Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nominum Defends Against DNS Cache Poisoning

Nominum has released a security update to its Vantio caching DNS server platform, adding multi-layer intelligent defenses that defeat DNS cache poisoning and other attacks, including the recently publicized Kaminsky vulnerability. Vantio, which is an alternative to open-source DNS, enables broadband providers to deliver new services by leveraging DNS as a key control point in the network . Nominum's many ISP and carrier customers support an estimated 120 million broadband subscribers.

Key benefits of new Vantio DNS security features include:

  • Resists and stops all forms of cache poisoning attacks

  • Defends automatically against query response spoofing and takes attackers out of loop

  • Prevents hijacking of subscriber traffic, or "pharming" attacks

  • Identifies perpetrators and records attack attempts

  • Provides protection in Enterprise and Service Provider networks that use network address translation (NAT), which can undermine UDP SPR (NAT devices include server load balancers and firewalls)

  • Reduces the chance of poisoning answers for valuable domains (www.mybank.com) to zero.

In the recent cache poisoning threat, Nominum said its customers were instrumental in implementing and deploying UDP SPR. However, UDP source port randomization is only a first-step response to the new vulnerability, and network operators need additional deterministic defenses to address important exploits.

"Literally one day after details of the Kaminsky cache poisoning attack were revealed, UDP Source Port Randomization was defeated in 10 hours by security researchers using brute-force spoofed responses," said Dr. Paul Mockapetris, Chairman and Chief Scientist at Nominum and inventor of the DNS. "Nominum's multi-layered approach eliminates the risk of a successful attack."

Vantio features the following four security layers with key security features highlighted:

  • Deterrence Layer: Includes Nominum's UDP Source Port Randomization implementation, the recommended industry response to the Kaminsky threat

  • Defense Layer: Incorporates Nominum's "Detect and Defend" capability to detect spoofing attempts and automatically switch the resolution to a secure connection in response to an attack attempt.

  • Resistance Layer: Employs Query Response Screening with a set of features that intelligently screen DNS answers to ensure malicious data in DNS responses is not used to answer valid user queries.

  • Remediation Layer: Sends alerts when an attack is under way and incorporates a new feature that records the attack, allowing the attacker to be identified, and real-time remedial action to be taken by the network operator.


SanDisk Boosts SD Card Speed by 50% to 30 Megabytes per Sec

SanDisk announced a new speed record of 30 megabytes per second for SD flash memory cards. This represents a 50-percent speed boost from previous 20MB/s cards.

The SanDisk Extreme III 30MB/s Edition line of SDHC Cards will be available in September in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities.

The new Nikon D90 DSLR camera, which is the first to support the memory cards, is able to record 39 images in continuous shooting mode at 4.5 frames per second with a file size of 6.0 MB JPEG L Fine per image. The Nikon D90 camera captures 12.3 megapixel still images and also features movie recording capability.http://www.sandisk.com

BT Enhances Security Monitoring Service Against Botnets

BT has enhanced its managed security service to further defend enterprise networks against the growing threat of malicious botnet attacks.

Botnets are a significant security risk to businesses because they are primarily used to execute criminal activity. Since most bots communicate only infrequently with their command and control hosts, the chances of detecting infected machines prior to a critical event, without significant technology and infrastructure investment, are slim. However, since bots do communicate and these communications generate firewall traffic, BT's Managed Security Solutions Group has created the ability to detect bots by monitoring and analyzing firewall traffic.

The new proprietary Botnet Detection Module, which is part of BT's Event Monitoring and Correlation Service, can identify which hosts within a customer's network are under the control of botnets and then assist the customer with quarantine and remediation efforts to restore the network's integrity. Firewall traffic is collected and analyzed at the BT Security Operations Centers for patterns of activity that bear the hallmarks of bot communications. BT said its customers also benefit from proprietary technology to correlate across multiple security technologies and its diverse customer base, significantly improving the accuracy of these alerts.http://www.bt.com

Tektronix Extends IMS and TISPAN Core Network

Tektronix Communications released its Spectra2 6.3 Core Network Test Solution software for testing for IMS and TISPAN networks.

Tektronix said its enhanced Spectra2 6.3 software release introduces policy management testing for IMS and TISPAN networks, complementing a mature DIAMETER solution with support for the Gq/Gq' and Rq Interfaces. Spectra2 6.3 offers powerful element simulation capabilities of the next generation Policy Decision elements such as the PDF, SPDF, CSCF and A-RACF and further complements its capability to test IMS Core, VoIP, and PSTN networks.

The Spectra2 6.3 release also implements load testing support for the TISPAN (Megaco V3) la interface. Users are provided with the ability to test and monitor enforcement of local policies at border elements to control bandwidth and session based media traffic. The Spectra2 6.3 release introduces support for Enhanced Variable Rate Codec (EVRC) based media streams, an extension of the Spectra2 media solution set which includes functional and load testing coupled with Quality of Service reporting. This user-friendly feature provides comprehensive call control and media capabilities in a single system.


China Mobile Reaches 415 Million Mobile Users

China Mobile is now serving over 415 million subscribers, up by nearly 25% or 45 million users, over the past 12 months. The net increase of new subscribers per month topped 7.5 million.

For the six months ended 30 June 2008, the Group's total voice usage volume reached 1,160.47 billion minutes and the average minutes of usage (MOU) was 496 minutes. Average revenue per user per month (ARPU) was RMB 84. This compares to ARPU of RMB 88 a year earlier.

China Mobile said the combination of economic growth in China, rising consumer purchasing power, the continuous development of the rural economy and the acceleration of the information society throughout the country is driving a tremendous demand for telecommunications and information services.

Some other key operating trends:

  • Nearly half of subscriber growth in 1H08 came from rural markets

  • Color Ring revenue reached RMB 6.275 billion, up 25% over last year.

  • WAP revenue reached RMB 5.92 billion, up 19.3% over last year.

  • MMS revenue reached RMB 1.365 billion, up 91% over last year.

  • For the six months ended 30 June 2008, China Mobile's operating revenue continued to grow, reaching RMB196,460 million, representing an increase of 17.9 per cent. over the same period of last year.

  • Profit attributable to shareholders reached RMB54,849 million -- an increase of 44.7 per cent over the same period of last year due partly to change in PRC enterprise income tax rate.

  • Margin of profit attributable to shareholders reached 27.9 per cent.. EBITDA reached RMB104,361 million, representing an increase of 16.2 per cent. over the same period of last year while basic earnings per share reached RMB2.74, an increase of 44.2 per cent. over the same period of last year.

Nokia Siemens Networks Wins Major 3G Integration Project in UK

Mobile Broadband Network Ltd. (MBNL), the network collaboration joint-venture between T-Mobile UK and 3 UK, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks as technology partner for 3G network integration. The companies anticipate creating the UK's most extensive 3G network providing near complete population coverage by the end of 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks has been selected as the 3G radio network infrastructure supplier for the consolidation of the two operators' 3G radio access network infrastructure under MBNL.

Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will supervise the creation and operation of the joint network on behalf of both companies.
The first integrated cell site was commissioned in early February. Although masts and the 3G access networks are being combined, each company's core network and T-Mobile's 2G network will not be shared. Both parties will retain responsibility for the delivery of services to their respective customers and use their own frequency spectrum.

Nokia Siemens Networks said its radio access solution will replace most of the two operators' communications stations across the UK and equipment at the remaining sites is being upgraded and reconfigured for higher quality and capacity. The solution, featuring energy-efficient Flexi base stations from Nokia Siemens Networks, will allow a reduction the number of sites in the network by about 30 percent. As well as network infrastructure, Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver project management, network deployment and managed spare parts capability, as well as care services to maintain network performance and increase its efficiency.http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

Cisco to Acquire PostPath for Linux-based Exchange Alternative

Cisco agreed to acquire PostPath, a start-up based in Mountain View, California with additional development operations in Sofia, Bulgaria, for its email and calendaring software. Cisco will pay approximately $215 million in exchange for all shares of PostPath.

PostPath offers an enterprise email and collaboration server that is a drop-in alternative to Microsoft Exchange. The platform features support for Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), Microsoft ActiveSync email push technologies, iPhone 3G and iPhone 2.0 software.
With the PostPath Server, enterprise customers -- including iPhone users -- have access to full-feature, enterprise-grade messaging and collaboration at a significantly lower cost than Microsoft Exchange. Organizations can take advantage of the operational efficiency and cost savings of the PostPath server to roll out large mailboxes and mobile messaging to their users much easier and cheaper than with Exchange 2007.

Cisco said it will leverage PostPath to enhance the existing email and calendaring capabilities of its WebEx Connect collaboration platform. . Specifically, Cisco plans to extend the e-mail and calendar functionality of its flexible software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based collaborative platform that includes instant messaging, voice, video, data, document management and Web 2.0 applications.

Upon completion of the acquisition, PostPath employees will become part of the Cisco Collaboration Software Group (CSG). CSG is part of the recently established Software Group, consisting of Cisco's major software businesses; including the IOS network operating system, network and service management, Unified Communications solutions, policy management, and SaaS offerings.http://www.cisco.comhttp://www.postpath.com
  • PostPath is headed by Duncan Greatwood, who previously held executive positions at Virata/GlobespanVirata/Conexant. Before that he held a variety of engineering and product marketing positions at Madge Networks.

BroadSoft Acquires GENBAND's M6 Communication App Server

BroadSoft has acquired GENBAND's M6 Communication Applications Server, formerly VocalData, product line and related customer base. Financial terms were not disclosed.

GENBAND is the leading supplier of IP gateways for a diverse set of service provider networks worldwide.

BroadSoft said its acquisition of the M6 product line will extend its market position in the VoIP applications market. The acquisition will also enable GENBAND to focus its efforts on further advancing their gateway product innovation.

The companies have also entered into an agreement to cooperate on Network Transformation projects, which will allow their customers to bundle core voice, data and web-based services across an IP network.
  • In 2007, GENBAND acquired Tekelec's Switching Solutions Group (SSG). The deal was structured as a sale of Tekelec's equity interests in Santera Systems and Taqua, and the SSG business assets held by Tekelec in exchange for a 19.9% common equity interest in GENBAND, $1.0 million in cash and GENBAND's assumption of certain SSG liabilities. Tekelec's switching solutions business unit included the businesses Santera, VocalData and Taqua, all of which had been acquired by Tekelec between 2003 and 2004.

  • In 2004, Tekelec acquired VocalData, a start-up that developed a hosted IP telephony platform for business and residential customers, for approximately $27.5 million, consisting of $14.5 million of cash and approximately 780,000 shares of Tekelec common stock.

Monday, August 25, 2008

TesLA Alliance Targets Open IP Test Automation Framework

Ixia and a set of key industry partners have formed a new TesLA Alliance that aims to provide an open, multivendor automation framework for testing IP platforms and services. This will enable service providers and enterprises to automate their end-to-end testing. Ixia is hosting TesLA Alliance briefings and product demonstrations at its iSimCity proof-of-concept lab in Santa Clara, California. A common automation framework ensures interoperability among members' products.

The founding TesLA members are APCON, Codenomicon, Fanfare, Ixia, Mu Dynamics, QualiSystems and Shunra.

The companies believe a common automation framework is needed because networking labs typically contain test equipment from multiple, disparate vendors. This drives the need for seamless integration and interoperability among the various tools. As a result, IP test automation has moved to center stage because it is the only way quality can be assured after product upgrades, network modifications and software patches.

The TesLA framework is based on Ixia's Test Conductor IP test automation solution.


ECI Telecom Selected for Network Upgrade in Costa Rica

Radiográfica Costarricense S.A. (RACSA), a service provider in Costa Rica, will expand its network with ECI Telecoms' XDM Multi-Service Provisioning Platform (MSPP). The network upgrade will combine SDH, Ethernet switching and WDM on a single, converged platform. The network is managed by ECI's LightSoft multi-layer network management system, delivering an end-to-end solution to manage the different equipments, network segments and technologies under one management system. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ECI noted that with RACSA as a new customer, its XDM MSPP Platform is now utilized by the two largest carriers in Costa Rica.http://www.ecitele.com

Zhone Introduces Bitstorm IP DSLAMs for VDSL2 and bonded ADSL2+

Zhone Technologies introduced two new IP DSLAMs leveraging VDSL2 and ADSL2+ for single or bonded-pair copper. The platforms are powered by Ikanos Communications' VDSL2 central office (CO) and customer premises chipsets.

The Bitstorm HP (High Performance) is a 24 Port, VDSL2 IP-DSLAM delivering up to 100/100 Mbps symmetrical services on each port with full ADSL2+ support. The Bitstorm HP is a 1 Rack Unit (RU), environmentally hardened platform, ideal for basement Multi Tenant Units (MTUs) and outdoor cabinets. The platform is optimized for cross talk management at distances up to 5,000 feet, providing the maximum bandwidth available over single-pair copper. Bitstorm HP also fully supports customer premises equipment (CPE) for 25 Mbps services at distances up to 10,000 feet.

The Bitstorm RP (Reach Performance) provides 48 ports of ADSL2+ and operates in single-pair or bonded-pair mode to deliver 45+ Mbps for short loops and up to 25 Mbps at distance up to 10,000 feet. The Bitstorm RP is a high-density 1.5 RU IP/Ethernet DSLAM platform/ A code extension of the popular Zhone/Paradyne DSLAM series, Bitstorm RP provides field proven performance with a feature set that includes ADSL2+ bonding, built in splitters and dual Gig E and far end uplink ports. Other new features include hot-swap servicing and single click configuration with automatic line recognition. Bitstorm RP supports bridged mode or advanced layer operations for premium Quality of Service (QoS) smart home or business applications.

Both Bitstorm platforms are standards-based for interoperability and performance certified with a broad range of VDSL2 and ADSL2+ CPE. Bitstorm HP is rate/reach certified at 100/100 Mbps (VDSL2 30a) with Zhone's 6652 CPE series. Zhone's Bitstorm VDSL platform is also available in a 100 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream configuration (VDSL2 17a). Changes and upgrades are performed remotely via a single-click Web interface or Zhone's Management System (ZMS) with Multimedia Traffic Management for tiered service guarantees.

"The Bitstorm VDSL2 and bonded ADSL2+ platforms further broaden FTTx delivery options for our customers," said Steven Glapa, Zhone's vice president of product management and marketing. "Bitstorm is a direct response to customer requests for plug and play HD multi-play provisioning in a small, cost efficient form factor."

Ikanos Communications said its FxTM100100-5 VDSL2 CO and FxTM100100S-5 offer the lowest power
consumption per port in the industry. The multi-mode VDSL2 chipsets are optimized for IPTV and triple play offerings.http://www.zhone.com

Telx Launches 10 GigE Peering Services powered by Force10

Telx, which provides carrier-neutral interconnectivity via colocation facilities across the U.S., has deployed the Force10 C300 resilient switch in its Phoenix Telx Internet Exchange (TIE) platform. The TIE platform provides one and 10 Gigabit Ethernet peering services.

The Force10 C300 supports up to 384 line-rate Gigabit or 64 line-rate 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports in a single chassis. Utilizing the modular Force10 operating system, FTOS, Telx is also simplifying the management of its TIE platform. Online monitoring and diagnostics tools enable Telx to troubleshoot the network without bringing it down.

Force10 said its Reliable Networking product portfolio now powers the three largest Internet Exchanges in the world as well as the largest Internet Exchange in Central Europe.

Level 3 Delivers Ethernet Transport for Cbeyond

Level 3 Communications' Wholesale Markets Group is now serving as the primary provider of Ethernet transport for Cbeyond, a leading IP-based, managed services provider to small businesses. Under a new agreement, Level 3 will continue to increase bandwidth on current circuits and provide additional circuits as needed in all 12 Cbeyond metropolitan area markets. In doing so, Level 3 will assist in the scaling of Cbeyond's network capacity and the ongoing migration from Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) to Ethernet using Metro Ethernet Private Line services. In addition, Level 3 will provide new Metro Ethernet Private Line services in Detroit, San Francisco, and Minneapolis to enable Cbeyond's expansion in those markets. Level 3 also provides Cbeyond with Voice and High Speed Internet services.

Mexico's Telcel Deploys Ericsson's Microwave Transmission Links

Telcel - Mexico's leading mobile operator and a subsidiary of América Móvil, has selected Ericsson to provide microwave-transmission links for high-speed mobile broadband. Ericsson's MINI-LINK TN solution will enable Telcel to increase its network coverage and subscriber base for its existing 2G/3G-HSPA network. It will also enable a smooth migration to an all-IP network in the future. The first phase of the contract extends through the end of 2008. Rollout begins in the third quarter of 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson described the agreement as the largest microwave deal in Latin America so far.http://www.ericsson.com

Alcatel-Lucent Introduces OmniSwitch 6400 LAN Switches

Alcatel-Lucent introduced its OmniSwitch 6400 family of stackable, layer 2+ Gigabit Ethernet LAN switches for small and medium-sized enterprises, branch offices or for carrier Ethernet access applications. The switches are low-power, compact platforms that feature multi-layer security including user authentication, quarantine VLANs, access control lists, encryption and denial of service protection.

The OmniSwitch 6400 family consists of six models, each offering 24 or 48 triple-speed ports. Each model contains two 10-Gigabit Ethernet stacking ports and up to four Gigabit Ethernet combo ports (RJ45/SFP). Up to eight switches can be stacked with virtual chassis redundancy for a total capacity of 384 ports per stack. Both switch configurations are available with power over Ethernet capabilities for use with VoIP handsets or other Ethernet-powered devices.

For service provider demarcation applications, the switches support Metro access features including Ethernet services, OAM support and IPTV multicast VLANs. The switches are manageable and configurable from Alcatel-Lucent's SNMP-based OmniVista 2500 Network Management System and from the industry leading Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM).http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Nokia to Launch N96 in the Americas in Q4

Nokia announced plans to offer its N96 multimedia device in the Americas during the fourth quarter of 2008. The device features a large 2.8 inch screen, 16 GB of internal memory and compatibility with a wide range of video formats, including MPEG-4, Windows Media Video and Flash Video.

Network connectivity includes USB 2.0 connection, WLAN and HSDPA support. Additional features include built-in 3D stereo speakers, a 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, flash and video light, and DVD-like quality video capture at 30 frames per second.http://www.nokia.com

AT&T Expands International Data Offerings for iPhone

AT&T introduced two new international data plans for its iPhone customers: 100 MB or 200 MB a month.

For discounted international data usage in 67 countries, the 100 MB iPhone plan is available for an additional $119.99 a month, while the 200 MB plan costs an additional $199.99 a month. These new plans are in addition to existing plans for smartphones, including iPhone, which offer 20 MB and 50 MB in the same countries. There are no long-term commitments required.http://www.att.com

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NTT's IP Video QoE is Adopted as an ITU Standard

Technology originally developed by NTT Service Integration Laboratories to objectively estimate a user's Quality of Experience (QoE) in IP-based video delivery services has been adopted as an international standard (ITU-T Recommendation J.247). The technology enables the quality of video delivery services to be checked and monitored.

NTT said previously existing technology cannot assess the effects of diverse coding systems and bit rates as used in video delivery services nor can it assess degraded video caused by packet loss characteristic of IP networks.

In response to this problem, NTT Service Integration Laboratories modeled quality degradation considering human perceptual characteristics (degradation in experienced quality due to coding and packet loss) based on a huge quality database making maximum use of NTT subjective quality assessment facilities and know-how. Then, based on this model, it developed technology to estimate QoE through the analysis of video signals. This technology enables the objective video quality assessment from the similar viewpoints of customers.

NTT's assessment technology was proposed for standardization at ITU-T, and after a 5-year worldwide performance evaluation contest held by ITU-T, four systems (including the NTT algorithm) out of nine candidates from the same number of institutions were approved as formal Recommendation J.247 on August 13, 2008 and released on August 22, 2008.


Israel's Bezeq Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Metro Ethernet

Bezeq, Israel's largest telecommunications provider, has selected Alcatel-Lucent as the foundation for its new metro Ethernet network. Alcatel-Lucent's Ethernet & IP routing solution will help Bezeq deliver premium Ethernet L2 services, such as Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS), and Ethernet-lines (E-lines) to its business customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 7750 Service Router and 5620 Service Aware Manager as the base for Bezeq's new metro Ethernet network. Alcatel-Lucent's Ethernet & IP routing solution is unique in its ability to ensure reliable, non-stop service delivery with the quality of service (QoS) necessary to offer differentiated services to customers.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Procera Networks Secures $6 Million in Funding

Procera Networks has secured $6 million in private financing. The company said the funding will allow it to accelerate the hiring and training of Field Engineers and accelerate the purchase of inventory for its recently announced Tier-1 product family, the PacketLogic PL10000. http://www.proceranetworks.com
  • In May 2008, Procera Networks introduced its PacketLogic PL10000, a high-performance DPI platform offering up to 80Gbps of throughput and purpose-built for deployments either at the core or edge of Tier-1 broadband networks. Procera, which also offers a range of smaller DPI platforms, is targeting a new type of "evolved DPI" capable of enhancing application awareness with service control capabilities.