A rather amazing story has bubbled up over the last week after half of the onion sites in the TOR
network were compromised, revealing the supposedly anonymous identities of Tor users. Malware popped up last Sunday morning on numerous sites hosted by anonymous hosting operation Freedom Hosting, the code exploiting a critical memory management vulnerability in Firefox (see the Tor security advisory
). The code fools Tor users into sending identifying info to an IP address in Reston, Virginia.
While that's interesting in and of itself, what's more interesting is who many think are responsible for the malware. TOR was originally designed to fight government and corporate censorship, though it has of course been abused for other purposes -- including the distribution of child pornography and drug sales through sites like Silk Road.
The malware being dumped on Freedom Hosting servers arrived just after Freedom Hosting founder Eric Eoin Marques was arrested in Ireland on charges of distributing child pornography. He's currently awaiting extradition to the United States, but in the interim the malware has continued sending user info to the aforementioned IP address in Virginia.
While I've seen several reports claiming
that the IP address in question belongs to the NSA, Wired
seems to have the most solid reporting I've seen on the subject, noting that the address belongs to contractor Science Applications International Corporation, who is likely working on the FBI's computer and internet protocol address verifier (CIPAV) spyware initiative:
"It just sends identifying information to some IP in Reston, Virginia,” says reverse-engineer Vlad Tsyrklevich. "It’s pretty clear that it’s FBI or it’s some other law enforcement agency that’s U.S.-based." If Tsrklevich and other researchers are right, the code is likely the first sample captured in the wild of the FBI’s “computer and internet protocol address verifier,” or CIPAV, the law enforcement spyware first reported by WIRED in 2007.
AT&T appears poised to begin offering new U-Verse speed tiers that should offer a belated speed increase for bandwidth-hungry users. Earlier this year AT&T promised users
they'd eventually see 75-100 Mbps using line bonding, though the company was somewhat murky on deployment time -- or upstream speeds.
by Revcb 06:41PM Wednesday Dec 14 2011
by Revcb 07:12PM Wednesday Aug 24 2011
by Revcb 07:17AM Wednesday Mar 30 2011
For as long as we've been in operation there have been several rumors that just never seem to die -- and AT&T's supposed interest in buying either DirecTV or Dish Network is one of them. Rumors of an AT&T acquisition of then-named Echostar got particularly hot in 2007, though like previous rumors nothing every materialized
. Fast forward to 2011 and Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin is doing his best to bring the undead back to life -- insisting in a report that Dish's "assets are so appealing, that AT&T could bid for DISH again." Among those assets are 14.3 million video customers and significant wireless spectrum, including new spectrum just acquired in their acquisition of DBSD
. Keep in mind that as our exclusive leaked photos from last year
suggest (confirmed by a loose lipped executive
) DirecTV is testing an LTE-based home-broadband service in conjunction with Verizon, so Dish might want to partner with AT&T on a residential rural LTE bundle, but an outright AT&T buy of Dish is probably about as likely as it was in 2007.
by Revcb 08:16AM Thursday Sep 30 2010
by Revcb 08:14AM Thursday Sep 23 2010
by Revcb 09:19AM Thursday Sep 02 2010
Back in 2008, Charter CTO Marwan Fawaz told attendees of the CableNEXT conference in Santa Clara that "eventually, we will go to a usage-based solution." In February of last year, we reported
how Charter planned to impose a 100GB cap upon any Charter connection of 15Mbps or less, and a 250GB usage cap for broadband tiers "over 15 Mbps up to 25 Mbps." Charter's Eric Ketzer subsequently confirmed the plans
, while noting that their $150, 60 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 tier wouldn't have a cap.
We have no plans to introduce metered billing...we have not enforced and do not have plans to enforce (caps).
But instead of new caps, Charter fell into bankruptcy. Still, even as recently as last November now-departed CEO Neil Smit stated that Charter would be considering "consumption based billing" once they emerged.
However, there have been no announcements concerning a migration to metered billing, nor has the company been enforcing their caps, according to users in our forums.
For years the rumor has floated out there that either Verizon or AT&T would buy DirecTV in order to have direct control of the company's satellite TV operations. Sometimes these rumors are based in conjecture, but more often than not they're based on nothing whatsoever
. With DirecTV prepared to get a new CEO (their last CEO just departed to be Rupert Murdoch's right-hand man at News Corp.), the rumors are apparently bubbling up once again. According to Reuters
, representatives from both AT&T and Verizon have
approached Liberty Media over the last few years about a sale, and the outlet cites sources who believe new CEO Michael White is little more than a "babysitter" until this endlessly-rumored deal can be accomplished.
As it stands, the fastest tier AT&T offers is the company's "Max" 18Mbps/1.5Mbps U-Verse tier, which costs $65 a month as part of a TV bundle. We're now seeing rumblings in our forums
that the carrier may unveil a $75, 24Mbps downstream 2Mbps upstream tier in the middle of August.
An insider at Comcast tells us the company will soon be dropping the price on their rather pricey 50Mbps/10Mps tier, which currently costs $139.95 a month. Additional documentation obtained by Broadband Reports seemingly confirm the price cuts -- at least in California. story continues..
writes in to note that Chatter
on AT&T's U-verse forum suggests that the company is cooking up a new, 18mbps tier they'll offer U-verse customers this November. At least one member in our forums here says they've been offered the new tier by an AT&T salesperson
. In both cases, it has been suggested that it will be priced at $10 more than AT&T's "Max" tier, which would put it at $65 per month.
Last week an insider told me
that in addition to the $150, 50Mbps/5Mbps tier Comcast is deploying in DOCSIS 3.0 upgraded regions, the cable company is planning on unveiling a slower, 22Mbps/5Mbps tier as well. While Comcast will never officially comment on unreleased products, posts to our Comcast forums
seem to confirm the upcoming tier, and suggest it will be priced at $62.95 a month.
Cable operator Wide Open West (WOW) offers service in portions of Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois, but hasn't upgraded their top speed tier (for most customers that's 6Mbps
) for going on three years now. However, industry gossip seems to indicate that a 15Mbs/2Mbps tier is currently in testing, and some customers have been told that unofficially, the new tiers are scheduled to drop this fall. Officially, WOW isn't yet willing to publicly comment on the new speeds (fairly common practice until launch). Currently, the fastest standalone broadband service WOW offers is 6Mbps/1Mbps for $63.99.
by KathrynV 10:58AM Saturday Jul 26 2008
Earlier this month, FCC Chief Kevin Martin announced
that he believes Comcast should be punished for the actions that they have taken to throttle P2P traffic. That punishment is pending agreement from the other FCC commissioners which won’t be official until August 1st. However, rumors
indicate that a majority of the members intend to vote in favor of punishing the company.
Even if punishment is approved when the official vote is announced, the result will probably not be too damaging to Comcast – a slap on the wrist
and the requirement that they make changes they’ve already agreed to make (more consumer disclosure about network management practices, for example). But the decision would set precedent
and could have a more widespread impact on future violations.
jumped the gun, announcing that (according to those infamous "people familiar with the talks") South Korea Telecom was preparing to acquire the troubled Sprint. As it turns out, Reuters
quotes the even better known "sources familiar with the matter" who say the two companies are simply in talks to collaborate on technology, not planning to merge. Sprint's stock certainly benefited from yesterday's gossip, jumping as high as eighteen percent at one point.
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