Monday, 29 August 2011

Iran Intercepting Access to GMail

Technical summary: A user in Iran is reporting on Google's support forums that users attempting to access GMail from Iran are periodically being given a false SSL certificate. Update: Google have now confirmed this on their blog.

Non-technical summary: The Iranian government appears to be getting increasingly sophisticated in their war on Internet dissidents. Notably, this is one of the first "in the wild" applications, by an authoritarian state, of an attack that has been widely forseen by security experts.

(Updated some links Tuesday)

(Updated "advice if you're in Iran" on Thursday. I have now written an article on this attack for the Royal United Services Institute, including a bit more international context)

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Nokia's Downfall: A Self-Inflicted Wound

Update Sep/Oct 2011 - The N9 Meego phone has finally launched. TechCrunch has labelled it "the most amazing phone you'll never buy".

Nokia's fall has been sudden and swift. They have lost the smartphone wars decisively: Unable to mount a competitive response to the iPhone and Android, their last-generation platforms have been spectacularly outclassed, and their efforts to produce something new were too little, too late. They bowed to this reality earlier this year, in a deal which makes them little more than a hardware manufacturer for the struggling Windows Mobile operating system. Plenty expect the rump of the once-proud phonemaker to be on the auction block within the next couple of years.

This is all true, as far as it goes. But what these accounts miss is that Nokia shouldn't have been reacting to this revolution in the first place. They were years ahead of it, until they squandered their industry leadership in a strategic blunder driven by internal politics.