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5-Way Mech Keyboard Roundup & 2.5 Tech Guys at Hot Hardware

Chris over at Hot Hardware took the time to do a roundup review that covers five difference mechanical keyboards from Corsair, Azio, HyperX, Aukey, and Cherry. Interestingly enough, the one from Cherry, was the only one that sucked.

Overall, the cons were limited, as all the keyboards performed well and some exceeded our expectations. They all offered some solid features that ranged from customizable backlighting to silent key switches, and we have to say, overall we were impressed their quality, considering how varied the boards were. So, if you were looking for a clear-cut winner, there really isn't one here. What we have are five different mechanical keyboards that all do different things, servicing different user requirements, at different price points.

While you are over there, catch the latest episode of 2.5 Geeks which mentions "Geek Love" in the synopsis. I am afraid to watch.

2.5 Geeks 2/14/18: Geek Love, Raven Ridge, GTX 2080, Snapdragon 845, Clever Dog Bots, New SSDs!

Posted by Kyle February 20, 2018 11:32 AM (CST)

2nd Gen AMD Ryzen CPU Showing Boot Issues with Old BIOS

AMD has issued a support bulletin this morning pertaining to its 2nd Generation AMD Ryzen CPUs. It seems that some older UEFI BIOS are not playing nice with the new CPUs. All in all, this is not all that uncommon when it comes to new CPUs and motherboards that support previous generation processors. If you are unable to get your system to POST or boot with a new Ryzen, the solution is simple and hopefully you will have what you need on hand to make this happen.

The Socket AM4 platform is designed to be a long life, fully featured, scalable solution with support for multiple processors, with varying capabilities. Since the release of the AMD Socket AM4 motherboards in early 2017 with the AMD Ryzen desktop processor, there have been several BIOS updates made available through our motherboard partners. These updates not only provide improved system performance but also expand support for newer processors as they become available. In February 2018, AMD began introduction of the new 2nd Gen Ryzen™ Desktop Processor with Radeon™ Vega Graphics. To enable support for this new processor, an updated BIOS is required. Due to the rapid pace of innovation, and strong demand for Ryzen Processors with Radeon Graphics, it may be possible that some users with an AMD Socket AM4 motherboard paired with a 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop introduced in 2018, may experience an issue where the system does not boot up during initial setup. The boot up issue likely means a system is running an early BIOS that does not have support for newer processors. This can be resolved by updating the motherboard BIOS to the latest version, which can be performed by using any processor supported with the currently installed BIOS. For a list of supported processors per BIOS version, please refer to the CPU Support List document available on the motherboard manufacturer's website. BIOS download and installation instructions are also found on their websites.

Update the UEFI/BIOS to one from the motherboard manufacturer's website to one that supports the 2nd gen CPU. Of course, you will need your "old" Ryzen processor to do this. If you can't do this, you might check to see if you can send in the motherboard for an update, or rely on a buddy from HardForum to do it for you. AMD is also offering a free boot kit should you end up with no other options. I am assuming they will send you out a 1st gen Ryzen to allow you to update your UEFI/BIOS.

In the Problem Description field enter "Boot kit Required" (without quotes)

Posted by Kyle February 14, 2018 12:41 PM (CST)

Fujitsu Recalls Battery Packs for Notebook Computers and Workstations

Fujitsu has found that the lithium-ion battery packs in some of their notebooks and workstations can overheat, posing burn and fire hazards to consumers. These include about 5,800 units in the US and 606 in Canada.

This recall involves Panasonic lithium-ion battery packs for these Fujitsu notebook computers and workstations: CELSIUS H720, LIFEBOOK E752, E733, E743, E753, P702, P772, S710, S752, S762, T732, T734, and T902. Recalled battery pack product numbers are CP556150-03, CP579060-01 and CP629458-03.

Posted by Megalith February 11, 2018 2:45 PM (CST)

Site Admins Take Note of Your /.well-known/ Directory Hosting Hidden Phishing Sites

400 new phishing sites have been identified recently and those share a common origin in terms of how those are being hidden on webservers without their admins knowing. I have quoted the important points below in what you need to look for especially if you are using Let's Encrypt HTTPS. However this further points out that these servers are not properly secured in the first place, so get your ducks in line guys! Thanks Joe!

One of the most common legitimate uses of the /.well-known/ directory is to prove control over a domain. When a secure website uses the Automatic Certificate Management Environment (ACME) protocol to manage its SSL certificate, the issuer will verify ownership by checking for a unique token in /.well-known/acme-challenge/ or /.well-known/pki-validation/. Consequently, most of the phishing attacks that make use of the /.well-known/ directory have been deployed on sites that support HTTPS, using certificates issued by ACME-driven certificate authorities like Let's Encrypt and cPanel. Due to the success of Let's Encrypt and ACME, millions of websites now have a /.well-known/ directory in their web root, although many website administrators may be oblivious to its presence – particularly if they did not create the directory themselves. The directory can also easily be overlooked, as a bare ls command will treat files or directories that start with a "." as hidden. These factors make /.well-known/ an ideal place to smuggle phish onto a compromised web server.

Posted by Kyle February 02, 2018 10:44 AM (CST)

First "Jackpotting" Attacks Hit US ATMs

Krebs on Security is reporting on a crime dubbed "jackpotting," in which malicious software and/or hardware is used to get large volumes of cash from ATMs. While these attacks are not new to Europe and Asia, they are now being discovered in the US. The Secret Service advises operators to upgrade their XP machines to Windows 7 to prevent the attacks.

"In previous Ploutus.D attacks, the ATM continuously dispensed at a rate of 40 bills every 23 seconds," the alert continues. Once the dispense cycle starts, the only way to stop it is to press cancel on the keypad. Otherwise, the machine is completely emptied of cash, according to the alert.

Posted by Megalith January 28, 2018 11:00 AM (CST)

Malwarebytes Update Released to Fix High CPU and Memory Usage

Just earlier today, Malwarebytes pushed a "bad protection update" that led to high memory consumption and CPU usage, but the company already has a fix. Users who are having trouble installing it may first try terminating the mbamservice.exe process in task manager or reinstalling the software.

To resolve these issues simply start MBAM and check for new updates. The program will automatically download the new update and install it. If your computer is unresponsive, you can either terminate the mbamservice.exe process in task manager and restart Malwarebytes in order to try and download the new update. As a last resort, you can uninstall MBAM and reinstall it.

Posted by Megalith January 27, 2018 2:05 PM (CST)

Intel Plans To Have Spectre & Meltdown-Proof CPUs This Year

Slashgear is reporting that intel plans to have versions of its processors that address the Spectre and Meltdown security flaws on the market later this year. News on the processor update came during the earnings call with Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, after the company announced better-than-expected results for Q4 2017.
While slashgear thinks this could be a win-win for Intel, forcing customers to upgrade faster than usual to avoid the crippling bugs, I think they underestimate how many people plan on jumping ship due to Intel's response to this.

Krzanich opened the Intel earnings call with security at the top of the agenda, saying that the company was working "around the clock" to address the issues. Software fixes, however, aren’t sufficient the chief executive admitted, saying that Intel was "acutely aware" that it needed to do more. However, he also had information on just what that would be.

Posted by rgmekanic January 25, 2018 6:55 PM (CST)

Man Attacks Self-Driving Car in San Francisco’s Mission District

California’s first self-driving car "collision" of the year occurred on January 2nd, and it was a peculiar one: for reasons unknown, a pedestrian decided to strike the left side of a GM Cruise AV’s rear bumper and hatch with his entire body. The man was fine, but the car suffered damage to its right rear light.

Apparently, the Cruise AV has had a lot of activity in San Francisco. In 2017, GM filed 22 reports with the DMV because of collisions, although the Cruise was never at fault, according to the reports. Five of those collisions occurred in the Mission. The most recent incident, on Valencia Street, was California’s first self-driving car collision in 2018.

Posted by Megalith January 21, 2018 2:30 PM (CST)

Intel CES 2018 Keynote Live Stream - 8:30PM CST

Posted by Kyle January 08, 2018 7:45 PM (CST)

Security Hole in AMD CPUs’ Hidden Secure Processor Code Revealed Ahead of Patches

There is a security flaw affecting AMD's Platform Security Processor (PSP), which is an integrated coprocessor comparable to Intel’s Management Engine. Luckily, AMD has already addressed the issue, and a patch is scheduled for release later this month.

Unlike some CPUs, the PSP doesn't implement common exploit mitigation techniques such as stack cookies, No-eXecute (NX) flags, or address space layout randomization (ASLR), making exploitation trivial. Cohen's post described the vulnerability as remote code execution flaw. However, physical access is a prerequisite.

Posted by Megalith January 07, 2018 2:45 PM (CST)

CPU Usage Differences after Applying Meltdown Patch at Epic Games

The Fortnite team at Epic has published a new announcement that offers insight into what effect the Meltdown patch could have on multiplayer gaming. Judging by the chart, the impact on CPU usage is rather significant. The company warns that "unexpected issues" may occur as its cloud services continue to be updated.

We wanted to provide a bit more context for the most recent login issues and service instability. All of our cloud services are affected by updates required to mitigate the Meltdown vulnerability. We heavily rely on cloud services to run our back-end, and we may experience further service issues due to ongoing updates.

Posted by Megalith January 06, 2018 10:00 AM (CST)

Vulnerability Note VU#584653 - CPU Hardware Attacks Solution

The guys that run the Vulnerability Notes Database finally have the 100% solution to defend against the Meltdown and Spectre attacks. Thanks cageymaru.

Solution - Replace CPU hardware The underlying vulnerability is primarily caused by CPU implementation optimization choices. Fully removing the vulnerability requires replacing vulnerable CPU hardware.

Glad we got that all fixed up, now we can move forward. Discussion
Posted by Kyle January 04, 2018 11:37 AM (CST)