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Latvian ISP Closure Dents Cutwail Botnet ...for a Whole 48 Hours

From MessageLabs' latest report: "Real Host, an ISP based in Riga, Latvia was alleged to be linked to command-and-control servers for infected botnet computers, as well as being linked to malicious websites, phishing websites and 'rogue' anti-virus products. Real Host was disconnected by its upstream providers on 1 August 2009. The impact was immediately felt, where spam volumes dropped briefly by as much as 38% in the subsequent 48-hour period. Much of this spam was linked to the Cutwail botnet, currently one of the largest botnets and responsible for approximately 15-20% of all spam. Its activity levels fell by as much as 90% when Real Host was taken offline, but quickly recovered in a matter of days." more

Apparently Legitimate Estonian ISP Operating as Large Cybercrime Hub Since 2005

An apparently legitimate ISP in Tartu, Estonian is reported to have been serving as the operational headquarters of a large cybercrime network since 2005 according to TrendWatch, the security research arm of TrendMicro. "An Estonian company is actively administering a huge number of servers in numerous datacenters, which together form a network to commit cybercrime. It appears that the company from Tartu, Estonia controls everything from trying to lure Internet users to installing DNS changer Trojans by promising them special video content, and finally to exploiting victims' machines for fraud with the help of ads and fake virus infection warnings..." more

MAAWG Issues ISP Guidelines for End-User Bot Removal

Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) has issued the first best practices aimed at helping the global ISP industry work more closely with consumers to recognize and remove bot infections on end-users' machines. The paper outlines a three-step approach with recommendations for detecting bots, notifying users that their computers have been compromised, and guiding them in removing the malware. more

SEACOM Lights Up Eastern Africa

The SEACOM submarine cable, completed in the past 24 hours, is the first modern submarine cable connecting to eastern Africa, and the first of an unprecedented wave of new cable projects on both the eastern and western coasts of Africa. Approximately USD2.4 billion in new submarine cable projects are scheduled for completion by the end of 2011. The plans for so many new cables reflect both Africa's lack of international communications infrastructure, and soaring capacity requirements. more

Content Filtering Ineffective, Harmful According to Public Knowledge Study

A report released today by Public Knowledge points out that their recent analysis indicates filtering Internet content, as advocated by media companies, will not be effective and in fact harmful to the Internet. An accompanying 60-page whitepaper contains the full report including a number of reasons why the user of copyright filters should not be allowed, encouraged or mandated on U.S. Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks. more

Poll Suggests Canadians OK With Internet Traffic Management If Treated Fairly

The Canadian Press reports: "Most Canadians support the idea of Internet traffic management as long as all users are treated fairly, a new poll suggests. The Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll found only about one in five of those surveyed had heard of Internet traffic management or "traffic shaping," a contentious issue now before the federal regulator... Sixty per cent of survey respondents said they found the practice reasonable as long as customers are treated fairly, while 22 per cent said Internet management is unreasonable regardless." more

Internet Connection Speeds Up by 11% Globally Since Last Quarter of 2008

In the "Sate of the Internet Report" released by Akamai for the first quarter of 2009, the company reports that, on a global basis, the average connection speed increased by approximately 11% and more than 120 countries had average connection speeds under 1 Mbps (report based on date Q4 2008 through Q1 2009). Through Akamai's view of the Internet traffic (reported at approximately 1 billion users per day), the company also notes that in the first quarter of 2009, Japan had the highest percentage of connections (57%) at speeds above 5 Mbps while South Korea fell to second place for high broadband connectivity in the first quarter. more

Comcast Unleashes Trial DNS Redirection in Select States

In a post today on Comcast's blog, Chris Griffiths, DNS Engineering Manger, has informed customers that they have begun to role a DNS redirection service -- a controversial service offered by several other ISPs over the years to redirect mistyped URLs to ad-based pages instead of a typical 404 error page. The service called "Domain Name Helper Service" is being launched as a market trial in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington according to the company. more

US Antitrust Enforcement in Telecommunication Being Ramped Up

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that antitrust enforcement in telecommunication is being ramped up by the Obama Administration, after relatively lax times. In a piece entitled Telecoms Face Antitrust Threat it indicates that investigators are weighing up the roles of the large carriers and whether they are abusing the market power amassed under the Bush Administration. more

Democracy Now Video Reporting on Iran’s European Aided Internet Monitoring Capabilities

Democracy Now has a video discussion on the recent reports about telecoms in Europe aiding the Iranian government develop highly sophisticated Internet censorship mechanisms or deep packet inspection. The WSJ recently reported that the Iranian monitoring capabilities where "at least in part [provided] by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finish cellphone compnay, in second half of 2008." (also see previous report: Iran's Internet Censorship Most Sophisticated in the Worldmore

FCC Launched Investigation Into Exclusive Handset Deals

Grant Gross of IDG News report: "The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will launch an investigation into exclusive handset deals between mobile carriers and handset makers, acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps said. Copps has instructed FCC staff to open an inquiry into exclusive handset deals, he said during a speech at the Pike and Fischer Broadband Summit Thursday." more

Canadian Government Proposes Mandated Surveillance Capabilities at ISPs

Government of Canada has introduced a new bill that could allow the police to access ISP's user data without warrant. According to Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, "the Government has taken another shot at lawful access legislation today, introducing a legislative package called the Investigative Powers for the 21st Century (IP21C) Act that would require mandated surveillance capabilities at Canadian ISPs, force ISPs to disclose subscriber information such as name and address, and grant the police broad new powers to obtain transmission data and force ISPs to preserve data." more

Google Praises Canada for “Keeping the Internet Awesome”

In response to Canada's recent decision to keep a hands-off approach to distributed content over the Internet and through mobile devices, Jacob Glick, Google's Canada Policy Counsel has highly commended the decision. In a blog post today, Glick writes: "If you've ever wondered about the power and popularity of user-generated content in Canada, consider this: if all three Canadian television networks began broadcasting Canadian content 24 hours a day, seven days a week, YouTube would still have more Canadian content than those three networks combined." more

Bandwidth Buyers Face Significant Price Differences in the Global Market

According to Data from TeleGeography's Wholesale Bandwidth Pricing Database, there are stark price differences around the globe for companies with large international bandwidth requirements. "For example, the median price of a 2 Mbps E-1 circuit between London and Johannesburg in Q4 2008 was nearly $15,000. For the same price, a bandwidth buyer could lease a 10 Gbps wavelength -- 500 times the capacity of an E-1 -- between London and New York." more

Implications of California Telecom Attack Gone Un-Reported

In an article titled "A Cyber-Attack on an American City", Bruce Perens writes: "Just after midnight on Thursday, April 9, unidentified attackers climbed down four manholes serving the Northern California city of Morgan Hill and cut eight fiber cables in what appears to have been an organized attack on the electronic infrastructure of an American city. Its implications, though startling, have gone almost un-reported. That attack demonstrated a severe fault in American infrastructure: its centralization. The city of Morgan Hill and parts of three counties lost 911 service, cellular mobile telephone communications, land-line telephone, DSL internet and private networks, central station fire and burglar alarms, ATMs, credit card terminals, and monitoring of critical utilities..." more

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