I like how the construction crew waited for my trip to NYC to cut the lines.

Accidental fiber cuts caused by construction workers took out telecommunications service for more than 750,000 customers in the New York City area yesterday.

There’s a technical term for this: fiber-seeking backhoe.

The fiber cuts hit the network of Level 3, an Internet backbone provider, and lasted for hours before being fixed. Problems hit several states: customer reports on DownDetector indicate that outages primarily affected Time Warner Cable (TWC) in New York and Cox Communications in large parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island and small parts of Massachusetts. Level 3’s network serves both TWC and Cox.

Think about this for a moment – one local event impacted people and businesses in 4 states. Remember, Level 3 is an Internet backbone provider. More than cable TV runs over their infrastructure.

The most specific outage numbers came from New York. The New York Department of Public Service (NYDPS) issued a statement saying that “more than 750,000 customers in the New York City area were unable to complete telephone calls.” Most or all of those customers are apparently Time Warner Cable users. Internet and TV service was also affected.
Level 3 confirmed the outage, telling CNN and other media outlets, “Our network is experiencing service disruptions affecting some of our customers with operations in the Northeastern United States due to a fiber cut caused by third-party construction. Our technicians are on site and working to restore service.” Time Warner Cable said the outage was caused by “multiple fiber cuts at one of our network providers.”
The NYDPS statement noted that Level 3 provides service to both TWC and Verizon in New York. But Verizon’s network did not suffer any problems related to the Level 3 trouble yesterday, a Verizon spokesperson told Ars.

Source: Big TWC outage: Fiber cuts take out service for 750,000 in NYC area | Ars Technica
Back in my Network Manager days my team and I spent a lot of effort making as certain as possible our major links – primarily our backbone and Internet connections – were truly redundant and diverse. Not only would we rarely rely upon a single provider (and Level 3 was one of those) but we would require geographic diversity as well.
For example, when I procured redundant backbone connectivity for a co-location center in Detroit, one circuit came from the East around Lake Erie and the other came from Chicago in the West.
In order to achieve this I worked hard on the contract language to place my employer in the best position possible while my engineers made sure the providers understood and deployed what we ordered. Even then, you never know when some rerouting might occur where once diverse paths now traverse a single MUX in an out-of-the-way unstaffed switching station.
Setting aside such edge cases, it is not only possible but the responsibility of an organization to make sure there’s as much Redundancy, Diversity, Reliability, Depth, and Simplicity (RDRDS) in the environment as practical without breaking the bank.

If part of a body is sick, the whole body can’t be healthy, and many cities across America have parts that aren’t doing very well. But there are regions that are trying to become healthier by coming together, rather than pulling apart. Tearing down a highway can be one way to do this. But it’s not the only way. My colleague Derek Thompson has written about the miracle of Minneapolis, where high-income communities share tax revenues and real estate with lower-income communities to spread prosperity. A year ago, I visited Louisville, where a court ordered the county and city to combine their school districts in order to integrate their schools. Today, Louisville is still trying to keep its county and city schools integrated, even after the Supreme Court told the city it no longer had to do so. In Chicago, a regional housing authority that covers eight counties, including Cook County, is working to move families from the inner city to higher-opportunity neighborhoods. Some cities use inclusive zoning, in which all new construction must include a certain percentage of housing for low-income residents, which means that the wealthy can’t separate themselves from the poor.

Source: The Role of Highways in American Poverty

I’m ready for M1 Rail to be up and running so the city and region can talk about extending it up Woodward Avenue into Oakland County, or at least to 8 Mile.

M-1 Rail CEO Matt Cullen joined M-1 Board Chairman Roger Penske and state and city officials to open the 19,000-square-foot Penske Tech Center in Detroit’s North End neighborhood, where a little more information on the 3.3-mile rail loop was outlined.
Cullen said the Qline cars should be running on Woodward Avenue by spring 2017. That leaves a bit of cushion to the winter 2017 deadline the rail was bumped to last year.
Everything is on schedule, though, Cullen said.

Source: M-1 Rail opens Penske Tech Center; first Qline cars will be in Detroit by fall | MLive.com

Is a jail really what the city needs greeting incoming traffic at one of the main entryways to Downtown Detroit?

Answer: No

That’s what Detroit real estate mogul Dan Gilbert asked Wednesday.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said Gilbert and Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores need to show Evans the money if he’s going to move the unfinished jail project, though.
Gilbert on Wednesday rolled out conceptual renderings and hype videos for a new soccer stadium — and team — in Downtown Detroit.

They want to build it right on Gratiot Avenue, at the site of the stagnant Wayne County Jail project that sits, charmlessly, across from the county courthouse near Greektown.

Source: Jail site for Detroit soccer stadium will cost a pretty penny, says county | MLive

I don’t know the full details of the funding, specifically how much public money would be poured into what is essentially a private endeavor, but Wayne County needs a serious reality check. Their jail is massively over budget and nowhere near completed.
This proposed new development project is basically a “get out of jail free” card, no pun intended. It’s the county’s fault the project failed so far. Getting 20 cents on the dollar, even in their financially strapped state, is better than they deserve. Plus, they’ll stop throwing money into the pit.
I don’t live in Wayne County; if I did, I’d be actively campaigning for the executive team’s ouster, starting with Evans.
I will put in the vote for the Detroit MSL franchise to be the Detroit Arsenal, obviously!

I’m pretty sure my interest in the Dixie Highway began with wondering why there were so many Dixie Highway exits from I-75 in Southeastern Michigan.
My interest in highways and roads started earlier when I was a teen living in Connecticut. Roads and highways throughout New England have colorful histories. Official sites only hint at the local legend and lore. Rich tapestries woven of family histories, geological realities, pre-Revolution decisions, and “because” shaped the paths that became the highways of New England.
Yet that’s not where I started.
Interstate 84 runs through Connecticut connecting Pennsylvania and New York with Massachusetts. It’s a remarkably dull road, no doubt a tribute to its efficiency.
After my family moved to Connecticut in the late 1980s, we traversed that ribbon of concrete many times. I paid keen attention to one sign along the way, a sign that made no sense yet fascinated me to no end.
“I-84 Ends, I-86 to Boston”
It was still I-84 and remains so to this day. Somewhere I have pictures of the I-86 signage in Connecticut, which I think persisted until the 1990s. There’s a whole history behind this – the highway near my house that wasn’t. It kicked off my interest in roads and highways.
Toss in family dynamics – paternal side are Yankees (though didn’t arrive in the US until the 1920-1930s; settling in Michigan, Wisconsin & Minnesota) and maternal side are Dixie (I won’t call them Rebels or Confederates as there’s no documentation my family fought in the Civil War). Come 2000 and I & mine live within a mile of Woodward Avenue.
My interest in the Dixie Highway becomes more clear.
I think.

Good stuff. I can’t wait to check it out!

The Dequindre Cut Greenway extension officially opens April 29.
The extension has been in the works since 2013, with the opening pushed back multiple times.
According to a release from Link Detroit, the $21-million project “connects 20 miles of continuous walking and biking paths linking Downtown, Midtown, Detroit Riverfront, Eastern Market and Hamtramck.”

Source: $21M Dequindre Cut connecting miles of land in Detroit opens Friday | MLive.com

BADLOCK – Are ‘Branded’ Exploits Going Too Far?:

So there’s been hype about this big exploit coming, for over a month, before anything was released. It had a name, a website and a logo – and it was called Badlock.
And now it’s out, and it’s more like Sadlock – really a local network DoS against DCE/RPC services on Windows and Linux with some slight chance of pulling off a MiTM. No remote code exeuction, not even privilege escalation.

Microsoft hasn’t even labelled it as critical, merely important.
Crucial? As it was marketed, hardly.

There is a whole list of CVE’s related, none of them are really critical.
Another questionable point is that the person who ‘discovered’ these bugs, is a member of Samba Core Team..and works on Samba.
So it’s like hey, here’s a bunch of vulnerabilities I found in my own software, let’s make a logo for them and give them a name (which doesn’t even really related to the vulns).
So yah there’s nothing really wrong with branding a vulnerability, to get awareness about something critical – get press coverage and get people fixing it. But this? This is a minor bug, with no real major production impact, only exploitable over a LAN which at words allows for a MiTM.

A saw a great quote on Twitter..it went something like:
“All these names for exploits are getting confusing and can be hard to remember/categorise – soon we’ll need to invent some kinda system that assigns numbers to vulnerabilities…”
LOL indeed.
Are these bugs important enough to patch? Oh yes, absolutely. Did they need a month of marketing, a logo and a name to raise awareness? Absolutely not. They could have slid into regular, automated patch updates along with all other ‘important’ patches.
It could have been a interesting story about a whole series of bugs in SAMBA, but it became a huge discussion about the Badlock clownshow. Sad.

(Via Darknet – The Darkside)
I can’t agree with this article more. It’s a great read. I didn’t mean to quote quite so much, but I get a hoot out of the story.
We spoke about this on PVC Security podcast when the story first broke. It looks like most if not all of our predictions came true.

Seems like an old-school race condition:

Citing arrest warrants, here’s how The Hartford Courant said the Connecticut scheme worked:
An investigator for the Connecticut Lottery determined that terminal operators could slow down their lottery machines by requesting a number of database reports or by entering several requests for lottery game tickets. While those reports were being processed, the operator could enter sales for 5 Card Cash tickets. Before the tickets would print, however, the operator could see on a screen if the tickets were instant winners. If tickets were not winners, the operator could cancel the sale before the tickets printed.

Source: Cops: Lottery terminal hack allowed suspects to print more winning tickets | Ars Technica

In case you’re a fan or care …

The reunited Guns N’ Roses are planning to go on tour this summer, but haven’t announced exactly when.
… Detroit is on the list, along with 20 others, including Chicago, Pittsburgh and Toronto.
Not only have the dates not yet been announced, but we don’t know the venues.

Source: Reunited Guns N’ Roses confirms Detroit show, but date a mystery

Michigan officials are going back to Canadian energy giant Enbridge for more information on the integrity of its controversial Line 5 under the Mackinac straits, but this time they want the company to send data in a usable format.
On March 11, Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette sent a letter to Enbridge Inc. vice president Cynthia Hansen asking for pipeline inspection and operating pressure data in an “unrestricted” form instead of through a “read-only data portal.”
That data portal was a source of frustration for Michigan officials during a yearlong inquiry into the submerged pipeline that resulted in a 2015 report critical of “gaps” in pipeline information that Enbridge says it gave through the limited-access portal.
Enbridge later apologized for sending the data in a format “too complex” for state officials to understand, saying that it might “mean something to someone who has a Ph.D in metallurgical engineering, but its not usable data to many people.”

Source: Michigan to Enbridge: Give us understandable pipeline data
I know companies don’t want to divulge more than they have to in order to conduct business. Things like pipelines, especially ones so old, require objective & current data. That Enbridge is not helpful in this process doesn’t bode well for their chances.
Were I asked to vote on this right now, I would vote to shut the pipeline down.