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CableLabs F2F WPA exploits as well as WiFi routers with security flaws

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Get Your Tech On

CableLabs F2F and ACTA.  WPA exploits as well as WiFi routers with security flaws

Episode 14 Hosted by Brady Volpe of the Volpe Firm with guest John Downey.  Today we have news, updates from the Proactive Network Maintenance meeting at CableLabs F2F in Colorado last week, SCTE Expo is less than two months away and your questions, our answers.

In the NEWS

SCTE Cable Tec Expo is less than two months away in New Orleans

  • Brady's workshop is on PNM Operational Practices - making PNM successful in your cable system
  • John's paper is it on DOCSIS 3.1 and capacity planning

FCC Approves AT&T & DirectTV merger in late July.  

  • According to AT&T, AT&T now is the largest pay TV provider in the U.S. and the world, providing service to more than 26 million customers in the United States and more than 191 million customers in Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean.  
  • This exceeds Comcast subscribers of 22.4 Million, making AT&T the largest data and video provider.
  • AT&T must abide by Net Neutrality rules, which means it cannot provide preferential treatment to annoy content to which it is affiliated with
  • AT&T must debundle data & video to low income subscribers and offer a 3-10 Mbps tier for around $5-10 / month to low income subscribers
  • AT&T must be transparent in Disclosing interconnection agreements with content and edge providers
  • AT&T must report their network performance

The 2015 DEF CON hacker conference was held in Las Vegas the week before last.  The good news is that DOCSIS did not get any coverage.  The bad news is that the world is still target rich with hacking opportunities.  

  • Two areas that we need to be concerned about
  • Internet of Things (IoT) are all those connected devices our subscribers are adding in homes - these are ripe for exploits which can compromise subscribes, generate unwanted traffic on our DOCSIS networks and potentially leave our DOCSIS network open to exploits
  • Second are WiFi exploits - Originally we just had WEP hacking and everyone moved to WPA.  However we are now seeing a lot of WPA exploits as well as WiFi routers with security flaws, including a number of very well known cable modems with built-in wifi routers that have serious security vulnerabilities.  Please check with your modem vendors as a number of them have released firmware updates in the month of July in response to the recent zero day exploits that have come out.  This is very serious stuff that puts our subscribers and DOCSIS networks at risk.

We had the PNM face to face meeting at Cablelabs headquarters in Louisville CO last week on Thursday and Friday.

Goal:  Update the current PNM Best Practices document which has not been updated in a few years.

  • Upstream spectrum analysis
  • Downstream spectrum analysis
  • Ingress detection
  • Recommended practices for using PNM
  • Finding echo cavities in the field
  • And more

The meeting was fantastic and gave all of us currently using and developing PNM an opportunity to share the latest technology.

Questions from the Mail Bag:

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Mia Colabrese

Mia Colabrese has over 20 years of Cable TV Broadband experience. Focused in telecommunications product development and marketing. She is a graduate from Penn State University.


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