QuadRooter is a new vulnerability affecting over 900 Million Android devices
The term includes a set of four vulnerabilities that would eventually end up affecting 900 million Android smartphones and tablets with Qualcomm chipsets. The vulnerability is dubbed as “QuadRooter” and as one might deduce from the name it has everything to do with gaining a root access to a device. It is capable of triggering an escalation which would eventually give away the root access for the attackers.
Once exploited the vulnerability will give the attacker a full-fledged access to the phone’s hardware including camera and microphone.
You can read more about this subject here.
Google Chrome will begin blocking Flash in favor of HTML5
Chrome 53, which is on track for a September release, will be the first web browser from Google to block Flash content by default. Google has decided to make this change to create a faster and more responsive browser that saves you battery life in the process. Google will be making further changes in December, as Chrome 55 will make HTML5 the default over Flash for all websites that support both technologies. If a site is Flash-only, Chrome will prompt you to enable Flash for that website when you first visit it.
These changes are all part of Google’s effort to “de-emphasise” Flash in favor of HTML5 across the web.
More info here.
Simit is a new language for more efficient programming
A team of researchers from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Adobe, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Toronto, Texas A&M and the University of Texas have developed a brand new programming language that can speed up computer simulations significantly.
Meant to alleviate the frustration of having to swap between different types of tools and physical models, the new language is called Simit, and it requires only one-tenth as much code as older simulations. Simit will require programmers to describe translations between a graphical depiction of a system as well as its matrix description, but where it speeds things up is the fact that it doesn’t have a need for translating graphics into matrices, etc. It can simply take instructions issued by the language of linear algebra and translate them into graphs, skipping over a very time-consuming step.
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Top new products
Sony’s PlayStation Neo expected to be unveiled on September 7
Sony might be choosing the September 7 date to avoid going directly up against Nintendo’s anticipated announcement of its NX platform at the Tokyo Game Show on September 12. The new console will supposedly feature eight AMD “Jaguar” CPU cores clocked at 2.1GHz (a 31% improvement), a Polaris-derived GPU with double the GPU cores and a higher clock frequency (2,304 cores total and a 911MHz clock, up from 1,154 cores and 853MHz), and 218GB/s of memory bandwidth, up from 176GB/s on the PS4 standard. There’s still no word on price or availability, but this new PS4 Neo could effectively sweep Microsoft’s refreshed Xbox One S completely off the table.
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Seagate built a whopping 60TB SSD
There aren’t many shockers when it comes to storage capacity, but try this one on for size: Seagate has announced a 60TB SSD that may ship as early as next year. The drive will be aimed at servers and flash arrays, where it could help meet the growing demand for storage fueled by mobile devices, online video and the emerging internet of things. The SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) drive fits into a standard enterprise hard disk drive 3.5-inch storage slot, Seagate says. The drive was created with quick accessibility in mind, and its flexibile artchitecture means it’ll be simple for data centers to grow from 60TB to accommodate 100TB or more of data in the future, all using the same form factor.
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HP’s low-cost Stream laptops now include a 14-inch model
The Stream 14 effectively replaces the 13-inch version, delivering better performance and a more portable design despite the larger screen. It has faster 2×2 802.11ac WiFi, a 2016-era Celeron processor and a longer 10 hours, 45 minutes of battery life, but weighs less than the old Stream 13 at 3.17 pounds. The price will start at $219 and will arrive on September 7th.
You can find full specs and more info here.
Top interesting info
This PC monitor hack can manipulate pixels for malicious effect
It turns out even your computer monitor can be hacked. During a DEF CON presentation, Ang Cui and Jatin Kataria of Red Balloon Security showed how the hacked monitor could seemingly alter the details on a web page. In one example, they changed a PayPal’s account balance from $0 to $1 million, when in reality the pixels on the monitor had simply been reconfigured.
The key problem lies in the monitors’ firmware, or the software embedded inside. “There’s no security in the way they update their firmware, and it’s very open,” said Cui, who is also CEO of Red Balloon.
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Microsoft left the Secure Boot golden key sitting out in the open
Two researchers discovered that Microsoft accidentally included an internal debugging tool, or policy, on Surface hardware shipped to customers. It’s a “golden key” of sorts that will enable anyone to bypass Microsoft’s Secure Boot provision. This security feature prevents the installation of non-genuine Windows-based operating systems and other non-Microsoft platforms, such as Linux. Microsoft introduced Secure Boot with the launch of Windows 8 back in October of 2012. Secure Boot works at the firmware level, and essentially makes sure that the bootloader and other components are cryptographically signed and allowed to run on the current hardware. Because of this, only an operating system cryptographically signed by Microsoft can load. In addition to preventing piracy, Secure Boot also stops malware in its tracks when it tries to modify the system firmware, or install rootkits that load up before or during the OS loading process.
With this tool now out in the wild, Microsoft devices like the Surface 3 and Surface Book could be even more open to nasty attacks by hackers. This of course heats up the controversy surrounding backdoors in operating systems.
More info here.
International technical standards needed to accelerate IoT growth
International standards are needed for the Internet of Things (IoT) in order to accelerate growth in industrial and manufacturing environments, particularly among small to medium-sized businesses. Earlier this year, SAP announced that it partnered with Bosch to create a European IoT testbed to try to develop standards to connect sensors, machines, moving assets, and facilities to permeate all layers of the industrial IoT stack. Having international standards in place will mean that data coming from the IoT machines will be consistently identified, and mapped in the same way, whether that’s data about usage, or when the machine needs maintenance.
You can read more info here.