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The Next Stage of the Broadbanding of the World

The UN Broadband Commission -- which I assisted in establishing and to which I am special advisor -- is now in its fifth year. Set up by the two UN agencies, UNESCO and ITU, it received the support of 50 leading international people such as government ministers, heads of a range of UN and associated organisations, and CEOs of leading private industry companies. Overall it is a public-private partnership. It is chaired by the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and Carlos Slim from Mexico. more»

IPv6 Security Myth #7: 96 More Bits, No Magic

This week's myth is interesting because if we weren't talking security it wouldn't be a myth. Say what? The phrase "96 more bits, no magic" is basically a way of saying that IPv6 is just like IPv4, with longer addresses. From a pure routing and switching perspective, this is quite accurate. OSPF, IS-IS, and BGP all work pretty much the same, regardless of address family. Nothing about finding best paths and forwarding packets changes all that much from IPv4 to IPv6. more»

Title II and ICANN

Many voices are hailing February 26th as a watershed day in the history of the Internet in the United States. After a year of loud argument, frequent misrepresentations, and epic flows of political contributions, the FCC has restored the open Internet rules which prevailed from 2010 until struck down in a court ruling last year. And it has done so with new reliance on existing provisions of U.S. telecom law which it believes will pass judicial scrutiny. more»

Packet Loss: How the Internet Enforces Speed Limits

There's been a lot of controversy over the FCC's new Network Neutrality rules. Apart from the really big issues -- should there be such rules at all? Is reclassification the right way to accomplish it? -- one particular point has caught the eye of network engineers everywhere: the statement that packet loss should be published as a performance metric, with the consequent implication that ISPs should strive to achieve as low a value as possible. more»

CMO Offers Fresh View on New gTLDs: "They're a Channel, Not Just a Label"

Several years ago, I had a very interesting conversation with a talented marketing executive from Portland, Oregon who joined the DotGreen Community, Inc. Board of Directors. When I told him about the new gTLD program, which was then under development at ICANN, Dave Maddocks immediately understood the value of what new gTLDs would mean to all businesses that have an online location. more»

With .APP, ICANN's Auction Piggy Bank Just Got Even Bigger

ICANN reports that Google paid over $25 million for .APP in the February 25 domain auction. They were willing to bid $30M, but it's a second bid auction so that was just enough to beat out whoever the second highest bidder was. The auction proceeds piggy bank just nearly doubled from $34M to about $59M dollars, and ICANN still has no idea what to do with it. more»

More Evidence Why Doing Good Pays Off and Love Doesn't

The new gTLDs program can't succeed unless two things happen. The approved registries must do good, and ICANN must weed out applicants who are in love. This is to say that registries should put users' good first, and applicants shouldn't get the nod unless their motive is economic and/or social viability. A recent study reveals that leading companies have enjoyed healthy profits because they made doing good their strategic foundation. more»

The Mobile Internet

It has been observed that the most profound technologies are those that disappear (Mark Weiser, 1991). They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it, and are notable only by their absence. The feat of reticulating clean potable water into every house, so that it is constantly accessible at the turn of a tap, is a great example of the outcome of large scale civil engineering projects, combining with metallurgy, hydrology, chemistry and physics. But we never notice it until it is no longer there. more»

Why Attribution Is Important for Today's Network Defenders

It makes me cringe when I hear operators or security practitioners say, "I don't care who the attacker is, I just want them to stop." I would like to believe that we have matured past this idea as a security community, but I still find this line of thinking prevalent across many organizations -- regardless of their cyber threat operation's maturity level. Attribution is important, and we as Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) professionals, need to do a better job explaining across all lines of business and security operations... more»

Hiding in the Firmware?

The most interesting feature of the newly-described "Equation Group" attacks has been the ability to hide malware in disk drive firmware. The threat is ghastly: you can wipe the disk and reinstall the operating system, but the modified firmware in the disk controller can reinstall nasties. A common response has been to suggest that firmware shouldn't be modifiable, unless a physical switch is activated. more»

IPv6 Security Myth #6: IPv6 is Too New to be Attacked

Here we are, half-way through this list of the top 10 IPv6 security myths! Welcome to myth #6. Since IPv6 is just now being deployed at any real scale on true production networks, some may think that the attackers have yet to catch up. As we learned in Myth #2, IPv6 was actually designed starting 15-20 years ago. While it didn't see widespread commercial adoption until the last several years, there has been plenty of time to develop at least a couple suites of test/attack tools. more»

Internet-Native Policies

Policies such as network neutrality and minimum speeds for broadband seek to limit the ability of carriers to favor some applications over others. Well-intended though these initiatives are, they still leave users negotiating for passage while confined to the carriers' "pipes". In this scenario, end users remain limited by how the incumbents choose to build their broadband content delivery networks. more»

What Must We Trust?

My Twitter feed has exploded with the release of the Kaspersky report on the "Equation Group", an entity behind a very advanced family of malware. (Naturally, everyone is blaming the NSA. I don't know who wrote that code, so I'll just say it was beings from the Andromeda galaxy.) The Equation Group has used a variety of advanced techniques, including injecting malware into disk drive firmware, planting attack code on "photo" CDs sent to conference attendees, encrypting payloads... more»

IPv6 Security Myth #5: Privacy Addresses Fix Everything!

Internet Protocol addresses fill two unique roles. They are both identifiers and locators. They both tell us which interface is which (identity) and tell us how to find that interface (location), through routing. In the last myth, about network scanning, we focused mainly on threats to IPv6 addresses as locators. That is, how to locate IPv6 nodes for exploitation. Today's myth also deals with IPv6 addresses as identifiers. more»

Riding the Waves of the Future

Yes, that was the theme of this year's Caribbean Cable and Telecommunications Association (CCTA) conference. This annual event was held in sunny Montego Bay, Jamaica, over the first week of February... For that, one has to applaud the fine work that CCTA puts into the event, drawing together operators, vendors, programmers, solution providers, marketers, and technologists alike -- and this year, over 270 attendees and 80-some exhibitors. more»

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