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   Technology StocksThe *NEW* Frank Coluccio Technology Forum

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From: Elroy Jetson4/1/2020 8:46:02 AM
   of 46820
US Broadband Holding Up Under WFH Strain, Speedtest Finds -

With much of America and Canada now working and schooling from home, broadband networks are dealing well with the strain, according to new stats from Ookla Speedtest.

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To: Elroy Jetson who wrote (46792)4/1/2020 10:23:04 AM
From: Peter Ecclesine
1 Recommendation   of 46820
Opinion: Why economic data, indicators and forecasts don’t mean much in the corona storm By Pierre Briançon, Published: April 1, 2020 at 7:34 a.m. ET MarketWatch

How deep will the world recession be this year? Don’t look at current economic forecasts for any guide. The only certainty is that measures of containment to fight the coronavirus pandemic, with lockdowns and a halt of economic activity in most western countries, will shrink gross domestic product in most of the world. By how much? These days, your guess is as good as mine.

The main reason is that “uncertainty” is no longer one of those potential risks envisioned by economists to caution about their own forecast. Uncertainty isn’t a marginal danger hovering over the economy, as the threats of trade wars or Brexit were when mentioned only a few weeks ago. Uncertainty is now the economy itself. In this context, the only accurate forecast is: “it depends.”

It depends, first, on the length of the lockdowns. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose economic studies are among the most reliable, estimated this week that each month of containment costs any given country some 2 percentage points of growth. A three-month lockdown — say, from mid-March to mid-June — would cost 6% of GDP. Europe was expected to grow less than 1.5% this year in the last pre-virus forecasts. If the OECD is right, that means Europe’s economy would shrink this year by about 4.5%.


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To: Peter Ecclesine who wrote (46793)4/1/2020 2:44:04 PM
From: Peter Ecclesine
3 Recommendations   of 46820


Draft Rules Would Provide a Boost to Wi-Fi and Other Unlicensed Uses

While Protecting Incumbent Services in the Band

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2020—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today circulated draft rules permitting unlicensed devices to operate in the 6 GHz band. The proposed rules would make 1,200 megahertz of spectrum available for unlicensed use. Unlicensed devices would share this spectrum with incumbent licensed services under rules that are crafted to protect those licensed services and to enable both unlicensed and licensed operations to thrive throughout the band. The Chairman’s draft rules will be voted on by the Commission at the FCC’s Open Meeting on April 23.

“From Wi-Fi routers to home appliances, Americans’ everyday use of devices that connect to the Internet over unlicensed spectrum has exploded,” said Chairman Pai. “That trend will only continue. Cisco projects that nearly 60% of global mobile data traffic will be off-loaded to Wi-Fi by 2022. To accommodate that increase in Wi-Fi demand, the FCC is aiming to increase the supply of Wi-Fi spectrum with our boldest initiative yet: making the entire 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use. By doing this, we would effectively increase the amount of spectrum available for Wi-Fi almost by a factor of five. This would be a huge benefit to consumers and innovators across the nation. It would be another step toward increasing the capacity of our country’s networks. And it would help advance even further our leadership in next generation wireless technologies, including 5G.”

If adopted, the draft Report and Order would authorize two different types of unlicensed operations: standard-power in 850-megahertz of the band and indoor low-power operations over the full 1,200-megahertz available in the 6 GHz band. An automated frequency coordination system would prevent standard power access points from operating where they could cause interference to incumbent services.

A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes to permit very low-power devices to operate across the 6 GHz band, to support high data rate applications including high-performance, wearable, augmented-reality and virtual-reality devices. Specifically, the Further Notice would seek comment on making a contiguous 1,200-megahertz block of spectrum available for the development of new and innovative high-speed, short-range devices and on power levels and other technical and operational measures to avoid causing interference to incumbent services.

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To: Peter Ecclesine who wrote (46794)4/25/2020 7:55:56 AM
From: Peter Ecclesine
   of 46820
The FCC voted 5-0 to approve 1200 MHz for unlicensed uses

para 203-206 dismiss requests to license to cellular
para 207-215 reject mobile use for now - retaining a lever in the 5.9 GHz proceeding ;-)
para 216-218 discuss RigNet, order prohibits 6 GHz use on oil platforms
para 219-222 reject giving UWB devices new regulatory standing
para 223-226 reject Qualcomm's synchronous operation proposal
para 227-228 decline to require digital identifying information

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From: Peter Ecclesine5/19/2020 7:35:04 AM
17 Recommendations   of 46820
Sad News

I read today on the Gordon Cook list

1a. Re: Frank Coluccio passed away last week
From: Grahame Lynch
Date: Tue, 19 May 2020 00:35:52 EDT
That's very sad news.

When I took over the editor's seat at America's Network in 1999, Frank was a fantastic supporter of ours, regularly quoting our analysis on his Silicon Investor page (if I recall correctly) and kickstarting discussions. The comments he facilitated were tremendously valuable feedback to us at a time when the climate was rather febrile due to the dot com boom.

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To: Peter Ecclesine who wrote (46796)5/19/2020 9:04:11 AM
From: aladin
   of 46820

Could you post the link to the article?

Very sad indeed.


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To: aladin who wrote (46797)5/19/2020 9:31:25 AM
From: Peter Ecclesine
   of 46820 will be noted on Linkedin

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To: Peter Ecclesine who wrote (46796)5/20/2020 2:37:25 PM
From: elmatador
1 Recommendation   of 46820
Oh No !
One of the greatest minds in SI.

I had opportunity to get to know Frank and have very good discussions in with him way back in the access Thread, whose precise name I can't recall.

RIP Frank.

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From: elmatador5/20/2020 2:40:01 PM
   of 46820
After recent acquisition of Affirmed Networks Microsoft acquires Metaswitch

This announcement builds on the computing giant’s recent acquisition of Affirmed Networks, with Metaswitch’s portfolio of high-performance, cloud-native communications software further expanding its range of offerings available for the telecommunications industry.

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From: TimF6/30/2020 7:04:32 PM
1 Recommendation   of 46820
Chinese bank forced western companies to install malware-laced tax software

GoldenSpy backdoor trojan found in a Chinese bank's official tax software, which the bank has been forcing western companies to install.

A Chinese bank has forced at least two western companies to install malware-laced tax software on their systems, cyber-security firm Trustwave said in a report published today.

The two companies are a UK-based technology/software vendor and a major financial institution, both of which had recently opened offices in China.

"Discussions with our client revealed that [the malware] was part of their bank's required tax software," Trustwave said today.

"They informed us that upon opening operations in China, their local Chinese bank required that they install a software package called Intelligent Tax produced by the Golden Tax Department of Aisino Corporation, for paying local taxes."
The "GoldenSpy" backdoor

Trustwave, who was providing cyber-security services for the UK software vendor, said it identified the malware after observing suspicious network requests originating its customer's network.

In a report published today, Trustwave said it analyzed the bank's tax software. Turstwave said the software worked as advertised, allowing its customer to pay local taxes, but that it also installed a hidden backdoor.

The security firm says this backdoor, which Trustwave codenamed GoldenSpy and said it ran with SYSTEM-level access, allowed a remote attacker to connect to the infected system and run Windows commands, or upload and install other software.

But many types of software have remote-access features for debugging services. However, Trustwave said it also identified features that are more commonly found in malware and don't have legitimate uses anywhere else. For example:

GoldenSpy installs two identical versions of itself, both as persistent autostart services. If either stops running, it will respawn its counterpart. Furthermore, it utilizes an exeprotector module that monitors for the deletion of either iteration of itself. If deleted, it will download and execute a new version. Effectively, this triple-layer protection makes it exceedingly difficult to remove this file from an infected system.

The Intelligent Tax software's uninstall feature will not uninstall GoldenSpy. It leaves GoldenSpy running as an open backdoor into the environment, even after the tax software is fully removed.

GoldenSpy is not downloaded and installed until a full two hours after the tax software installation process is completed. When it finally downloads and installs, it does so silently, with no notification on the system. This long delay is highly unusual and a method to hide from the victim's notice.

GoldenSpy does not contact the tax software's network infrastructure (i-xinnuo[.]com), rather it reaches out to ningzhidata[.]com, a domain known to host other variations of GoldenSpy malware. After the first three attempts to contact its command and control server, it randomizes beacon times. This is a known method to avoid network security technologies designed to identify beaconing malware.

GoldenSpy operates with SYSTEM level privileges, making it highly dangerous and capable of executing any software on the system. This includes additional malware or Windows administrative tools to conduct reconnaissance, create new users, escalate privileges, etc.

State hackers or malicious insider?

But despite spotting the hidden backdoor inside the Aisino Intelligent Tax Software, Trustwave wasn't able to determine how it got there.

Trustwave said it wasn't able to determine if the backdoor was developed by China's government hackers, secretly added by one of the bank's rogue employees, or created by someone at Aisino Corporation.

It was also unclear if Chinese intelligence might have forced the bank or the Aisino Corporation into adding the malware to their official software so they could spy on a foreign company, or if this was an incident where hackers were purely interested into their own financial gain.

But while some questions remain unanswered, in the meantime, Trustwave is sounding the alarm for any other company doing business in China that has installed the same software.

"We believe that every corporation operating in China or using the Aisino Intelligent Tax Software should consider this incident a potential threat and should engage in threat hunting, containment, and remediation countermeasures, as outlined in our technical report," Trustwave said.

Trustwave didn't name the bank. ZDNet has sent the Aisino Corporation a request for comment about Trustwave's findings and we'll update if the software vendor decides to reply.

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