The easiest way to understand the concept is with an example. Consider a passive optical fiber network where up to 32 homes share the same neighborhood fiber. In the most common GPON technology, the customers on one of these neighborhood nodes (called a PON) share a total of 2.4 gigabits of download data.

The push to develop and deploy applications faster has evolved from simply a goal for developers to a business-level priority that affects every organization’s bottom line. To meet this goal, companies have begun to de-silo development, operations, and security, moving toward a DevSecOps model to deliver

In a survey of 603 free and open source software (FOSS) contributors, the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard University (LISH) discovered that the average FOSS developer only spent 2.3% of their time on improving the security of their code.

Chris Lewis joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss how our access to knowledge is increasingly governed by click-wrap agreements that prevent users from ever owning things like books and music, and how this undermines the legal doctrine of “first sale” – which states that once you buy a copyrighted work, it’s yours to resell or give it away as you choose.

Exfiltration is the action of exporting sensitive data out of the network by connecting to an external destination and/or using covert channels. The latter is commonly used to exfiltrate information while being undetected or avoid any measure in place to stop the migration of data.

In our previous post we discussed the changes to the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) architecture to scale to multiple cloud deployments to improve round-trip-times (RTT) by dynamically steering traffic to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Kubernetes cluster closest to the request.

In April 2020, APNIC announced the initial release of Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP) to the cloud using the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) in the Sydney region. Today, we’d like to announce the expansion of this service to a multi-regional cloud deployment with the addition of new Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) clusters hosting RDAP in Singapore and North Virginia.

Hey, did you get that sketchy email? You know, the one from that malicious hacker trying to fool us into clicking on some malware? Boy, these criminals are relentless. Wait, what? You clicked on it? Uh-oh.

A couple of vulnerabilities that a security researcher from China-based Singular Security Lab disclosed at this week’s Black Hat Europe 2020 virtual event has highlighted once again why it’s dangerous for organizations to underestimate the threat from old, overlooked bugs in commonly used software products.

If you live in a city where AT&T is the incumbent telephone company, the chances are high that the cable company is now a broadband monopoly. Unless some other ISP is building fiber, you no longer have a choice of broadband provider – it’s the cable company or nobody. When AT&T announced that it is no longer connecting DSL customers as of October 1, the company has fully ceded its historic telephone properties to its cable company competitors.

Amazon Web Services has begun designing its own rack-level uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units for its data centers, a move that will dramatically improve the power efficiency of its cloud computing operations, the company said this week.

Millions of Americans have spent this year working from home, and employers have realized just how smoothly things can get done when they trust their staff to work remotely. But for those fortunate enough to work from home, will COVID-19 have a lasting effect on how we do our jobs? Or will millions of commuters return to cities if and/or when vaccines are made available?

Consumers in the U.S. face an infuriating lack of transparency when it comes to purchasing broadband services. Bills are convoluted, featuring complex pricing schemes. Roughly 7 in 10 U.S. adults surveyed by Consumer Reports who have used a cable, internet, or phone service provider in the past two years said they experienced unexpected or hidden fees. Unsurprisingly, 96 percent of those who had experienced hidden fees found them annoying.

The first part of this report on the handling of large DNS responses looked at the behaviour of the DNS, and the interaction between recursive resolvers and authoritative name servers in particular and examined what happens when the DNS response is around the Internet’s de facto MTU size of 1,500 octets.

Figure 1 depicts measured last-mile queuing delay for two major ISPs, Comcast in the US (AS7922) and NTT OCN in Japan (AS4713). The x-axis shows the time of the day (UTC) and the y-axis is the median last-mile queuing delay in milliseconds.

This has created a new phenomenon known as “Zoom fatigue,” the “tiredness, anxiety, or worry resulting from overusing… virtual platforms” like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and Facetime.

Google used to have a simple motto: Don’t be evil. Now, with the firing of a data scientist whose job was to identify and mitigate the harm that the company’s technology could do, it has yet again demonstrated how far it has strayed from that laudable goal.

In one form or another, C has influenced the shape of almost every programming language developed since the 1980s. Some languages like C++, C#, and objective C are intended to be direct successors to the language, while other languages have merely adopted and adapted C’s syntax. A programmer conversant in Java, PHP, Ruby, Python or Perl will have little difficulty understanding simple C programs, and in that sense, C may be thought of almost as a lingua franca among programmers.

With social media devouring traffic, ad revenue collapsing, and layoffs ripping through the industry, paywalls are helping publications survive.

I tend to be a very private person; I rarely discuss my “real life” with anyone except a few close friends. I thought it appropriate, though, in this season—both the season of the year and this season in my life—to post something a little more personal.

One thing people often remark about my personality is that I seem to be disturbed by very little in life. No matter what curve ball life might throw my way, I take the hit and turn it around, regain my sense of humor, and press forward into the fray more quickly than many expect. This season, combined with a recent curve ball (one of many—few people would suspect the path my life has taken across these 50+ years), and talking to Brian Keys in a recent episode of the Hedge, have given me reason to examine foundational principles once again.

How do I stay “up” when life throws me a curve ball?

Pragmatically, the worst network outage in the world is not likely to equal the stresses I’ve faced in the military, whether on the flight line or in … “other situations.” Life and death were immediately and obviously present in those times. Coming face to face with death—having friend who is there one moment, and not the next—changes your perspective. Knowing you hold the lives of hundreds of people in your hands—that if you make a mistake, real people will die (now!)—changes your perspective. In these times you realize there is more to life than work, or skill, or knowledge.

Spiritually, I am deeply Christian. I am close to God in a real way. I know him, and I trust his character and plans for the future. Job 13:15 and Romans 12:2 are present realities every day, from the moment I wake until the moment I fall asleep.

These two lead to a third observation.

Because of these things, I am grateful.

I am grateful for the people in my life—deeply held friendships, people who have spoken into my life, people who have helped carry me in times of crisis. I am grateful for the things in my life. Gratitude is, in essence, that which turns what you have into what you want (or perhaps enough to fulfill your wants). Gratitude often goes farther, though, teaching you that, all too often, you have more than you deserve.

So this season, whatever your religious beliefs, is a good time to reflect on the importance of all things spiritual, the value of life, the value of friendship, the value of truth, and to decide to have gratitude in the face of every storm. Gratitude causes us to look outside ourselves, and there is power (and healing) in self-forgetfulness. Self-love and self-hate are equal and opposite errors; it is in forgetting yourself, pressing forward, and giving to others, that you find out who you are.

Have a merry Christmas, a miraculous Hanukkah, or … just a joyful time being with family and friends at home. Watch a movie, eat ice cream and cookies, make a new friend, care for someone who has no family to be with.

To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, most folks are just about as happy as they choose to be—so make the choice to be joyful and grateful.

These are the important things.

This is a rather oversized edition of the weekend reads… because I seem to have saved up a lot more links than usual.

There comes a time in every developer’s life (or daily routine, we’re not here to judge) where they have to go and fix a bug. Back in the days when I used to be a developer, I distinctly remember how each time I would go face to face with a bug, my favorite method to fix it was to add log lines. I mean, why not, right?

Cybersecurity researchers on Thursday disclosed details of a previously undiscovered in-memory Windows backdoor developed by a hacker-for-hire operation that can execute remotely malicious code and steal sensitive information from its targets in Asia, Europe, and the US.

The PC revolution started off life 35 years ago this week. Microsoft launched its first version of Windows on November 20th, 1985, to succeed MS-DOS. It was a huge milestone that paved the way for the modern versions of Windows we use today. While Windows 10 doesn’t look anything like Windows 1.0, it still has many of its original fundamentals like scroll bars, drop-down menus, icons, dialog boxes, and apps like Notepad and MS paint.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has explained the cause of last Wednesday’s widespread outage, which impacted thousands of third-party online services for several hours.

Cybersecurity may be far from many of our minds this year, and in light of a pandemic and catastrophic economic disruption, remembering to maintain our own personal privacy and security online isn’t necessarily a priority.

The Tor anonymity network has generated controversy almost constantly since its inception almost two decades ago. Supporters say it’s a vital service for protecting online privacy and circumventing censorship, particularly in countries with poor human rights records. Critics, meanwhile, argue that Tor shields criminals distributing child-abuse images, trafficking in illegal drugs, and engaging in other illicit activities.

Phishing websites rely on camouflage. They need to mimic the real websites as closely as possible, so they can trick people into providing their login information. But there are differences between genuine and fake websites, which can be used to detect them.

Juniper Threat Labs is seeing active attacks on Oracle WebLogic software using CVE-2020-14882. This vulnerability, if successfully exploited, allows unauthenticated remote code execution. As of this writing, we found 3,109 open Oracle WebLogic servers using Shodan.

Imagine someone hacking into an Amazon Alexa device using a laser beam and then doing some online shopping using that person account. This is a scenario presented by a group of researchers who are exploring why digital home assistants and other sensing systems that use sound commands to perform functions can be hacked by light.

Driven by PC gaming, pandemic upgrading and potentially cryptocurrency miners, GPU units hit a healthy 13.4-percent increase in sales over the previous quarter, respected graphics analyst firm Jon Peddie Research said in a report released Tuesday.

Let me be direct: We should be happy that this software, one of the worst ever to plague our lives from a security perspective, is going away, and at the same time, Flash was not a fluke. Security has come a long way, but the ecosystem that allowed Flash to become a software security serial killer still exists and is ready to let it happen again. This time, the stakes are infinitely higher.

The joys of researching and building computing systems are manifold and very individualized. They come at various stages of the whole process. The initial rush when you think you have the germ of a new idea. That rush is a tremendous rush, no matter how many times one has had it. The rumination of the idea adds to the joy … so it is not simply a momentary rush.

A pair of researchers will demonstrate at Black Hat Europe next week how they were able to bypass ML-based, next-generation anti-malware products. Unlike previous research that reverse-engineered the next-generation endpoint tool — such as Skylight’s bypass of Cylance’s endpoint product in 2018 — the researchers instead were able to cheat the so-called static analysis malware classifiers used in some next-gen anti-malware products without reverse engineering them.

Here’s the scenario: A state-sponsored attacker uses a zero day to breach the environment. This foothold lets him run previously unknown, fileless attacks originating from an exploited process. Fortunately, his evil plan is foiled by our next-generation, AI-powered security tool that detected and prevented it in nanoseconds!

In this post, we analyse the hardware that they use to connect to IXPs. We investigate 24 IXPs distributed across fifteen countries, from the EU, US, Africa and Brazil, which together interconnect more than six thousand IXP members. Our goal is to determine if there is market dominance by the some of the hardware vendors among IXP members.

First introduced back in 2005, SP 800-53 has gone through five revisions since its initial release. The fourth revision, released in 2013, featured updated security controls and focused on topics such as insider threats, software security, mobile devices, supply chain security, and privacy. Revision four also gave us the now familiar “eighteen control families,” which have been adopted by numerous federal agencies as well as the private sector.

Over the years, cybercriminals have grown more sophisticated, adapting to changing business practices and diversifying their approaches in non-traditional ways. We have seen security threats continue to evolve in 2020, as many businesses have shifted to a work from home posture due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the phenomenon of “Zoom-bombing” video meetings and online learning sessions had not been a widespread issue until, suddenly, it became one.

When I started writing about science decades ago, artificial intelligence seemed ascendant. IEEE Spectrum, the technology magazine for which I worked, produced a special issue on how AI would transform the world. I edited an article in which computer scientist Frederick Hayes-Roth predicted that AI would soon replace experts in law, medicine, finance and other professions.

Because of the fact that even when all RTR servers die simultaneously we still fail safely (falling back to NotFound), a common misconception is that the entire software stack is completely fail-safe and no harm can be done when some of it fails. Because of this, a network operator may arrive at the erroneous conclusion that neither redundancy nor monitoring is really required (or a priority). Unfortunately, this is not true and other failure scenarios in the software stack have to be considered.

According to last year’s Gartner forecast, public cloud services are anticipated to grow to $USD 266.4 billion by the end of this year, up from $USD 227.8 billion just a year ago. Clearly, cloud computing is making its way to cloud nine, (See what I did there?) leveraging the sweet fruits of being in the spotlight for a decade. However, the threats to public cloud security are growing at the same rate.

Often in technology, we assume that everyone else is as excited about our product as we are. This tends to be a problem across the board in the tech sector (and even amongst teams, like security and developers, or operations and developers).

Developer mistakes and indirect dependencies are the two main sources of vulnerabilities in open source software projects, which together are expected to cause the majority of security alerts in the next year, according to GitHub’s annual Octoverse report, published today.

Edsger Dijkstra’s 1988 paper “On the Cruelty of Really Teaching Computer Science” (in plain text form here) is one of the most well-cited papers on computer science (CS) education. It’s also wrong. A growing body of recent research explores the very topic that Dijkstra tried to warn us away from — how we learn and teach computer science with metaphor.

Policy

As convenient as their technology is, the emergence of such dominant corporations should ring alarm bells—not just because they hold so much economic power but also because they wield so much control over political communication.

Nine-indicator standard aims to promote open source software, data, AI models, standards, and content for a more equitable world.

But as we recognized in the 2019 Global Internet Report, trends of consolidation in the Internet economy, particularly at the application layer and in web services, have spurred concerns and public debates on the need to regulate Big Tech. Among the proposed measures by policymakers, academics, and other thought leaders across the world is for software services and systems to be legally required to provide interoperability or open interfaces.

Just a gentle reminder that on Monday (just a few days from now) I’m teaching a three hour webinar over at Safari Books on How Routers Really Work. From the course description—

This training will peer into the internal components of a router, starting with an explanation of how a router switches packets. This walk through of a switching path, in turn, will be used as a foundation for explaining the components of a router, including the various tables used to build forwarding tables and the software components used to build these tables.

Register here if you’re interested.

Burnout stalks most network engineers—and most people in the world of information technology—striking at least once in every career, it seems, and often more than once. In this episode, Brian Keys joins Eyvonne Sharp, Tom Ammon, and Russ White to discuss his personal experience with burnout. The discussion then turns to general strategies and ideas for avoiding burnout on a day-to-day basis.

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European networks from the mid-1980’s to the late 2000’s underwent a lot of change, bolstered by the rise and fall of America Online, the laying of a lot of subsea cables, and the creation of several organizations, including EARN and RARE, to bolster the spread and use of the Internet. Daniele Bovio joins Donald Sharp and Russ White on this episode of the History of Networking to give us a good overall perspective of this history.

You can find more information about the history of EARN at https://earn-history.net.

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One of the major sources of complexity in modern systems is the simple failure to pull back the curtains. From a recent blog post over at the ACM—

The Wizard of Oz was a charlatan. You’d be surprised, too, how many programmers don’t understand what’s going on behind the curtain either. Some years ago, I was talking with the CTO of a company, and he asked me to explain what happens when you type a URL into your browser and hit enter. Do you actually know what happens? Think about it for a moment.

Yegor describes three different reactions when a coder faces something unexpected when solving a problem.

Throw in the towel. Just give up on solving the problem. This is fairly uncommon in the networking and programming fields, so I don’t have much to say here.

Muddle through. Just figure out how to make it work by whatever means necessary.

Open the curtains and build an excellent solution. Learn how the underlying systems work, understand how to interact with them, and create a solution that best takes advantage of them.

The first and third options are rare indeed; it is the second solution that seems to dominate our world. What generally tends to happen is we set out to solve some problem, we encounter resistance, and we either “just make it work” by fiddling around with the bits or we say “this is just too complex, I’m going to build something new that simpler and easier.” The problem with building something new is the “something new” must go someplace … which generally means on top of existing “stuff.” Adding more stuff you do understand on top of stuff you don’t understand to solve a problem is, of course, a prime way to increase complexity in a network.

And thus we have one of the prime reasons for ever-increasing complexity in networks.

Yegor says being a great programmer by pulling back the curtain increases job satisfaction, helping him avoid depression. The same is probably true of network engineers who are deeply interested in solving problems—who are only happy at the end of the day if they know they have solved some problem, even if no-one ever notices.

Pulling back the curtains, then not only helps us to manage complexity, it can alos improve job satisfaction for those with the problem-solving mindset. Great reasons to pull back to the curtains, indeed.