3/18/2005

California university reports data hack

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

California State University, Chico, has informed more than 59,000 people that their personal information may have been compromised in an attack on the school’s servers earlier this week. Stored on the hacked system were the records of a wide range of people with various ties to the university, including current, former and prospective students, as well as current and former faculty and staff. The school said the vast majority of the records involved belonged to students who began attending its classes within the past five years.

The school contends that there is no evidence that hackers targeted the server with the intent of stealing the personal data, which included names and Social Security numbers, but it has already informed individuals effected by the incident via e-mail and postal mail. The university has pledged to discontinue the use of Social Security numbers in its student and employee identification systems in the future.

Source: News.com

DVD Jon: buy DRM-less tracks from Apple iTunes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

If you’re happy to pay for your iTunes Music Store song downloads, but could live without that pesky DRM stuff the recording companies insist Apple inserts into each file, you’ll be pleased to know that notorious hacker Jon Lech Johansen, he of DVD Content Scrambling System de-coding fame, has figured out how to do just that.

‘DVD Jon’ has posted PyMusique a Python-based utility that offers a “fair interface to the iTunes Music Store”, co-written with Travis Watkins and Cody Brocious. The app provides the usual ITMS features - access to song previews and the ability to set up a payment account and to use it to buy songs - but there are two crucial differences.
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First, PyMusique allows you to re-download songs you’ve purchased. So if your hard drive goes up the Suwannee and you haven’t backed it up for a while, you can re-acquire your ITMS-sourced song library.

Second, none of the tracks you download will be encumbered with DRM.

Of course, it’s of very questionable legality. Quite apart from potentially bypassing Apple’s FairPlay copy protection system - a no-no according to Europe’s European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD) - running the software infringes the terms and conditions ITMS user agree to abide by when they set up an account.

“You will not access the Service by any means other than through software that is provided by Apple for accessing the Service,” ITMS’ Ts&Cs say.

iTunes downloads each song as an audio stream, but only once it has grabbed the track does it apply the DRM rules - not surprising, perhaps, since the copy-protection coded into a given song is client computer-specific. Technically, then, PyMusique doesn’t bypass the copy-protection code since it grabs the file before the DRM rules are applied. Still, it’s a moot point and one that lawyers will enjoy debating if they’re given the chance.

Last August, DVD Jon revealed how to crack the encryption Apple uses to protect songs as they’re streamed across a wireless network to its AirPort Express ‘Wi-Fi to hi-fi’ access point. At the time, he posted JustePort, a Linux/Windows app that allows applications other than iTunes to transmit audio via the AirPort Express hardware.

Source: The Register

Tokyo First To Enjoy City-Wide WiMAX

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Tokyo is going to get what will be the first major deployment of a WiMAX Metropolitan Area Network in the world. The Yozan MetroZone will deliver high speed IP connectivity, and support voice, video and broadband data services.

Airspan Networks and partner YOZAN will commence trials in the second quarter of 2005 and commercial rollout will begin in the fourth quarter of the year. Airspan, a leading provider of broadband wireless solutions in Japan, expects to complete delivery of the base stations by the end of March of 2006. The contract is valued in excess of $12m.

The initial network will be based on a rollout of 600 cells in central Tokyo, the companies outlined this week. Gradually the network will expand to provide coverage throughout the greater Tokyo Metropolitan area and surrounding eight prefectures. Airspan will use its software-upgradeable radio technology, which will initially support 802.16-2004 and will later be upgraded to support 802.16e.

Source: The Register

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