Items tagged with China

Earlier this year, malicious hackers exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange servers to attack an estimated 30,000 organizations worldwide. Both Microsoft and other organizations were quick to point fingers at Chinese hackers, but the Biden administration, along with U.S allies, are formally blaming China after accusing Bejing of working with the criminal hackers. The announcements, released today, come as both condemnation and warning due to China’s “irresponsible and destabilizing behavior in cyberspace.” Though the country may want to be a responsible world leader, its malicious cyber activity “poses a major threat to U.S. and allies’ economic and national... Read more...
It is not often a snake-oil product comes up in the realm of technology, but it seems the “Freedom Phone” fits that bill. Featuring no reported specs, construction in China, and a 4x markup from Alibaba, all while touting itself as a “free speech and privacy first focused phone,” the Freedom Phone seems to be more of a scam than a device to save democracy. On July 14th, the “world’s youngest Bitcoin millionaire,” as if that already did not have side effects, Erik Finman, announced the “Freedom Phone.” He claimed that this is “the first major pushback on the Big Tech companies that attacked us - for just thinking different.” Unfortunately,... Read more...
Back in June, China made the decision to crack down on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, leading to tumbling prices and a mass exodus of miners. This is now beginning to have rippling effects beyond cryptocurrency as Chinese miners are beginning to dump GPUs on the secondhand or used marketplace. On Twitter, a video recently posted by user Wolfie Zhao shows popular Chinese secondhand market Xianyu inundated with GPUs that were used for mining. However, since China has effectively put a stop to mining, these graphics cards, which have been in short supply, are now generally useless. Not just ASICs, Chinese miners been dumping stacks of GPUs too on Xianyu, one of the largest marketplace apps for... Read more...
Ever since the introduction of Windows Vista in early 2007, Microsoft has enforced the rule that Windows drivers must carry digital signatures by default. Any software that runs in kernel mode, in fact, has to be signed by the company. This is a security measure that should prevent malicious software from digging its claws in too deep. However, what happens when Microsoft gives its blessing to a rootkit? That's what happened a few months ago and was just now discovered thanks to G DATA Software security analyst Karsten Hahn. Initially, the company received a false-positive alert from a driver that was signed by Microsoft. After a lot of investigation into the matter, it turns out that the positive... Read more...
Over the past few weeks, there have been various reports that the GPU crunch is starting to subside across Europe, with a resultant decrease in currently astronomical street prices. Although we haven't seen significant price erosion here in the United States, a new report suggests that NVIDIA is poised to ramp production for at least one of its current generation GPUs: the GeForce RTX 3060. The GeForce RTX 3060 was introduced in mid-February and was the first Ampere GPU to introduce the [easily defeated] cryptocurrency mining limiter. However, a new report from ITHome alleges that NVIDIA is boosting production of these GeForce RTX 3060 Lite Hash Rate (LHR) GPUs, in part, as a response to demand... Read more...
In May, China began a cryptocurrency crackdown that kicked off a mass exodus of digital miners from the country. Since then, this crackdown has continued and even been reaffirmed as of late with several major mines' shutdown. This has put cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum into a tailspin, and it is hard to tell where this will end. In the past two months, Bitcoin has lost over 40% of its value, and some investors are rightfully concerned. With this loss, analysts report that Bitcoin has formed a "death cross," which means the average price over the last 50 days fell below its 200-day moving average. According to Investopedia, this is sometimes viewed as a signal that a massive sell-off... Read more...
Have you looked up the prices of graphics cards lately? Don't do it, not unless you want to be depressed. We're not talking about MSRPs, mind you, but jacked up pricing on the part of marketplace sellers and scalpers on eBay. Part of the reason is because of cryptocurrency mining, but following a crackdown in China, GPU prices might finally return to Earth. That is the optimistic view, anyway (and probably too optimistic). However, China's annoyance at cryptocurrency mining is very real, and its ban on mining digital currencies could have a tangible impact on the market at large, and others (like GPUs) that are associated with it. That's because China has been a major hub for mining. It is estimated... Read more...
China is one of the largest cryptocurrency mining countries in the world, in part due to its sheer population, cheap electricity, and easy access to electronics. This year, Bitcoin and other large cryptocurrencies took off alongside new coins like Chia, which saw immense popularity in China. Now, the Chinese government has cracked down on cryptos overall, and miners are pulling out of the country, leading to a sharp price slump across the board. Will this trend continue, or will cryptocurrencies recover in traditional fashion? Last Friday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He announced a crackdown on Bitcoin mining and trading to “fend off financial risks.” This announcement came just... Read more...
It seems as though enthusiasts just can’t catch a break these days. Finding a current-generation (or even previous-generation) GeForce RTX 30 Series or Radeon RX 6000 Series graphics card in stock is near-impossible. And things on the console gaming side aren’t much better, as both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are in short supplies. Phison is forecasting that SSDs are next in line for a price hike in the coming months to make matters worse. Phison chairman KS Pua cites the red-hot Chinese Chia cryptocurrency as why consumers could see a 10 percent increase in SSD prices as we head into the summer months. As Chia heavily relies on large amounts of fast, temporary storage for... Read more...
This year, there have been several cybersecurity incidents, such as the Microsoft Exchange issue, across numerous industries and government organizations. It appears that the defense industry is now being targeted by at least two China-linked hacking groups who are leveraging Pulse Secure VPN devices from IT company Ivanti. Phil Richard, CSO at Pulse Secure, posted a security update today reporting that the company had been made aware of a new vulnerability with Pulse Connect Secure appliances. Subsequently, the company is working with security company FireEye, among others, to investigate and respond to the exploitative behavior on the vulnerable appliances. Pulse Secure Is An Ivanti Brand... Read more...
As of late, there has been a run on graphics cards due to cryptocurrency miners looking to cash in on mining for whatever coin that is the new hotness on the market. However, the next crypto-driven shortage could very well be hard drives and SSDs with a new breed of cryptocurrencies that operate by "proof of space" and time using available drive storage space. While this is not necessarily a new idea, the technology has begun to take off and it seems will likely begin to spread worldwide. In 2014, the pioneer of proof of space, also known as proof of capacity, was Burstcoin, created by an anonymous developer and now managed by several groups. They describe proof-of-capacity as an “energy... Read more...
Over the course of the last 11 months or so, tens of millions of Americans have been tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus which has caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Many, many more people globally have undergone the same tests. Amidst the scramble to test for and identify the virus responsible for a long-term global health crisis, some opportunistic companies have allegedly tried to wiggle their way into gaining advantages they wouldn't otherwise have. In one particular case, U.S. Intelligence officials were so concerned about biological data falling into the wrong hands, that they issued a rare public warning to stop it.  When the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 appeared in Washington state nearly... Read more...
Slowly but surely, it is becoming the absolute worst time to buy computer components as a new tariff that went into effect earlier this year is starting to trickle down to retailers. Customers in the market for PC components such as GPUs, motherboards and more, are beginning to see price hikes in stores and online, while these components were already in short supply. In 2018, President Donald Trump levied tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese products; however, these were put off until 2020. People expected that an extension would be granted for the tariffs, but that did not happen, so now PC component manufacturers face extra taxes anywhere from 7.5% to 25% at the high end. These... Read more...
Before U.S. President Donald Trump leaves office 14 days from now, he is taking another swing at China with his latest executive order. This new order bans transactions with eight Chinese software applications, which will heat Washington-Bejing tensions in the coming weeks. Moreover, it signals a stronger U.S. Government stance and more aggressive national security protection against Chinese companies and software. Yesterday, Reuters reported that the executive order is “aimed at curbing the threat to Americans posed by Chinese software applications,” arguing that “the United States must take ‘aggressive action’ against developers of Chinese software applications... Read more...
It is certainly a tough time to be a gamer in need or want of a PC hardware upgrade. Some of the newest and most desirable parts are in short supply, including the latest generation graphics from AMD (Radeon RX 6000 series) and NVIDIA (GeForce RTX 30 series). This has led to inflated pricing by marketplace sellers, but there are two other reasons why GPU prices are poised to shoot up—tariffs and cryptocurrency mining. Starting with the former, President Trump imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese products in 2018, as outlined by a document at the Federal Register. As a result, thousands of companies asked for and were granted temporary exemptions. This helped... Read more...
It looks as though DJI could be in for some rough seas ahead as the U.S. Department of Commerce has just placed the drone maker on its dreaded Entity List. This is essentially an economic blacklist that prevent DJI from conducting business with U.S. companies due to potential threats to national security. If you recall, Huawei was also placed on the Entity List, and it practically torpedoed its smartphone business. This would represent a significant blow to DJI, as the China-based company is by far the largest producer of consumer (and commercial) drones in the world. In the United States alone, the company commands nearly 80 percent of the consumer drone market. DJI Enterprise even has... Read more...
Yesterday, Apple reported a record-breaking quarter, where it earned $64.7 billion in revenue thanks to strong Mac sales, better than expected iPad sales, and its booming Services division. However, one area that saw a significant decline was its iPhone business. Apple recorded $11.1 billion in sales in the China region during Q3 2019, but that number fell 28.9 percent to $7.9 billion. During the company’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook talked about the poor showing in China. "Back in April, I said we were in the most challenging environment in which Apple, as a company has ever operated," said Cook. "China is the region that was most heavily impacted by the absence of the new iPhones... Read more...
Oh great, as if 2020 has not been challenging enough already, the latest Digital Defense Report from Microsoft outlines some troubling cybersecurity trends. Threat actors are "rapidly" increasing the sophistication of their cyberattacks, ultimately making them more difficult to detect, and more likely to trick "even the savviest targets." "For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware,"... Read more...
With the announcement of a ban for TikTok and WeChat, companies with foreign interests or investors have been under quite a lot of scrutiny. Now, the U.S. government is requesting domestic games companies with investments from Tencent disclose information about data security. According to a source to Bloomberg, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., chaired by the Treasury Department, sent letters to companies such as Epic Games, Riot Games, and other game development companies. These letters requested these companies divulge information regarding “security protocols in handling Americans’ personal data.” Recently, the Trump administration has gone all-in on companies... Read more...
Around the world, democracy is being attacked physically and digitally. Following the election interference in 2016, Microsoft has stepped up their game to help quell issues. In early September, they announced DeepFake detection A.I., and now Microsoft is detecting cyberattacks that target U.S. elections. From countries such as Russia to China, cyberattacks against the U.S. are a constant threat. Back in 2016, Russia was accused of breaking into the DNC email servers and stealing information. Elections and political groups are not the only targets, however. More recently, an attack on the U.S. power grid was perpetrated by an unknown source. Although this attack did not have any significant effects,... Read more...
In August, after a long line of accusations, US companies, such as Qualcomm and MediaTek, were barred from selling to Huawei. On Friday, MediaTek stated it went to the U.S government to request permission to sell to Huawei.  Recently, Qualcomm went to request permission with the argument that MediaTek could take advantage of the situation. As it turns out, though, all these companies are on the same playing field. In fact, according to the Reuters report, analysts believe that MediaTek could take the biggest hit if they were not allowed to sell to Huawei.  Though they could be in financial rough waters, MediaTek is still respectful of the system. With the appeal to the government, they... Read more...
Nintendo has another hit on its hands with Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Switch. The game is proving a fun distraction from real world events, notably the Coronavirus pandemic, though it has been unofficially banned from China's e-commerce platforms after a Hong Kong activist used the game as a means of protest. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a real-time simulation in which the player assumes the role of a character who relocates to a deserted island after purchasing a deserted island package from Tom Nook. The player can decorate their island and invite others to visit. It's a simple premise, and one that has been resonating with gamers. So, what's the problem in China? Hong Kong activist... Read more...
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