ssh to the provider. - you either need to use your provider's email account, or else arrange to have them accept email for your domain, and also you have to point your MX at their MTA (once they've agreed to accept email for your domain) - and fer-cryin-out-loud, turn off any secondary MX records. The spammers will pound on them. Years ago, I was gung-ho on procmail. Spam evolved, and email went from almost 100% sendmail to a gazillion different MTAs, with their own weird header conventions, which made things rather difficult for my procmail filter. My procmail filter's false-positive rate went up, as did its false-negative rate. I got an account at a provider as described above, and my incoming spam rate (the part that got through) went way down. Out of 780 blocked delivery attempts last month, the biggest catches were ... Badly forged HELO = 119 No hostname = 377 Dynamic IP by rDNS regex = 143 Country by rDNS = 58 Walter Dnes; my email address is *ALMOST* like email@example.com Delete the "z" to get my real address. If that gets blocked, follow the instructions at the end of the 550 message. ------------------------------ From: Tony P. <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Last Laugh! One Way to Get 911's Attention Organization: ATCC Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2005 23:12:59 -0400 In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org says: > The Correct Way To Call The Police > George Phillips of New York City was going up to bed when his wife > told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed which she > could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go > turn off the light but saw that there were people in the shed stealing > things. > He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?" and he > said no. The dispatcher then switched him into a recorded message > saying that that all patrol officers were busy, and that he should > simply leave a message for them, then lock his door and an officer > would be along to take a report when available. > George said, "Okay," hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police > again. > "Hello I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people > in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now cause I've > just shot them all dead". Then he muttered "that will teach them to > come on my property ... " as he hung up the telephone. > Within five minutes five police cars, an Armed Response unit, a SWAT > team and two ambulances showed up at the Phillips residence. Of > course, the police caught the burglars red handed. > One of the Policemen said to George: "I thought you said that you'd > shot them!" > George said, "I thought your recorded message said there was nobody > available to help me right now!" Brilliant. Every 911 call should be treated the same way. And to think, our current police chief here in Providence is formerly of the NYPD. Lovely. [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And to think _our_ police chief here in Independence grew up in the house directly across the street from me where his parents lived for fifty years until his father died the same year as mine (1991) and his mother was enrolled in the old people's home (last year) where my mother is, after his mother suffered a stroke and a broken hip.) Lee has been chief for a dozen years and was a city employee for twenty years before that. He has the house up for sale now, but earlier today I saw him out in the back yard mowing the grass like he does most Sundays in the spring/summer. I think this has been a busy weekend for the officers: overheard on the scanner radio yesterday afternoon, the dispatcher sent officers to Garden Walk Apartments on North 10th Street, our public assistance housing project. Later one of the officers was heard saying on the radio, "second time I have been there today. I told 'him' if I have to come back any more, someone is going to get locked up." Their problems, it seems, at the 'projects' always involve Demon Rum and/or Crystal Meth, or both. PAT] ------------------------------ TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly but not exclusively to telecommunications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to various telecom forums on a variety of networks such as Compuserve and America On Line, Yahoo Groups, and other forums. It is also gatewayed to Usenet where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Patrick Townson. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. 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