Manufacturers Not Protecting Device Security

Carl Weinschenk

The University of Cambridge released research earlier this month that suggests that 88 percent of Android devices have been vulnerable to at least one of 11 critical security flaws during the past four years, according to eWeek.

The variables in the computations take into account the diligence of manufacturers in releasing patches and a number of other factors. The bottom line of the study suggests that manufacturers are not doing their jobs. A strategy was also suggested for assessing how the manufacturers are responding over time:

The researchers proposed a benchmark to measure the overall security of devices and the support of their manufacturers. The benchmark, dubbed the FUM score, uses three metrics: the proportions of devices free from critical vulnerabilities and running the latest version of the Android operating system, and the mean number of vulnerabilities still unpatched by the manufacturer.

FCC Looking at High Frequency Spectrum for 5G


A lot of work, much of it fundamental, has to be done to create 5G networks. An important element of the long-term process is finding spectrum that is plentiful enough and technically capable of supporting the ambitious networking technology.

This week, according to Computerworld, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed making four high-frequency bands available. In all, the bands cover 3,850MHz of spectrum.

All spectrum bands have their unique characteristics. In this case, much of the complexity is related to how high they are:

The so-called millimeter-wave bands the agency is talking about can go fast but not nearly as far. However, scientists are developing techniques to take advantage of the strengths of those frequencies, such as beaming signals straight at mobile devices or bouncing them off buildings. Samsung, Nokia, Intel and most other wireless vendors are studying millimeter-wave technologies and some claim they can deliver gigabit speeds to users.

The next step in the domestic FCC process is a public comment period. In the meantime, the idea is expected to form the basis of what the U.S. proposes at the World Radiocommunication Conference, to be held next month in Geneva.

Ruckus Wireless Acquires Onboarding Firm Cloudpath Networks

Ruckus Wireless has acquired Cloudpath Networks, a Wi-Fi onboarding firm. Cloudpath’s Enrollment System enables certificate-based Wi-Fi services to be accepted by other networks without the reentry of passwords, according to CRN. This makes it easier for IT departments as well as end users.

The companies say that the onboarding and security service will extend Ruckus’ Smart Wi-Fi technology, which includes the BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology and ChannelFly predictive channel selection. A comment from Ruckus CEO Selina Lo suggested that the acquisition will simplify operational aspects of bring your own device (BYOD) work arrangements.

The Best Smartphones for the Office

Network World offers a potentially useful feature focusing on what the author thinks are the best smartphones for corporate use. If a device is to be used at the office, certain features and functions are necessary beyond what would be looked for on a consumer-only device. Security, of course, is one of these.

The heart of the piece is a look at nine smartphones that merit consideration: the Apple iPhone 6S; the iPhone 6S Plus; the Samsung Galaxy S6; the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus; the Lumia 950; the Lumia 950 SL; the LG G4; the Nexus 6 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.

No 5G Standards – But Plenty of Promised Rollouts

A carrier is claiming that The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will have the first nationwide 5G rollout, according to Light Reading.

The CEO of Etisalat made the claim at the GSM Association event in Dubai. The timing is set for Expo 2020, which is in March of that year. Etisalat, the story says, has a development deal in place with Ericsson AB.

A lot of talk about rolling out 5G networks is occurring before an official standard is even near. The NTT DoCoMo is eyeing the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. South Korea also says that it will deploy in 2020. Verizon Wireless says that it could make some deployments as early as 2017.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.



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