AMD Addresses Flaws On Its Secure Processor; Patches To Roll Out In the Coming Weeks

AMD has officially acknowledged the security flaws of its AMD Secure Processor that were revealed by CTS Labs, a digital security company that informed AMD about the flaws. The company is actively addressing the issue, and will roll out patches in the coming weeks.
AMD further stated that “these issues are associated with the firmware managing the embedded security control processor in some of our products (AMD Secure Processor) and the chipset used in some socket AM4 and socket TR4 desktop platforms supporting AMD processors.”
To bring our readers up to date; the company known as CTS Labs popped up on the internet at the beginning of last week. It created a site,, along with a very brief video that briefly presented the company’s findings. The company became the talk of the (digital) town when it decidedly told AMD of its findings, just 24 hours before they made it all public.

The so-called digital security firm had supposedly warned AMD about 13 major security flaws that were spread out across four vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities were Ryzenfall, Fallout, Masterkey, and Chimera. AMD has made it very clear that these identified security flaws “are not related to the AMD Zen CPU architecture or the Google Project Zero exploits” that were made public by the search engine giant on 3 January 2018.
The issue with both Ryzenfall and Fallout are that the flaws under these two vulnerabilities would only work if the attacker has already broken the security layer of the AMD Secure Processor, which is physically embedded in most AMD processors. Breaking through the security barriers would mean that the attackers would be able exploit vulnerabilities between the x86 platforms and PSP, installing malware that is difficult to detect.
At this stage, Ryzenfall seems to only target Ryzen, Ryzen Pro, and Ryzen Mobile processors, while the Fallout vulnerability seems to only affect AMD’s EPYC workstation CPUs.

In the case of the Masterkey flaw, the purported cybersecurity firm said hackers could easily compromise a system if someone were to flash the system’s BIOS with a third-party update. This act would essentially give hackers the ability to circumvent a platform’s security controls, and even worse; the circumvention would still remain, even if one were to reboot the entire system. Masterkey also seems to only target AMD’s EPYC and Ryzen PSPs.
Last on the list is Chimera. This vulnerability targets some of AMD’s “Promontory” chipsets, which are used in its AM4 desktops and enthusiast-level TR4 Threadripper platforms. Hackers exploiting Chimera could technically access the target system via the physical memory, and then proceed to install malware that would be deemed extremely difficult to detect.
Despite the appearance of these four vulnerabilities, AMD does have some good news about all this. Firstly, all four vulnerabilities (and the hacker’s ability to exploit them) only seem possible if the hacker has administrative access to the system. On that note, AMD’s Mark Papermaster wrote that the company was already working on firmware patches that would be released as a BIOS update. Papermaster also said that these patches will be rolled out over the coming weeks, addressing each vulnerability and its corresponding flaws.
AMD’s Ryzen die.
Having said all this, it should be pointed out that these vulnerabilities are not as critical as the more recent Spectre and Meltdown flaws. As written on the Trail of Bits blog:
“These types of vulnerabilities should not surprise any security researchers; similar flaws have been found in other embedded systems that have attempted to implement security features. They are the result of simple programming flaws, unclear security boundaries, and insufficient security testing. In contrast, the recent Meltdown and Spectre flaws required previously unknown techniques and novel research advances to discover and exploit.”
As far as the general consumer is concerned, what we can say is that there’s no reason to panic. Again, AMD had stated that the hacker would “require administrative access to the system, a type of access that effectively grants the user unrestricted access to the system and the right to delete, create or modify any of the folders or files on the computer, as well as change any settings.”
To put it simply; you’re not at risk, so long as you didn’t install any third-party software that could compromise the security of your AMD-based system or provide your administrative details to a technician of questionable character.
(Source: AMD, Trail Of Bits)
The post AMD Addresses Flaws On Its Secure Processor; Patches To Roll Out In the Coming Weeks appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Introduces Limited-time Event Mode

In a bid to bring back some excitement into the game, PUBG Corporation is introducing a new game mode in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Dubbed Event Mode, it allows the developer to experiment with new gameplay elements.
Currently only live on the test server, the very first Event Mode…isn’t particularly exciting. Instead of a four-man squad, the new mode allows up to eight players to play as a single team. On top of that, rifle drop rate will also be doubled in the game, making it easier for players to find good weapons.

However, there are a couple of limitations. According to PUBG Corp., to ensure effective matchmaking, Event Mode is only available in TPP – players will also play exclusively on Erangel – Miramar isn’t part of the mode. On top of that, games in Event Mode will be unranked, although players will still receive Battle Points at the end of each match.
The addition of Event Mode is certainly an interesting outlet for PUBG Corp. to implement new mechanics or gameplay elements into Battlegrounds. The question now, of course, is how well the developer will take advantage of the new mode. With Fortnite raking in more revenue last month, the introduction of Event Mode certainly seems like an answer.

Once enough testing are done, PUBG Corp. plans to implement the new Event Mode on the live server. It also teases the eventual release of a new weapon: the flare gun.
(Source: Steam)
The post PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Introduces Limited-time Event Mode appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

vivo V9 Goes Official: Features FullView Display, Snapdragon 626, and 24MP Front Camera

Given the amount of publicity that vivo has pushed towards this upcoming device, you might have heard about vivo V9 by now. Nevertheless, it is only today that the company has begin to launch the phone in selected market throughout the world starting with Thailand.
With that, vivo has also confirmed the official specifications of the phone. Similar to what we have heard before, the V9 is equipped with 6.3-inch 19:9 IPS display which also has a native resolution of 2280 x 1080.

Other than that, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor alongside 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage. Pre-installed with Funtouch OS 4.0 which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo, V9 also carries a 3260 mAh battery.
In terms of photography, the V9 relies on a set of 16MP f/2 camera and 5MP depth sensor on its rear together with 24MP f/2 front camera. Both of these cameras apparently feature enhancements that are being driven by AI technology.

In Thailand, the V9 is priced at THB 10,999 which equals to around RM 1,377. While its price tag in Malaysia is not yet known for the time being, the wait is not going to be long though as V9 will be launched in our market on 26 March. So, stay tuned.
(Source: vivo Thailand – 1, 2)
The post vivo V9 Goes Official: Features FullView Display, Snapdragon 626, and 24MP Front Camera appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

Sharp Announces the New Aquos S3 Mini Smartphone

Sharp has announced the Aquos S3 Mini, its latest smartphone for the Chinese market. The new phone shares similar specs as the Aquos S2 from last year with a few upgrades.
The S3 mini continues the design of the S2 by having a similar design on the front of the phone – it has a 5.5-inch Full HD display with an aspect ratio of 17:9, complete with a notch at the top of the display. The screen on the S3 Mini is also said to have 550 nits of brightness with high colour fidelity that has 135% sRGB coverage. Furthermore, the fingerprint sensor is located at the bottom of the screen.

The Snapdragon 630 chipset found on the S2 is still present on the new S3 Mini. Sharp doesn’t skimp on the memory as the S3 Mini has an ample 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. A microSD card slot is also present on the phone, along with a 3020mAh battery that charges over USB-C.
Sharp has decided to drop the dual rear camera of the S2 in favour of a single 16MP f/2.0 camera with PDAF on the S3 Mini. On the other hand, the selfie camera is a 20MP f/2.0 shooter – we imagine the phone will be ideal for selfie-lovers. According to Sharp, both cameras also come with AI enhancements.

The Sharp S3 Mini will ship with Android 7.1 out of the box, and it is available in Black, Gold, and Blue. Pre-order for the phone is already open in China, and it is priced at CNY 1600, which comes up to around RM990.
(Source: GSMArena)
The post Sharp Announces the New Aquos S3 Mini Smartphone appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

Gigabyte Begins To Show Support For Nvidia GeForce Partner Program

New reports have emerged regarding the possibility of Gigabyte’s partnership with Nvidia for its GeForce Partner Program (GPP). For those who are not aware, GPP is basically a new ‘initiative’ made by Nvidia to aid its partners in terms of support for marketing/engineering activities and early access to new technologies. It seems that the effects of this program is beginning to surface.
Prior to this, there were concerns raised by HardOCP’s Kyle Bennet regarding the negative impact of this program. Bennet, speaking to several unnamed representatives from different graphics cards manufacturers, discovered that most of them see the GPP program to be somewhat illegal/unethical. Why? Because GPP allegedly requires Nvidia partners to only associate their “gaming” brands with GeForce products and not AMD’s.
Remember Gigabyte’s recently launched RX 580 Gaming Box, which we wrote about a few days ago? We were intrigued with the fact that this external graphics enclosure did not come with the Aorus branding (Gigabyte’s premium gaming brand). In contrast, the similarly designed GTX 1080-based external graphics enclosure was bestowed with the Aorus branding and is still officially known as the “Aorus GTX 1080 Gaming Box.”
Those aside, it remains to be seen whether this program will affect the performance and quality of future custom Radeon-based graphics cards. There are rumours that both MSI and Asus are also participating in the Nvidia GPP program.
(Source: “evernessince” TechPowerUp Forums)
The post Gigabyte Begins To Show Support For Nvidia GeForce Partner Program appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

The First Solid Samsung Galaxy S9 Deal Is Here

The Samsung Galaxy S9 was just launched last week in Malaysia, and already we are seeing some interesting deals for Samsung’s first flagship phone of 2018. If you missed out on the pre-order deal with a free Harman Kardon speaker, this might be pretty interesting.
Samsung’s 2018 flagship builds on the solid foundations set by the excellent Galaxy S8 from last year, with minor improvements that result in a more refined device. There are some hardware bumps as well, such as a new Exynos 9810 octa-core chipset, stereo speakers, and a brand new 12MP rear camera that offers dual-aperture modes, and Super Slow Motion.

With a retail price of RM3299, a seller in Shopee is offering the device for RM2899 – a huge RM400 discount. The same seller is also selling the 64GB Galaxy S9+ with 6GB RAM and a dual rear camera setup for RM3599 – RM200 off the RM3799 RRP.
Shipping to West Malaysia is free as well, but there’s a RM25 shipping charge to ship to East Malaysia. Still, that’s a small price compared to the large discounts. All orders made in Shopee are covered by the Shopee Guarantee, which offers a full refund if you do not receive the items you ordered.
Check out our review for the Galaxy S9+ for more.
The post The First Solid Samsung Galaxy S9 Deal Is Here appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

The New Touch N Go App Is Here: Allows Fund Transfers To Physical Card

It has come to our attention that Touch ‘N Go (TnG) has quietly rolled out a brand new mobile app to consumers. Available for both Android and iOS devices, the app seems like a continuation of its previous e-wallet effort as it retained plenty of features from the old app alongside several new functionalities surrounding physical TnG card and RFID tag.
Among the new features included in the app is the ability to transfer funds to physical TnG cards. However, this doesn’t mean that users can now seamlessly reload their TnG cards from the comfort of their smartphones though.
(L): Credit/debit card is one of the supported method to reload the wallet on the new TnG app. // (R): The main menu for fund transfers to physical TnG cards.
In order to complete the transfer, they have to do it through a terminal called Pick Up Device. The FAQ section of TnG’s official website stated that the terminal will be installed at strategic locations but we not able to find the location list on the website even though there was a reference to it inside the same section.
Not to forget, the funds must come from the TnG app itself. In other words, users need to reload the wallet within the app first before they are able to transfer the fund to their physical TnG cards.
The QR-based cashless payment feature on the new TnG app which was retained from the old app.
At the same time, the new TnG app can also be used to manage the balance for the new RFID tag which is still under testing by authorities as well as the Vehicle Entry Permit RIFD tags for foreign vehicles. However, this particular function has not yet been enabled by the company for the time being despite its appearance on the app.
As per the original e-wallet app, the new TnG app does not share the same credentials as per MyTouchNGo portal. This means that they have to register a new account for app which a rather tedious process since it asked for plenty of details from users including MyKad or passport number as well as their address.

To learn more about the new app, head on to TnG’s official website or download it for your respective devices through the links below.
(Download: Touch ‘n Go App – Android and iOS.)
The post The New Touch N Go App Is Here: Allows Fund Transfers To Physical Card appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

Meizu E3 Mid-range Smartphone Launches in China

Meizu has unleashed its new smartphone – the Meizu E3. The new smartphone offers an impressive list of specs – for a mid-range smartphone – and retails at an attractive price.
The E3 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chipset with an ample 6GB of RAM to make sure the phone runs smoothly. Meizu has put a large 64GB or 128GB of internal storage on the E3 too, with expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD.

On the front, the E3 offers a 5.99-inch IPS LCD screen at 1080 x 2160 resolution. At the top of the screen, there is a single 8MP f/2.0 front-facing camera. Meizu’s decision to forgo the notch means the phone will have a pretty noticeable bezel around the screen.
Moving on, the E3 sports a dual-camera setup on the back. Specifically, the dual cameras consist of 12MP + 20MP sensors. The 12MP (Sony IMX362) camera has an aperture of f/1.9 with dual-pixel autofocus, while the 20MP (Sony IMX350) shooter has a smaller f/2.6 aperture with PDAF.
To make the cameras even fancier, Meizu covered the cameras with a piece of sapphire glass to strengthen its protection from scratches. The rear camera is not only capable of Portrait mode, it can also do 2.5x lossless zoom.

Interestingly, Meizu placed the fingerprint scanner on the right side of the phone, and it also comes with a 3,300mAh battery with 20W fast charging. Meizu Flyme OS 7 based on Android 7.1.2 will be the OS of choice on the E3.
As for the availability of the Meizu E3, pre-orders start in China on 26 March. Meizu is offering the phone in Champagne Gold, Black, and Blue colours, with prices starting from CNY 1799 (about RM1,110).
(Source: GSMArena)
The post Meizu E3 Mid-range Smartphone Launches in China appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

ASUS Teases A New ZenBook: To Be Unveiled At Computex 2018

ASUS has begun to drum up the hype for its upcoming launch at Computex 2018 by releasing a teaser that features what seems to be a brand new ZenBook laptop. This is not exactly surprising as the annual tech expo in Taipei has always been a fixture in ASUS launch calendar.
Given how ASUS ZenBook series had a rather quiet outing at CES 2018 with only one model was shown over there, the company might have been saving all the new ZenBooks for the launch event at its own hometown. For example, Computex 2017 has witnessed the launch of ZenBook Flip S convertible in addition to the ZenBook Pro and ZenBook 3 Deluxe.

All of these products were subsequently launched in Malaysia just few weeks after their global debut in Taipei. Meanwhile, we don’t notice any other obvious details regarding the new ZenBook from the teaser although its Creative Power tagline has certainly made us rather curious.
For those who are wondering, it was indeed Gal Gadot – the Wonder Woman herself – that starred in the new ZenBook teaser. Whether she will appeared at the Computex launch event…well, that’s a different question altogether.
(Source: ASUS Malaysia)
The post ASUS Teases A New ZenBook: To Be Unveiled At Computex 2018 appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »

Fortnite Rakes in $126 Million Revenue in February, Surpassing PUBG for the First Time

The popularity of the battle royale genre really skyrocketed with the release of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), but it seems like one of its biggest competition, Fortnite, will be overtaking the game in terms of revenue in the coming months.
According to game analytics firm SuperData Research, in the month of February 2018 alone, Fortnite made $126 million (about RM493 million) in revenue. PUBG, on the other hand, raked in $103 million (around RM403 million). PUBG still made a sizeable amount of revenue, of course, but this is the first time Fortnite pulled in more monthly revenue.

There are a number of reasons that contribute to Fortnite’s success. Most notably, it is a free-to-play game, while PUBG costs RM74.99 on the Steam store. Much like PUBG, Fortnite also offers cosmetic items players can purchase, which is one of the main sources of income for the title. Evidently, Epic Games’ approach with Fortnite’s in-game purchases is more effective than PUBG.
And then there’s also accessibility. In comparison to PUBG, Fortnite is playable on PC, Xbox One, as well as PlayStation 4. Not only did Fortnite launch on consoles earlier, PUBG isn’t even available on Sony’s console right now.

But PUBG does have one advantage over Fortnite right now: its mobile port, which was widely released earlier this week. It remains to be seen if Fortnite can continue its momentum, but considering its popularity – and the eventual public release of its own mobile port – PUBG may not be the most dominant battle royale game anymore.
(Source: SuperData Research via The Verge)
The post Fortnite Rakes in $126 Million Revenue in February, Surpassing PUBG for the First Time appeared first on Lowyat.NET.

Continue reading »