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IBM Integrates with BMW CarData to Enable New Services for Drivers

CarData gives BMW customers the ability to share telematics data from their vehicles with third parties of their choice, which could be a local repair shop, parts distributor or insurance company.

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Broad smiles, good suits and fake IDs test security in new dimensions FEATURE "Go to this McDonald's," Chris Gatford told me. "There's a 'Create Your Taste' burger-builder PC there and you should be able to access the OS.

Find that machine, open the command prompt and pretend to do something important. "I'll be watching you." Gatford instructed your reporter to visit the burger barn because he practices a form of penetration testing called "red teaming", wherein consultants attack clients using techniques limited only by their imagination, ingenuity, and bravado. He wanted me to break the burger-builder to probe my weaknesses before he would let The Register ride along on a red-team raid aimed at breaking into the supposedly secure headquarters of a major property chain worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Before we try for that target, Gatford, director of penetrations testing firm HackLabs, wants to know if I will give the game away during a social engineering exploit. Chris Gatford (Image: Darren Pauli / The Register) So when the McDonald's computer turns out to have been fixed and my fake system administrator act cancelled, we visit an office building's lobby where Gatford challenges me to break into a small glass-walled room containing a shabby-looking ATM. I can't see a way into the locked room.
I think I see a security camera peering down from the roof, but later on I'm not sure I did.
I can't think of a way in and I'm trying to look so casual I know I'm certain to look nervous. Time's up.

Gatford is finished with the lobby clerk. He asks how I would get in, and hints in my silence that the door responds to heat sensors. I mutter something stupid about using a hair dryer.

Gatford laughs and reminds me about heat packs you'd slip into gloves or ski boots. "Slide one of those under the crack," he says. I've failed that test but stayed cool, so Gatford decides he's happy to have me along on a red-team raid, if only because red teams seldom face significant resistance. "At the end of the day, people just want to help," Gatford says. Red alert Costume is therefore an important element of a red team raid.

For this raid, our software exploits are suits and clipboards.
Sometimes it's high-visibility tradie vests, hard hats, or anything that makes a security tester appear legitimate. Once dressed for the part, practitioners use social-engineering skills to manipulate staff into doing their bidding.

Fans of Mr Robot may recall an episode where the protagonist uses social engineering to gain access to a highly secure data centre; this is red teaming stylised.

Think a real-world capture the flag where the flags are located in the CEO's office, the guard office, and highly secure areas behind multiple layers of locked doors. By scoring flags, testers demonstrate the fallibility of physical defences. Only one manager, usually the CEO of the target company, tends to know an operation is afoot. Limited knowledge, or black-box testing, is critical to examine the real defences of an organisation. Red teamers are typically not told anything outside of the barebones criteria of the job, while staff know nothing at all.
It catches tech teams off guard and can make them look bad.

Gatford is not the only tester forced to calm irate staff with the same social engineering manipulation he uses to breach defences. Red teamers almost always win, pushing some to more audacious attacks. Vulture South knows of one Australian team busted by police after the black-clad hackers abseiled down from the roof of a data centre with Go-Pro cameras strapped to their heads. Across the Pacific, veteran security tester Charles Henderson tells of how years back he exited a warehouse after a red-teaming job. "I was walking out to leave and I looked over and saw this truck," Henderson says. "It was full of the company's disks ready to be shredded.

The keys were in it." Henderson phoned the CEO and asked if the truck was in-scope, a term signalling a green light for penetration testers.
It was, and if it weren't for a potential call to police, he would have hopped into the cab and drove off. Henderson now leads Dell's new red-teaming unit in the United States, which he also built from the ground up. "There are some instances where criminal law makes little distinction between actions and intent, placing red teams in predicaments during an assignment, particularly when performing physical intrusion tasks," Nathaniel Carew and Michael McKinnon from Sense of Security's Melbourne office say. "They should always ensure they carry with them a letter of authority from the enterprise." Your reporter has, over pints with the hacking community, heard many stories of law enforcement showing up during red-team ops. One Australian was sitting off a site staring through a military-grade sniper scope, only to have a cop tap on the window.

Gatford some years ago found himself face-to-face in a small room with a massive industrial furnace while taking a wrong turn on a red-team assignment at a NSW utility. He and his colleagues were dressed in suits.

Another tester on an assignment in the Middle East was detained for a day by AK-47-wielding guards after the CEO failed to answer the phone. Red teamers have been stopped by police in London, Sydney, and Quebec, The Register hears. One of Australia's notably talented red teamers told of how he completely compromised a huge gaming company using his laptop and mobile phone. Whether red teaming on site or behind the keyboard, the mission is the same: breach by any means necessary. Equipment check A fortnight after the ATM incident, The Register is at HackLabs' Manly office.
It's an unassuming and unmarked door that takes this reporter several minutes to spot. Upstairs, entry passes to international hacker cons are draped from one wall, a collection of gadgets on a neighbouring shelf.

Then there's the equipment area.
Scanners, radios, a 3D printer, and network equipment sit beside identity cards sporting the same face but different names and titles.

There's a PwnPlug and three versions of the iconic Wi-Fi Pineapple over by the lockpicks.

A trio of neon hard hats dangle from hooks. "What do you think?" Gatford asks.
It's impressive; a messy collection of more hacking gadgets than this reporter had seen in one place, all showing use or in some stage of construction.

This is a workshop of tools, not toys. "No one uses the secure stuff, mate." In his office, Gatford revealed the target customer. The Register agrees to obscure the client's name, and any identifying particulars, so the pseudonym "Estate Brokers" will serve.

Gatford speaks of the industry in which it operates, Brokers' clientele, and their likely approach to security. The customer has multiple properties in Sydney's central business district, some housing clients of high value to attackers.
It has undergone technical security testing before, but has not yet evaluated its social engineering resilience. The day before, Gatford ran some reconnaissance of the first building we are to hit, watching the flow of people in and out of the building from the pavement. Our targets, he says, are the bottlenecks like doors and escalators that force people to bunch up. JavaScript Disabled Please Enable JavaScript to use this feature. He unzips a small suitcase revealing what looks like a large scanner, with cables and D-cell batteries flowing from circuit boards. "It's an access card reader", Gatford says.
It reads the most common frequencies used by the typically white rigid plastic door entry cards that dangle from staffer waists.

There are more secure versions that this particular device does not read without modification. "No one uses the secure stuff, mate," Gatford says with the same half-smile worn by most in his sector when talking about the pervasive unwillingness to spend on security. I point to a blue plastic card sleeve that turns out to be a SkimSAFE FIPS 201-certified anti-skimming card protector.

Gatford pops an access card into it and waves it about a foot in front of the suitcase-sized scanner.
It beeps and card number data flashes up on a monitor. "So much for that," Gatford laughs. He taps away at his Mac, loading up Estate Brokers' website. "We'll need employee identity cards or we'll be asked too many questions," Gatford says. We are to play the role of contractors on site to conduct an audit of IT equipment, so we will need something that looks official enough to pass cursory inspection. The company name and logo image is copied over, a mug shot of your reporter snapped, and both are printed on a laminated white identity card.

Gatford does the same for himself. We're auditors come to itemise Estate Brokers' security systems and make sure everything is running. "We should get going," he says as he places hacking gear into a hard shell suitcase.
So off we go. Beep beep beep beepbeepbeep Our attack was staged in two parts over two days.

Estate Brokers has an office in a luxurious CBD tower. We need to compromise that in order to breach the second line of defences. We'll need an access card to get through the doors, however, and our laptop-sized skimmer, which made a mockery of the SkimSAFE gadget, will be the key. It is 4:32pm and employees are starting to pour out of the building.

Gatford hands me the skimmer concealed in a very ordinary-looking laptop bag. "Go get some cards," he says. Almost everyone clips access cards on their right hip.
If I can get the bag within 30cm of the cards, I'll hear the soft beep I've been training my ear to detect that signals a successful read. Maybe one in 20 wear their access cards like a necklace. "Hold your bag in your left hand, and pretend to check the time on your watch," Gatford says.

That raises the scanner high enough to get a hit. I'm talking to no one on my mobile as I clumsily weave in and out of brisk walking staff, copping shade from those whose patience has expired for the day.

Beep.

Beep.

Beep, beep, beep, beep, beepbeepbeepbeep.

There are dozens of beeps, far too many to count.

Then we enter a crowded lift and it's like a musical.
It's fun, exhilarating stuff.

The staff hail from law firms, big tech, even the Federal Government.

And we now have their access cards. Estate Brokers is on level 10, but we need a card to send the lift to it. No matter, people just want to help, remember? The lady in the lift is more than happy to tap her card for the two smiling blokes in suits.

Gatford knows the office and puts me in front. "Walk left, second right, second left, then right." I recite it. With people behind us, I walk out and start to turn right, before tightening, and speeding up through the security door someone has propped open. We enter an open-plan office. "They are terrible for security," I recall Gatford saying earlier that day.
It allows attackers to walk anywhere without the challenge of doors. Lucky for us.

Gatford takes the lead and we cruise past staff bashing away their final hour in cubicles, straight to the stationery room. No one is there as Gatford fills a bag with letter heads and branded pens, while rifling through for other things that could prove useful. We head back to the lobby for a few more rounds of card stealing. Not all the reads come out clean, and not all the staff we hit are from Estate Brokers, so it pays to scan plenty of cards. "Look out for that guard down there," Gatford says, indicating the edge of the floor where a security guard can be seen on ground level. "Tell you what, if you can get his card, I'll give you 50 bucks." "You're on," I say. The guard has his card so high on his chest it is almost under his chin.

At this point I think I'm unbeatable so after one nerve-cooling circuit on the phone, I walk up to him checking my watch with my arm so high I know I look strange.
I don't care, though, because I figure customer service is a big thing in the corporate world and he'll keep his opinions to himself.
I ask him where some made-up law firm is as I hear the beep. Silver tongue It is 8:30am the next day and I am back in Gatford's office. We peruse the access cards. He opens up the large text file dump of yesterday's haul and tells me what the data fields represent. "These are the building numbers; they cycle between one and 255, and these are the floor numbers," he says.

There are blank fields and junk characters from erroneous scans. He works out which belong to Estate Brokers and writes them to blank cards.

They work. More reconnaissance.

Estate Brokers has more buildings that Gatford will test after your reporter leaves. He fires up Apple Maps, and Google Maps Street View. With the eyes of a budding red teamer I am staggered by the level of detail it offers.

Apple is great for external building architecture, like routing pathways across neighbouring rooftops, Gatford says, while Google lets you explore the front of buildings for cameras and possible sheltered access points.
Some mapping services even let you go inside lobbies. Today's mission is to get into the guards' office and record the security controls in place.
If we can learn the name and version of the building management system, we've won.

Anything more is a bonus for Gatford's subsequent report. We take the Estate Brokers stationery haul along with our access cards and fake identity badges and head out to the firm's second site. "Don't hesitate, be confident." But first, coffee in the lobby. We chat about red teaming, about how humans are always the weakest link. We eat and are magnanimous with the waiting staff.

Gatford gets talking to one lady and says how he has forgotten the building manager's name. "Jason sent us in," he says, truthfully. Jason is the guy who ordered the red team test, but we don't have anything else to help us.

The rest is up to Gatford's skills. It takes a few minutes for the waitress to come back.

The person who she consulted is suspicious and asks a few challenging questions. Not to worry, we have identity cards and Gatford is an old hand.
I quietly muse over how I would have clammed up and failed at this point, but I'm happily in the backseat, gazing at my phone. We use the access cards skimmed the day earlier to take the lift up to an Estate Brokers level.
It is a cold, white corridor, unkempt, and made for services, not customers.

There's a security door, but no one responds to our knocks.

There are CCTV cameras. We return down to the lobby. Michael is the manager Gatford had asked about. He is standing at the lifts with another guy, and they greet us with brusque handshakes, Michael's barely concealed irritation threatening to boil over in response to our surprise audit. He rings Jason, but there's no answer.
I watch Gatford weave around Michael's questions and witness the subtle diffusion.
It's impressive stuff. Michael says the security room is on the basement level, so we head back into the lift and beep our way down with our cards. This room is lined with dank, white concrete and dimly lit. We spy the security room beaming with CCTV. "Don't hesitate, be confident," Gatford tells me. We stride towards the door, knock, and Gatford talks through the glass slit to the guard inside. Gatford tells him our story. He's a nice bloke, around 50 years old, with a broad smile.

After some back-and-forth about how Jason screwed up and failed to tell anyone about the audit, he lets us in. My pulse quickens as Gatford walks over to a terminal chatting away to the guard.

There are banks of CCTV screens showing footage from around the building.

A pile of access cards.
Some software boxes. I hear the guard telling Gatford how staff use remote desktop protocol to log in to the building management system, our mission objective. "What version?" Gatford asks. "Uh, 7.1.
It crashes a lot." Bingo. Day one, heading up in a crowded lift.
Shot with a pen camera I look down and there are logins scrawled on Post-it notes. Of course.
I snap a few photos while their backs are turned. Behind me is a small room with a server rack and an unlocked cabinet full of keys.
I think Gatford should see it so I walk back out and think of a reason to chat to the guard.
I don't want to talk technology because I'm worried my nerves will make me say something stupid.
I see a motorbike helmet. "What do you ride?" I ask. He tells me about his BMW 1200GS. Nice bike.
I tell him I'm about ready to upgrade my Suzuki and share a story about a recent ride through some mountainous countryside. Gatford, meanwhile, is out of sight, holed up in the server room snapping photos of the racks and keys. More gravy for the report. We thank the guard and leave.
I feel unshakably guilty. From the red to the black Gatford and I debrief over drinks, a beer for me, single-malt whiskey for him. We talk again about how the same courtesy and acquiescence to the customer that society demands creates avenues for manipulation. It isn’t just red teamers who exploit this; their craft is essentially ancient grifts and cons that have ripped off countless gullible victims, won elections or made spear phishing a viable attack. I ask Gatford why red teaming is needed when the typical enterprise fails security basics, leaving old application security vulnerabilities in place, forgetting to shut down disused domains and relying on known bad practice checkbox compliance-driven audits. "You can't ignore one area of security just to focus on another," he says. "And you don't do red teaming in isolation." Carew and McKinnon agree, adding that red teaming is distinct from penetration testing in that it is a deliberately hostile attack through the easiest path to the heart of organisations, while the former shakes out all electronic vulnerabilities. "Penetration testing delivers an exhaustive battery of digital intrusion tests that find bugs from critical, all the way down to informational... and compliance problems and opportunities," they say in a client paper detailing aspects of red teaming [PDF]. "In contrast, red teaming aims to exploit the most effective vulnerabilities in order to capture a target, and is not a replacement for penetration testing as it provides nowhere near the same exhaustive review." Red teaming, they say, helps organisations to better defend against competitors, organised crime, and even cops and spys in some countries. Gatford sells red teaming as a package.

Australia's boutique consultancies, and those across the ditch in New Zealand, pride themselves on close partnerships with their clients.

They point out the holes, and then help to heal.

They offer mitigation strategies, harass vendors for patches, and help businesses move bit by bit from exposed to secure. For his part, Gatford is notably proud of his gamified social engineering training, which he says is designed to showcase the importance of defence against the human side of security, covering attacks like phishing and red teaming. He's started training those keen on entering red teaming through a three-day practical course. "Estate Brokers", like others signing up for this burgeoning area of security testing, will go through that training.

Gatford will walk staff through how he exploited their kindness to breach the secure core of the organisation. And how the next time, it could be real criminals who exploit their willingness to help. ®

Non-cable Internet providers offer faster speeds to the wealthy

reader comments 13 Share this story When noncable internet providers — outlets like AT&T or Verizon — choose which communities to offer the fastest connections, they don’t juice up their networks so everyone in their service areas has the option of buying quicker speeds.
Instead, they tend to favor the wealthy over the poor, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. The Center’s data analysis found that the largest noncable Internet providers collectively offer faster speeds to about 40 percent of the population they serve nationwide in wealthy areas compared with just 22 percent of the population in poor areas.

That leaves tens of millions of Americans with the choice of either purchasing an expensive connection from the only provider in their area — typically a cable company — or just doing the best they can with slower speeds. Middle-income areas don’t fare much better, with a bit more than 27 percent of the population having access to a DSL provider’s fastest speeds.

The Center reached its conclusions by merging the latest Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data with income information from the US Census Bureau. The FCC, which regulates the industry, defines broadband as a download speed of at least 25 megabits per second.

Those speeds are mostly only available through wired connections to the home.
It’s the speed that the agency believes is needed to support multiple devices on a single connection, stream uninterrupted movies and educational videos, upload photos, and allow for future applications such as in-home health services and networked homes. The noncable internet providers — the four largest are AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., CenturyLink Inc., and Frontier Communications Corp. — hook up customers over telephone wires that are Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL), or they use hybrid networks that include some fiber connections near (and sometimes directly to) homes.

The Center included all types of connection in its analysis.

These companies account for nearly 40 percent of the 92 million internet connections nationwide. Cable companies, such as Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications Inc., operate under a different set of conditions.

These providers offer the same fast speeds to almost every community they serve, in part because of franchise agreements with local governments.

But a previous Center investigation and other reports have shown that cable firms sometimes avoid lower-income or hard-to-reach areas based on how franchise agreements are written. Poor areas not served by the cable companies are not included in the Center’s analysis, which results in what seems like an equitable distribution of speeds across income levels. In addition, Internet speeds sent over coaxial cable used by the cable firms don’t degrade over long distances as they do over copper telephone lines.

That means that in order to keep speeds from slowing, DSL carriers must make costly investments in equipment, including fiber cable in some places. It would seem DSL providers’ coverage decisions are simply smart business.

After all, the companies and economists say, providers must invest millions of dollars in equipment to boost speeds over relatively short distances in their service areas.

The best way to get a substantive return on investment is to provide the service in wealthier areas.

Besides, fewer lower-income households purchase a home Internet connection than do their higher-income neighbors. But broadband advocates, economists — those in the United States, Europe and the White House — as well as the FCC argue that a fast Internet connection is now so crucial to managing daily life and seizing opportunities for advancement that it’s an economic necessity for households and communities.

And they further argue that having a choice between two providers is essential to keeping prices down. “Society said it did not matter if you could pay for electricity; we wanted everyone to have it. Society said we would not limit dial tone to those who could pay the most, we gave it to all,” said telecommunications lawyer Gerard Lederer of Best Best & Krieger LLC in Washington, DC, in an e-mail. “Broadband is quickly becoming that utility, and if applications only work at high speeds, then the universal availability of that speed must be the goal, otherwise you are providing everyone with water, just some of the water is not drinkable.” Enlarge Center for Public Integrity Where the high speeds are High-speed connections will only become more important for Americans.

As families simultaneously use more than one connected device at home, tools like health-care apps become more prevalent, and cars and household appliances become networked, broadband demand is forecast to more than double in just the next four years.

The increased Internet traffic will require ever faster speeds to allow applications to work. That’s why the FCC voted last year to increase the definition of broadband from a download speed of 4 Mbps and 1 Mbps upload to 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up.

The Center’s analysis looked at the availability of just download speeds, using the FCC’s 25 Mbps definition for broadband. About the data To analyze internet speeds that noncable providers offer in their service areas, the Center for Public Integrity combined these data sets: • The Federal Communication Commission’s Form 477 Broadband Deployment Data, as of Dec. 31, 2015, the latest available; • 2010 U.S.

Census population data at the census block level, which is the most recent publicly available; • 2010-2014 American Community Survey income and demographic data at the census block group level; The Center analyzed all internet service offered by the nation’s four-largest noncable providers: AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc., CenturyLink Inc. and Frontier Communications Corp.

The Center considered all types of connections offered by these providers, including fiber cable.

As a point of comparison, the Center also analyzed all internet service offered by the four-largest cable providers: Comcast Corp., Charter Communications, Time Warner Inc., and Cox Enterprises Inc. The Center used the FCC’s definition of broadband, a download speed of 25 megabits per second and higher, to determine if broadband was offered by consumer providers in each census block group.

The Center did not include upload speeds in its analysis. Income for census block groups were divided into quintiles based on median household income and the number of households in each census block group. The five census block group quintiles are: 1) Below $34,783 2) From $34,783 to $46,875 3) From $46,876 to $60,223 4) From $60,224 to $80,694 5) Greater than $80,694 The Center’s analysis represents 99.5 percent of the population as measured by the Census Bureau in 2010.
It includes 96.9 percent of all census blocks from 2010 and 99.1 percent of census block groups in the 2014 American Community Survey.

The Center did not include census block groups with no reported median income. But the opportunity to purchase the higher speeds or choose between two high-speed providers is unequal, determined in large part by a family’s earnings, the Center’s analysis shows. Without exception, the nation’s four-largest noncable internet providers offer their highest speeds to more wealthy communities than lower-income ones. An earlier Center investigation found that people living in the poorest areas nationwide — where median household incomes are less than $34,800 — are five times more likely not to have access to broadband than households in the wealthiest areas — where the median income is more than $80,700. Many times, the Center found, high-speed internet service stops at the edge of low-income communities. In this analysis, the Center drilled down into the data to learn how providers manage speeds within their service areas and which carriers offer service equally across income.

The findings: DSL providers in particular favor the wealthy over lower-income communities in providing their fastest speeds. Frontier Communications, the nation’s fourth-largest DSL internet provider, favors its wealthy communities more than most.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based firm offers high-speed broadband to 38 percent of the population in the wealthiest communities — those with median household incomes of more than $80,700 — according to the Center’s analysis.

But Frontier only offers its fastest speeds to 11 percent of the people living in areas where the median household income is less than $34,800. AT&T, the nation’s largest DSL provider, offers speeds at 25 Mbps and higher to about the same proportion of wealthy, middle, and low-income areas.

But those speeds are available to just a little more than 5 percent of the population in its national service area, about 6.6 million people out of a total of 123 million people AT&T’s service area covers, according to the Center’s analysis.

The vast majority of the population in the communities AT&T serves — 72 percent — have access to sub-broadband speeds, between 10 and 24 Mbps. Who has access to those speeds varies greatly by income. More than 82 percent of the people living in the wealthiest areas can buy those speeds, while 66 percent of the people in the poorest communities can, the Center’s investigation found. Low-income regions are not the only ones that have less chance to buy fast download speeds.
Some DSL providers ignore middle-income areas at nearly the same rates.
Verizon provides broadband speeds to 64 percent of the population in wealthy communities where it has service, but only to 49 percent of the population in the middle-income areas, those with a household median income between $46,900 and $60,200. AT&T, Verizon, and Frontier did not reply to requests for comment. CenturyLink’s track record is similar.

The Monroe, Louisiana-based company, which has almost 6 million subscribers nationwide, offers broadband to 72 percent of people living in wealthy areas in which it operates compared with 57 percent of the population in middle-income communities — just 3.5 percentage points more than in the company’s poorest areas. CenturyLink denies the unequal access is purposeful. “CenturyLink does not engage in discriminatory practices in broadband deployment,” a CenturyLink spokeswoman said in an e-mail. “We focus our network investments in a fiscally responsible manner by investing in areas that allow us to take advantage of current assets, such as existing conduit and fiber routes, while reaching the largest number of potential customers.” But that is exactly the problem, said Hannah Sassaman, policy director at the Media Mobilizing Project, a community organizer and support group for low-income families in Philadelphia. “It’s fine for an incumbent to say they want to leverage their existing assets, but we have to remember that many of these incumbents have been cherry picking what communities they serve for decades,” Sassaman said. “Of course companies that want to build where they already have conduit and fiber will be doing so in neighborhoods that already have high-speed access and competition.” And that means in more wealthy neighborhoods, Sassaman said. The FCC believes its Lifeline program, which provides low-cost internet access to qualifying households, will lead to faster internet speeds for lower-income families.

But FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn acknowledges that more needs to be done. “There are certainly challenges in bringing communications services to those who can least afford it," Clyburn said in an e-mail. "Regardless, those who are less affluent should not be relegated to receiving second-class broadband.” Listing image by Allan Holmes/Center for Public Integrity "We live in an oligarchy" The Hinebaughs, who live in Washington, Pennsylvania, about 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, are one of the many middle-to-lower-income families that don’t have access to a fast DSL connection. James, 27, his wife, Jennifer, and their 2- and 4-year-old children live in a 90-year-old, two-story house sitting atop a hill.

They’re a couple of blocks above Jefferson Avenue, a commercial strip that’s home to local businesses like Beck’s Tobacco & Beer shop and the Alpine bowling alley. Here, where the rumble of tractor trailers on Interstate 70 a few hundred feet away resonates through the neighborhood, the median annual income is less than $20,000 and the poverty rate exceeds 16 percent, making it one of the poorest areas in Washington County. James Hinebaugh said his income varies year to year, from the lowest to the middle-income quintiles in the Center’s analysis, depending on how much overtime he can get at his job as a machinist at Dynamet Inc., a maker of titanium alloys for aerospace and medical companies. The only choice the Hinebaughs have for a wired broadband connection is Comcast, and they consider it a ‘must have’, Hinebaugh said.

The children log on to play games, watch educational programs, and stream movies. Jennifer Hinebaugh, 31, uses the Internet to communicate with family and friends on Facebook, manage the bank account, search for coupons and research health websites for their son, who has special needs. James Hinebaugh goes online to read political news, watch tutorials on painting, and research his passion, astronomy. “I’d love to become an astrophysicist one day,” he said. The Hinebaughs pay Comcast $255 a month for a bundled package that provides an actual Internet speed of 25 Mbps, cable TV, and a networked security system that had previously been installed in the house.

The bill is one of the highest they pay and it’s a struggle every month, Hinebaugh said. He would like another option, but the only one is Verizon, which offers service in his neighborhood — but at a maximum speed of 3 Mbps, according to a search of Verizon’s website.

That’s on the low end for basic Web surfing and e-mail and can’t adequately support video streaming or uploading large files such as photos. At that speed, “you might as well not even have it,” Hinebaugh said. “It's so slow that you say, ‘I might as well go chop wood.’" Enlarge / James Hinebaugh sits outside his home in a low-to-middle-income neighborhood in Washington, Pennsylvania, where Verizon offers a download speed of 3 megabits per second. Just 10 miles away where wealthy residents live, Verizon offers speeds upwards of 150 Mbps. Allan Holmes/Center for Public Integrity Hinebaugh’s situation is similar to nearly half of Americans, who have only one wired broadband provider to choose from, according to the FCC.

Another 30 percent have no wired broadband service at all.

The lack of competition keeps broadband prices higher, and it hits poorer families harder, according to the FCC. The Hinebaughs are far from an exception.
Verizon provides its fastest speeds to only 1.3 percent of people in the poorest areas where it offers service in Washington County, according to the Center’s analysis. Most of the people in the poor areas, 87 percent, can hook into 10 to 25 Mbps.
Verizon gives its fast broadband speeds to almost all of the population in the wealthiest areas in the county — 92 percent. Drive about 10 miles east from the Hinebaughs — past the Lindenwood Golf Club, the BMW and Cadillac dealerships on Washington Road, and the Youth Ballet School & Company on Valley Brook Road — and it’s a world apart. Here, landscaping crews tend the grounds behind large stone gates of multimillion-dollar estates.

The median income is $164,000, eight times the income where the Hinebaughs live and the highest in the county. And there’s something else here, too.

Along these winding tree-lined streets and rolling green pastures, Verizon offers wealthy residents some of its fastest service, up to 150 Mbps over fiber-optic cable, which first came to this part of the county in 2007.
Its DSL service in the surrounding areas reaches 15 Mbps, five times the top Verizon speed that’s available in the Hinebaughs’ neighborhood. Hinebaugh looks at the speeds Verizon offers just a few miles away and scoffs. He knows that if Verizon offered higher speeds in his neighborhood like it does in the wealthy ones east of him, the competition might push down the price of Internet service and save his family some much-needed cash.

But he’s not holding his breath. “We live in an oligarchy.

That's pretty much how it goes,” Hinebaugh said. “It’s hard to change something that rich people have spent a lot of money putting in place.” "A big social problem" Neighborhoods such as the Hinebaughs’, where DSL providers such as Verizon and AT&T have chosen not to upgrade download speeds over 3 Mbps, represent an understandable economic decision by providers, said Nicholas Economides, an economist at New York University’s Leonard N.
Stern School of Business.

DSL providers tend to upgrade speeds to more than 3 Mbps in areas where they believe they can sell Internet TV, which means they avoid poorer areas they think can’t afford the higher speeds, he said. “That isn’t surprising,” Economides said. Economides is more concerned about the cost of Internet connections and the lack of competition that leads to higher prices for people like the Hinebaughs, who have just Comcast for high-speed internet because Verizon provides only that meager download speed in their neighborhood.

The number one reason cited for not purchasing a home Internet connection is by far the high cost, according to the Pew Research Center. “That’s a very serious issue, and a big social problem,” Economides said. “You need high-speed Internet for national reasons, to get information, to get educated.

That’s just not happening. We still have very high prices.” Verizon got permission to begin building its fiber-optic cable connections in Washington County in late 2007.

But the company abandoned expanding its Fios network in 2010.

Cities such as New York and Philadelphia have criticized Verizon for not living up to promises to wire the entire cities.
Some reports speculate that Verizon may consider expanding its fiber network in several cities, as it recently announced in Boston. But Verizon gives no indication as to whether it will wire poorer neighborhoods.

Company officials announced that it will use a free online registration process “to assess demand and help Verizon prioritize its fiber-optic network construction schedule.” Verizon didn’t reply to questions about its plans. AT&T is obligated to bring cheaper Internet connections to low-income areas under conditions imposed by the FCC when the company purchased Internet-satellite-provider DirecTV last year.

The speeds are required to reach 10 Mbps, still below what the FCC defines as broadband. “Many of these communities will see a tremendous leap in terms of speed in the move from dial-up connections to Fixed Wireless Internet,” AT&T said on its website. FCC conditions also require AT&T to deploy fiber to homes in 12.5 million locations nationwide, giving them access to high speeds.

But none of the wording in the conditions requires the company to connect low-income neighborhoods. AT&T had been expanding a souped-up version of its AT&T Fiber network, which can deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps, and its gigabit service.

AT&T announced last month an experimental network that it says will bring ultra-fast speeds to underserved and rural areas, presumably including low-income areas.

The network won’t begin testing until next year and wouldn’t be available for years, however. AT&T didn’t respond to requests for comment on the new network. For Hinebaugh, he said these efforts are too little, too late, leaving him with no hope that his neighborhood will ever get a choice of another high-speed provider. “Why are the rich entitled to a choice of fast speeds and other people aren't?” Hinebaugh asks. “It's like why even bother trying to change it? Why try to get ahead, because the system is built against you?” The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative news organization based in Washington, DC.

Real-world IoT deployments transforming businesses will be exposed as John Lewis,...

Unique event will show how IoT technology can be applied across a multitude of industriesDublin, Ireland, 22 September 2016. Household brands John Lewis, Tesco, BMW and MasterCard will reveal how the Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming their businesses as part of Europe’s Internet of Things World event – which promises to break through the IoT hype to expose real-world applications and deployments. As one of the fastest growing IoT events in the world, Internet of Things World Europe will bring 180 speakers to the stage when it takes place at The Convention Centre, in Dublin, Ireland, from Monday, November 21 to Tuesday November 22. Taking place over eight tracks – Energy, Environment and Agriculture; IoT Architecture; Manufacturing and Supply Chain; Smart Cities; Connected Cars; IoT Security; Smart Home; and Start-ups – the presentations will shine a light on how different industries are using the IoT to transform the way their businesses operate and how other companies – from start-ups and enterprises to established brands – can apply the technology to their business model. “This event is perfect for businesses looking to find examples of where IoT has already proven valuable within a business,” said Zach Butler, Senior Conference Producer, of show organiser KNect365 (an Informa business). “While other conferences look to tackle the same subject, Internet of Things World Europe is unique because it doesn’t talk theoretically about the technology.
Instead, it brings together real-life case studies that show very clearly how the IoT can be applied across a vast range of industries and applications, including manufacturing, industry, oil and gas, the smart home, smart cities and connected cars.” Other speakers already confirmed for Internet of Things World Europe include Uber, Virgin Active, John Deere and Maersk Line.

The issue of ensuring interoperability across IoT deployments in different applications and markets will also be explored with a number of standards bodies are due to take part in the conference. Internet of Things World Europe is the sister event of America’s hugely successful Internet of Things World, which is now the largest IoT show in the world.
In addition to the 180 speakers expected to attend, Internet of Things World Europe will also welcome around 75 exhibitors, showcase cutting-edge IoT demos and host an IoT Hackathon. To plan your visit, view the full event programme and speaker list, or to register for the event, please go to https://tmt.knect365.com/iot-world-europe/. -ENDS- About Internet of Things World EuropeInternet of Things World Europe is Europe’s most comprehensive IoT Event.

The leading forum focuses on case studies that show today’s Industry and Enterprises leveraging IoT technologies to transform their business by creating value and efficiencies. To learn more visit https://tmt.knect365.com/iot-world/ or contact Lauren Farrow lauren.farrow@knect365.com. To register as press, please visit: https://goo.gl/ncWEjt Media Contact:Jayne GarfittAccount DirectorProactive PRTel: +44 (0)1636 812152Email: jayne.garfitt@proactive-pr.com Social Media:@iotworldnews#IOTW16https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7414545/profilehttps://www.facebook.com/iotworldnews?ref=hl