It won’t happen to me is the battle cry of far too many companies these days when it comes to security. We have watches this mind set over the course of the last two years as businesses try to get out of the expense (time and money) needed to update or properly protect their companies and customers from data theft. One of the very recent and troubling ones is the Backoff malware that has hit an estimated 1,000 US businesses. Even Dairy Queen has been hit and consumer payment card data stolen.
Apple has made a decision about the data that is stored in their borrowed HealthKit API. The decision is to ban developers from sharing any of the data that the service collects to ad agencies. This move will be in effect the day that iOS 8 and will run until Apple changes their mind. This move is actually a very good thing and does cover some concerns about the amount of personal information that mobile devices are starting to amass.
Right now the going rumor is that Apple will unveil the world’s first true smart watch on September 9th (yes sarcasm). Just exactly what this new product will do has many blogs up all night in a lather of love for Apple. These sites comb through patent filings, rumors and even developer code to see if they can be the first to identify what Apple will really do when they finally get around to joining the rest of the world with a wearable product.
According to recent rumors it seems that TSMC and Samsung will be able to push out 14nm full node and 16nm half node FinFET products earlier than anticipated. This is certainly going to be good news for many customers of the two foundry companies including Apple and nVidia.
In the soap-opera that has been the case against Kim Dotcom and Mega Upload we now has another chapter. It seems that the copyright groups responsible for the original claims against Dotcom want to have a look at this financial state. If you remember when the case and raid first happened we mentioned that the move was most likely done to remove competition from the playing field. The actions and claims that followed certainly seemed to support our hypothesis.
Hey, remember all of those rumors that YouTube would by live streaming service Twitch? Well it looks like all of that might have been wrong. According to a new report uncovered by the Wall Street Journal it is not YouTube or Google that is buying up Twitch, it is Amazon. This is something of a departure from what most analysts felt was going to happen within the company. A lot of people felt the marriage of Twitch and YouTube was one that made sense even if there was reluctance on the part of the community.
Over the weekend a story broke that alleged that the NSA (National Security Agency) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) might actually be helping the Tor network to find and fix bugs in their systems. The news that this might be going on appeared to come as a shock to most people and new agencies reporting on rumor. Of course if you look at the Tor project’s history and the way it is still used today you will find that it is actually in the best interest of the governments in question to keep TOR alive and healthy.
It looks like a fairly large DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack on both the PlayStation Network and the Sony Entertainment Network caused gamers some trouble yesterday. The attack caused the service to be unavailable intermittently throughout the day. At this time Sony says that no user information was accessed or taken. As of this writing a group that is calling themselves the “lizard squad” is claiming responsibility for the attack.
Over the years Apple has surprised the world by taking old tech, optimizing it and then pushing out to the world as their own. They can do this thanks to having one of the best marketing teams in the world and until recently having a leader that believed his own legends. This has led to a string of patents that are built in the ideas and often inventions of others. To say that the US Patent and Trademark Office simply rubber stamps these is an understatement. In some cases there is no way that they could not know that the patent in question was covered in prior art.
In the current round of console wars it is pretty clear who is winning and who is not. Ever since it was first introduced Microsoft’s Xbox One has had challenges with consumer acceptance. Almost all of the reasons for this lay with Microsoft and the message they were putting out about the gaming console. The alienated the gaming community with massive restrictions and a multi-media push that Sony was able to counter from day one.
There is a story running around the internet that says Google is now processing one million piracy take down requests in a single day. Now there are two different spins to this story (and we will cover both) out there. One of them is being pushed by the copyright lobby groups, while the other is popping up through sites like Google and various net neutrality groups.
Not all that long ago we reported that there was a chance that nVidia might skip over the 20nm half-node and move to the next full node in line due to issues that TSMC has been having with their 20nm process. 20nm has been the dream of GPU manufacturers for some time and despite the money that has been thrown at it, neither TSMC nor GlobalFoundries can seem to get it right. One reason for this could be due to leakage while another is just that as the process gets smaller building large and complex devices using a half-node just does not work.
Cooler Master’s CMStorm group has built up a reputation for making good gaming peripherals. Over the years we have seen them put out everything from mechanical keyboards to customizable mice and even gaming headsets. For the most part these offerings have been on the pricier side of the market, but in the recent months they have been working on a more value oriented batch of products. One these (that we happen to have in the lab) is a keyboard and mouse combo, the CMStorm Devastator. Is this combo set really worthy of the CMStorm name? I think we should find out.
One of the fastest growing verticals in the PC market is the peripherals market. There are so many different companies that are pushing out keyboards, mice, headphones and more to the masses. While this growth is a good thing, it also tends to saturate the market with products that are so similar the only thing that makes them different is the name and the price. This has made manufacturers move to new types of features and also to try and squeeze every last drop of performance they can out of their offerings and at the best price (one that is good for consumers and still make them money). Today we are looking at a gaming keyboard that has some very interesting features, the Tesoro Tizona. This keyboard offers Brown Mechanical switches and also a detachable number pad. So let’s dive in and see where this keyboard falls.
Hey, remember all of those rumors that Microsoft was thinking about selling the Xbox division to someone? Well it seems that there might have been a tiny bit of truth to the basic rumor, it is just that the actual Xbox division named was a tab bit off. As we reported a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft is shuttering their Xbox Entertainment Studios, but it seems that they might not be going away.
If you have been on the internet at all the last few days you have probably seen all of the articles about how great DirectX 12 is and why it will be a game changer. To be fair the next version of DirectX is looking like it is a massive refinement of the API and one that should bring about some nice benefits to the gamer… the PC gamer. For years many game developers have not made full use of the features and options in the DirectX (DX) API simply because of the extra CPU, GPU and other types of power needed to push these enhancements around the board.
During Games CON BioWare has finally launched the game that it has been teasing over the last few weeks. Called Shadow Reals and set in an alternate reality Earth the game pits humans that are just awakening to their powers against a foe called the Shadow Legions of Embra.
Before DEF CON 22 started we published an article that the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) was going to host a very interesting competition called SOHOplessly broken. This competition was to features a large array of common SOHO (small office home office) routers and put them to the security test. As you might imagine the competition revealed that security is not the primary focus of this segment of the market. In all a total of 15 zero day vulnerabilities were uncovered during the competition in four common routers.
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV 2014 – On the last day of DEF CON 22, in oddly empty halls and with very subdued (hung over) conversations going on, I walked into what was probably the most entertaining security talks I have ever seen. To start with the premise of the talk was absurdly enticing. How and, of course, why would anyone want to put a sniffer on a cat or turn a dog into a denial of service station? Even though I had briefly covered the concept I still needed to hear how it all happened and then the real why behind it.
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV 2014 – If you have ever stayed in a top end hotel you might find an iPad or similar tablet that allows you to control various functions of the room. This is becoming a more and more common practice in hotels where the guest experience is being moved from the phone or standard TV to movable and WiFi enabled devices. The problem is that there are potential flaws in the system that could allow someone to compromise the system and take control of multiple systems in the room.
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV 2014 - Over the past year or so there have been several discoveries in the aviation industry that have had security researchers and regular people very concerned. We have covered a couple of these that have hit including a claim that a plane can be attacked through its inflight WiFi system and also a very recent one that claims to have found hard coded root credentials in the firmware of some satellite communication equipment. The aviation industry has been quick to refute these claims (and with good reason), but the question still persists: are air craft vulnerable to remote hacking?
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV 2014 - The idea that individual devices can monitor and control many aspects of our lives is an exciting one. Right now you can pick up inexpensive products that can allow you to keep an eye on everything from your house to the temperature of your eggs. Of course this mass growth of interconnected devices is also a big concern for people looking out for security.
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV 2014 - Yesterday at DEF CON we had the chance to listen to Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist, American Civil Liberties Union talk about the state of the surveillance state and how we can help fight against it. Of course you might think that his talk would be about the use of spy proof technologies, but oddly enough very little of that was talked about except to make it clear that talk of spy-proof technology makes people in Washington nervous.
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV - The thought of getting a root kit or back door on a critical system is always a bad one. These pieces of malicious code allow an attacker to continue to exploit your network and move laterally increasing their foot hold. The good news is that in most cases you can find and remove these holes either by paving the system (formatting and reinstalling) or by cleaning (not always the best choice).
DEF CON 22, Las Vegas, NV Aug 2014 – One of the most concerning things about the future of the internet and technology in general is the fact that the “bad guys” have the advantage. We have known about this for a very long time, but because of the state of the security industry many have allowed themselves to be blinded to just how bad it is and also how our current methods of patching and fixing are not working.