DARPA Working on 100Gbps Wireless Network with 120-Mile Range

DARPA has begun development of a wireless communications link that is capable of 100 gigabits per second over a range of 200 kilometers (124mi). Officially dubbed “100 Gb/s RF Backbone” (or 100G for short), the program will provide the US military with networks that are around 500 times faster than its current wireless links.

In essence, DARPA wants to give deployed soldiers the same kind of connectivity as a high-bandwidth, low-latency fiber-optic network. In the case of Afghanistan, for example, the US might have a high-speed fiber link to Turkey — but the remaining 1,000 miles to Afghanistan most likely consists of low-bandwidth, high-latency links. It’s difficult (and potentially insecure) to control UAVs or send/receive intelligence over these networks, and so the US military instead builds its own wireless network using Common Data Link.

Common Data Link (CDL) is a secure wireless protocol that networks together a US military deployment, for shuttling around imagery, intelligence, orders, and so on. UAVs, aircraft carriers, helicopters, forward operating bases — they’re all connected together via wireless CDL links, bounced via high-altitude aircraft or orbiting satellites. Exact, up-to-date specs are hard to come by, but it seems like the US military’s existing CDL links max out at around 250Mbps. DARPA now wants to push these speeds up to 100Gbps, while using equipment that retains the same weight/power requirements of CDL — i.e. these 100G systems must be deployable in the field.

Suffice it to say, transmitting 100Gbps through the air is rather difficult; your home WiFi network probably maxes out at around 100Mbps, some thousand times slower. We’ve written about visible light links that operate at speeds up to 2.5Tbps — but only over a distance of one meter. Free-space optical communication isn’t viable though, because clouds tend to get in the way when you’re talking about 200-kilometer-long links. The only real option is RF, but again, transmitting 100Gbps over a 200-kilometer RF link is very tough.

The only RF link that is really comparable is ViaSat-1, a geosynchronous Ka-band communications satellite that sits above the USA, which has a total capacity of 134Gbps — but that’s the combined total of 56 Ka transponders, so the actual bandwidth per link is much lower. In all likelihood, DARPA’s 100G program will probably use the lower-frequency Ku band, which is less susceptible to rain fade (or degradation caused by other inclement atmospheric conditions). Assuming the right encoding/multiplexing techniques can be discovered, there should be plenty of bandwidth in either the Ka or Ku bands to hit 100Gbps.

DARPA clearly states that the 100G program is for US military use — but it’s hard to ignore the repercussions it might have on commercial networks, too. I’m surprised that it has fallen to DARPA to develop an ultra-high-speed point-to-point wireless technology. 100Gbps wireless backhaul links between cell towers, rather than costly and cumbersome fiber links, would make it much easier and cheaper to roll out additional mobile coverage. Likewise, 100Gbps wireless links might be the ideal way to provide backhaul links to rural communities that are still stuck with dial-up internet access, or additional backbone bandwidth during peak periods. One day, you might even have a 100Gbps wireless link from your home to your ISP.

Via: Extreme Tech


Exynos 4-Based Devices including Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2 Vulnerable to Hack

Devices running Samsung’s Exynos 4-based processors (4210 and 4412) including the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II have been shown to be vulnerable to a hack with potentially serious ramifications. A developer on the XDA Developers forum @alephzain uncovered the vulnerability, which could give a malicious app the ability to wipe data, brick a device or access a user’s data without their knowledge.

Devices that are vulnerable to attack appear include any device that runs the Exynos 4-based designs, coupled with Samsung’s kernel sources. This means that devices including the Meizu MX are also vulnerable to the same exploit along with other Samsung devices. Although no known software uses the exploit maliciously, a senior moderator on the XDA Developers forum @Chainfire has written an APK exploiting the loophole gaining root priveleges “on any Exynos 4-based device.”

Another programmer @Supercurio has released a quick fix through Project Voodoo that closes the hack, however, it will depend on Samsung to ensure that the gaping security hole is properly. XDA Developers have contacted Samsung about the matter and report that the company is aware of the issue. However, Samsung had yet to publicly acknowledge the issue at the time of writing.

Via: Electronista

Update 1/03/2013:

Samsung Galaxy S III security fix reportedly rolling out to UK users

On 2nd January, Samsung pushed a software update (I9300XXELLA) to the Galaxy S III and we can confirm that the new software update fixes the infamous Exynos 4 vulnerability. The security flaw was in the kernel which made the device R/W by all users, apps and gave access to full Physical Memory. In short, this vulnerability gave root permissions to *any* app and there was no control over it but now with the new system update the security hole has been patched.

We believe that the new system update also fixes the sudden death issue as the new firmware ships with brand new bootloaders and this is the first time Samsung has updated the bootloaders of the device since it started shipping back in May 2012. But, we can’t confirm if sudden death issue has been resolved or not as Samsung is the only one who can confirm about the fix.

For now the new software update is only available for the United kingdom (BTU) but we expect other countries to follow soon. We would urge Galaxy S III users to  immediatly update their device to the latest firmware via Kies or OTA (Over-The-Air).

    Official Firmware Details:
    Android Version: 4.1.2 – Build JZO54K
    PDA: I9300XXELLA
    Build Date: 22-12-12
    Change list: 742798

Source: Sam Mobile