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The Telecom Digest for March 21, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 72 : "text" Format


Messages in this Issue:
Security firm falls prey to breach / Attack considered 'persistent threat'(Monty Solomon)
Information on small scale optical systems(Martin Bose)
AT&T buys T-Mobile USA(John R. Levine)
Teaching to the Text Message(Monty Solomon)
bye, bye T-Mobile (fwd)(danny burstein)

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

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Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 00:56:17 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com>
To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org.
Subject: Security firm falls prey to breach / Attack considered 'persistent threat' 
Message-ID: <p06240815c9ab43568d6a@[]>

Security firm falls prey to breach
Attack considered 'persistent threat'

By Hiawatha Bray
Globe Staff / March 19, 2011

RSA, a Bedford security systems maker whose products guard vital 
computer networks worldwide, was scrambling yesterday to recover from 
a security breach that could expose its customers to hacker attacks.

The attack, revealed on Thursday, compromised products RSA sells 
under the SecurID brand name. RSA, a division of data storage giant 
EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, called the attack an ''advanced persistent 
threat,'' industry jargon for a relentless campaign by criminals or 
foreign governments to break into a high-value computer system.

SecurID uses a technique called ''two-factor authentication,'' 
requiring users to enter two different passwords to gain access to a 
network. The first password is memorized by the user. The second is a 
set of random numbers that appear on a SecurID ''token,'' a small 
electronic device carried by the user.

The token's random numbers change roughly once a minute based on a 
unique digital ''seed'' assigned to each token. A SecurID computer 
with a copy of each token's seed generates the same random number as 
the token. A user gets into the network by typing this number.

SecurID is used by an estimated 40 million people at 30,000 
organizations worldwide, including banking firm Wells Fargo & Co., 
Rolls Royce Motor Cars Ltd., the French Ministry of Education, 
Lockheed Martin Corp., and The New York Times Co., including The 
Boston Globe.

A successful breach of RSA's own network could allow a criminal to 
compromise customer networks. Gunter Ollmann, vice president of 
research at Atlanta network security firm Damballa Inc., said that 
RSA analysts were probably scouring their computers yesterday to make 
sure the intruders didn't tamper with the SecurID software. One 
threat: Hackers could have introduced ''back doors'' to the system 
that could grant them easy access to the token numbers, and then to 
customer networks. They might also have tried to steal the seeds for 
the SecurID tokens, which would let them generate their own passwords 
and break into networks.



Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 9:26:22 -0700 From: "Martin Bose" <martyb@sonic.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Information on small scale optical systems Message-ID: <06754748C6752BD66B1F5E3E42066EBA8@sonic.net> I work in a shipyard that is 19th century as far as telecom goes. It's served by a couple of 50 pair cables with a couple of T-1 lines for data. They need over a hundred phone lines and better data service, plus the ability to provide customers with short-term phone and data service to ships that are pierside or in our drydock. Some of the customers want Gigabit-level data service, along with the ability to have a block of phone lines with a call director for a secretary. When I worked in Telecom 10 years ago it was fairly common to put a compact OC-48 box on a customer premise and lease them whatever bandwidth and configuration they wanted. I'm guessing the technolgy has progressed a lot since then. What I imagine is a redundant fiber ring around the complex, with terminals in the main buildings and the shops where our CNC equipment is, and additional weather-proof terminals in several locations in our Syncrolift area, our drydock and our pier space. We have a climate-controlled server room in our main building that would be termination point for the incoming fiber link. On one hand it would be nice to be able to run fiber to a remote box onboard the ship and break everything out at that point, but I'm not so sure that running exposed fiber is a good idea in a shipyard environment. Everything would probably have to be AC-powered. There have been discussions with our carrier about bringing fiber in, so that part is probably doable. I'd like to get some pointers on what kind of equipment is available that might meet our needs, as well as an idea of the cost. I'm thinking that an OC-12 might be enough, but would consider an OC-48 if the equipment wasn't much more expensive. Anyone have any suggestions? Marty
Date: 20 Mar 2011 15:54:11 -0400 From: "John R. Levine" <johnl@iecc.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: AT&T buys T-Mobile USA Message-ID: <alpine.BSF.2.00.1103201549400.24982@joyce.lan> In a deal that makes a lot more sense than the ones that have been rumored, AT&T is buying T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, or slightly more than $100 per customer. The two networks both use the same GSM technology, which makes the integration relatively straightforward. Comments that this will increase prices are almost certainly true, since T-Mo has some of the best prices around. Regards, John Levine, johnl@iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies", Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 15:30:58 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Teaching to the Text Message Message-ID: <p06240826c9ac142d804d@[]> Teaching to the Text Message By ANDY SELSBERG March 19, 2011 I'VE been teaching college freshmen to write the five-paragraph essay and its bully of a cousin, the research paper, for years. But these forms invite font-size manipulation, plagiarism and clichéé. We need to set our sights not lower, but shorter. I don't expect all my graduates to go on to Twitter-based careers, but learning how to write concisely, to express one key detail succinctly and eloquently, is an incredibly useful skill, and more in tune with most students' daily chatter, as well as the world's conversation. The photo caption has never been more vital. So a few years ago, I started slipping my classes short writing assignments alongside the required papers. Once, I asked them, "Come up with two lines of copy to sell something you're wearing now on eBay." The mix of commerce and fashion stirred interest, and despite having 30 students in each class, I could give everyone serious individual attention. For another project, I asked them to describe the essence of the chalkboard in one or two sentences. One student wrote, "A chalkboard is a lot like memory: often jumbled, unorganized and sloppy. Even after it's erased, there are traces of everything that's been written on it." http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/opinion/20selsberg.html
Date: Sun, 20 Mar 2011 16:44:13 -0400 From: danny burstein <dannyb@panix.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: bye, bye T-Mobile (fwd) Message-ID: <Pine.NEB.4.64.1103201643200.16005@panix5.panix.com> [press release] http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110320005040/en/ATT-Acquire-T-Mobile-USA-Deutsche-Telekom Dallas and Bonn, Germany (Business Wire)- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Deutsche Telekom AG (FWB: DTE) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which AT&T will acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom in a cash-and-stock transaction currently valued at approximately $39 billion. The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies. [snip] ------ disclosure: I'm both a subscriber and shareholder in T-Mobile (for a long, long, time). I'm not happy. _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key dannyb@panix.com [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
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