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Intel Has Disclosed New Security Flaws that Affect SGX and Virtualization

Intel has disclosed a new set of security flaws collectively called the L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF). These flaws were discovered in conjunction with researchers at KU Leuven University and other universities. The researchers call their discoveries Foreshadow and Foreshadow - Next Generation (NG). Intel even suggests that disabling SMT might be applicable in some use cases when running virtualized operating systems.

Foreshadow At a high level, SGX is a new feature in modern Intel CPUs which allows computers to protect users' data even if the entire system falls under the attacker's control. While it was previously believed that SGX is resilient to speculative execution attacks (such as Meltdown and Spectre), Foreshadow demonstrates how speculative execution can be exploited for reading the contents of SGX-protected memory as well as extracting the machine's private attestation key. Making things worse, due to SGX's privacy features, an attestation report cannot be linked to the identity of its signer. Thus, it only takes a single compromised SGX machine to erode trust in the entire SGX ecosystem. Foreshadow - Next Generation (NG) While investigating the vulnerability that causes Foreshadow, which Intel refers to as "L1 Terminal Fault", Intel identified two related attacks, which we call Foreshadow-NG. These attacks can potentially be used to read any information residing in the L1 cache, including information belonging to the System Management Mode (SMM), the Operating System's Kernel, or Hypervisor. Perhaps most devastating, Foreshadow-NG might also be used to read information stored in other virtual machines running on the same third-party cloud, presenting a risk to cloud infrastructure. Finally, in some cases, Foreshadow-NG might bypass previous mitigations against speculative execution attacks, including countermeasures to Meltdown and Spectre.

Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 7:19 PM (CDT)

The Humble Store Is Having an Up to 75% off Sale on Select VR Titles

The Humble Store is having an up to 75% off sale on VR titles. I'm finally going to get GORN. Anyone else have a suggestion? You can save an additional 10% off your purchases at the Humble Store by signing up for the Humble Monthly.
Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 6:05 PM (CDT)

How to Sit Properly and Avoid Back Pain

NPR has an excellent article on the proper way to sit to avoid back pain. Many think that people sit too much, when in fact most don't. It comes down to understanding that you have to push your butt out when you sit. Yes, just like the dancers in pop videos. This creates the desired "J" curve in your back that indigenous tribesmen have and they rarely experience back issues. But there is more to it as you will find out while reading the article and perusing our reviews on the perfect chair.

"Stand up and spread your heels about 12 inches apart," she says. Now, put your hand on your pubic bone -- like a fig leaf covering up Adam in the Bible, she explains. "When you bend over, you want to let this fig leaf -- your pubic bone -- move through your legs," she says. "This creates a crease between your pelvis and legs." This action also pretty much pokes your butt out, behind your spine. "Now go ahead, sit down," Sherer says. Now my butt -- or my imaginary tail -- is behind my spine.

Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 4:46 PM (CDT)

Tech Companies Have a Unique View of Their Net Worth When Paying Property Tax

Technology mega corporations such as Apple love the spotlight as their stock rises to new highs such as hitting the $1 trillion mark. Everyone is excited for them; including the county tax assessor. When it is time to pay taxes on the new fancy campuses and the equipment inside of them, suddenly they become poor. A $1 billion building is suddenly only worth $200 to Apple. A Genentech campus is only worth $14 billion instead of the $33 billion that the tax assessor valuation recommended. Tax collectors say that the hundreds of tax appeals filed by these mega corporations is just a way to wear the local government down, and in the end the county's infrastructure such as roads and schools are negatively affected.

"I don't want to imply someone doesn't have a right to contest their taxes if they believe the assessor has made an error. But that's not what Genentech is doing," said Deputy County Counsel Rebecca Archer. "They're just filing and seeing what sticks, like throwing spaghetti at the wall. It's working the system to the max in a way that's not productive for taxpayers, for the companies (or) for the assessor."

Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 3:17 PM (CDT)

Increased Surveillance Perpetuates a Dystopian View of Life in China

China is leading the charge into maintaining a surveillance profile for citizens by spending millions on data-ripping devices. Labs invent new and improved phone scanners, facial recognition devices, and other surveillance tools so that the government can keep track of citizen movements around town and what they say and do on social media. Police will stop citizens and perform a phone scan on the spot to check for "illegal data" such as visiting certain websites, contacts lists, or simply using certain words in a conversation. Most comply with these on the street checks as "In China, it's not wise to refuse."

A May 25 filing from a customs bureau in Beijing budgeted 5.7 million yuan for smartphone forensic tools from two providers, Meiya Pico and Resonant Ltd. It listed messaging platforms and "overseas" apps the devices could read. "Basic content collection functions" must include "mobile phone passwords, address books, call history, SMS records, MMS, pictures, audio and video data, calendars, memos and mobile app data," the document said.

Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 2:15 PM (CDT)

Cryptocurrency Market Sucks Hardest Yet in 2018

Bitcoin is falling, Ether is falling, and all but two of the top 100 cryptocurrencies were in the red in the past 24 hours (Archive). Bitcoin only fell 5%, and keep in mind that Bitcoin makes up 54% of the entire crypto market. Bitcoin while dropping below $6000 is still up more than 40% in the past 12 months. Lots of blame going around as to why. Worth mentioning that @UnikoinGold, the crypto based on esports gambling, both in terms of market cap and coin price continues to slide into the dumper. Its price is down from a high of $2.18 to $0.045 today. Bummer

A broad selloff in digital currencies has pushed the value of the entire market below $200 billion for the first time this year, according to research site CoinMarketCap, erasing more than 70% of its worth seven months ago.

Posted by Kyle August 14, 2018 1:23 PM (CDT)

Industry Powerhouses Invest into Game Streaming as a Game Console Replacement

Gaming corporations have long flirted with the allure of game streaming titles instead of selling consoles to consumers as the hardware is sold at a loss in some cases. Microsoft and Nintendo are said to be working on streaming services where you can play a game on most devices as long as it has a screen. And some major game publishers are predicting the end of the game console as soon as next generation. But is there really truth to this perception that game streaming can completely replace the game console experience? What about latency and video quality? The US government has been trying to convince ISPs to install some form of internet in many areas to no avail. The FCC wants to keep the definition of broadband capped at 25Mbps/3Mbps. Is that really fast enough to stream games at game console quality and low latency if you have others in your home consuming bandwidth at the same time? Some areas don't even have cellular service.

Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at Microsoft, compared the evolution of moving games to streaming with the change we have seen in streaming video. Microsoft's goal, he said, is to move gaming to a medium where you can play what you want where you want. But, he pointed out, even though streaming video claims mindshare and market share, DVD sales still pull in billions of dollars per year. Big shifts like this, he said, don't happen as quickly as we all think they do. "It takes time," Spencer said.

Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 1:06 PM (CDT)

Youtube Paying Top Creators to Push New Features

Youtube tried to pay creators to lock in their content exclusively back in 2014, and we all know how that worked didn't. Youtube is feeling more heat from the likes of Facebook and certainly Twitch according to Bloomberg. Youtube is now paying to creators up to hundreds of thousands of dollars if they use the platform's new paid memberships and enhanced chat. Also in some of these deals is the requirement to publish their content first to Youtube before distributing it on other platforms.

Competitors have seized on that dissatisfaction. Facebook Inc. and and its Instagram service have approached YouTube stars touting their new video features, while Inc.’s Twitch and Patreon offer the chance to reduce reliance on advertising by selling subscriptions to fans who want early access to programming or the ability to use certain symbols in chats.

Posted by Kyle August 14, 2018 11:24 AM (CDT)

Nvidia Turing GPU "RTX Quadro" Slideshow from SIGGRAPH 2018

Here is a little slideshow that I made from the Nvidia SIGGRAPH 2018 livestream. Hope you like it!
"The Speed of Light" Porsche 911 Speedster Concept demo running in Unreal Engine.

Porsche, NVIDIA and Epic Games reveal "The Speed of Light," created with Unreal Engine 4 using real-time ray tracing and NVIDIA RTX technology at SIGGRAPH 2018.

Ongoing Discussion
Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 11:05 AM (CDT)

NVIDIA Unveils Turing GPU for the RTX Quadro Lineup

Jensen kicked off the RTX Quadro cards by showing that now-famous Stormtrooper ray-tracing demo running in real time on a single Turing GPU with its Tensor Cores. The Tensor Cores provide up to 500 trillion operations per second that fill in where the real time ray-tracing comes up short. Deep learning on your ray-tracing to put it simply. Turing is 6X faster at rasterization than Pascal. The new RTX Quadro cards price out at $2,300 for the Quadro RTX 5000, $6,300 for the Quadro RTX 6000, and $10,000 Quadro for the RTX 8000.

Ray-traced graphics offer incredible realism. Interactive graphics driven by GPUs offer speed and responsiveness. The two now come together in the greatest leap since the invention of the CUDA GPU in 2006, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announced Monday. Speaking at the SIGGRAPH professional graphics conference in Vancouver, Huang unveiled Turing, NVIDIA’s eighth-generation GPU architecture, bringing ray tracing to real-time graphics. He also introduced the first Turing-based GPUs - the NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000, Quadro RTX 6000 and Quadro RTX 5000. And he detailed the Quadro RTX Server, a reference architecture for the $250 billion visual effects industry.

Posted by Kyle August 14, 2018 10:07 AM (CDT)

Chinese Engineer Steals Technology from American Firm to Smuggle to China

A jury in California has awarded Lumiled $66 million in damages for industrial espionage committed by one of their former employees. Chinese citizen Gangyi Chen was working for Lumileds in San Jose, CA when he was recruited for a job back in mainland China. After accepting employment from Elec-Tech International (ETI) he proceeded to download thousands of files containing company trade secrets from the Lumiled servers. Then he smuggled them to China and received compensation in the form of promotions to the level of vice president at ETI and is one of the highest paid senior executives at the company. ETI contends that the technology pilfered, is now common knowledge in LED manufacturing sector, so no compensation should have been awarded.

Chen's recruitment at ETI was part of a larger campaign to pilfer employees -- and intellectual property -- from Lumileds, the suit claimed. "Several employees recruited from Lumileds were fired or resigned within months of joining, after they refused to share trade secrets of Lumileds," the suit alleged.

Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 9:30 AM (CDT)

Nvidia Teases New Lineup of Consumer Video Cards

Nvidia has put out a teaser clip with clues that lead to the reveal day and nomenclature for their upcoming consumer cards. I'm going to post the video and let everyone figure it out. My only clue is that it the reveal is "soon."

#BeForTheGame. Cologne. 20.Aug.2018.

Posted by cageymaru August 14, 2018 8:15 AM (CDT)