30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981

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The Telecom Digest for July 21, 2012
Volume 31 : Issue 177 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
wherefore/whencefore Central Office outage reports (danny burstein)
Shared Mobile Data Plans: Who Benefits? (Monty Solomon)
Covert FBI Power to Obtain Phone Data Faces Rare Test (tlvp)
Apple tries to block iOS in-app purchase hack, fails (Monty Solomon)

====== 30 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 21:56:47 -0400 From: danny burstein <dannyb@panix.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: wherefore/whencefore Central Office outage reports Message-ID: <Pine.NEB.4.64.1207192154350.9158@panix5.panix.com> We just had a central office outage - which wasn't storm related -, that knocked out tens of thousands of lines, both wired and the cellular network. Oh, and DSL. And lots of cascading issues. Including clobbering a 911 PSAP. Took 15 or so hours to restore. [a] Anyway... could someone point me to what reports (if any...) the ILEC and other groups - such as the cellcos - are supposed to make in these deregulated days and where I could either view them or make FOIL requests? - I realize there might be a bit of a time lag, but I'd like to start the process. Thanks. [a] http://www.themorningsun.com/article/20120719/NEWS01/120719712/power-outage-disables-phones
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2012 00:25:29 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Shared Mobile Data Plans: Who Benefits? Message-ID: <p062408b4cc2e8d48e54d@[]> Shared Mobile Data Plans: Who Benefits? By BRIAN X. CHEN JULY 19, 2012 Verizon and AT&T, the two biggest carriers in the United States, are offering shared data plans, which will allow customers to pay for a single pool of data and share it across multiple smartphones, tablets and laptops. The concept of sharing sounds like a nice idea in principle, but the costs of these plans can tell a different story. The pricing for the carriers' shared plans is nearly identical. After doing the math, it turns out that shared data plans are a good value only for a specific type of customer: A high-income family with several data-hungry devices and chatty kids who send lots of text messages. In other words, the plans offer the most value for people who already spend a lot to squeeze as much out of their wireless service as possible, and are not so useful for frugal, casual customers. "There are very few subsets of people where this will actually be impactful," says Schwark Satyavolu, chief executive of Truaxis, a company that offers tools for consumers to manage their utility bills. Here's a quick breakdown of the math. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/19/shared-data-plans-verizon-att/
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 15:26:01 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Covert FBI Power to Obtain Phone Data Faces Rare Test Message-ID: <1qo9x1voqbnof.g6og3i45ji5m$.dlg@40tude.net> In today's "Latest News from Sophos Security" I read: > Telecom firm says "No" to FBI surveillance demands > In a case that has been cloaked in secrecy, a phone company > is fighting an FBI request to access customer records. The phone company involved may not be identified, under the obligatory nondisclosure requirements of the applicable NSL (National Security Letter) issued early last year, but the full Sophos commentary, at http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/07/19/telecom-fbi-surveillance/ , and yesterday's WSJ article breaking the news more than a year later, at http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702303567704577519213906388708-lMyQjAxMTAyMDEwNzExNDcyWj.html make chilling reading. -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2012 12:32:35 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Apple tries to block iOS in-app purchase hack, fails Message-ID: <p06240878cc2de61de8a8@[]> Apple tries to block iOS in-app purchase hack, fails Summary: Apple is working hard to fight the hacking of its In-App Purchase program for iOS. So far though, the company's attempts have not deterred Russian developer Alexey Borodin who apparently wants Cupertino to fix the underlying problem rather than just trying to block his in-appstore.com service. By Emil Protalinski July 16, 2012 Last week Russian developer Alexey Borodin hacked Apple's In-App Purchase program for all devices running anything from iOS 3.0 to iOS 6.0 (the In-App Purchase program requires iOS 3.0 or later), allowing iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users to circumvent the payment process and essentially steal in-app content. Apple confirmed the workaround and said it was investigating the issue. Ever since, Cupertino has been working hard to stop the attack, but it has yet to succeed. ... Last but certainly not least, Cupertino is transmitting its customers' Apple IDs and passwords in clear text (Apple assumed it would only ever be communicating with its own server). The following information is transferred from your device to Borodin's server: app restriction level, app id, version id, device guid, in-app purchase quantity, in-app purchase offer name, app identifier, app version, your language, and your locale. Whoever operates in-appstore.com could easily be gathering everyone's iTunes login credentials (as well as unique device-identifying data) in a classic man-in-the-middle attack. ... http://www.zdnet.com/apple-tries-to-block-ios-in-app-purchase-hack-fails-7000000985/
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