Marriott: The ethics of Wi-Fi blocking

(Image Credit: Hercwad)

Hotel-chain Marriott has caused a stir resulting in a $600,000 fine due to blocking customers Wi-Fi hotspots and using their advantageous position to charge a whopping $250 - $1000 per device to use the hotel's own service.

"Consumers who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personal Internet connection will be blocked by their hotel or conference center," said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc.

Gaylord Opryland...

By Ryan Daws, 06 October 2014, 2 comments. Categories: Government, Industry, Security, WiFi.

What are all these fake cell phone towers?

Interest in CryptoPhone's secure devices has skyrocketed since Edward Snowden's revelations of the NSA's mass surveillance programs. As part of their research, CryptoPhone’s mobile security team was able to find and fix 468 vulnerabilities in stock Android and has also found that the version which comes supplied on the Samsung Galaxy S3 they tested with is leaking data somewhere between 80 - 90 times per hour.

Fake cell phone towers can often be detected by CryptoPhone's devices. A...

By Ryan Daws, 04 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Infrastructure, Security.

Gemalto to facilitate telcos’ identity services offerings

Gemalto recently announced the release of its LinqUs Mobile ID platform. This platform helps telcos offer online authentication services at the three security assurance levels (as specified by the GSMA) to their subscribers using any SIM-enabled mobile device. This announcement comes at a time when the industry desperately needs alternate means to grow revenues, with telcos having seen slower growth and declining average revenues in recent years.

The Mobile ID platform provides an opportunity for telcos to...

By Ovum Research, 01 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Security.

Citizen Lab exposes malware network used by police worldwide

At the University of Toronto you can find Citizen Lab who, in collaboration with computer security firm Kaspersky, has exposed a massive network of mobile malware targeting all phone types. It is sold by an Italian firm for use in police forces around the world.

'Remote Control System' (RCS) can infiltrate Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and even BlackBerry devices. Most mobile malware targets Android, due to its market-share, but many industry experts warn other...

By Ryan Daws, 27 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Devices, Industry, Research, Security.

British government breaks the law by forcing data retention, but the need for it may be greater than ever…

A law enforced by the British government since the previous Labour administration, known as the Data Retention Act of 2009, has forced companies to breach citizens’ fundamental right to privacy and is now facing a high court challenge from the EU which would force it to be removed from law.

It was first enacted in response to the 2006 EU data retention directive, which required member states to store citizens’ telecoms data for a minimum of six months and a maximum of 24 months. The current...

By Ryan Daws, 25 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Government, Industry, Security.

The $400bn economic impact of Cybercrime

Cybercrime is an increasingly serious issue, especially with the rise of vital services and devices being connected to networks. Look no further than Ubisoft's recently-released console title, Watch_Dogs, to see a portrayal of the devastation which can be caused when such systems are taken advantage of. The UK is taking the issue seriously, with a recent Queen's speech focusing on implementing life sentences for serious cybercriminals whose actions "result in loss of life, serious...

By Ryan Daws, 10 June 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Industry, Security.

Vodafone exposes government wire-tapping

We now know that no matter what technology we use, if it's connected, then it's probably able to be tapped by the government. NSA leaker and now fugitive/hero, Edward Snowden, revealed a torrential amount of details about the abilities of the United States spying program on international citizens.  

Few companies have come forward about their own involvement and the scale in which their networks and services have been compromised, we can only guess this is for fear of getting on the...

By Ryan Daws, 06 June 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Big Data, Consumers, Industry, Security.

Microsoft backs customer data privacy rights against the FBI

After the outcry regarding the majority of America’s tech giants’ involvement in the National Security Agency’s controversial PRISM program – many companies pledged to push for more “transparency” when it comes to the data government’s are requesting.

Microsoft in particular pledged it would do all it can to legally protect its customers from government data requests. In a

By Ryan Daws, 23 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Big Data, Consumers, Industry, Security.

UK telecoms infrastructure supports US drone operations

An investigation has revealed the UK’s telecoms infrastructure is playing a key role in supporting the US military network through provision of the core communications backbone used by controversial drone operations overseas.

Human rights experts say the UK’s involvement is the digital equivalent of permitting the US government to launch air strikes from airforce bases in the UK – something which the UK has in the past been criticised for permitting.

The international connection is provided...

By Ryan Daws, 02 May 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Infrastructure, Networks, Security.

Telcos requested user data at ‘jaw-dropping’ rates but won’t say how many disclosed…

Government agencies request user data from telecoms companies at “jaw-dropping” rates according to Canada’s privacy watchdog. In 2011 alone, nearly 1.2 million requests were made to gain access to the data but the companies involved refuse to say how many were granted.

Privacy experts say the sheer number of requests is “staggering” in scale. David Fraser, a privacy lawyer with McInnes Cooper, said: “I would have been surprised at 100,000”.

The information was...

By Ryan Daws, 30 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Industry, Operators, Security.

Web hero Snowden questions Putin about mass surveillance

NSA leaker Edward Snowden is living under asylum in Russia escaping charges for government revelations which could be seen as treason. Since he is now dwelling in the land of the controversial Russian government – it makes sense he wanted to know about the country’s own surveillance.

During a live, state-run television broadcast he was able to go straight to the top.

Snowden quizzed Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and attempted to get clarification on whether Russia’s online spying...

By Ryan Daws, 17 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Industry, Security.

NSA has been monitoring VTech users since ‘76

In the latest set of revelations, Edward Snowden has released documents stating the National Security Agency has been keeping a close eye on the activities of VTech users for “any suspicious activity” since 1976 – when the electronic learning product manufacturer was originally founded.

VTech is yet to comment – but users of the company’s devices have been surprisingly vocal in their thoughts…

Helen, 3, from the UK says: “Just when you think...

By Ryan Daws, 01 April 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Industry, Security.

Kickstarter breach – An expert’s analysis

If you followed the news over the past week; you will likely have heard about the crowd-funding site Kickstarter and their breach of user details.

But how does such a high-profile breach occur? TelecomsTech reached out to an internet security expert contact for further details…

Our expert today is Nick Hatter; who has a background of exposing potential threats.

Hatter advises TelecomsTech that whilst Kickstarter uses a hash-based system to encrypt user passwords; these systems in general aren’t...

By Ryan Daws, 18 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Consumers, Industry, Security.

LTE Security: Backhaul to the Future

It's hard to hit moving targets, but subscribers to 4G and LTE networks need to be assured that their data has better protection than just being part of a high volume, fast-moving flow of traffic. This is a key issue with LTE architectures – the connection between the cell site and the core network is not inherently secure. 

Operators have previously not had to consider the need for secure backhaul.

2G and 3G services use TDM and ATM backhaul, which proved relatively safe against external...

By Kimmo Klemola, 13 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Industry, Infrastructure, Security.

Are you under surveillance? Tech giants will reveal request data…

Snowden’s revelations surrounding the NSA’s intrusive surveillance programmes caused mass outcry from the general public and members of certain commissions. One of those he leaked was of PRISM –a slide revealed access to most of the major consumer tech giants’ servers.

The law has always been companies must hand over information they hold about individuals if the...

By Ryan Daws, 04 February 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Consumers, Industry, N America, Security.

'Blackphone' is the choice for Heisenberg, and those looking to hide from the NSA

The NSA revelations keep coming in thick and fast - every day is a new story. Today’s episode reveals the US government security agency can use radio waves to monitor computers they can’t access via the World Wide Web. Anyone else yawning? Nothing is a surprise anymore.

Honestly, most of us have given up on the thought of having privacy from the government – but if it meant our actual personal or work security is at risk; we’d probably pay more attention.

If we’ve learnt anything from

By Ryan Daws, 15 January 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Devices, Mobile, Security.

NETRA is the Indian NSA’s PRISM equivalent

If you thought the United States’ NSA (National Security Agency) was the only government agency with intrusive spying measures – you’d be wrong. Perhaps not wanting to run into the same kind of fire the US has; the Indian intelligence agencies appear to be more open about their efforts.

The project, known as NETRA (Network Traffic Analysis), will detect and capture any voice traffic which could be linked...

By Ryan Daws, 06 January 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, India, Infrastructure, Security.

Consoles are offering the Portal to hackers

Forget the NSA; it’s your shiny new console which could offer the biggest threat to cyber-security in your home. According to security firm Kaspersky Labs, hacking attempts against consoles have rocketed since this year’s big new releases.

The company is estimating around 34,000 attacks per day, and is aware of around 4.6 million pieces of gamer-focused malware.

Spain currently gets the most unwanted attention; with 138,786 attacks so far...

By Ryan Daws, 18 December 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Cloud, Consumers, Security.