Friday, March 14, 2008
• According to the NBC News, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a joint bulletin Wednesday addressing an uncorroborated threat to Wall Street, a senior Homeland Security official confirmed. The intelligence was characterized as “fragmented” pieces from various undisclosed sources. (See item 13)
• The Associated Press reports Southwest Airlines Co. canceled flights Wednesday and temporarily grounded 43 planes to examine if they were sound enough to carry passengers, the latest twist in the low-cost carrier’s saga of missed safety inspections and civil penalties. The groundings affected about 8 percent of Southwest’s fleet, and came as the airline faces a $10.2 million civil penalty for continuing to fly nearly 50 planes that had not been inspected for cracks in their fuselages. (See item 17)
33. March 13, New York Times – (National) Video road hogs stir fear of internet traffic jam. According to some industry groups, analysts, and researchers, the threat of surging growth in the amount of data on the internet stems mainly from the increasing visual richness of online communications and entertainment — video clips and movies, social networks and multiplayer games. Moving images require far more bandwidth than text and audio files. Last year, by one estimate, the video site YouTube, owned by Google, consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000. In a widely cited report published last November, a research firm projected that user demand for the Internet could outpace network capacity by 2011. The title of a debate scheduled next month at a technology conference in Boston sums up the angst: “The End of the Internet?” But the Internet traffic surge represents more a looming challenge than an impending catastrophe. Even those most concerned are not predicting a lights-out Internet crash. An individual user, they say, would experience Internet clogging in the form of sluggish download speeds and frustration with data-heavy services that become much less useful or enjoyable. Some researchers are less worried — at least in the short term. A professor at the University of Minnesota, estimates that digital traffic on the global network is growing about 50 percent a year, in line with a recent analysis by Cisco Systems, the big network equipment maker. That sounds like a daunting rate of growth. Yet the technology for handling Internet traffic is advancing at an impressive pace as well. The router computers for relaying data get faster, fiber optic transmission gets better, and software for juggling data packets gets smarter. “The 50 percent growth is high. It’s huge, but it basically corresponds to the improvements that technology is giving us,” the professor, a former AT&T Labs researcher said, adding that demand is not likely to overwhelm the Internet.
35. March 12, Associated Press – (International) Security card chip can be hacked. The Dutch interior affairs minister says a technology being used in up to a billion security cards around the world can easily be hacked. The “Mifare” chip technology owned and licensed by NXP Semiconductors is frequently used in public transport systems such as London’s “Oyster” card. It is also used by corporations and governments in “swipe” access cards. Researchers at the Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands have “developed a method by which a large number of (Mifare) chip-cards is relatively easy to crack and duplicate.” A Dutch politician wrote in a letter to Parliament that she was preparing supplemental security measures for some government buildings as a result. She said the chip is used in an estimated 2 million cards in the Netherlands and a billioglobally — though Mifare’s Web site gives a total of 500 million, and it was not clear whether the vulnerability to hackers would apply to all versions of the chip.
36. March 12, Tech Web – (National) Hackers report breaking iPhone 2.0. Hackers calling themselves the iPhone Dev. Team have reported breaking into the iPhone firmware upgrade that ships with the recently launched software development kit for the smartphone. The group reported late Tuesday it had “decrypted the disk image and jail-broken the firmware.” In essence, the hackers had found a way to run applications on the firmware without a development certificate from Apple. If true, the hack calls into question whether Apple will be able to maintain the tight-fisted control it wants on iPhone application development. Meanwhile, Apple on Wednesday reported more than 100,000 downloads of the iPhone SDK in the first four days following its launch. Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20080313/tc_cmp/206903250;_ylt=AmRlDZA.croa.jqPaZ_wuauDzdAF