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The Telecom Digest for Fri, 02 Feb 2018
Volume 37 : Issue 28 : "text" format

Table of contents
Cisco drops a mega-vulnerability alert for VPN devicesMonty Solomon
Minnesota Supreme Court Says Unlocking A Phone With A Fingerprint Isn't A Fifth Amendment IssueBill Horne
Pixel team is now in-house as Google closes $1.1 billion HTC dealMonty Solomon
Webpass is leaving Boston in latest sign of Google Fiber's shrinking ambitionsMonty Solomon
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <43470F74-2CB5-47E2-A199-43330E72C232@roscom.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2018 19:52:19 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> Subject: Cisco drops a mega-vulnerability alert for VPN devices Cisco drops a mega-vulnerability alert for VPN devices By using "crafted XML," attacker could take over routers, security gateways. By Sean Gallagher On January 29, Cisco released a high-urgency security alert for customers using network security devices and software that support virtual private network connections to corporate networks. Firewalls, security appliances, and other devices configured with WebVPN clientless VPN software are vulnerable to a Web-based network attack that could bypass the devices' security, allowing an attacker to run commands on the devices and gain full control of them. This would give attackers unfettered access to protected networks or cause the hardware to reset. The vulnerability has been given a Common Vulnerability Scoring System rating of Critical, with a score of 10 - the highest possible on the CVSS scale. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/01/cisco-drops-a-mega-vulnerability-alert-for-vpn-devices/ ------------------------------ Message-ID: <20180131130525.GA21501@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2018 08:05:25 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: Minnesota Supreme Court Says Unlocking A Phone With A Fingerprint Isn't A Fifth Amendment Issue from the non-testimonial-act-of-producing-evidence-against-yourself dept When it comes to the Fifth Amendment, you're better off with a password or PIN securing your device, rather than your fingerprint. Cellphone manufacturers introduced fingerprint readers in an effort to protect users from thieves or other unauthorized access. But it does nothing at all to prevent law enforcement from using their fingerprints to unlock seized devices. The US Supreme Court hasn't seen a case involving compelled production of fingerprints land on its desk yet and there's very little in the way of federal court decisions to provide guidance. What we have to work with is scattered state court decisions and the implicit understanding that no matter how judges rule, a refusal to turn over a fingerprint or a password is little more than a way to add years to an eventual sentence. https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20180121/18325339056/minnesota-supreme-court-says-unlocking-phone-with-fingerprint-isnt-fifth-amendment-issue.shtml -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <8DDC4A1A-7473-4997-8FCB-D16132FCE9D0@roscom.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2018 21:01:50 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> Subject: Pixel team is now in-house as Google closes $1.1 billion HTC deal Just a few months ago, Google and HTC announced a deal that would see HTC sell a big chunk of its phone division to Google for $1.1 billion. Today, Google announced that the deal has closed, and the HTC employees are officially joining Google. For HTC, the deal is a big cash infusion at a time when the company is struggling financially. WIth HTC burning through about $75 million each quarter, Google's money gives it over three years of money to burn at the current rate. The move should also cut costs for HTC: the 2,000 employees leaving for Google represent half of HTC's R&D group and 20 percent of its 10,000 employees. HTC claims it will continue to compete in the smartphone market, even with this huge of a staff cut. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/01/google-closes-1-1-billion-deal-for-half-of-htcs-smartphone-rd-team/ ------------------------------ Message-ID: <9423BD36-70AE-4E2C-B7D1-55BFA0C2F480@roscom.com> Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2018 23:04:16 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> Subject: Webpass is leaving Boston in latest sign of Google Fiber's shrinking ambitions Webpass is leaving Boston in latest sign of Google Fiber's shrinking ambitions Google Fiber isn't just stalling; now it's shrinking By Chris Welch Webpass, the wireless home broadband company that Google Fiber acquired in 2016, is exiting the Boston market. The Verge received a reader tip on the situation and a quick look around revealed that Boston is no longer listed as a current Webpass market on the company's website. (It still appeared as recently as December.) Reached by phone Tuesday evening, a Webpass customer service representative confirmed that the company has stopped accepting new customers in Boston. And in a statement, Access - the Alphabet subsidiary that runs Google Fiber - also confirmed the news. "As with any acquisition, we've spent some time evaluating the Webpass business. As a result of our analysis, we've made the decision to wind down Webpass operations in Boston," an Access spokesperson said by email. "We'll work with customers and partners to minimize disruption, and there will be no immediate impacts to their Webpass service. We continue to see strong subscriber response across the rest of the Webpass portfolio, including successful launches in Denver and Seattle in 2017." https://www.theverge.com/2018/1/30/16952588/webpass-google-fiber-internet-leaving-boston ***** Moderator's Note ***** The loss of an Internet service provider may not seem to be related to telecom, but I'm afraid it is. There is a shadow-boxing match going on between major phone providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, and their potential rivals, and it's being waged at the third level of the Internet: the part where the power brokers decide who will be able to compete. I may be wrong - I've been wrong before - but ISTM that the U.S. Internet infrastructure is being taken over by established players who have been maneuvering for years to eliminate any potential compet- itor's ability to challenge them, by denying the newcomers the option to connect to anyone that's disatisfied with the status quo. Bill Horne Moderator ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Fri, 02 Feb 2018

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