Items tagged with Firmware

Around two years ago, researchers discovered serious firmware vulnerabilities in Mac laptops and desktops, and then developed a proof-of-concept worm to demonstrate how potentially damaging they could be. Since then, Apple has been pretty good about including EFI (extensible firmware interface) updates with its macOS security and software updates, though new evidence suggests it is not nearly enough. This time around, researchers at Duo Security took a detailed look at the firmware used in Mac systems, and found them to be lacking. This is the part of the system that makes a series of checks and... Read more...
Microsoft recently announced a refresh to its Surface Pro 4 models with upgrades to Intel's latest generation processors (Kaby Lake). Part of the promise in upgrading to 7th generation Core CPUs is better batty life—Microsoft said its updated models offer up to 50 percent more run time than the previous generation with Skylake inside. To help meet that promise, Microsoft released new firmware for its Surface Pro 4. The newest firmware addresses battery life when the Surface Pro 4 goes into Sleep mode. This probably will not have a dramatic effect on things, though every little bit of additional... Read more...
Earlier this month, we informed you of a nasty vulnerability in certain Netgear routers that opened them up to remote exploits, including “arbitrary command injection” by nefarious parties. Four months after Netgear was first notified about the exploit, no response from the company (or fix) was provided, so a proof of concept was unleashed into the wild. Needless to say, the public reveal of the vulnerability kicked things into high gear for Netgear, and it issued beta firmware updates for the affected routers. While we initially thought that the vulnerability affected just three routers — the... Read more...
It’s another day, and another backdoor Android exploit has been discovered. Last week, we brought you news of a secret backdoor installed on a number of budget Android devices that was beaming personal information (test messages, phone numbers, contacts) to servers in China. Today, we’re learning of another exploit that once again targets low-cost Android smartphones. At the center of the discussion this time around is the Ragentek firmware used on a number of Android smartphones. Researchers from BitSight Technologies discovered two internet domains that were hardwired into the firmware.... Read more...
If you’re a victim of severe battery drain on the Surface Pro 3 tablet, we’ve got some good news for you today -- a fix has been released for customers. Interestingly, Microsoft says that the battery drain only affected a “limited number” of Surface Pro 3 devices. In short, the battery’s full charge capacity was being reported incorrectly to the operating system, which lead to Surface Pro 3 devices failing while on battery power. “Think of this like a fuel gauge in a car, where the car looks to the fuel gauge to determine how much to fill the tank,” writes Microsoft while describing the problem.... Read more...
The last time Tesla released a major over-the-air (OTA) update for its Model S electric sedan, it improved upon the already stellar “Insane Mode” found on the dual-motor P85D. But Tesla CEO Elon Musk has something even more promising in store with a new OTA update that will be available to all Model S owners. Musk sent out the following tweet to his followers early this morning:Tesla press conf at 9am on Thurs. About to end range anxiety ... via OTA software update. Affects entire Model S fleet.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 15, 2015 With TSLA stock taking a serious beating in recent months, there’s... Read more...
Microsoft has begun doling out its October update for the Xbox One to preview program members. It's a pretty big update with somewhat of a heavy focus on improving Snap support. After applying the update, the Snap Center will include faster access to Friends, Messages, Game DVR, clock, and battery indicator when playing a game. A double tap of the Xbox button brings up the menu and allows you to open a new app in snap mode, close the current snapped app, or switch focus between your game and your running snapped app, Microsoft says. In addition, you'll be able to access your friends list and take... Read more...
A hacker (“Craig”) on a site devoted to embedded device hacking posted a lengthy entry detailing how he, on a whim and armed with boredom and too much Shasta cola, reverse-engineered a firmware update and found a backdoor to certain D-Link routers that allows one to access the devices’ web interface by bypassing authentication. Once you’ve bypassed the authentication process, you can change or access any of the router’s settings. For obvious reasons, this is a serious security problem. This happens if your browser has a certain user agent string. “This is performing... Read more...
Woe is the PlayStation 3 gamer who jumped at the chance to install Sony's newest firmware update, version 4.45. After it was made available, it didn't take long for complaints to surface on Twitter, Reddit, and Sony's own support forum lamenting the fact that the update was bricking consoles, turning their gaming boxes into very expensive paperweights. Sony has since rolled back the firmware to the previous version (4.41) released in April as it looks into what went wrong. "Hi guys, we're aware of reports that the recent PS3 update (4.45) has caused. We have temporarily taken 4.45 offline and are... Read more...
Back in April, we ran a pair of OCZ Vertex 4 SSDs (256GB and 512GB) through the benchmark grinder to see what they could do... Today, we’re testing another brother in the family, the 128GB OCZ Vertex 4.  When we first tested the aforementioned drives, we found that the latest generation of the Vertex series delivered somewhat uneven performance. In some workloads, the drives more or less smoked the competition, while they stumbled a bit in others.  The bottom line was that the OCZ Vertex 4 SSDs were mostly impressive, but they didn’t demonstrate quite the upgrade from the... Read more...
Back in April, we ran a pair of OCZ Vertex 4 SSDs (256GB and 512GB) through the benchmark grinder to see what they could do and also told you everything you ever wanted to know about them in the process. Today, we’re testing another brother in the family, the 128GB OCZ Vertex 4.  When we first tested the aforementioned drives, we found that the latest generation of the Vertex series delivered somewhat uneven performance. In some workloads, the drives more or less smoked the competition, while they stumbled a bit in others.  The bottom line was that the OCZ Vertex 4 SSDs were mostly... Read more...
Do you enjoy the sound of your own voice? Don't worry, we're not here to judge, and truth be sold, we sometimes feel the same way. The exception to our vanity is when we're playing a game and yelling at our teammates through a headset. That became a problem when Sony rolled out its v4.10 for the PlayStation 3, which enabled you to hear your own voice through the company's new Wireless Stereo Headset, a feature many users complained about. Sony heard you loud and clear and is getting ready to roll out another firmware update, v4.20, which will give you the option to select one of five levels of... Read more...
Don't underestimate the power of finely tuned firmware. Underscoring this point is the release of new enhanced IOPS firmware (v1.13) for OCZ's Octane SATA 3.0 Series solid state drives (SSDs). With the new firmware applied, OCZ promises significant improvements to write performance, over double in some capacities. For all Octane SATA 6Gb/s models, the improved IOPS made possible by this new firmware allow for greater transactional performance, especially during small file and random access speeds in everyday computing applications," OCZ said. "When compared to the previous revision, random write... Read more...
Crucial, the Micron-owned maker of memory and storage products, made good on its promise to fix a strange issue plaguing some M4 solid state drive owners. Earlier this month, Crucial said it was hard at work on new firmware that would address an issue causing some M4 SSDs to stall out Windows and kick out a Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) with an error code that reads 0x00000f4. What made the bug so strange is that it manifested itself after 5,200 hours of use, and it only seemed to affect 64GB models. Nevertheless, firmware revision 0309 is available for all four M4 SSD capacities (64GB, 128GB, 256GB,... Read more...
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