Show of 3-14-2009

  • Email and Forum Questions
    • Email from Dan: Dear Tech Talk. I’d like to know how to clear protect my Linksys Cisco router from hacking and who else besides the people that know my router’s WPA code can view browsing history. Thanks Dan
    • Tech Talk Answers: First and most importantly, change the default password. Disable remote management and don’t send logs to a remote address. Neither of these should be activated by default, but you should still check. Next set up encryption. Use WPA rather than WEP, since it is more secure. Select a pass phrase that is not easily guessed. Finally, I usually change my channel to either 1 or 11 so as not to overlap with my neighbors AP.
  • Profiles in IT: Irwin Mark Jacobs
    • Irwin Mark Jacobs is co-founder of Qualcomm, pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA ) digital wireless technology.
    • Jacobs was born October 18, 1933 in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
    • He converted the coal bin to a dark room, printed and sold pictures to his classmates.
    • His parents owned a restaurant so they wanted him to go into Hospitality Mgmt.
    • He started Cornell with that major but changed to engineering after a year and half.
    • Dr. Jacobs received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1956 from Cornell University and Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees in electrical engineering from MIT in 1957 and 1959, respectively.
    • From 1959 to 1966, Dr. Jacobs was an assistant/associate professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
    • From 1966 to 1972 he served as a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, San Diego.
    • At MIT, Dr. Jacobs co-authored a basic textbook on digital communications entitled, Principles of Communication Engineering (1965). The book remains in use today.
    • In 1968 Jacobs co-founded Linkabit Corporation with Andrew Viterbi to develop satellite encryption devices.
    • He led LINKABIT Corporation from a few part-time employees in 1969 to more than 1,400 employees in 1985.
    • LINKABIT first introduction of Ku-band Very Small Aperture Earth Terminals (VSATs), commercial TDMA wireless phones, and the VideoCipher® satellite-to-home TV system.
    • That company merged with M/A-COM in 1980, becoming M/A-COM Linkabit.
    • In July 1985, seven communication industry veterans, including Andrew Viterbi, met in the den of Irwin Jacobs’ San Diego home to discuss a new company.
    • They decided they wanted to build ?QUALity COMMunications? and outlined a plan that evolved into Qualcomm Incorporated.
    • QualComm’s first commercial product was OmniTRACS, a satellite-based commercial mobile system for the transportation industry today.
    • In 1989, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) endorsed a digital technology called Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA ).
    • Just three months later, Qualcomm introduced Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), a superior technology for wireless and data products that changed the global face of wireless communications forever.
    • Qualcomm’s current intellectual property portfolio includes more than 7,200 United States patents for wireless technologies, with more than 145 telecommunications equipment manufacturers licensing them worldwide.
    • Dr. Jacobs announced on March 3, 2009 that he had stepped down as chairman of Qualcomm and that Paul Jacobs had been named to succeed him.
    • He and his wife have four sons. Their son Paul E. Jacobs is CEO of Qualcomm.
    • Jeff Jacobs is the Chief Marketing Officer of Qualcomm.
    • Dr. Jacobs is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Medal of Technology Award in 1994, the highest award given by the President of the US.
    • In 2006 he was listed by Forbes as the 204th richest man in the US (net worth $1.7B)
    • Cisco Combining Blade Server, Switching To Target Data Center
    • Cisco’s Unified Computing Strategy will tie together blade server architecture, code-named California, with Cisco’s networking technology and server virtualization.
    • Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior outlined the strategy as an architecture that links all data center resources into a common architecture.
    • Cisco is not building just a blade server, it is building a data center automation platform that includes a blade server, an Ethernet switch and a management console.
    • The components that make up the unified computing solutions won’t be unbundled or sold separately.
    • Cisco can leverage its core networking expertise to build out powerful data center and virtualization solutions.
    • Unified computing will allow more use of virtualization for more applications that are mission-critical.
    • Sources said those industry partners include BMC, EMC, Intel, Microsoft and VMware, which Cisco is already working closely with on the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch that ties together virtual machines in a data center.
    • Cisco is capitalizing on a transitioning market as servers are migrating toward blade and virtual environments, which will give partners a stronger opportunity in the data center market.
  • Web Founder Looks to the Future
    • The WWW is 20 years old and still going strong.
    • Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the WWW, says the pace of innovation is increasing.
    • He convinced that the new changes are going to rock the world even more. He was speaking at the 20th anniversary celebrations at CERN.
    • In March 19089, Berners-Lee was working at the CERN nuclear research centre, near Geneva, when he proposed a hypertext database with text links that would help scientists around the world share information quickly.
    • He views mobile phone as the largest area for expansion of the web.
    • In developing countries mobile phones are the only way most people can see the internet at all
    • He also sounded a warning about the emergence of systems that can automatically track a web user’s habits and create a detailed profile of the person.
    • Google has become the latest firm to launch a system to send advertisements to web users based on their online activities
  • Targeted Ads Trigger Consumer Rights Debate
    • Google’s behavior-targeting ads may trigger a revival of the defeated Consumer Privacy Protection Act, first proposed in 2002. The bill also had opt-out provisions.
    • Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) and two other congressmen are creating a bill to require companies like Google to notify consumers of ad-tracking activity.
    • Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) said he is working with Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), to craft a bill to require online companies to notify consumers of tracking activity.
    • All three congressmen are members of the Internet subcommittee in the House Energy and Commerce Committees.
    • Boucher told CNET last month that the model for his bill is likely to be the Consumer Privacy Protection Act.
  • Rogue Wireless APs Can Be Hidden
    • Anyone can purchase a cheap wireless AP and plug it into the company network.
    • Often, employees do this simply for the sake of convenience, not realizing that it opens the company to attack.
    • Criminals also deliberately plant wireless access points, which allow them to bypass the firewall and remotely access the network later on.
    • Many companies conduct regular ?war-walking? scans to detect rogue access points using Kismet, Netstumbler, or a commercial Wireless Intrusion Detection Systems.
    • However, the determined hacker can avoid detection several ways.
    • Using Channel 14.
      • In the United States, the FCC has licensed 11 channels for 802.11b/g, which have center frequencies between 2.412 GHz to 2.462 GHz.
      • However, most of Europe allows 13 channels (up to 2.472 GHz), and Japan allows 802.11b all the way up to channel 14, or 2.484 GHz.
      • Cards manufactured for the United States often don’t support channel 14, since it’s illegal to transmit on that frequency.
    • 802.11n Only Mode (Green Field)
      • ?Mixed-mode,? which allows it to work with legacy 802.11a/b/g networks;
      • ?Green Field? or ?high-throughput only? mode, which takes full advantage of the enhanced throughput but is not visible to 802.11a/b/g devices. Older devices will see GF-mode traffic only as noise.
    • Bluetooth Access Point
      • Class 2 Bluetooth network, which is fairly low-power and has a maximum range of ~10M.
      • Bluetooth Class 1 devices are much more powerful, with ranges similar to 802.11b wireless APs.
      • A Bluetooth Class 1 device can transmit up to 100mW, with a typical range of ~100M .
    • Wireless Knocking
      • A three-knock simple TCP sequence (e.g. port 1000, 2000, 3000).
      • When the rogue AP receives a packet (or sequence of packets) with the preconfigured SSID, it awakens and switches to master mode.
      • The program ?WKnock? is designed for this purpose, and it can be installed on any AP supported by the OpenWRT framework.
  • Latest Conficker Has Evolved
    • Conficker.C shuts down security services, blocks computers from connecting to security Web sites, and downloads a Trojan.
    • It also is programmed to begin connecting to 50,000 different domains on April 1 to receive updated copies or other malware, as opposed to connecting to 250 domains a day as previous versions are doing.
    • The authors of the code are "strengthening their hold on their collection of infected machines at the same time they are attempting to strengthen their ability to control those machines by moving to 50,000 domains.
    • A group of companies, including Microsoft, Symantec, and a host of domain registration providers, have been trying to stop the efforts of Conficker by pre-registering and locking up the domain names.
    • The worm, also called Kido or Downadup, was first detected in November and is believed to have infected more than 10,000 computers. The first two versions exploit a vulnerability that Microsoft patched in October.
    • The second variant, Conficker.B, was detected last month. It added the ability to spread through network shares and via removable storage devices, like USB drives, through the AutoRun function in Windows.
    • Among the domains targeted by Conficker was that of Southwest Airlines, which was expected to see an increase in traffic from the botnet on Friday.
    • Experts are urging computer users to apply the Microsoft patch and update their antivirus software.
  • FOSE Update: Government Sector Strong
    • Everyone from HP to start-ups have targeted public-sector opportunities.
    • Most vendors agreed the government space is expanding.
    • Most felt that Obama’s focus on technology is creating opportunity for tech firms.
    • Stimulus money should help IPv6 deployment efforts.
    • Vendors were particularly optimistic about growth opportunities in public sector hot spots such as federal, state and local government, health care and education.
  • Adobe Update is finally out
    • Adobe Update for Reader and Acrobat 9 is finally out.
    • Adobe has named this release "9.1" for both Adobe Reader and Adobe 9 (Standard, Pro, and Pro Extended).
    • The patch is out for Windows and Macintosh only, however.
    • Adobe says they plan for updates to Reader 7 and 8 and Acrobat 7 and 8 to be out by March 18th
    • They also plan to make Adobe Reader 9.1 available for UNIX by March 25th.