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Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

The Windows shortcut key- more useful that you thought

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The Windows Shortcut Key, do you know what it dose, ignore it?, you will find it is much more useful that you think here is how you can use it

 

Shortcut Description
Windows key Open and close the Start menu.
+1, +2, etc. Switch to the desktop and launch the nth application in the taskbar. For example, +1 launches whichever application is first in the list, numbered from left to right.
+A Open the action center.
+B Highlight the notification area.
+C Launch Cortana into listening mode.[1] Users can begin to speak to Cortana immediately
Windows logo+D Switch between Show Desktop (hides/shows any applications and other windows) and the previous state.
+E Switch to the desktop and launch File Explorer with the Quick Access tab displayed.
+H Open the Share  charm.
+I Open the Settings  app.
+K Open the Connect pane to connect to wireless displays and audio devices.
+L Lock the device and go to the Lock screen.
+M Switch to the desktop and minimize all open windows.
+O Lock device orientation.
+P Open the Project pane to search and connect to external displays and projectors.
+R Display the Run dialog box.
+S Launch Cortana.[2] Users can begin to type a query immediately.
+T Cycle through the apps on the taskbar.
+U Launch the Ease of Access Center.
+V Cycle through notifications.
+X Open the advanced menu in the lower-left corner of the screen.
+Z Open the app-specific command bar.
+ENTER Launch Narrator.
+SPACEBAR Switch input language and keyboard layout.
+TAB Open Task view.
+, Peek at the desktop.
+Plus Sign Zoom in.
+Minus Sign Zoom out.
+ESCAPE Close Magnifier.
+LEFT ARROW Dock the active window to the left half of the monitor.
+RIGHT ARROW Dock the active window to the right half of the monitor.
+UP ARROW Maximize the active window vertically and horizontally.
+DOWN ARROW Restore or minimize the active window.
+SHIFT+UP ARROW Maximize the active window vertically, maintaining the current width.
+SHIFT+
DOWN ARROW
Restore or minimize the active window vertically, maintaining the current width.
+SHIFT+LEFT ARROW With multiple monitors, move the active window to the monitor on the left.
+SHIFT+RIGHT ARROW With multiple monitors, move the active window to the monitor on the right.
+HOME Minimize all nonactive windows; restore on second keystroke.
+PRNT SCRN Take a picture of the screen and place it in the Computer>Pictures>Screenshots folder.
+CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT arrow Switch to the next or previous virtual desktop.
+CTRL+D Create a new virtual desktop.
+CTRL+F4 Close the current virtual desktop.
+? Launch the Windows Feedback App.

[1] If Cortana is unavailable or disabled, this shortcut has no function.

[2] Cortana is only available in certain countries/regions, and some Cortana features might not be available everywhere. If Cortana is unavailable or disabled, this command opens Search.

 

 

 

Meltdown, Spectre CPU bugs threaten devices worldwide

Fix for massive security flaws could slow down PCs and Macs by as much as 30%
Spectre Meltdown

Massive security vulnerabilities in modern CPUs are forcing a redesign of the kernel software at the heart of all major operating systems. Since the issues – dubbed Meltdown and Spectre – exist in the CPU hardware itself, Windows, Linux, Android, Macs, Chromebooks, and other operating systems all need to protect against it. And worse, it appears that plugging the hole will negatively affect your PC’s performance.

Everyday home users shouldn’t panic too much, though. Just apply the latest operating system updates and keep your antivirus software vigilant, as ever.

Here’s a high-level look at what you need to know about Meltdown and Spectre, in plain language. If you want a deep-dive into the technical details, be sure to read Google’s post on the CPU vulnerabilities. We’ve updated this article repeatedly as new information becomes available.

It is hard to dive too technically into the issue, as major hardware and software vendors are working together quietly to fix the kernel issue before making the vulnerability public. But The Register’s reporting and comments on patch code coming in hot to the Linux kernel – with details redacted to obscure the exact nature of the vulnerability – give us insight into issue.

Here is a high-level look at what we know so far about the Intel CPU kernel bug affecting Linux, Windows, and presumably Macs. Expect it to be updated repeatedly as the problem becomes more clear.

Intel processor kernel bug FAQ
(Editor’s note: This article was updated to include comments from an Intel statement about the kernel exploit and its performance concerns throughout.)

The bug in play here is extremely technical, but in a nutshell, the chip’s kernel is leaking memory, which could lead to extremely sensitive data being exposed to apps and hackers, or make it easier for attackers to inject malware into your PC.

Intel says that “these exploits do not have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data,” though simply being able to read the contents of protected kernel memory could give attackers access to your passwords, login keys, and much more.

What’s a kernel?
The kernel inside a chip is basically an invisible process that facilitates the way apps and functions work on your computer. It has complete control over your operating system. Your PC needs to switch between user mode and kernel mode thousands of times a day, making sure instructions and data flow seamlessly and instantaneously. Here’s how The Register puts it: “Think of the kernel as God sitting on a cloud, looking down on Earth. It’s there, and no normal being can see it, yet they can pray to it.”

How do I know if my PC is at risk?
Google says “effectively every” Intel processor released since 1995 is vulnerable to Meltdown, regardless of the OS you’re running or whether you have a desktop or laptop. Chips from Intel, AMD, and ARM are susceptible to Spectre attacks, though AMD says its hardware has “zero” and “near zero” risk to the two known Spectre variants because of the way its chip architecture is designed.

A Linux kernel patch is also being prepared for 64-bit ARM processors. Details are murky, though a statement from Intel says that “many types of computing devices – with many different vendors’ processors and operating systems – are susceptible to these exploits.”

So if it’s a chip problem, then the chip makers need to fix it?

Yes and no. While CPU manufacturers will surely address the problem in future chips, the fix for PCs in the wild needs to come from the OS manufacturer, as a microcode update won’t be able to properly repair it.

Linux developers are working furiously to address the flaw in a new kernel update. Microsoft is expected to patch the problem during its Patch Tuesday updates on 9 January, after testing it on recently released Windows Insider preview builds. That timeline appears to have been corroborated by Intel’s statement, which says, “Intel and other vendors had planned to disclose this issue next week when more software and firmware updates will be available.”

I use a Mac, so I’m OK, right?
Not this time. The vulnerability here affects all Intel x86 chips, so that means Macs are at risk too. However, Apple quietly protected against the exploit is macOS 10.13.2, which released on 6 December, according to developer Alex Ionescu. Additional safeguards will be found in macOS 10.13.3, he says.

So, what can I do?
Not much besides updating your PC when a fix becomes available. Since the issue is such a deeply technical one there isn’t anything users can do to mitigate the potential issue other than wait for a fix to arrive. Definitely make sure you’re running security software in the meantime – advice that Intel also stresses.

Do you know when a fix will come?
It’s already here for Windows, Mac, and Chromebook users.

Microsoft pushed out a Windows update protecting against Meltdown on 3 January, the day that the CPU exploits hit headlines. Updates issued outside of Microsoft’s monthly “Patch Tuesdays” are rare, underlining the severity of this issue.

Apple quietly protected against Meltdown in macOS High Sierra 10.13.2, which released on 6 December, according to developer Alex Ionescu. Additional safeguards will be found in macOS 10.13.3, he says.

Linux developers are working furiously to address the flaw in a new kernel update.

Chromebooks received protection in Chrome OS 63, which released on December 15. Furthermore, the Chrome Web browser itself was updated to include an opt-in experimental feature called ‘site isolation‘ that can help guard against Spectre attacks. Site isolation is trickier on mobile devices; Google warns that it can create “functionality and performance issues” in Android, and since Chrome on iOS is forced to use Apple’s WKWebView, Spectre protections on that platform need to come from Apple itself. Chrome 64 will include more mitigations.

Mozilla is taking steps to protect against Spectre as well. Firefox 57 released in November with some initial safeguards.

So once the fix arrives, it’s OK?
Well, the operating system patches will plug the risk of Meltdown, but you might not like the side effects. While the fix will prevent the chip’s kernel from leaking memory, it brings some unfortunate changes to the way the OS interacts with the processor. And that could lead to slowdowns.

How much slower will my Intel PC become?
It’s complicated.

More recent Intel processors from the Haswell (fourth-gen) era onward have a technology called PCID (Process-Context Identifiers) enabled and are said to suffer less of a performance hit. Plus, some applications – most notably virtualisation tasks and data centre/cloud workloads – are affected more than others. The Register says “we’re looking at a ballpark figure of five to 30% slow down, depending on the task and the processor model.” Intel confirmed that the performance loss will be dependent on workload, and “should not be significant” for average home computer users.

“Obviously it depends on just exactly what you do,” Linux creator Linus Torvalds wrote in the Linux Kernel Mailing List. “Some loads will hardly be affected at all, if they just spend all their time in user space. And if you do a lot of small system calls, you might see double-digit slowdown.

“It will depend heavily on the hardware too,” he continued. “Older CPUs without PCID will be impacted more by the isolation. And I think some of the back-ports won’t take advantage of PCID even on newer hardware.”

Michael Larabel, the open source guru behind the Linux-centric Phoronix website, has run a gauntlet of benchmarks using Linux 4.15-rc6, an early release candidate build of the upcoming Linux 4.15 kernel. It includes the new KPTI protections for the Intel CPU kernel flaw. The Core i7-8700K saw a massive performance decrease in FS-Mark 3.3 and Compile Bench, a pair of synthetic I/O benchmarks. PostgreSQL and Redis suffered a loss, but to a far lesser degree. Finally, H.264 video encoding, timed Linux kernel compilation, and FFmpeg video conversion tasks didn’t lose anything.

Your mileage will, indeed, vary, it seems. Keep in mind that Phoronix’s testing was conducted on a non-final release, and that the Linux and Windows kernels are two very different beasts, so do not treat these as a locked-in look at what to expect from the eventual fixes for the Intel x86 kernel bug. We won’t know the full extent of the slowdown on Windows and macOS machines until a patch lands.

IDG News Service

Credit: Techcentral.ie

How Intel Core chips and Lenovo PCs could take over two-factor authentication from your phone

Image result for over two-factor authentication

Password manager Dashlane and PC maker Lenovo are among the first consumer-facing companies to take advantage of a little-known feature within Intel’s 8th generation Core chips that could become much more popular: enabling two-factor authentication with just your PC, and not your phone.

What Intel calls Intel Online Connect (or, more generically, Universal Second Factor (U2F) authentication) lives within the 8th-generation Core architecture. Typically, two-factor authentication (2FA) – recommended for years as an additional security measure for e-mail, online storage, and other data – required that a code be sent to your phone either via an app or text message. Intel’s 8th-gen Core architecture and its associated software cuts out the need for a phone, simply requiring you to click a software ‘button’ to authenticate the 2FA transaction.

Intel’s Online Connect improves on a related technology Intel introduced in its 7th generation Core chips, known as Software Guard Extensions, or SGX. SGX is essentially a protected area within the chip for storing encryption keys. But only two services announced support for SGX: Dropbox and Duo Security, which announced proofs-of-concept earlier this year.

Lenovo is the first PC maker to announce support for Intel Online Connect in both some of its older as well as its more recent PCs. On Tuesday, Lenovo announced Intel Online Connect support for the Yoga 920, IdeaPad 720S, ThinkPad X1 Tablet (2nd generation), ThinkPad X1 Carbon (5th generation), ThinkPad Yoga 370, ThinkPad T570, ThinkPad P51s, ThinkPad T470s, ThinkPad X270 and ThinkPad X270s. Intel Online Connect can be either downloaded from the Web directly, or will be made available via Lenovo System Update and Lenovo App Explorer on all supported Lenovo devices, the company said.

Breaking into your PC is bad enough – that’s why there’s Windows Hello, user PINs, and Windows passwords. With Web services accessible from just about anywhere, however, there’s a need for a second layer of security to differentiate you from the bad guys. Two-factor authentication helps secure those online transactions; U2F promises to make them less of a hassle.

Once the 8th generation Core chips ship, Dashlane will immediately be able to take advantage of the built-in technology and use U2F as an additional form of authentication, Allison Baker, the strategic partnerships manager for Dashlane, said. She confirmed that U2F will work with 8th-gen Core chips for consumers, and don’t require Intel’s vPro technology for businesses.

“You don’t need a phone or anything else,” besides a compatible Intel-based PC, Baker said.

The FIDO Alliance developed U2F as an open authentication standard, designed to help simplify two-factor authentication. For the purposes of registering with an online service like Dashlane, two “keys” are created: a public one, which is registered with the service itself, as well as a private one, which is stored within the Core chip on the client PC.

According to Dashlane’s Baker, the client’s private key signs an assertion that the service can verify as coming from the client PC. But the signature is only released after the user verifies his presence by clicking a button on the screen, displayed by Intel’s Online Connect middleware. Intel’s been busy working on PC security solutions for years; last year, Intel showed off its Authenticate technology, combining fingerprints, PIN, paired phones, and more.

According to Dashlane authenticating requires entering your password. Intel’s Online Connect will then find the security key. Sending it on its way requires clicking on a button that appears randomly within a separate window, within 15 seconds. That window uses what’s called Intel Protected Transaction Display technology, which actually generates the screen from within the Intel chip itself. The user sees the button; according to Intel, any man-in-the-middle attacker would merely see a blank, black box with no indication on where to click.

It appears, though, that U2F places more of an emphasis on the first line of security used to defend your PC: Windows Hello, a PIN, or a password. If an attacker were able to guess your PIN while you left your eighth-generation PC alone to buy a cup of coffee, they’d still need to know your Dashlane master password to log in. But with traditional two-factor, phone-based authentication, a service like Dashlane would also buzz your phone – which you might have in your pocket, alerting you that an attack was in progress.

In any event, though, services like Dashlane appear to be preparing to take advantage of the U2F capabilities built into Intel’s Core chips. Passwords used to be sufficient, but complex, hard-to-guess passwords can be a pain to use repeatedly. The challenge is to offer security without imposing too much of a burden on the user, and Intel and its partners appear to be zeroing in on quick, convenient security methods.

IDG News Service

Nature’s Wonder at CES 2017

Love the new state-of-the-art OLED technology, which uses organic light-emitting diodes that glow when an electric current is introduced, has made it possible to reduce the thickness and weight of televisions, creating an ultra-thin sleek shell, superior colour reproduction, and individual pixels that can brighten, dim and power off fully to achieve perfect black, unparalleled realism and depth, and increased energy efficiency.

Watch this amazing video for this year CES 2017

Firewalls running Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software can be compromised remotely with malformed UDP packets

Cisco Systems patched a critical vulnerability that could allow remote attackers to take over Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) firewalls configured as virtual private network servers by simply sending malformed network packets to them.

For devices that are designed to protect private networks from Internet attacks, this is as bad as it gets. That’s why Cisco rated the vulnerability with the maximum score of 10 in the Common Vulnerability Scoring System.

The flaw is located in the Cisco ASA code that handles the Internet Key Exchange version 1 (IKEv1) and IKE version 2 (IKEv2) protocols. More precisely, it stems from a buffer overflow condition in the function that processes fragmented IKE payloads.

“An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by sending crafted UDP packets to the affected system,” Cisco said in an advisory. “An exploit could allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code and obtain full control of the system or to cause a reload of the affected system.”

IKE is used as a key exchange mechanism in IPsec-based virtual private networks (VPNs). As such, the Cisco ASA devices are only vulnerable if they are configured to act as termination points for LAN-to-LAN IPsec VPN, remote access VPN using the IPsec VPN client, Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)-over-IPsec VPN connections and IKEv2 AnyConnect.

Cisco ASA products are frequently configured for VPNs. Their strength is that they can provide IP routing, firewall, network antivirus, intrusion prevention and VPN functionality in a single device.

According to Cisco the following products are vulnerable: Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances, Cisco ASA 5500-X Series Next-Generation Firewalls, Cisco ASA Services Module for Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches and Cisco 7600 Series Routers, Cisco ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance (ASAv), Cisco Firepower 9300 ASA Security Module and Cisco ISA 3000 Industrial Security Appliance.

The Cisco advisory contains a list with the fixed Cisco ASA software versions for different release branches. Users are advised to update as soon as possible.

The Internet Storm Center at the SANS Technology Institute has reported seeing a large increase in Internet probes on UDP port 500, which is the most likely port number for exploiting this vulnerability.

 

source:computerworld.com

HP will break itself in two

Hewlett-Packard has confirmed reports that it plans to break itself into two companies.

One of the companies, comprising HP’s enterprise hardware, software and services businesses, will be known as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, the company announced Monday. The other, made up of its PC and printing businesses, will be called simply HP Inc., and will keep the HP logo.

 

Both of the new companies will be public-ally traded, and HP shareholders will be given shares in both firms. HP expects to complete the break-up by the end of its 2015 fiscal year, which ends on Oct. 31 next year.

President and CEO Meg Whitman, who’s been fighting to get HP back on track after years of missteps under previous management, will retain those roles at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Dion Weisler, who heads HP’s Printing and Personal Systems business, will be president and CEO of HP Inc., while Whitman will be its chairman, HP said

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