Networks, Telecom and Mobile Technology

Software Defined Network (SDN) & Cisco Evolved Services Platform {4}

Nowadays, the business is going to reduce the IT investments, and increase their core business. In the meantime, the demand of network services that the consumers want data, video, and other mobile services combine together is also increasing rapidly. Therefore, the internet service providers need to be responded the demand quickly and profitably, yet it also costs more money and time for integrating and developing new servers and extra services. Now, the companies need a solution that creates extensible and elastic capabilities to overcome these challenges, and cloud computing also the key for this.

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Developing Mobile Database Apps {1}

Learning about application development and databases go hand-in-hand with each other. Speaking of hands, we frequently would like to access databases through a mobile device. In the journal “Building Database-Powered Mobile Applications” we can learn of the different API’s available to create applications on mobile platforms. API’s covered include those for Android, Symbian, Windows CE/Mobile and Windows Phone (sorry Apple isn’t covered!). For most of the OS’s, SQLite may be used. SQLite has some restrictions on it’s data types and does not support certain other features normally used in SQL server.

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Microsoft Healthvault {3}

The article discusses a partnership between the Microsoft Corporation and St. Jude Medical Center to better integrate data from implantable devices with patient health records. It reveals that since 2008, Microsoft has collaborated with companies such as Health Solutions Group and Merlin.net in an effort to share device information directly from patient care devices such as implanted cardioverter defibrillators. Health devices such as these monitors a patients vitals, collects data, and securely transmits the information to a internet-based system in which physicians can remotely follow-up with a patients progress and recovery. Data such as these can determine a patients’ heartbeat, rhythm, and even real-time electrograms. The collaboration with Merlin.net is to assure the standards of reliability regarding patient privacy and security while meeting regulatory requirements by the International Quality Certification Standards as all transmissions are encrypted using industry standard cryptography.

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Health Care Security Issues Emerging {3}

The article I chose for this week is “Wireless Tech Makes Health Care Security a ‘Major Concern'” by Antone Gonsalves. The article addresses that medical equipment has advanced so much so fast, that the security that protects those new technologies has lagged. Gonsalves points out that “While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the manufacture of devices from design to sale, the agency does not have rules for how they should be connected and configured within a network. Therefore, it is up to medical facilities to make sure the devices, which often have access to patient medical information, are protected from hackers.” (Gonsalves). But there hasn’t been any recent news from medical facilities that say that their equipment is secured. The article also goes into some major incidents that could lead a possible future extension of malicious hacker activity to medical devices/equipment. The examples in the article are hacking an insulin pump to change settings, and hacking a defibrillator  to cause a direct shock to the heart, or to drain it’s battery within hours.

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Synchronizing a database for off-line mobile clients {4}

In this paper published by Samuel A. Ajila and Ahmed Al-Asaad from Carleton University in Canada, address concerns with synchronizing a SQL server database for mobile users while off-line. SQL Server has three features to help. They are Remote Data access, Merge replication, and MS Sync Services. Some of the problems that the business experienced are that multiple subscribers (clients) may potentially update the same data at various times and propagate those changes to the publisher (server) and to other subscribers and that there is a need to detect and resolve these conflicts. They conclude that using the merge replication function is best suited for this company.

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Flaw in Facebook App Allows Account Hijacking {4}

In an article found in PC magazine online. They say that there is a flaw in the iPhone Facebook app that can potentially allow a hacker or mischievous individual access to ones Facebook account. They find that the credentials to such accounts are stored in the plist or program list file within the app in regular text. Security researcher Gareth Wright found the flaw and was notified Facebook of this issue. They are working on a fix but they say that this security flaw is most apparent on a “jail-broken” device. Facebook developers responded by saying that the security of the application is compromised when the user modifies the OS and could potentially allow malicious attacks and software cause information theft and damage. Gareth Wright also says that the Facebook app is also used in different apps as a means of authenticating user information from their Facebook account. He also talks how someone who can create malicious software to extract data whenever such devices are plugged in and allow for such viruses to steal information from the handset. So he says to be careful when plugging in your device to any shared/public computer and public docking and charging stations.

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Be Careful Of Uploading Pictures Taken From A Smartphone {1}

This week I read an interesting article that concerns the safety of uploading pictures taken from a smartphone. The article “How a Cell Phone Busted a Hacker”, by Taylor Armerding, Armerding explains how the FBI tracked down an “Anonymous-linked CabinCr3w” hacktivist member from a pictures posted on various websites bragging about his achievements (Armerding, 2012). The hacker, Higinio O. Ochoa, hacked in and retrieved home addresses of police officers, and then posted them onto the internet. Ochoa was tracked down because of a Twitter post that linked to the site of which the information he gathered was publicly posted. His reason for being caught was because of a picture he posted of a female and a sign that says “PwNd by W0rmer & CabinCr3w” (Armerding, 2012). So the investigators took the posted picture, and many other pictures that referenced Ochoa and matched the picture’s “EXIF data (location, camera type, and other image information included in every photo taken with a smart phone.”(Armerding, 2012).

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CISPA and Privacy {1}

In an article found in Computerworld.com, it talks about how the CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) Bill raises concerns about privacy and how the data will be harnessed and used. The purpose of the bill is to ” make it easier for Internet Service Provides and Internet companies to collect and share cyber threat information gleaned from their networks with federal agencies like the U.S National Security Agency” (Vijayan, 2012). Privacy advocates and civil rights group disagree with the bill. The bill has been passed in the House of Representatives and is moving on to the Senate. Some of the reason why groups oppose is because “it would undermine fundamental privacy protections granted to Internet users under multiple statutes, including the Federal Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy” (Vijayan, 2012). Those who are for the bill include high tech companies who want improved cyber security to keep hackers at bay. They say that the bill is vaguely worded and would pose a bigger problem since it would allow internet providers and internet companies and share a lot of different data with the government whose federal agencies will have access to this data. Late amendments have been added to the bill but even with those amendments it still makes the bill very dangerous concerning cyber security.

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FCC Finds Google Taking Wi-Fi Information Legal {1}

This blog continues my previous blog named “Google’s Street View car’s do more than just take pictures”. The FCC now says that the collection of Wi-Fi information from Google’s Street View cars during the building process of Google Map’s Street View is actually legal. In the Article “Google Didn’t Steal Wi-Fi — Here’s Why” by Mike Elgan, Mike explains that “Google did not harvest data from inside people’s homes. Google plucked data from the public airwaves…” (Elgan, 2012).  Mike Elgan points out that Wi-Fi information collected by Wi-Fi routers/modems that broadcast onto public property is legal. In practical terms, what this means for us is that it is OK and legal to capture signals and possible information coming  from our neighbors Wi-Fi networks. And this also means that as long as Google’s Street View Car’s did not connect to homeowners unsecured network, they are legally safe.

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Google’s Street View car’s do more than just take pictures {1}

Google’s Street View cars not only have been taking pictures of streets, avenues, and highways, they have been taking gathering up data on neighborhood Wi-Fi data as well. In the article “Google’s Wi-Fi Spying: What were they thinking?”, author Jeff Burtolucci explains that Google’s “experimental Wi-Fi project” (Burtolucci, 2010) has been collecting wireless network information along with taking pictures of public roads for Google Maps Street View. The information collected ranges from router/modem’s physical MAC address, to information transmitted over unprotected networks. The author praises Google for admitting their activity instead of hiding and avoiding it, and ends by telling his readers that this is a warning to those who do not use wireless encryption to start protecting their wireless networks from neighborhood Wi-Fi snoops.

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