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Rich Tehrani
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| Communications and Technology Blog - Latest news in IP communications, telecom, VoIP, call center & CRM space

Smart Grid

Dispersive Networks Hopes to Be the Future of Secure Networking

October 30, 2018

The December 2015 Ukraine power grid cyberattack was the first successful attack on a power grid and this event gave rise to Dispersive Networks.

According to Wikipedia, the attack was complex consisting of the following steps:



  • Prior compromise of corporate networks using spear-phishing emails with BlackEnergy malware;
  • Seizing SCADA under control, remotely switching substations off;
  • disabling/destroying IT infrastructure components (uninterruptible power suppliesmodems, RTUs, commutators);
  • Destruction of files stored on servers and workstations with the KillDisk malware;
  • Denial-of-Service attack on call-center to deny consumers up-to-date information on the blackout.

In total, up to 73 MWh of electricity was not supplied (or 0.015% of daily electricity consumption in the Ukraine).

Cyber attacks on the energy distribution companies took place during an ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war and is attributed to a Russian advanced persistent threat group known as "Sandworm".

If there is any good news that emerged as a result, it was people trying to find ways to prevent such attacks in the future. 



In an exclusive interview with Ed Wood, CEO at Dispersive Networks we learned how his company took the knowledge of this attack and used it as the basis of their technology which uses tech principles from telecom like spread-spectrum to take networking to the next level.





IoT Connectivity Standards? Still a Confusing Mess.

October 21, 2017

62 million European households will soon have smart gas meters as reported on IoT Evolution with an annual growth rate of 27.8 percent until 2022.

We recently reported that the U.S. was behind Europe in LoRa deployments so when we saw this research report, we decided to dig deeper. We wondered, are all of these deployments LoRa-based?

Interestingly the answer is a resounding no. 

According to the article:

European smart gas meters use a variety of communication methods, the report indicates, including fixed RF networks and local interfaces to master electricity meters.








Does Tesla Know Proprietary is Typically Wrong?

August 4, 2014


BMW is working to build a charging network and unlike Tesla who is using proprietary tech, they are utilizing the SAE Combo 1 plug  inlet that American and German automakers have adopted for quick charging. Using this system, a battery will reach 80% charge in 30 minutes which is still way too-long when compared to gas. Still, if you believe electric cars are the future, then the proprietary versus open debate will likely be important to you. Typically it is the open system that wins.

Expect adapters to eventually be available to plug any car into any charging station.


How SmartSenseCom uses Microphones to Detect Drone Threats

April 29, 2014



A frequent concern I have shared these past months is drones used as weapons – whether they are equipped with firearms or explosives. Security today is quite-often a two-dimensional affair, especially in outdoor arenas such as stadiums where a pat down and metal detector are typically used to ensure there aren’t any dangerous items being brought in. When a third-dimension becomes available to criminals and terrorists, the situation quickly spirals in complexity.

The question civilized society has to ask is how do we prevent crime and terrorism as the threat evolves from 2D to 3D?







Enter SmartSenseCom Inc., a company in semi-stealth mode using ultra-sensitive microphones (PDF) to detect the electric motors associated with flying objects.

Photoluminescent Paint Markers Could Save Taxpayers Billions

February 7, 2013

Julius Genachowski Makes Brilliant Move at FCC in Hiring Henning Schulzrinne as CTO

December 29, 2011

Earlier this month, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the appointment of Henning Schulzrinne as Chief Technology Officer – a major move forward for the FCC and the US communications regulatory environment. This move was made in-part because the FCC has had to keep up with fairly rapid changes in the communications and networking worlds. Telephony was once a circuit-switched service provided by a handful of large telecommunications companies and a number of regional players.

It was relatively easy to understand and regulate.

American Superconductor and the Case of Chinese Industrial Espionage

December 15, 2011

 

Last year I had a chance to sit down with Jason Fredette of American Superconductor about their state of the art technology which allows wind turbines to be more efficient. Moreover the company talked about its strong focus on superconductor wire which is a small fraction of the size of traditional copper wire. I was intrigued – I figured this is the sort of company that becomes the next major tech innovator… One that will do very well for investors.

FreeWave Technologies Provides Secure, Long-Range Radio Communications

October 26, 2011

Submarine cable systems between the UK, Canada and Paris became essential in the 1850s as the British government found itself in a situation where it would fight wars, sign treaties and still have thousands of soldiers in the field fighting – totally oblivious to the end of conflict. This cost the UK a tremendous amount of money and reducing this cost became a priority. Once the cables were laid they also became invaluable to the shipping industry as they allowed ships to be rerouted to ports which would be more lucrative destinations.

Nowadays with 3G, 4G and WiFi networks overlapping in much of the developed world we take instant communications for granted but this is not the case.

Why Blocked AT&T, T-Mobile USA Deal is Good for Growth

August 31, 2011

Critics might say, in the history of M&A, it is difficult to recall one instance where more jobs were created as a result of two companies coming together. Yet this is the argument AT&T has been making for just less than three months after the merger announcement with AT&T and T-Mobile USA was announced. In part the argument was reinforced by the company's commitment to bring remote call center jobs back to the states.

Moreover, AT&T’s claim that this merger would be good for consumers is an interesting one as critics might say it is fairly easy to argue either side.

What the Post-Hurricane Irene Cavalry Looks Like

August 28, 2011

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