Wireless MacBook Attack Demo at Black Hat 2006 Security Conference
At the Black Hat 2006 security briefings conference in Las Vegas two security researchers, otherwise known as professional hackers, will demonstrate a security flaw in wireless drivers for a MacBook that will allow them to take over the machine. This security flaw isn’t “in the wild”, meaning that it’s never been used maliciously and bad hackers don’t know how to exploit this flaw (yet). As such, Jon Ellch and David Mayno, the two researchers that discovered this flaw, are demoing it via video and not live so that nobody in the conference room can sniff out and deconstruct how the attack is done while it is demonstrated to the audience.
While they are demoing this flaw on a MacBook running the OSX (not Windows), it is also a weakness that might be found on Windows machines as well. Because wireless drivers are often developed rapidly and by both hardware and software manufacturers there tends to be a lot of security flaws and the point the researchers are trying to make is that this is a universal problem and nobody is immune. They’re also quite obviously trying to (and successfully) annoy Mac users.
While there’s not a big reason to be concerned about this wireless vulnerability of our notebooks at the moment, it might be just another reason to turn off your wireless card when not using it — it would save battery life and possibly keep you more secure.
Lenovo Tops Q2 Shipments of Notebooks in China
According to Analysys International, Lenovo shipped the largest number of notebook PCs in China in Q2, with 34.1% of the total shipment volume. HP was a distant second, accounting for 11.0%, and Dell with 9.4%.
Toshiba to Close Fab in Germany
Toshiba is planning to close down a fabrication facility in Germany, and will transfer all chip production to Japan. A German newspaper said that Toshiba would complete the shutdown in 2007.
The soon-to-be-closed fab facility currently produces various semiconductor components for the PC industry. The local governmnent is in talks with Toshiba to keep the fab open, since they usually employ a signifigant number of people. Toshiba has not commented on why it is closing the facility.
Western Digital to Produce Higher Density Platters
Western Digital recently announced it will begin to produce new high-density platters for notebook and desktop applications by using new magnetic storage technologies.
The 2.5″ Scorpio line of notebook hard drives are being manufactured to use the perpendicular magnetic recording method, which stores data vertically on the platter to increase the number of bits that can be written per square inch. The new platters will have up to an 80GB capacity each.
Western Digital is a bit late to start producing hard drives utilizing the new technology, considering Seagate Technology has been using it since late last year. There are no details yet on availability of drives with the new high-density platters.
Intel Releases Centrino Security Updates
Intel has released security updates for its Centrino wireless chipset device drivers, as well as its PROSet management software. The security updates are designed to guard against a trio of serious security vulnerabilities.
Intel’s announcement, including to links to patches and software tools can be found here.
Dell XPS M1710 Tested with Core 2 Duo T7400 CPU
PC Perspective has tested the Dell XPS M1710 with a new Core 2 Duo (Merom) T7400 2.16GHz CPU. Compared to a Core Duo T2600 2.16GHz, there was a signifigant gain in performance in many of the tests. The Core 2 Duo in the XPS M1710 did not have many issues, and showed improvements where it counted. There has been no official word from Dell on availability of the Core 2 Duo in the XPS M1710.