“Cyber Pathogen” Claims On Locked iPhone Made Up

The debate of privacy vs security is one that has lasted for hundreds of years, if not longer. With people claiming that while security is important, if that is compromised or done without checks, such as with the PRISM program, then our privacy means nothing to those who could abuse the system. Currently, Apple is debating this very same matter with the FBI in Congress, and it seems that one of the people who have come out in support of the FBI may have been using tall tales to back up his argument.

We’ve reported on Michael Ramos’s (a San Bernardino County District Attorney) claims that Apple must unlock the iPhone involved in the current case. His claims involved the fact that the phone, which was given to a county employee, had access to the San Bernardino infrastructure and could hold a “dormant cyber pathogen” which would be used to perform a terrorist attack on their infrastructure.

These claims were met with skepticism and some people even said it was like saying that you may find a “magic unicorn” on the iPhone. It now seems that even Ramos can’t hide from people as he has come out and told the Associated Press that he has no proof or knowledge that the phone could be used in that way.

In his response he states:

“This was a county employee that murdered 14 people and injured 22. Did he use the county’s infrastructure? Did he hack into that infrastructure? I don’t know. In order for me to really put that issue to rest, there is one piece of evidence that would absolutely let us know that, and that would be the iPhone.”

Jonathan Zdziarski commented on his personal blog about this response, talking about the original comments by explaining that “Ramos’s statements are not only misleading to the court, but amount to blatant fear mongering”.

It would seem like his original claims were just that, fear mongering, in the hopes of providing support to a personal point of view. The move seems to have backfired, offering only more fuel for the pro-encryption people backing Apple and their arguments that they need people who know about cyber-security making the decision.

Hospital Pays Bitcoin Ransom to Fix Ransomware

Viruses and malware are issues for the best of us, from forgetting to scan your computer once to being baited in by that interesting link in an email, there are many ways for your system to get infected. Ransomware is one of the nastier pieces of malware, denying you access to your system until you pay the creator of the virus. While the FBI recommend you pay up, does this still apply when you are a hospital?

Earlier in the week, we reported that hackers had hit a Hollywood hospital with ransomware. Hollywood Presbyterian Memorial Medical Center was hit by the ransomware, with an initial request for 9000 bitcoins, coming close to 3.5 million dollars, to get the key required to unlock their systems. While it may not have been the 9000 bitcoins, the Hospital has now announced that they have paid 40 bitcoins to unlock the system.

President and CEO Allen Stefanek claims that the initial price tag of $3.6 million was false and that paying this fee was the “quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions”.

Even with backups and anti-virus software, there will always be some viruses that are able to get into systems, with ransomware benefiting the creators we don’t expect this to be the last time that we see it hitting public services.

Overclocker Finds Unlock for BCLK on Any Intel Skylake CPU

Overclocking Intel CPUs is normally reserved to the more pricey K-series models but the overclocker Dhenzjhen seems to have broken that limitation and submitted 3 valid scores with an Intel Core i3 6320, overclocked to 4.6GHz. The Core i3 part should normally be completely locked down, but thanks to some clever motherboard modification the overclocker managed to get around that limitation.

The modification seen below is however not the one leading to this possibility, but rather a CPU Vcore readout point. The motherboard used was a SuperMicro H170 based motherboard and Dhenzjhen says the mother is ready to go as it is.

While it is fun to play around with a Core i3 and grab all the high scores for a while, the really good news is found in one of the replies to the records. According to the overclocker, this should be possible with any locked SKL chips no matter what stepping. “Q0s, R0s on i3/i5/i7s ES or retails, no problems.”

Below are the newly submitted scores that took the overclocking world by surprise yesterday. It will be interesting to see what other people will be able to do with other BLCK locked Skylake CPUs in the near future.

You can check out the official information pages for the three results too: Cinebench R11.5, Cinebench R15, and Geekbench3 Multi Core. To be continued …

Developer Confirm MGS: Ground Zeroes Locked at 60 FPS

Seemingly, in a bid to take some of the heat off Ubisoft – Developer Kojima Productions has announced that the latest MGS release will be locked to 60 FPS through a post in the game’s STEAM discussion page.

This post reads:

Hello all,

I hope you saw today’s announcement, please feel free to share the info-graphic linked within to get the word out past these forums.

Controller/Keyboard & Mouse Control Options

I’ve relayed your feedback and received confirmation from the team on a couple of other items for the December release of MGSV:GZ.

– Unfortunately, Dual Shock 3 and Dual Shock 4 controllers, while supported, will not have proprietary input displays in the UI. The controller inputs rather follow the displays common to Xbox Controllers.
– The FPS is locked at 60 for MGSV:GZ.

I’m continuing to clarify some points and will get back to you with more info soon!

-KJPDev STEAM

This was met with a surprisingly good reception, given the pitchforks we’ve seen across social media and Reddits PC Master Race community. With the first reply being “People with 120/144Hz monitors aren’t going to like this news, but hey, at least it’s not locked at 30. And I understand why one might need to lock the framerate; Physics issues and stuff. Thanks for communicating with the community.” shows that maybe we’ve come to terms with 60 FPS not being the worst of the worst, and will take whatever scraps we’re given. But I still find it very unacceptable for a A+++ developer to bring out such limitations.

There are a few quite upset fan-boys in the audience, quite obviously in some physical pain over their once-loved developers limitations. As monitors become more advanced in refresh rate technology, with 144hz hitting the mainstream market, are we going to see a full transition back to 60Hz technology? After all, what’s the point in purchasing an ultra-smooth monitor when the main brunt of your games cannot look decent on them no matter what. Unless you’re an eSports fanatic and are playing games such as CS:GO, there’s a South Park quote/meme that will suit this situation quite well.

Image courtesy of Gamespot

New AMD FM2+ CPU Spotted

A new AMD CPU has been spotted in the support manual for the FM2A88X Pro+ motherboard from AsRock. The new CPU has a model number of 450 and the Athlon branding, so it probably won’t have an integrated GPU. With the Athlon X4 860K being released next week, it’s logical to assume that it will be a dual-core Kaveri version.

The support list states the Athlon 450 has a clock speed of 3.5 GHz and 1MB L2 shared cache at a TDP of 65 Watts. The list didn’t mention any turbo core speed and judging by the model number, this will be a CPU with a locked multiplier.

A few other characteristics can be gleaned from the AD450XYBI23JA part number. The digit “2” in the part number signifies the number of cores. The digit “3” confirms the size of L2 cache, 1 MB shared between 2 cores, and indicates the lack of L3 cache. The “JA” suffix tells us that the CPU will be based on stepping A1 of Kaveri core. Release date of the Athlon X2 450 is not known yet.

Thank you cpuworld for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of AMD.

Warning: Nokia Lumia Cyan Update Could Brick your Smartphone

There have been reports that some Windows Phone users were experiencing BitLocker issues after upgrading their handset to the latest Cyan update, but a clear confirmation of who was experiencing it and how could not be made. It now seems that the users being affected are Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developer users who are using BitLocker full disk encryption through their companies, having their devices bricked after updating to the latest Cyan update.

Microsoft is said to have issues an official statement and recommends users to downgrade from the preview version of WP 8.1 to the commercial software before attempting to upgrade to the latest Lumia Cyan update. Along with the latter, the company has also suspended the preview program, which includes the 12400 build as well.

“We are currently investigating the issue. We have paused delivery of the update to customers using the Preview for Developers, and will resume once a fix is in place. Customers whose phones have been affected should use the Nokia Software Recovery Tool to return your Lumia to a normal commercial software state before downloading the Lumia Cyan update.”

Users who are still running on the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developer software and noticed that the Cyan update is not available for them should know that Microsoft has postponed the Cyan rollout for the given preview software until a fix is available. For those affected by the BitLocker issue, Microsoft recommends using the Nokia Recovery Software Tool in order to return the handset to a commercial software in order to regain functionality of the device.

Thank you Windows Phone Central for providing us with this information

AMD A10-6800k & A10-6700 ‘Richland’ APU Review

It’s been a busy time of year in the CPU market, with Haswell now on sale and making its stand as one mighty processor for its size, it’s time for AMD to release their update to the Trinity APU platform.

Whilst Intel’s new Z87 platform has seen a vast improvement in performance over Z77, it still has one major downside for some people and this relates to the cost. A new ground up platform means that users need to buy a new Z87 board in order to use the latest fourth generation processors and on the top end of the scale, this can equate to a large hole in the wallet. This is where AMD’s APU platform makes a strong stand against Intel. Whilst they have got their FX line of CPU’s that can perform virtually neck and neck with the 3rd Generation offerings from Intel, they do lack a built in GPU.

The APU or Accelerated Processing Unit is something that AMD have been proud of for a while now and the Trinity platform showed that with the inclusion of HD Radeon graphics into the same chip as a quad core CPU, it was able to give quite a substantial amount of power, especially for the price.

Richland is the next generation of APU’s to roll out of the AMD factories and even though AMD have made it clear that their HD Radeon 8xxx series of discrete GPUs will not be around until the early part of next year, back at the start of the year they did state that their 8000 series mobile graphics would be making appearance way before then within notebooks and within their APU’s

So what extra is there to be had over Trinity? Well over the last generation chips, AMD is promising a boost of 30-40% in performance and the biggest shouting point of all is the total cost of upgrading. Whereas Intel users need to buy both a chip and board in order to upgrade, the Richland APUs will all work on the current line of FM2 A85X motherboards with a simple BIOS update.

Other new features within Richland include the new HD Radeon 8000 series GPU cores, with up to 384 shaders, 8xAA and 16xAF support, DX11 support, DisplayPort 1.2 support and a clock speed of up to 844MHz. On top of this the A10 APUs will now also have native support DDR3-2133MHz memory speeds and the chips as a whole will offer more voltage and frequency levels for overclocking meaning that we should see some chips that are easier to work with when taking them to the next level in terms of speed.