Around the IT Industry 11/4-11/8

by Modis on November 8, 2013

Hoarding Your Passwords from Your Employer Won’t Keep You Safe

If you think keeping your passwords secret from your employer will lead to job security, you’re wrong. In fact, it could land you in jail. Former principal network engineer for the Department of Telecommunications and Information Services (DTIS) for the City and County of San Francisco, Terry Childs, arranged to become the only person with the network passwords, to make himself “unfireable.” When suspended, he refused to provide the passwords necessary for the employer to resume control over the network. As a result, he was convicted for violating California’s state computer crime law, and was sentenced to four years in prison with a nearly $1.5 million restitution fine, most of which covered the company’s cost of hiring someone else to figure out what Childs had done to the network.

L.A. Planning Gigabit Internet Access Citywide for Homes and Businesses

In one of the largest city lead broadband initiatives to date, Los Angeles is planning to launch a citywide broadband free for everyone, and offer gigabit services to rival Google Fiber, to homes and businesses that can afford it. The end goal is make fiber Internet available to all 3.5 million residents and all businesses in the area. Though they’re only at the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage, it is estimated the project will take anywhere from $3 to $5 billion to complete. Since the city is going into the agreement with no additional funding for the project, the vendor will be the one who handles the cost. If vendors are unwilling, it is possible the city council will consider a general fund to reimburse them, but it will be assumed vendors will absorb the costs up front to build out in a timely manner.

Netflix Testing to Launch Ultra HD Next Year

In preparation for becoming a leading provider of 4K ultra HD streaming content, Netflix added seven 4K videos to their library, rather quietly this week. One titled El Fuenta: 24 MP, has a description that reads, “an example of 4K at 24 frames per second.” The footage is limited, and intended to examine the quality of 4K streaming under varying conditions. It is suspected Netflix will start the ultra HD streaming with their own series library, but it is possible some other TV shows and movie content from Netflix’s licensing partners would also be available.

Google Crawler Tricked into SQL Injection with Old Trick

A developer of a cloud based firewall system was surprised to see that his product was blocking requests from Google-owned IP addresses. Since most websites want the crawlers to be able to access their websites for indexing and ranking purposes, it made no sense. It was determined the legitimate Google IPs were blocked due to malicious SQL injections, from a technique that’s been around for a decade. Google, of course, isn’t the real culprit. It is third party hackers who are using Google bots to do their dirty work. It’s a limited attack approach, as you cannot see the server’s response to the injection attacks, but the fact remains it is difficult to prevent.

Bitcoin Flaw Could Let a Group Take Control of the Currency

According to a new research paper from Cornell University, the nature of how Bitcoins are collected could be the fatal flaw in the currency. Since people “mine” the currency through using their computers to solve complex puzzles. Miners can exploit a system weakness to give them a greater chance of getting Bitcoins from rival miners. Miners can group together and solve puzzles, so the larger the group, the more frequently they can win. And, assuming that group gets large enough, it could in essence take over the currency. If that happens, it would be no different than a currency such as the dollar that is controlled by a powerful, central bank.

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