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iOS 11 release date is today PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Tuesday, 19 September 2017 21:21

ios11iOS 11 is scheduled to be released tomorrow (although here's a way you can get your hands on it today if you want), and if you're thinking about upgrading to iOS 11 the moment it's released, there are some steps that you should take so you don't end up in a world of hurt. Before you go hog-wild, throw caution to the wind and start upgrading, be aware that there are risks. Things can go wrong, stuff may be broken, and you may lose data. Plenty of iOS launches have been marred by bugs and problems, so with that in mind, it's a good idea to have an up-to-date backup, because making a fuss isn't going to bring back your lost photos or documents. Keep in mind that unless you're willing to jump through hoops and do things that Apple frowns upon, going to iOS 11 is a one-way trip, so you might want to let other people go ahead of you just in case there are gotchas Chances are that your iPhone or iPad has accumulated a lot of detritus over the months and years, so what better time to get rid of it than now. While iOS 11 doesn't need as much free space to install as some of the earlier releases of iOS, getting rid of apps that you no longer use -- or perhaps have never used -- makes good sense. Following the upgrade, you'll need to enter your iCloud password in order to be able to reconnect to all your data and photos. If you don't have this close to hand -- remember, having it on the device you're upgrading isn't all that convenient -- then this might be a good time to do that. For some time now, Apple has been warning iPhone and iPad users that legacy 32-bit apps may slow down their devices, but with the recent release of iOS 10.3, Apple has escalated things by making it clear that the end is nigh....For more on this release visit our forum.

 
CCleanup: A Vast Number of Machines at Risk PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Monday, 18 September 2017 22:21

ccleaner hackedSupply chain attacks are a very effective way to distribute malicious software to target organizations. This is because, with supply chain attacks, the attackers are relying on the trust relationship between a manufacturer or supplier and a customer. This trust relationship is then abused to attack organizations and individuals and may be performed for a number of different reasons. The Nyetya worm that was released into the wild earlier in 2017 showed just how potent these types of attacks can be. Frequently, as with Nyetya, the initial infection vector can remain elusive for quite some time. Luckily with tools like AMP, the additional visibility can usually help direct attention to the initial vector. Talos recently observed a case where the download servers used by the software vendor to distribute a legitimate software package were leveraged to deliver malware to unsuspecting victims. For a period of time, the legitimate signed version of CCleaner 5.33 being distributed by Avast also contained a multi-stage malware payload that rode on top of the installation of CCleaner. CCleaner boasted over 2 billion total downloads by November of 2016 with a growth rate of 5 million additional users per week. Given the potential damage that could be caused by a network of infected computers even a tiny fraction of this size, we decided to move quickly. On September 13, 2017, Cisco Talos immediately notified Avast of our findings so that they could initiate appropriate response activities. The following sections will discuss the specific details regarding this attack. CCleaner is an application that allows users to perform routine maintenance on their systems. It includes functionality such as cleaning of temporary files, analyzing the system to determine ways in which performance can be optimized and provides a more streamlined way to manage installed applications. On September 13, 2017, while conducting customer beta testing of our new exploit detection technology, Cisco Talos identified a specific executable which was triggering our advanced malware protection systems. Upon closer inspection, the executable in question was the installer for CCleaner v5.33, which was being delivered to endpoints by the legitimate CCleaner download servers. Talos began initial analysis to determine what was causing this technology to flag CCleaner. We identified that even though the downloaded installation executable was signed using a valid digital signature issued to Piriform, CCleaner was not the only application that came with the download. During the installation of CCleaner 5.33, the 32-bit CCleaner binary that was included also contained a malicious payload that featured a Domain Generation Algorithm (DGA) as well as hardcoded Command and Control (C2) functionality. We confirmed that this malicious version of CCleaner was being hosted directly on CCleaner's download server as recently as September 11, 2017.For more read our 2 part story on our forum.

 

 
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U benchmarks PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Sunday, 17 September 2017 19:46

ryzen 5 2500uAMD launched the first chips based on its new Zen architecture this year, and so far we’ve seen a whole bunch of options, ranging from entry-level Ryzen 3 processors to the company’s high-end Ryzen Threadripper chips with support for up to 16 CPU cores and 32 threads. But all of the Ryzen chips launched to date have a few things in common: they’re desktop processors and they’re designed to be used with a separate graphics card since they don’t have integrated graphics. AMD plans to launch a line of Ryzen Mobile chips with integrated graphics aimed at laptops by the end of the year. Formerly codenamed “Raven Ridge,” Ryzen Mobile chips will be part of AMD’s APU or “Accelerated Processing Unit” family and the Ryzen 5 2500U is expected to be a 4-core/8-thread processor with AMD Radeon Vega graphics. A listing at Geekbench seems to confirm those specs, and an image posted to reddit seems to suggest that the chip is showing up in 3DMark 11 benchmark results as well. I’d take the actual benchmark scores with a grain of salt since we’re talking about unreleased products. But at this point, it looks like the Ryzen 5 mobile chip outperforms a Core i7-7660U Kaby Lake processor with Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics in 3D Mark 11. For more visit our forum.

 
Windows 10 update causes HP login lag PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Saturday, 16 September 2017 19:23

hp pavillion all in oneMicrosoft recently rolled out a new cumulative update to Windows 10 earlier this week. The update (KB4038788) packed a lot of minor fixes and security patches, but it also packed a little surprise for some users. Some Windows 10 users running HP devices are running into an issue resulting in a long delay during login after the upgrade process. Once the update is installed, users are seeing a black screen for up to 10 minutes before they can access the actual login screen. Both Microsoft and HP are yet to acknowledge the issue. It is not clear as to how many devices or users are affected by the issue. But if you are having this problem after installing the latest Windows 10 update, there’s a potential fix available. Several users on Reddit have reported a fix that seems to have done the trick for most users.

 
Your Windows Has Been Banned PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Friday, 15 September 2017 18:04

your windows has been bannedThe Internet offers an abundance of information, but there are also many dangers lurking online. Most users encountered malware at least once and speaking of which, it seems that Your Windows Has Been Banned malware is making its return. Your Windows Has Been Banned isn’t a new malware, and in fact, it first appeared in 2016. This nasty malware will lock your computer screen and ask you to pay money to unlock your PC. According to the message on the screen, your PC is locked in order to protect other Windows users. The message doesn’t offer any extra information regarding the reason why your PC was banned. To unlock your PC, the message instructs you to call a supposed Microsoft technician. This is a complete scam, and you shouldn’t ever call the number or visit the website specified in the message. There are several variations of Your Windows Has Been Banned malware, and some versions will ask you for $50 in Bitcoin in order to unlock your PC. On the other hand, there are greedier versions that will require $200 to unlock your PC. In order to force you to pay, the malware will threaten to delete all your files and make your PC unusable. This is just a standard scare tactic that malicious users use to scam others, so you don’t have to worry about your files.

 
No patch for the Windows Kernel bug PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Thursday, 14 September 2017 17:05

no patchMicrosoft will not be releasing a security update despite a cyber security research firm claiming it had discovered a bug in the PsSetLoadImageNotifyRoutine API that malicious malware developers could use to evade detection by third party anti-malware software. The software company does not believe the said bug poses any security risk.A security researcher at enSilo, Omri Misgav discovered a ‘programming error’ in the low-level interface PsSetLoadImageNotifyRoutine that can be tricked by hackers to allow malicious software to slip past third party antiviruses without detection. When it works correctly, the API is supposed to notify drivers, including those used by third-party anti-malware software, when a software module is loaded into memory. Antiviruses can then use the address provided by the API to track and scan modules ahead of load-time. Misgav and his team discovered PsSetLoadImageNotifyRoutine does not always return the correct address. The consequence is crafty hackers can use the loophole to misdirect anti-malware software and allow malicious software to run without detection. Microsoft says its engineers have looked at the information provided by enSilo and ascertained the supposed bug does not present a security threat. enSilo themselves have not tested any third party antivirus to prove their fears, even though they claim it will not take a genius hacker to exploit this bug in the Windows kernel. It is unclear if Microsoft will be releasing a patch to fix the bug in future updates, or whether they have always known of the bug and have other safeguards in place to stop the threat. The API itself is not new to the Windows OS. It was first written into OS in the 2000 build and has been retained for all subsequent versions, including the current Windows 10. That would seem too long for a Windows OS flaw to go unexploited by malware developers.

 
Windows 10 build 16288 bugs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 21:14

windows 10 build 16288Microsoft recently rolled out a new Windows 10 build, after taking a long break of one week. Windows 10 build 16288 is the first build to feature version number 1709, which is the official version number of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. As far as new features are concerned, this build release brings absolutely no new features, focusing instead on fixing the existing bugs. Despite Microsoft’s efforts to squash all the bugs affecting Windows 10 Fall Creators Update’s early versions, there are still a few issues affecting Insiders. Here are the most common Windows 10 build 16288 bugs reported by Insiders. If you can’t install build 16288, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Many Insiders reported that they can’t install the latest Windows 10 build on their PCs due to an error message informing them that their devices are not quite ready yet. I am running Build 16281 and try to install Build 16288 and I am getting error message An update is being prepared for your device, but it’s not quite ready yet. We’ll keep trying or you can try again now. Can anyone help? Now, if there is an error message preventing you from installing build 16288, try the following solutions: run the sfc /scannow command in Command Prompt, run the Windows Update Troubleshooter, and clear the Windows Update download folder. Insiders also report that build 16288 breaks Edge. The browser often freezes or closes all of a sudden. If you want to enjoy a smooth browsing experience on build 16288, the best solution is to temporarily switch to another browser.

 
Xiaomi's Mi MIX 2 comes with a stunning ceramic unibody PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Monday, 11 September 2017 21:15

xiaomi mi mix 2For most of us living outside of China, we tend to be limited to two options when it comes to the choice of materials on our phones: either metal or plastic or a bit of both (and maybe a touch of wood, if you're lucky). While Essential was grabbing headlines with its titanium device, Xiaomi continued tinkering with something that many others dare not touch: ceramics. Following the Mi MIX, the Chinese smartphone maker has once again collaborated with Philippe Starck's design studio to bring us yet another ceramic device with a near-bezel-less display: the Mi MIX 2. As one would expect, the MIX 2 comes with flagship specs to match its premium design. It features Qualcomm's top-of-the-range Snapdragon 835 chipset along with 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage. There's also a special edition with a whopping 8GB of RAM but with just 128GB of storage -- we'll get to that later. Interestingly, the MIX 2 supports 43 bands, thus making it a truly global smartphone -- more so than the earlier Mi Note 2. Both versions are powered by a 3,400mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support (9V/2A) via USB-C. As a bonus, both editions come with a 18K PVD rose gold-coated camera rim, while the special edition gets the same rim treatment on its rear-facing fingerprint reader. As stunning as the original Mi MIX looked, it was far from perfect. Its 6.4-inch screen was too big for most people, its cameras weren't great and its 'invisible earpiece' was not loud enough for the noisy streets. This is where the Mi MIX 2 comes in. We're now looking at a more pocketable 5.99-inch display with a longer 2,160 x 1,080 resolution (that's 18:9 instead of the old 17:9). The main camera is the same Sony IMX386 sensor (with 1.25um pixels) and 4-axis optical stabilization setup as the one on the Mi 6, albeit with a slightly slower f/2.0 aperture. It can also shoot 4K or 1080p video at 30 fps, and 720p video at up to 120 fps for slow motion. Because of this optical upgrade, there's now a small camera bump, but one that I can totally tolerate. The front camera -- located at the bottom right of the display -- still packs a 5-megapixel resolution but with a different sensor. Based on my brief hands-on with it, the images from both cameras are notably better than what I got with the original MIX. Last but not least, the old piezoelectric actuator-based hidden earpiece has been replaced with a louder conventional earpiece. The only trade-off here is that there's now a short, narrow slit along the top edge of the glass which is barely noticeable. And don't worry, the ultrasonic proximity sensor is here to stay, meaning there's no ugly black dots that would otherwise be housing an infrared sensor.

 
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