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Found 3 results

  1. Last Friday, someone in Google fat-thumbed a border gateway protocol (BGP) advertisement and sent Japanese Internet traffic into a black hole. The trouble began when The Chocolate Factory “leaked” a big route table to Verizon, the result of which was traffic from Japanese giants like NTT and KDDI was sent to Google on the expectation it would be treated as transit. Since Google doesn't provide transit services, as BGP Mon explains, that traffic either filled a link beyond its capacity, or hit an access control list, and disappeared. The outage in Japan only lasted a couple of hours, but was so severe that Japan Times reports the country's Internal Affairs and Communications ministries want carriers to report on what went wrong. BGP Mon dissects what went wrong here, reporting that more than 135,000 prefixes on the Google-Verizon path were announced when they shouldn't have been. Since it leaked what the monitors call “a full table” to Verizon, the fat-thumb error also provided a “peek into what Google's peering relationships look like and how their peers traffic engineer towards Google”. For example, BGP Mon explains how the mistake hit ISP Jastel (Jasmine Telecom) in Thailand: “If we take a closer look at the AS paths involved starting at the right side, we see the prefix was announced by 45629 (Jastel) as expected. Since Jastel peers with Google (15169) that’s the next AS we see. The next AS in the path is 701 (Verizon) and this is where it is getting interesting as Verizon has now started to provide transit for Jastel via Google. “Verizon (701) then announced that to several of it’s customers, some of them very large such as KPN (286) and Orange (5511). So by just looking at four example paths we can see it hit large networks in Europe, Latin America, the US, and India (9498 Airtel).” BGP is the Internet's protocol for distributing routing information between networks. A BGP advertisement shouts out to the rest of the internet to announce things like “if you give me traffic for Verizon, it will reach its destination”. Designed for a more trusting (and much smaller) Internet, BGP's most serious shortcoming is that it's up to network admins to check and filter information in route advertisements. As BGP Mon notes, BGP leaks are “a great risk to the Internet's stability”, and both sides of an advertisement should be filtering them before accepting them. Previous BGP incidents have sent YouTube traffic to Pakistan, blackholed Chinese traffic, made Belarus the default route for more traffic than it could handle, and redirected Level 3's traffic to Malaysia. There are various proposals to tweak BGP to stop this sort of thing happening, but as is so often the case, implementation is lagging far behind requirement. Article BGPMON - explanation of cause of outages in Japan and beyond
  2. The “Unknown Sources” security option in Android is known by many. This is what needs to be ticked in order to install apps downloaded from outside of the Google Play Store, whether it’s an app that hasn’t officially rolled out yet, an app not available in your region, APKs from one of the Humble Mobile Bundles, or something else. In Android Oreo, Google has changed the way in which this works in order to make Android safer. Rather than being a single switch for all unknown sources, this option now comes in the form of an individual Install Unknown Apps permission that needs to be approved each time you install an app downloaded from outside of Google Play. “When used on a device running Android O and higher, hostile downloaders cannot trick the user into installing an app without having first been given the go-ahead,” states Android Security Product Manager Edward Cunningham on the Android Developers blog. This should mean that Oreo users won’t fall foul to installing a malicious app masquerading as something innocuous, just because they ticked a box for a completely different app sometime earlier. Like other permissions, a user can also revoke the Install Unknown Apps permission at any time. This change follows a number of recent Google efforts aimed at tightening up Android security, such as its Play Protect suite, which began rolling out a few weeks ago. As the owner of software that’s in operation on more than 2 billion devices, security is obviously an important issue for Google. In the post on the changes to unknown apps, Cunningham took the opportunity to reaffirm that the Play Store continues to be “one of the safest places” for Android users to install apps. Still, try to be mindful when installing anything on your phone. View: Original Article
  3. A monopoly both in search and advertising, Google, unfortunately, shows that they are not able to resist the misuse of power. I have known Google longer than most. At Opera, we were the first to add their search into the browser interface, enabling it directly from the search box and the address field. At that time, Google was an up-and-coming geeky company. I remember vividly meeting with Google’s co-founder Larry Page, his relaxed dress code and his love for the Danger device, which he played with throughout our meeting. Later, I met with the other co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, and got positive vibes. My first impression of Google was that it was a likeable company. Our cooperation with Google was a good one. Integrating their search into Opera helped us deliver a better service to our users and generated revenue that paid the bills. We helped Google grow, along with others that followed in our footsteps and integrated Google search into their browsers. However, then things changed. Google increased their proximity with the Mozilla foundation. They also introduced new services such as Google Docs. These services were great, gained quick popularity, but also exposed the darker side of Google. Not only were these services made to be incompatible with Opera, but also encouraged users to switch their browsers. I brought this up with Sergey Brin, in vain. For millions of Opera users to be able to access these services, we had to hide our browser’s identity. The browser sniffing situation only worsened after Google started building their own browser, Chrome. Now, we are making the Vivaldi browser. It is based on Chromium, an open-source project, led by Google and built on WebKit and KHTML. Using Google’s services should not call for any issues, but sadly, the reality is different. We still have to hide our identity when visiting services such as Google Docs. And now things have hit a new low. As the biggest online advertising company in the world, Google is often the first choice for businesses that want to promote their products or services on the Internet. Being excluded from using Google AdWords could be a major problem, especially for digital companies. Recently, our Google AdWords campaigns were suspended without warning. This was the second time that I have encountered this situation. This time, however, timing spoke volumes. I had several interviews where I voiced concerns about the data gathering and ad targeting practices – in particular, those of Google and Facebook. They collect and aggregate far too much personal information from their users. I see this as a very serious, democracy-threatening problem, as the vast targeting opportunities offered by Google and Facebook are not only good for very targeted marketing, but also for tailored propaganda. The idea of the Internet turning into a battlefield of propaganda is very far away from the ideal. Two days after my thoughts were published in an article by Wired, we found out that all the campaigns under our Google AdWords account were suspended – without prior warning. Was this just a coincidence? Or was it deliberate, a way of sending us a message? When we reached out to Google to resolve the issue, we got a clarification masqueraded in the form of vague terms and conditions, some of which, they admitted themselves, were not a “hard” requirement. In exchange for being reinstated in Google’s ad network, their in-house specialists dictated how we should arrange content on our own website and how we should communicate information to our users. We made effort to understand their explanations and to work with them on their various unreasonable demands (some of which they don’t follow themselves, by the way). After almost three months of back-and-forth, the suspension to our account has been lifted, but only when we bent to their requirements. A monopoly both in search and advertising, Google, unfortunately, shows that they are not able to resist the misuse of power. I am saddened by this makeover of a geeky, positive company into the bully they are in 2017. I feel blocking competitors on thin reasoning lends credence to claims of their anti-competitive practices. It is also fair to say that Google is now in a position where regulation is needed. I sincerely hope that they’ll get back to the straight and narrow. < Here >
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