Friday, April 23, 2010

Linux for Serious computing

For those of us that are still wondering if open source has a role for mission critical application, the business site Focus has put together an impressive collection of examples.

It was not long ago when Microsoft Windows had a tight stranglehold on the operating system market. Walk into a Circuit City or Staples, it seemed, and virtually any computer you took home would be running the most current flavor of Windows. Ditto for computers ordered direct from a manufacturer. In the last decade, though, the operating system market has begun to change. Slightly more than 5% of all computers now run Mac, according to Linux is hovering just beneath 1% of the overall market share in operating systems. And although that might sound like a small number, Linux is far more than just a fringe OS. In fact, it's running in quite a few more places than you probably suspect. Below are fifty places Linux is running today in place of Windows or Mac. For easy reading, they are divided amongst government, home, business, and educational usage.

For full article go to 50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

GSM Calls cracked with $1500 and OS Software

In news that should concern any Government Agency or business person darkreading has published news of a planned presentation on just how easy and cheap it is to crack GSM phone calls with current technology. GSM is an encryption that 80% of mobile phone companies relies on to keep conversations secure. Maybe that was appropriate when the standard was adopted, but increased computer power and algorithm development has overturned that view.

Researchers Prepare Practical Demonstration Of GSM Encryption Cracking Technology - wireless security/Security - DarkReading
"GSM has been considered insecure for some years -- however, it is a huge development that the theoretical attack on the GSM encryption cipher is now a reality," says Stuart Quick, operations manager at Henderson Risk Ltd., a London-based security and risk management services firm. "There is now a very real and imminent threat that GSM voice communications will be compromised, and users must start to consider how they can increase the security of their valuable/commercially sensitive calls they make."

The demonstration could also cause some companies to consider separate encryption of cell phone calls, according to one vendor that offers such technology. "Our research shows that 79 percent of organizations discuss confidential or sensitive information at least weekly on mobile phones," says Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO Cellcrypt Ltd. "The news that GSM has been cracked will be very worrying for anybody who discusses valuable or confidential information over their mobile phone."