Microsoft kills off Spectre patch

By: SRTDodge05
January 30th, 2018
2:19 pm

Your computer is safe from the Intel patch, it is just insecure again

Microsoft has released an emergency Windows update to disable Intel's troublesome microcode fix for the Spectre Variant 2 attack.

Not only was Intel's fix for the Spectre attack causing reboots and stability issues, but Microsoft found it resulted in the worse scenario of data loss or corruption in some circumstances.

To justify the out-of-band update, Microsoft highlights a comment in Intel's fourth quarter forward looking statements that mentions for the first time that mitigation techniques potentially lead to data loss or corruption.

Until then, Intel had only mentioned its update was causing unexpected reboots and unpredictable system behavior.

"Our own experience is that system instability can in some circumstances cause data loss or corruption", Microsoft said.

"We understand that Intel is continuing to investigate the potential impact of the current microcode version and encourage customers to review their guidance on an ongoing basis to inform their decisions", it added.

To prevent the potential for data loss, Microsoft issued an out-of-band update on the weekend that disables Intel's mitigation for CVE-2017-5715, or the Variant 2 Spectre attack described as a "branch target injection vulnerability".

Microsoft kills off Spectre patch

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AMD/Intel Get Hit Class Action Law Suits For Spectre Vulnerabilities

By: Sandog
January 17th, 2018
11:17 am

AMD Hit With 2 Class Action Lawsuits On Spectre Vulnerability Statements

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

By: SRTDodge05
January 3rd, 2018
3:22 pm

Updated A fundamental design flaw in Intel's processor chips has forced a significant redesign of the Linux and Windows kernels to defang the chip-level security bug.

Programmers are scrambling to overhaul the open-source Linux kernel's virtual memory system. Meanwhile, Microsoft is expected to publicly introduce the necessary changes to its Windows operating system in an upcoming Patch Tuesday: these changes were seeded to beta testers running fast-ring Windows Insider builds in November and December.

Crucially, these updates to both Linux and Windows will incur a performance hit on Intel products. The effects are still being benchmarked, however we're looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30 per cent slow down, depending on the task and the processor model. More recent Intel chips have features – such as PCID – to reduce the performance hit. Your mileage may vary.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign • The Register

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KRACK attack destroys nearly all Wi-Fi security

By: zapionics<alt>
October 17th, 2017
12:03 am

A paper by two Belgian researchers has cast more light on the vulnerabilities discovered in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) implementations on most, if not all, wireless networking devices that use the protocol

Story here

This is shaping up to be a big deal for Wi-Fi.
There goes all our Wi-Fi routers

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Tim Cook: Learning to Code More Important than English

By: zapionics<alt>
October 13th, 2017
1:13 am

Tim Cook Says Learning How to Code is More Important than English as a Second Language Story here

I disagree with that, however the interesting question is: Should we be teaching children to code alongside subjects like english and math? I think theres a few schools doing this already to varying degrees.

But if you agree that kids should learn to code, then which programming language would you choose?

I think what I'd actually like to see is young children being taught logic and then propositional calculus and predicate calculus from a young age with it ramping up as they progress, but thats just my 2 cents.

There used to be a clever programming software tool that was supposed to teach kids the basics visually, I forget what it was called, but it had an animated mouse on the screen and the kids had to give it dimple instructions to achieve goals, essentially write a piece of procedural code. They could then watch the mouse follow the code as they'd developed it. By trial and error they would improve the code, thereby learning the basics.

What are kids learning today in school about logic or software engineering? Anyone know?

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Ransomware exploits NSA hacks

By: zapionics<alt>
May 12th, 2017
7:50 pm

I presume you're all aware of what's unfolding the past day; we have multiple hits around the world of this nasty ransomware worm.

Update your operating systems and security apps now!

Hackers exploiting malicious software stolen from the National Security Agency executed damaging cyberattacks on Friday that hit dozens of countries worldwide

Story here

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Three Challenges for the Web

By: zapionics<alt>
March 12th, 2017
2:07 pm

On the 28th birthday of the World Wide Web, its inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee has spoken to the rise of fake news and called for everyday users to fight against the misuse of their personal data.

I didnt realise the WWW was having a birthday until reading about it today.
There are three challenges for the web, according to its inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Today is the world wide web’s 28th birthday. Here’s a message from our founder and web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee on how the web has evolved, and what we must do to ensure it fulfils his vision of an equalising platform that benefits all of humanity.

Story here

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A word of caution on Nvidia's new 10 series gfx cards

By: XJ.
June 17th, 2016
12:53 pm

A word of caution on Nvidia's new 10 series gfx cards

Reviews received a 'special bios':

ASUS and MSI accused of sending modified cards to the press |

According Damien Triolet, a known and respected GPU reviewer (who, as you might remember, helped to unravel the secrets in GTX 970 memory allocation problem), ASUS and MSI are sending cards with modified BIOSes to the press. Such software enables more power on review samples, which leads to increased frequencies and better results overall.

Damien reports that those ‘optimized’ BIOSes are a very common problem in GPU industry. Manufacturers often encourage GPU reviewers to enable special overclocking presets before attempting to review those cards. Luckily, with little success.

The alternative is to supply optimized BIOSes to the press, so such settings are enabled by default. This usually means a gain of few MHz. Something that you won’t get on retail sample.

For such reason Damien asks manufacturers to supply retail BIOSes for his tests. Obviously manufactures are not eager to supply such software. The problem was discovered with MSI GTX 1080 GAMING X and ASUS GTX 1070 STRIX, so might want to take reviews of those cards with a grain of salt. Gigabyte on the other hand does not use such practices with its G1 GAMING Series.

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Microsoft Makes Windows 10 Upgrades Automatic For Windows 7 And Windows 8

By: ctal
November 3rd, 2015
6:07 am

Beginning now, Windows 10 has been reclassified as an “Optional” update in Windows Update for Windows 7 and Windows 8 computers. This means users who have set their version of Windows to accept all updates will find the Windows 10 installation process will begin automatically and they will need to actively cancel it....

... But in “early” 2016 things will become more aggressive and Microsoft will again reclassify Windows 10 as a “Recommended” update. Given the default setting on Windows 7 and Windows 8 is for all Recommended updates to install automatically this means the vast majority of users will find the Windows 10 install process starts up on their machines....

... For Most, Resistance Is Now Futile. While tech savvy users will find workarounds and hacks, quite frankly avoiding the upgrade process is going to become far too much effort for the average consumer.

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Microsoft Changes Windows 10 'Free Upgrade' Rules

By: ctal
October 13th, 2015
12:07 pm

Microsoft Changes Windows 10 'Free Upgrade' Rules

Talking to the official Windows blog, Windows and Devices Group Vice President Gabe Aul has revealed an upcoming build of Windows 10 will let users register the platform using their existing Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 keys:

“If you install this build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview on a PC and it doesn’t automatically activate, you can enter the product key from Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 used to activate the prior Windows version on the same device to activate Windows 10 by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation and selecting Change Product Key,” he explained....

But despite this extremely positive development, a number of pertinent questions remain....

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