New Program Provides Funding to Schools and Libraries Critical to Closing the Homework Gap
WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Far too often, students, teachers, and library patrons lack the access they need to broadband and connected devices. This need has become even more apparent during these unprecedented times,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman of the FCC. “Between this Emergency Connectivity Fund Program and the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households. These investments will help more Americans access online education, healthcare, and employment resources. They will help close the Homework Gap for students nationwide and give so many more households the ability to connect, communicate, and more fully participate in modern life.”
The Report and Order adopted today establishes the rules and policies governing the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The new rules define eligible equipment and services, service locations, eligible uses, and reasonable support amounts for funding provided. It designates the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) as the program administrator with FCC oversight, and leverages the processes and structures used in the ERate program for the benefit of schools and libraries already familiar with the E-Rate program. It also adopts procedures to protect the limited funding from waste, fraud, and abuse.
Recent estimates suggest there may be as many as 17 million children struggling without the broadband access they need for remote learning. The Acting Chairwoman has long made closing the Homework Gap a priority during her tenure at the Commission.
— Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Top photo: GettyImages
Historic $10.7B Initiative is Aimed at Closing the Homework Gap and Connecting Students to Opportunity – for Free
BELLEVUE, WA—With the need for equitable access to the internet more crucial than ever, T-Mobile has zeroed in on a bold goal: helping every single unconnected student in the U.S. get access to the internet connectivity they need to learn. In a recent video posted last month, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced that the Un-carrier’s $10.7 billion Project 10Million commitment is taking a big step toward accomplishing this vision. The program is now live and available to school districts.
But T-Mobile didn’t stop there. In response to the unique learning challenges students are experiencing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Un-carrier is expanding Project 10Million by giving school districts additional plan options with more data to best meet their students’ current needs.
T-Mobile previously committed to kick off Project 10Million once its merger with Sprint was complete, and now, as the supercharged Un-carrier, it is following through on that promise and putting its combined resources and network capacity to work. Through Project 10Million, T-Mobile is addressing the persistent homework gap experienced by more than 9 million children across the country who are unable to get online to complete at-home assignments. Project 10Million offers free wireless hotspots, up to 100GB per year of free high-speed data, and access to at-cost tablets and laptops, or the equivalent value of approximately $500 annually per student household.
Additionally, as COVID-19 forces up to 50 million students out of the physical classroom and into part- or full-time remote learning, the need for connectivity and greater bandwidth has dramatically increased. What was a homework gap has turned into an even more massive schoolwork gap, when students without internet access are completely left out of learning.
To address this urgent need, the Un-carrier has expanded Project 10Million by allowing participating school districts to apply the value of the free program to one of two new plans with MORE data. Schools can choose a 100GB per month option or a fully unlimited plan. The best part is that every district gets free wireless hotspots and access to at-cost laptops and tablets, and they have the flexibility to pick the solution that works best for their district. And it’s all still free to students. Interested school districts may sign anytime with T-Mobile at www.t-mobile.com/p10m.
“Education is the great leveler, but without internet access, kids will be left behind. T-Mobile has a big goal – to deliver connectivity to every child who needs it across the U.S. Starting now with our historic Project 10Million commitment, we’re going to help open A LOT of doors to opportunity that might have previously been closed,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “This issue is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted learning for many from the classroom to online. Big issues need big solutions, and that’s exactly why we’re not just launching but significantly enhancing Project 10Million and giving flexibility to educators so they can best address the unique needs of their students with plans that offer more data. As the supercharged Un-carrier, we now have the resources and network capacity to deliver reliable connectivity to students across the U.S. — and to tackle the critical homework gap and the schoolwork gap head-on!”
As classroom learning continues to shift to online learning, the need for internet connectivity is growing. It’s a problem T-Mobile has been working on closely with schools, state governments and technology partners since the pandemic started.
The expanded reach and capacity of T-Mobile’s network plays a crucial role in the Un-carrier’s ability to make reliable connectivity truly accessible to students across the U.S. This includes those in urban centers as well as underserved areas like rural America, where 1.7 million households do not have high-speed home internet service. Future Project 10Million recipients will also benefit from T-Mobile’s expanded 5G over time with faster speeds and even broader coverage.
Project 10Million builds on T-Mobile’s — and Sprint’s — longstanding focus on education and connecting students. Prior to merging in April 2020 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint had already connected nearly half a million students, and as COVID-19 started to impact schools, the combined company stepped up its efforts. Since March 2020, T-Mobile has connected over 1.6 million students in more than 3,100 school districts across the country. This includes the company’s part in New York City’s plan to connect more than 350,000 students with iPads and data when classes resume virtually. And the Un-carrier has partnered with the California Department of Education and Apple to connect up to another 1 million students as schools across the state prepare to start the next school year virtually.
“Since the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint have worked hand-in-hand with school districts, state governments and technology partners to bring connectivity solutions to those who need it most, connecting more than 1.6 million students in less than six months,” said Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business. “During the pandemic, we’ve had countless conversations with school districts and educators. We’ve consistently heard that they need more options that fit the unique needs of their students. We have expanded Project 10Million to tap into T-Mobile’s network resources and capacity, and take our support of educators and students to a whole new level. We’re going to make a HUGE difference for millions of students!”
Project 10Million is the third and final component of the Un-carrier 1.0 5G for Good commitments that the company announced before its merger with Sprint was approved. Since the completion of the merger, the company has now launched all three commitments, which also include Connecting Heroes and T-Mobile Connect.
Charter Will Make the Network Available by early September to Subscribers of Spectrum TV Silver and Higher Video Tiers
STAMFORD, Conn. – Charter Communications, Inc. today announced it plans to significantly expand distribution of Black News Channel (BNC), the nation’s only 24/7 African American-focused news network, by making the channel available to Spectrum TV subscribers throughout the company’s 41-state footprint by early September 2020.
Charter was one of the first pay TV providers to offer BNC in some of its biggest markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, upon the network’s launch in early 2020. Today’s announcement expands that access to Spectrum TV customers located in all Charter markets, including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Kansas City, Cincinnati and Columbia, providing Black News Channel even broader reach for its programming.
“Expanding distribution of Black News Channel will give even more Spectrum customers access to the network’s topical news,” said Tom Montemagno, Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisition for Charter. “It’s critical that we provide diverse perspectives on our lineups, and that we have programming that truly reflects the issues facing our customers and the communities we serve.”
BNC launched February 10 as the nation’s only provider of 24-hour cable news programming dedicated to covering the diverse perspective of African American communities. As an innovative and life-changing network, BNC’s mission is to provide intelligent programming that is informative, educational, inspiring and empowering to its African American audience.
“Charter Communications has been a great partner for our Network and has been committed to our success and the information needs of our audience from the start,” said BNC Chairman and co-founder J.C. Watts, Jr. “Expanding BNC‘s reach to subscribers throughout the Spectrum TV universe further demonstrates that commitment.”
The channel features coverage of national political, health, business and sports news; stories about Black history and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); and original programming, including the “Kelly Wright Show,” “Being a Woman” with hosts Lauren McCoy and Rarione Maniece, and “Doctor for the People” hosted by Dr. Corey Hebert. More information about Black News Channel and its programs is available at www.BlackNewsChannel.com.
BNC will be available upon launch at no additional charge to Spectrum TV customers who have Spectrum TV Silver, Digital Tier Package 1, or Spectrum Lifestyle TV. More information about how to subscribe and local channel locations is available at www.spectrum.com.
– Source and photo: Charter Communications and Devlin Design Group
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Cisco today unveiled further details behind its technology strategy for building a new internet — one designed to push digital innovation beyond the performance, economic and power consumption limitations of current infrastructure. A multi-year approach that is defining the Internet for decades to come, Cisco’s strategy is already delivering technology breakthroughs to pave the way for the world’s developers to create applications and services they have only begun to imagine.
Cisco introduced its latest innovation including Cisco Silicon OneTM, the industry’s only networking silicon architecture of its kind; released the new Cisco 8000 Series, the world’s most powerful carrier class routers built on the new silicon; and announced new purchasing options that enable customers to consume the company’s technology through disaggregated business models.
“Innovation requires focused investment, the right team and a culture that values imagination,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco. “We are dedicated to transforming the industry to build a new internet for the 5G era. Our latest solutions in silicon, optics and software represent the continued innovation we’re driving that helps our customers stay ahead of the curve and create new, ground-breaking experiences for their customers and end users for decades to come.”
Building Blocks for the Internet for the Future
Over the next decade, digital experiences will be created with advanced technologies — virtual and augmented reality, 16K streaming, AI, 5G, 10G, quantum computing, adaptive and predictive cybersecurity, intelligent IOT, and others not yet invented. These future generations of applications will drive complexity beyond the capabilities current internet infrastructure can viably support.
For the past five years, Cisco has driven a technology strategy that is building the internet our customers will need for the future success of their business in an advanced digital world. Aimed at solving the toughest problems that will emerge as digital transformation taxes current infrastructure to its breaking point, this strategy will lead to the next-generation of internet infrastructure that combines Cisco’s new silicon architecture with its next-generation of optics. Cisco’s strategy will change the economics behind how the internet will be built to support the demands of future, digital applications and will enable customers to operate their businesses with simpler, more cost-effective networks.
Cisco’s strategy is based on development and investments in three key technology areas: silicon, optics and software.
“Pushing the boundaries of innovation to the next level — far beyond what we experience today — is critical for the future and we believe silicon, optics and software are the technology levers that will deliver this outcome,” said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of the Networking and Security Business at Cisco. “Cisco’s technology strategy is not about the next-generation of a single product area. We have spent the past several years investing in whole categories of independent technologies that we believe will converge in the future — and ultimately will allow us to solve the hardest problems on the verge of eroding the advancement of digital innovation. This strategy is delivering the most ambitious development project the company has ever achieved.”
Introducing Cisco Silicon One – Breakthrough Unified, Programmable Silicon Architecture
The new Cisco Silicon One will be the foundation of Cisco’s routing portfolio going forward, with expected near-term performance availability up to 25 Terabits per second (Tbps). This is the industry’s first networking chip designed to be universally adaptable across service provider and web-scale markets. Designed for both fixed and modular platforms, it can manage the most challenging requirements in a way that’s never been done before. The first Cisco Silicon One ‘Q100’ model surpasses the 10 Tbps routing milestone for network bandwidth without sacrificing programmability, buffering, power efficiency, scale or feature flexibility.
Traditionally, multiple types of silicon with different capabilities are used across a network and even within a single device. Developing new features and testing can be lengthy and expensive. Unified and programmable silicon will allow for network operators to greatly reduce costs of operations and reduce time-to-value for new services.
“We look forward to working with Cisco as it enters the high-end routing silicon space, collaborating to help meet the next generation of network demands for higher speeds and greater capacity,” said Amin Vahdat, fellow and vice president of Systems Infrastructure, Google Cloud.
“Facebook has been a strong advocate for network disaggregation and open ecosystems, launching key industry initiatives such as the Open Compute Project and the Telecom Infrastructure Project to transform the networking industry,” said Najam Ahmad, vice president, Network Engineering at Facebook. “Cisco’s new Silicon One architecture is aligned with this vision, and we believe this model offers network operators diverse and flexible options through a disaggregated approach.”
“Cisco is changing the economics of powering the Internet, innovating across hardware, software, optics and silicon to help its customers better manage the operational costs to function on a larger scale for the next phase of the Internet,” said Ray Mota, CEO and principal analyst at ACG Research. “As we move to 2020, the timing of delivering operational efficiency will be vital.”
Introducing: Cisco 8000 Series Platform Powered by Cisco Silicon One– Industry Leading Performance
The new Cisco 8000 series is the first platform built with Cisco Silicon One Q100. It is engineered to help service providers and web-scale companies reduce the costs of building and operating mass-scale networks for the 5G, AI and IOT era. Standout features include:
Optimized for 400 Gbps and beyond, starting at 10.8 Tbps in just a single rack unit
Powered by the new, cloud-enhanced Cisco IOS XR7 networking operating system software, designed to simplify operations and lower operational costs
Offers enhanced cybersecurity with integrated trust technology for real-time insights into the trustworthiness of your critical infrastructure
Service providers gain more bandwidth scale and programmability to deliver Tbps in even the most power and space constrained network locations
Global Customer Deployments and Trials
Cisco is working with a group of pioneering customers on deployments and trials of the Cisco 8000 Series. STC, the leading telecom services provider in the Middle East, Northern Africa region, marks the first customer deploying the new technology. Ongoing trials include Comcast and NTT Communications among others.
Optics for 400G and Beyond
Building a new internet that can support future digital innovation will depend on continued breakthroughs in silicon and optics technologies. Cisco is unique in the industry with advanced intellectual property in both areas.
As port rates increase from 100G to 400G and beyond, optics become an increasingly larger portion of the cost to build and operate internet infrastructure. Cisco is investing organically to assure our customers that as router and switch port rates continue to increase, optics will be designed to meet the industry’s stringent reliability and quality standards.
Through the company’s qualification program, Cisco will test its optics to comply with industry standards and operate in Cisco – and non-Cisco hosts. With this program, customers can utilize Cisco optics in applications where non-Cisco hosts have been deployed and have confidence that the optics will meet the reliability and quality standards that they have come to expect from Cisco.
In addition, as silicon and silicon photonics advance, functions that were traditionally delivered in separate chassis-based solutions will soon be available in pluggable form factors. This transition has significant potential benefits for network operators in terms of operational simplicity. Cisco is investing in silicon photonics technologies to effect architectural transitions in datacenter networks and service provider networks that will drive down cost, reduce power and space, and simplify network operations.
Changing the Economics of the Internet with Flexible Business Models
Cisco also announced plansto offer flexible consumption models first established with Cisco’s Optics portfolio, followed by the disaggregation of the Cisco IOS XR7 software, and now including Cisco Silicon One. This new model is highly adaptable and offers customers choice of components, white box, or integrated systems to build their networks. This approach matches the evolving nature of operators selecting discrete or aggregated technology elements for their buildout and creates new economics of the Internet to provide significant business value.
National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. (right) says NNPA’s partnership with BNC is a profound win-win for Black America. Dr. Chavis is joined (L-R) by former Congressman J.C. Watts, BNC Chairman and Jacksonville Jaguars Owner, Shad Khan, BNC majority stakeholder. — NNPA photo.
by Stacy M. Brown | NNPA Newswire
NEW YORK—In a joint teleconference broadcast live from the Four Season’s Hotel in New York’s Financial District, the Black News Channel (BNC) and the National Newspaper Publishers Association announced the official launch date and time for the nation’s first 24-hour, 7-days a week all-news TV channel that will focus on African American news.
The new channel promises to inform, educate, and empower nearly 50 million African Americans now living in the United States.
The potential for the network appears almost limitless.
BNC will immediately have the potential to reach 33 million households daily in all the major media markets across the nation.
Combined with the millions of readers who consume information from NNPA’s Black-owned newspapers and media companies each week, the BNC could quickly become the top destination for all who want to consume African American news on TV and on mobile devices.
BNC, which officially launches at 6 a.m. on Friday, November 15, 2019, has agreements with Charter Communications, Comcast and DISH TV. The network already has commitments for carriage in major African American hubs like Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Los Angeles.
Tallahassee, Florida, houses BNC’s headquarters, and the network will have news bureaus around the country, including Washington, D.C. and New York City.
Former Republican U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts is chairman of BNC, which is backed financially by business mogul and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan.
“This platform will create a venue for the African American community to have a dialogue to talk about news, education and cultural things,” stated Watts, who added that the network has been in the planning stage for many years.
“I had an afro when I started this,” Watts referenced.
“It’s especially important to have the Black Press of America join us in this venture. I bet most people don’t realize that there are 223 African American-owned newspapers in the NNPA, and that’s content for us,” Watts stated.
“We suffered a big blow with the loss of Ebony and Jet, publications I grew up reading. But I still read the Black Press in Oklahoma City, growing up.”
NNPA President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., who participated in the teleconference, said the NNPA’s partnership with the BNC is a profound win-win for Black America.
“This year marks the 192nd year of the Black Press of America. Black Americans striving for excellence in all fields of endeavor give life to our culture that attracts and impacts all people. We set trends for ourselves and others,” Chavis stated.
“We’re not a cursed people, and we are a blessed people. We continue to strive for excellence, and to have Shad Khan announced as a primary investor for the launch and sustainable development of the BNC is of major significance,” Chavis noted.
Kahn told NNPA Newswire that the decision to back BNC was easy once he looked at the mission and the business model.
“I am a big believer in the fact that we have a number of communities, obviously especially the African American community, who are underserved,” stated Kahn, a magnate in the auto equipment industry.
In addition to the Jaguars, he owns the Fulham Football Club of the English Football League, All Elite Wrestling, and the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.
“I hope that as time goes on, this becomes a bridge to connect all the cultures, including obviously south Asian. But I do believe there is an undeniable calling for everything the Black News Channel will deliver to African American television audiences, who have historically been underserved in an era where networks have otherwise successfully targeted news to specific demographic groups and interests. My decision to invest is an easy one because we get to answer that calling,” Kahn explained.
Both Watts and Kahn promised that BNC will give a voice to the varied experiences of African Americans and will not just tell a segment of the story but will tell the entire story.
“We will inform, educate, inspire, and empower the African American community,” Watts added.
BNC will have three primary anchor teams who will host the network’s evening newscast, morning newscast, and mid-day D.C. Today Live broadcast. In addition to primary anchor teams, BNC also will have high-profile expert contributors who will add commentary and information to each newscast.
The network will work with historically black colleges and universities to ensure that all African Americans have a voice.
A BNC correspondent will examine life on the HBCU campuses and explain why the experiences students have at these institutions of learning are so meaningful in the cultural development of many students’ lives. The weekly one-hour program will focus on what is happening at HBCUs that is good, positive, and uplifting.
Additionally, one of the many topics will include Sickle Cell Diseases, the blood disorder that disproportionately affects African Americans.
Veteran TV anchor Kelly Wright, who will host a 6 p.m. show on BNC, said his inaugural program would include a segment on the NNPA’s missing black girls national series.
That series spotlights the more than 424,000 African American women and girls who have gone missing in the United States over the past half-decade.
“We’re not looking to be Republican or Democrat. There will be current affairs, but we are culturally specific to the African American community. MSNBC, Fox News, CNN may have African American faces on their news shows, but they are not necessarily covering the community from a cultural perspective,” Watts stated. “We’re not looking to be left or right. We will be authentic and true to enriched and diverse African American experience.”
SAN JOSE, COASTA RICA — The Internet Hall of Fame announced last week the names of eleven pioneers and visionaries who have made outstanding contributions to the Internet’s global growth, reach, and security. The new inductees were honored at a special ceremony held in the Costa Rican capital.
Larry Irving, from the United States, was the driving force behind the identification of the Digital Divide in the U.S, igniting global interests in the issue. In this video shown above, he shares new and untold insights from his career and interests. The former NTIA head is credited with coining term ‘Digital Divide’ and becomes the first African American inducted into the Society’s Hall of Fame.
This year’s inductees have joined other Internet luminaries in the Internet Hall of Fame. They have helped shape today’s Internet by expanding its reach into new regions and communities, pioneering a greater understanding of the way the Internet works, and enhancing security to increase user trust in the network.
Inductees for 2019 are:
Adiel Akplogan (Africa) advanced Internet development in Togo and across Africa, and served as founding CEO of the Regional Internet Registry for Africa
Kimberly Claffy (United States) pioneered the field of Internet data collection, measurement and analysis
Douglas Comer (United States) wrote the first series of authoritative textbooks explaining the scientific principles of the Internet’s design and its communications protocols
Elise Gerich (United States) was instrumental in the transition of the NSFNET to the modern-day Internet and of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions from stewardship of the U.S. government to a multistakeholder community
Larry Irving (United States) was a driving force behind the identification of the Digital Divide in the U.S, igniting global interest in the issue
Dan Lynch (United States) drove adoption of TCP/IP protocols and played a key role in driving the Internet towards a commercial network
Jean Armour Polly (United States) pioneered free Internet access in public libraries
José Soriano (Peru) was a leader in bringing the Internet to Peru and designed a replicable “public Internet” model
Michael Stanton (Brazil) was instrumental in bringing the Internet to Brazil, and continues to participate in the design and deployment of scalable optical networks in South America and around the world
Klaas Wierenga (Netherlands) invented eduroam, an international Wi-Fi roaming service for academic and research communities in over 100 countries
Suguru Yamaguchi (Japan) was a cybersecurity research pioneer and global leader in its deployment; founded Asia Pacific broadband Internet research and educational network project via satellite
“The Internet’s design has always enabled people to see a problem, and get to work on solving it,” noted Andrew Sullivan, Internet Society President and CEO. “This year’s inductees have given us all great gifts of their creative approaches to issues they saw on the Internet. We can take inspiration from them to tackle the next round of challenges.”
This year’s ceremony marks the first time the awards will be held in Latin America since the program’s inception in 2012. Costa Rica was selected to host the event for the strong example it has set in employing a collaborative approach to Internet governance, and the systematic steps it has taken to close the country’s digital divide.
The Internet Hall of Fame recognizes individuals worldwide who have played an extraordinary role in the conceptualization, building, and development of the global Internet. In addition to those who have been more visible, it recognizes those who have made crucial, behind-the-scenes contributions. Inductees are selected by an Advisory Board of past inductees who guide the long-term planning and direction of the program.
— Source: The Internet Society
Photo and video credits: Elon University
PHILADELPHIA, PA—Comcast has purchased Arlington, Va.-based cybersecurity firm BluVector for an undisclosed sum.
BluVector develops and provides platforms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning designed to help government agencies and companies detect and address zero-day malware, ransomware and other cyber threats, Comcast said Friday.
Eric Malawer, a more than 20-year technology industry veteran, will serve as CEO of BluVector and lead the company’s growth efforts as part of Comcast.
“We’re thrilled that BluVector is part of Comcast and are excited to support its continued growth, even as we explore new opportunities to leverage BluVector technology and expertise,” said Don Mathis, general manager of growth at Comcast.
Kris Lovejoy, founding CEO of BluVector, will continue to serve as consultant and adviser to Comcast and BluVector.
Noopur Davis, chief information security officer at Comcast, will oversee efforts to identify opportunities to support new offerings and programs through the combined expertise and technologies of both firms.
BOSTON, MA — As digital assets continue to proliferate, they are becoming much more widely accepted. Should a person’s digital asset holdings be a part of their overall financial picture? In an effort to find out, Fidelity Labs, the research and development (R&D) and innovation unit of Fidelity Investments, launched an experiment with digital assets, accessible by the majority of Fidelity customer households across the country with Coinbase® wallet accounts.
For this test, Fidelity Labs partnered with Coinbase, a well-known digital wallet and digital asset exchange platform. Individual customers can now authorize Coinbase to provide Fidelity with data on holdings in their Coinbase wallet accounts so that customers can view their Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin balances alongside other accounts in their Fidelity Portfolio Summary views on their Fidelity.com portals.
“Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies are emerging from their infancy but mass adoption is still many years away. And don’t underestimate their disruptive nature. Just as many other technologies have done in the past, Bitcoin and blockchain will transform how we manage our finances,” said Hadley Stern, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at Fidelity Labs.
ILFRACOMBE, England —Marcus Hutchins and other computer experts around the world worked throughout this past weekend fighting a vast “ransomware” attack paralyzing computers in at least 150 countries.
Before ‘WannaCry‘ struck, AP reports Hutchins was just another young man “doing his bit to stop botnets.” Hutchins, who lives with his parents, recently is shown amid newly released photos revealing a self-assembled IT hub in his small bedroom with computer servers, monitors, and video games. His other images reportedly show he is a self-taught coder who attends DEF CON in Las Vegas, a renowned annual conference established in 1993 for the hacking community.
British IT expert Marcus Hutchins who has been branded a hero for slowing down the WannaCry global cyber attack, sits in front of his workstation during an interview in Ilfracombe, England. Hutchins thwarted the virus that took computer files hostage around the world, including the British National Health computer network, telling The Associated Press he doesn’t consider himself a hero but fights malware because “it’s the right thing to do.’’
Photo: AP Photo by Frank Augstein
British IT Expert Discovers “Kill Switch“
AP reports during the first few hours after the new virus launched, Hutchins and other web surfing enthusiasts discovered a so-called “kill switch” which eventually was used to slow this unprecedented outbreak. Hutchins then spent the next several hours fighting the new worm that crippled Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), government agencies and banks across Europe, as well as other businesses around the world.
The ‘Secret Sauce‘
Hutchins discovered a solution when analyzing samples of the malicious code. He soon realized it was linked to an unregistered domain name. For a few pounds [dollars], he simply registered the newly discovered domain. As luck would have it, this tactic all but stopped the worm from spreading to other vulnerable enterprises, unpatched servers, and personal computers across the globe.
Hutchins works for U.S.-based Kryptos Logic. According to Kryptos Logic’s CEO, Salim Neino, Hutchins’ quick work slowed the ‘WannaCry‘ virus in European time, before it could fully affect the United States.
This latest cybersecurity episode is eerily similar to the Northeast U.S. blackout events of 2003, where a “software bug” set off several alarms resulting in a series of unintended consequential events. Unaffected areas in the Northeast and the remaining Mid-Atlantic states were protected by transmission circuit devices or disconnected thus preventing outages from rapidly cascading onto other electric grids across U.S. Mid Atlantic states and beyond.
NEW YORK (AP) — It’s hard to get excited about a cable box. It’s basically a boring oblong you put on a shelf near your TV and never think of again unless your cable service goes out.
But it’s at the center of a battle pitting technology companies and the government against the TV industry. The Federal Communications Commission wants to let you buy your own cable box in hopes of saving you money and getting you new features. The cable industry worries about losing the power to frame how you get your video — and with it, billions of dollars in revenue. Some in Hollywood also worry about losing advertising dollars.