Tag Archives: bandwidth caps

Security News for the Week Ending November 27, 2020

Senate Passes Legislation to Protect Against Deep Fakes

While I agree that deep fakes – photos and videos that use tech to make it look like someone is saying something or doing something that they never did – can be nasty, is that really the best use of the Senate’s time right now? In any case, they did pass the legislation, the IOGAN Act (S.2904) and sent it to the House. It directs the NSF to support deep fake research and NIST measure the problem and see if they can get private companies to spend their money on solving the problem. The bill plans to allocate a total of $6 million over 6 years towards the problem. Credit: The Register

Apple’s Global Security Team Charged with Bribing Sheriff with iPads

Not only is Apple in trouble but so is the Sheriff. Apparently the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office has decided that concealed carry weapons permits can be bought and sold – or at least they can be bought. Apple offered the Sheriff’s Department 200 iPads worth $75,000 if they got the permits. The undersheriff and a captain are now charged with soliciting bribes. Other folks, including Apple’s security chief are charged with offering bribes. Business as usual. Credit: The Register

Feds Fine JPMorgan $250 Million For Failing to Maintain Controls

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency fined JPMorgan Chase Bank for failing to maintain sufficient internal controls and internal audit. The OCC said the bank’s risk management practices were deficient. Probably not something you want the feds to tell you. Credit: Reuters

You Know Those Nigerian Hacker Stories – They Are Real

The feds have broken a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam operating out of Lagos, Nigeria. So far they have identified 50,000 targeted victims and 26 different malware tools. BEC attacks are growing in size and some Russian attacks netted over a million dollars each. Three men have been arrested. Credit: Threatpost

Comcast Imposes More Bandwidth Caps

While bandwidth caps have no real effect on network performance, they do have a great impact on Comcast’s balance sheet, so they are back to imposing them across the country. If you use more than 1.2 terabytes a month, they will charge you $10 for every extra 50 gigabytes up to $100 extra a month. Unless, of course, you buy their unlimited plan for an extra $30 a month, whether you use extra or not. Or unless you rent a modem from them for $25 a month. Given that American Internet prices are among highest in the world and American mobile Internet performance is below countries like Ethiopia and Uganda (see chart), it makes perfect sense that Monopolistic Internet providers will figure out how to charge us more for less. Credit: Vice

The Trump-Bytedance Dance Continues

The Trump administration has been trying to force Bytedance, owner of TikTok to sell the company or the administration was going to shut it down. The only problem is that there are 100 million users of TikTok in the U.S. and some percentage of them are Republicans and, politically, pissing off 100 million Americans is not a really great thing to do. As a result, the administration, which told Bytedance to sell in August, gave Bytedance another 15 day extension recently and now gave it another 7 day extension. Personally, I am fine with the administration killing TikTok off; it doesn’t seem like an important national asset, but those 100 million American users/voters probably disagree with me. Credit: Cybernews

Beware Your Internet Data Caps

The stats say that 75% of all bits on the Internet are for video and that is a number that is up from 63% two years ago.

Cisco says that Internet traffic will reach 396 exabytes a month by 2022.  That is 396,000,000,000,000,000,000 .  Which is a big number.

While regular video for, say, Netflix, consumes about 1 gigabyte an hour and HD video consumes about 3 gigabytes an hour, 4K video consumes about 10 gigabytes an hour.

As ISPs, who are typically also your cable TV provider, lose cable customers, they try to figure out how to make up that lost revenue.  One way to do that is to put data caps on your Internet.  Use more than your cap this month, you get to pay a surcharge of (it varies) maybe $10 for every 50 gigabytes extra that you use.

The Internet providers say they have to do it to manage their networks, but the evidence seems to support that it is actually just an extra way to make money.

There are actually two problems here.

One is how much data you are trying to push through the pipe per second.  If your pipe to the Internet isn’t big enough around, everything just slows down.

The other problem is how much data you use per month and does your plan have a cap.  Some do,  Others don’t.  Some charge you extra every single month to get rid of the cap, whether you would have exceeded it or not.  Others remove it if you buy more services from the vendor.

So what are you to do as a business or consumer?

Be a smart shopper.

Understand how fast your connection is,  For businesses, if you are paying for, say, a 100 megabit per second connection and you are always using 100 megabits per second, your users are probably sitting around watching the paint dry.  Getting a faster connection could save you money as people tend to get de-focused when it takes 30 seconds or more for the screen to refresh.

Same thing at home.  I hate waiting for my Internet “paint” to dry.  I live in the rural world so I make a tradeoff.  I can’t even buy service that legally qualifies as broadband, but that is a separate conversation.  Understand the speed that you have and ask your ISP how much you are using on average (per second) and at the peak to decide if you should upgrade your service to the next speed.

The other half is your total monthly usage.  Understand IF you have any usage caps and what they are?  Customers of fixed wireless and satellite are the most impacted, but cable has caps too – sometimes only 250 gigabytes per month but maybe as high as 1 terabyte.  Understand how much you are using and what your trend is so that you don’t get surprised by a penalty.

Some providers, including cellular, don’t give you a cap but instead slow down your traffic (called throttling) if you use too much.

Other providers will remove the cap if you pay extra every month, whether you exceed that cap or not.  You need to see if that  makes sense for you.

For businesses that have servers in a colo or in the cloud, those providers also charge more if you use more.

Bottom line – like in most situations, be a smart customer.  And understand your speed requirements and total usage.  Also, know that your usage is only going to go up, so you will need to revisit this conversation in a year.

Source: Motherboard.