July Tech Bulletin

As your trusted M2M communications partner, USAT Corp. prioritizes data security for critical WWAN data transmissions on the public networks. Through technical innovation, USAT places enhanced wireless data security within the reach of all clientele, regardless of project size. See information about the way that USAT is reimagining private network implementation below. In other networking news, VZW extends availability of IPv4 static IPs in a new PSA. Also herewith, see important information regarding changes in price structure for both the Cradlepoint and the Sierra Wireless cloud-based device management systems. Info from USAT is below about the roadmap indicating the end-of-the-line for the IBR6XX-LPE models from Cradlepoint. In addition, Digi international, Red Lion, and Multi-Tech, have officially published end-of-life dates on some of their cellular routers/modems—info that is digested at the end of this email.

  • USAT CORP. NEWS—USAT has released a private network with no line/device minimums, no mandatory contractual terms, and in some cases, no set-up fees—and the potential for a 24-hour implementation time. Unlimited IPv4 static IP addresses are available. Read about Express M2M Prime Network service/airtime here. Reply to this email if you would like additional info about why isolating your M2M data transmissions from the public Internet should be part of your security strategy.
  • VERIZON WIRELESS NEWS—Please note: Verizon Wireless issued a new, revised Public Service Announcement that pushed back the date that IPv4 addresses will no longer be available to mid-2018 from the original date that VZW had set of June 30th, 2017. Read the new VZW PSA here.
  • SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK NEWS—ALMS is now free-of-charge for clients with under 16 devices registered for this device health monitoring service. Read the additional details about that program here. Want to take advantage of free ALMS, but don’t know where to begin? Reply to this email and we can help you sign into your free account for sub-quantity 16 device users.
  • Sierra Wireless has extended their trade-in program that offers cash incentives for upgrading older Airlink Devices until September 30th. Read the program overview here.
  • CRADLEPOINT NEWS—IMPORTANT—Enterprise Cloud Manager, ECM, has evolved and beginning on July 17th has been rebranded as NetCloud Manager (NCM). When it comes time for service subscription renewal, the Basic service option will remain the same cost. The Prime service option will have an approximate 30% increase in cost. See an explanation for that change here.
  • CRADLEPOINT USERS OF THE POPULAR IBR6XXLPE PRODUCT LINE please note well: although the official EOL date has not yet been published for this line, the published roadmap points to these best-selling models going EOL in 2017. If you are a user of the IBR600LPE or IBR650LPE Cradlepoint router, then the time to proactively manage the model change is now. Contact USAT for a presentation of your options.
  • DIGI INTERNATIONAL NEWS—EOL Announcement-Accessories & Some Transport WR44 models
  • RED LION SIXNET NEWS—EOL Announcement-SN-68XX & RAM68XX
  • MULTI-TECH NEWS—Near EOL Announcement-2G & 3G MultiModem iCell Line

Archive-October 2016-Tech Bulletin–Mirai Advisory And New Wireless Network Products MG90

Our mission is to keep you informed about information key to the success of your organization’s wireless data initiatives. Below you will find an overview of important facts about the Mirai virus. Near the bottom of this email, you will find information about new products that you should be aware of in the wireless data communications space.

Mirai Summary: A new Trojan virus called Mirai is in the news.  Mirai is targeting Linux servers, M2M and IoT devices, including cellular gateways and routers, but mainly cameras and DVRs, running Linux-based firmware, for the purpose of nefariously engaging these systems as part of a large botnet used to stage Denial-of-Service DDoS attacks designed to disrupt access to web properties. (More info: https://safeum.com/blog/2014-mirai-trojan-is-the-next-big-threat-to-iot-devices-and-linux-servers.html) Runaway cellular airtime usage can be a result of infection. In the world of wireless networking, any device that runs on Linux is susceptible. PLEASE NOTE USAT CLIENT BASE: Critical infrastructure clients who are on private networks run a reduced risk of infection.

How Infection Happens: Mirai infects devices via brute-force attacks on the Telnet port, exploiting a “black hat” list of default password credentials, taking advantage of instances where device owners have forgotten to change the built-in default password to a secure password. Critical infrastructure clients who are not on private networks but who have implemented complicated passwords (like what the USAT DevProv+ service facilitates) and instituted other basic security functions like “white lists” and “black lists” are unlikely victims. If you have not or suspect that a user within your organization has not changed the default passwords on the devices attached to your corporate network, then it is important to implement secure passwords now in order to avoid operational ramifications as well as possible financial charges due to data consumption overages.

How To Diffuse Your Risk & Treat Infection: Good news: even if your device is infected, restarting the device and changing the password is an effective treatment. Sierra Wireless, a world leader in the manufacture of cellular gateways was the first to issue a technical bulletin detailing the threat of Mirai to the M2M/IOT ecosystem. Please refer to the steps that they suggest to secure devices here: http://usatcorp.com/action-required-sierra-wireless-technical-bulletin-mirai-trojan/.  The Department of Homeland Security also very recently issued an informative publication on defeating Botnets here https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA16-288A. In addition to the advice issued on the DHS link, best practices dictate that if you are a user of cellular routers and gateways, make sure that devices in your network are running the latest firmware.
Please feel free to respond to this email with additional questions or concerns about the Mirai virus.

NEW PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENTS FOLLOW:
USAT NEW PRODUCTS—Poynting High-Gain Multi-band Antennas Launched
Poynting high gain directional antennas are now a stocked item at USAT Corp. USAT conducted an extensive search for multi-band high gain antennas, both omni and directional (yagi) that can support the different flavors of LTE used domestically and around the world, and this product line tested out the best. See examples here http://usatcorp.com/usat-corp-will-now-offer-poynting-antennas/. If you have interest in superior high gain antennas, respond to this email, and a specialist will contact you.

CRADLEPOINT NEW PRODUCTS

SIERRA WIRELESS AIRLINK NEW PRODUCTS

DIGI NEW PRODUCTS

As you set budgets for wireless data communication and networking initiatives in 2017 and beyond, please consider USAT Corp. as your consultative partner and engage with us early and often. You can get in touch with me to discuss your upcoming projects, or reach out directly to your USAT account manager.

CradlePoint Improves GPS Functionality On Some COR IBR600 4G/3G WWAN Routers

For those who were disappointed with the limited GPS functionality in the first release of the CradlePoint COR IBR600, know that CradlePoint has released a new version that should address the GPS functionality limitations inherent in their first design. CradlePoint has released a redesigned version, the COR IBR600LE-PWD for Verizon Wireless (VZW) and the CORIBR600LP-PWD for AT&T, that has active, powered GPS. What this means is that for these two models a separate GPS co-ax connector is present so that a fully-powered external GPS antenna can be used. This feature set upgrade is crucial for any application that needs real-time long/lat data.

Issues For M2M Devices Using The Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC7750

After getting sporadic reports of issues from our clients using Verizon Wireless 4G LTE devices, we have worked with our manufacturer partners and VZW to connect the dots. Here are the facts. There is an issue with the Qualcomm chipset used on the Sierra Wireless AirPrime MC7750 LTE radio module. The chipset issue does not manifest in all geographical regions, but when it does the following problem can be experienced:

4G WWAN devices have trouble staying connected to the Verizon Wireless network. Apparently, if the device drops out of 4G coverage into 3G coverage, it then has a problem reconnecting. We have seen clients experience this scenario using devices as diverse as a Panasonic Toughbook H2 with embedded VZW LTE, the Sierra Wireless AirLink GX440 1101414, 1101413, 1101531, 1101530 and the CradlePoint IBR600-LE.

Currently, we have been informed by contacts Panasonic and Sierra  Wireless that a firmware fix will be available for this issue at the end of November. VZW confirms that these devices are in their labs and that a November date is accurate for VZW to finish necessary testing.

After the new firmware is available, detailed instructions will be posted here to explain how the fix can be applied. It is strange that initial carrier certification testing did not expose this potential issue…

 

Real Estate tours using CradlePoint, iPads, and a shoulder bag.

There’s a large real estate company close by that conducts their tours of available commercial space using what we think is an interesting and unique method.  I’ll let them describe how they used a Mobile Broadband Router from CradlePoint, a set of 30 iPads from Apple and an over-the-shoulder laptop bag to get the job done.

“We decided to use 30 i-Pads for a presentation using the remote software called Ideaflight. It requires an internet connection to start and then can run on Wi-Fi. This gave us the ability to remotely control the screens of each i-Pad (known as passengers). There was only one problem: the software only allowed 16 total devices per pilot and we quickly experienced issues when two pilots were on the same network.

We were doing a tour; we had to have some sort of Wi-Fi that “roamed” around with us and worked. We found that a CradlePoint Mobile Broadband Router did exactly what we needed for the internet/Wi-Fi connection, and we mobilized it in a bag on battery power. This gave us ample time; in fact, it gave more than 6 hours run time for one CradlePoint.

Since the CradlePoint can only have one SSID, we had to have a secondary to separate the two pilots. This would allow all the i-Pads to operate at the same time. We contacted USAT for some advice and to see if they had another available. At first, no luck, but then we received a callback that they had one that was from a demo. We drove 25 miles and made the purchase the same day. Upon installing the second CradlePoint, our testing worked flawlessly. The devices were carried hundreds of miles north and the tour went off without a problem.

Quick video clip of testing with two pilots

Here’s a shot of the bag the Wi-Fi was carried in before the second hotspot was installed.

 

Here’s a shot of 2 ‘pilot’ Ipads running 12 ‘passenger’ Ipads each during testing.

Pretty neat, huh?  We think so, too.

CradlePoint's COR Line of Cellular M2M Routers

CradlePoint LogoThe CradlePoint line of COR Routers – the IBR600 and IBR650 series – was released in late September and has filled a gap in the remote M2M connectivity space, adding wired/wireless 3G failover in the case of wireless signal loss, along with integrated GPS and secure VPN functionality.

The full press release from CradlePoint, along with its features and benefits can be found on the CradlePoint Web site.

 

The COR line also is the first line of products from CradlePoint that is only available through a dedicated channel, and as such much be purchased from one of their partners;

Premier Wireless | USAT Corp| Source, Inc. | Industrial Wireless