The United States typically fell within the top 10, albeit not the top position as you'd expect from the country that invented the damn thing. But that changed with the latest analysis. The US now sits in the 11th position with 25% of US households having access to speeds of up to 25 Mbps or less.
Maybe other router manufacturers are as magnificently dumb as D-Link but regardless, get rid of all D-Link routers and vow to never buy another D-Link product for a long as your lungs suck in air. The security vulnerabilities present in their devices, especially the DWR-932B router, are so far beyond stupid, well, you’d swear the Chinese company purposely allowed them as a joke on Americans…
That China filters their Internet traffic is no secret – their societal system (many believe) requires that information be filtered. What is more interesting, are the *words* that are filtered. Several research groups have studied China’s walled-off Internet infrastructure (via search engine results, reverse engineered software and hardware products, leaked router or firewall settings, etc.) and compiled lists of words and phrases that are banned or filtered inside China. Here is a large sample of their findings.
An Israeli security firm has discovered evidence of a cross-platform (iOS and Android) malware attack targeting the Operation Central (Umbrella Revolution) protestors in Hong Kong. The spyware, Xsser mRAT (or Xsser.0day), exposes information on the devices such as SMS and email messages, instant messages (e.g. Tencent Archive), GPS location data, phone call logs, contact information, and of course, usernames and passwords.
China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover is a little over a month into its three-month lunar exploration mission. Today the Chinese State Administration of Space, Technology, and Industry for National Defense has said the rover has experience a “mechanical control abnormality” that was the result of a “complicated lunar surface environment”. In other words, it’s stuck with many interpreting the statement as the Chinese preparing for the loss of their rover.
The Chinese call them “nail houses”, a home whose resident has refused to leave in order to make way for new construction. Rather than cease development, builders simply build around the home, often using innovative, but visually unpleasant, means to continue construction unabated. The term nail house is a pun coined by construction workers and alludes to nails that are stuck in wood and cannot be pounded down with a hammer. The nail houses that are left behind often create a very unusual sight, either an eyesore or in some cases, a modern work of art.
The largest building in the world has opened in China this week. At 1.7 million square meters, the glass and steel-frame New Century Global Center took only a little more than a year to build. It stands 18 stories tall and sits above a new subway station in Chengdu, a Sichuan province city of more than 14 million and one of China's fastest-growing megalopolises. Inside you will find a 14-screen IMAX theater, restaurants, hotels, shops, a Mediterranean village reconstruction, and a massive artificial beach that boasts realistic sunsets and sea breezes.
The Cray Titan lost bragging rights this past week as China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer clocked in at a silicon-scorching 30.65 petaflops (74% faster than Titan) making it the fastest supercomputer on the planet. The feat was even more impressive given that Tianhe-2 was not even running at full capacity. Theoretically it could hit 50 petaflops although <40 petafllops is more likely. Tianhe-2 is built with Intel Ivy Bridge and Xeon Phi processors. There are 32,000 Intel Ivy Bridge Xeon sockets and 48,000 Xeon Phi boards for a total of 3,120,000 cores. It has storage of 12.4PB and memory totaling 1.4PB. Tianhe-2 runs Kylin Linux.
The Army Corps of Engineers has admitted that an unauthorized Chinese user has hacked the National Inventory of Dams (NID) database in January 2013 and that the attack was not discovered until sometime in April. There are about 8,100 major dams in the U.S., and the NID database has information about all of them, including potential flaws in the dam construction, safety concerns, and the number of casualties expected if a dam were to fail.
I enjoy hacking. The intrigue, digging through arcane protocol specs in order to discover some new architectural design flaw or idiotic programmer bug, and the excitement surrounding a mysterious hidden world that few are capable of experiencing, in my mind is akin to losing yourself deep in a software coding problem. I consider myself a white-hat, maybe gray-hat (depending upon my mood) hacker. I’m not a bad guy intent on breaking into an unsuspecting company’s network to wreak havoc or steal corporate secrets but rather, am seeking the challenge of the hack and the experience I glean from the attempt - in addition to stopping the attacks China and Russian hackers have directed at my servers. And yeah, I think the government's philosophy regarding cybersecurity-countermeasures should, and will, change to promote a more offensive response to targeted attacks against American servers.
When it comes to Internet architecture, China has a huge advantage over the rest of the world. Given its relatively new economic status (the Internet was not introduced to China until 1994), China is in the unique position to build its Internet, from the ground up, using proven and sound architectural schemas (in contrast to their mobile networks which rely primarily on imported technology from Europe and North America). The benefit to China is an inherent ability to control malware and other malicious attacks.
One of the hottest economies in the world belongs to the Chinese and within their economy, one of the hottest markets is real estate. Or so they thought. Chinese commercial developers have built miles and miles of commercial and residential properties that have gone unused and remain vacant in eerie, empty cities. At a growth rate of over 20 new cities per year, the oversupply of housing continues as city after city full of empty streets and vast government buildings sits waiting for the Chinese citizens to arrive. The problem however, is the Chinese economy unexpectedly slowed and currency manipulations left citizens unable to afford the new housing which leaves us with the following pictures that look like they came straight out a “The Walking Dead” movie set.
Apple announced yesterday (2/19/13) that hackers had infected Macintosh computers of employees using an exploit in Oracle’s Java software stack. The attack is largest known cyber attack targeting Apple computers. The malware is believed to have originated from an iPhone developer website and was later used to launch massive attacks against Facebook, Twitter, and “other companies”.
The New York Times revealed yesterday that Chinese hackers have attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees. It is believed that the hackers have had access to their internal network for four months. After breaking into the NYT network, the hackers installed malware that allowed them to access to all computers on the NYT network. The NYT also found evidence that the hackers stole passwords for every user on the network (they cracked the password hashes using rainbow tables) and used those passwords to gain access to the employees' personal computers.