Tag Archives: macOS

We Were Right About MagSafe 3 + SDXC In 2021 MBP!

100% Correct : MagSafe 3, SDXC + HDMI 2.0 In 2021 MBP!

Back in February 2021, we gave you all a sneak peek at what the 2021 Apple MBP would offer in terms of connectivity.

We said back then that “Apple will not only introduce a new MagSafe 3 connector in the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro, they will also bring back the SD card slot!

Take a look at what we revealed back then, and what Apple just revealed earlier today!

 

We Were Right About MagSafe 3 In 2021 MBP!

In our February 2021 sneak peek of the 2021 MBP’s connectivity options, we shared that Apple will bring back their long-missed MagSafe connector.

It would be a brand new connector with a slimmer profile called MagSafe 3, which would be bidirectional with 5 pins, and have a slimmer profile.

Take a look at the picture we shared in February, showing MagSafe 3, next to two Thunderbolt ports and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

And take a look at the connectors on the left side of the actual 2021 MacBook Pro. Pretty much the same, right?

 

We Were Right About SDXC Card Reader + HDMI 2.0 In 2021 MBP!

In our February 2021 sneak peek, we also shared that Apple would bring back the sorely-missed SDXC card reader, as well as the HDMI 2.0 port.

Here was the picture we shared in February, showing the SDXC card reader, together with the HDMI 2.0 port.

Doesn’t it look EXACTLY like the actual right side of the 2021 MacBook Pro?

We also revealed back then that the OLED Touch Bar would finally be banished… hopefully for good. It was an expensive boondoggle that MBP users were forced to pay for.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Computer | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari CVE-2021-1844 Bug : Fix It Now!

Apple just rushed out macOS Big Sur 11.2.3, iOS 14.4.1, iPadOS 14.4.1 and Safari 14.0.3 to patch a critical security bug.

Find out what they fix, and why you need to update your MacBook, iPhone and iPad right away!

 

Apple Rushes Out macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari Critical Bug Fixes!

Released on 8 March 2021, macOS Big Sur 11.2.3 patches only one bug, which may mislead users into thinking that it’s not very important.

WebKit

Available for: macOS Big Sur

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

On the same day, Apple also released iOS 14.4.1 and iPadOS 14.4.1 – both patching the same CVE-2021-1844 vulnerability.

WebKit

Available for: iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation)

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

Apple also released Safari 14.0.3, which patches the same vulnerability for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave :

WebKit

Available for: macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave

Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution

Description: A memory corruption issue was addressed with improved validation.

CVE-2021-1844: Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group, Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research

 

Why Install These macOS, iOS, iPadOS, Safari Bug Fixes ASAP?

While they appear to only patch WebKit in macOS Big Sur, iOS, iPadOS and Safari, they are CRITICAL bug fixes that you need to install right away.

They patch the new CVE-2021-1844 vulnerability, which was discovered by Clément Lecigne of Google’s Threat Analysis Group and Alison Huffman of Microsoft Browser Vulnerability Research.

This vulnerability allows a remote attacker to trigger a buffer overflow when the victim opens a specially-crafted web page, allowing the attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target system.

It is not known if this vulnerability has been exploited yet, but it is critical to install the new updates to prevent that from happening.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Software | CybersecurityHome

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Exclusive on Tech ARP – the first look at the 2021 MacBook Pro ports, including a brand new MagSafe 3 port and an SD card slot!

Here is the first ever look at the MagSafe 3 connector, the SD card slot, and other ports that will ship with the 2021 MacBook Pro!

 

First Look : 2021 MacBook Pro MagSafe 3 + SD Card Slot!

Apple fans who miss the MagSafe port and the SD card reader in their MacBook laptops will have something to cheer for this year!

Apple will not only introduce a new MagSafe 3 connector in the upcoming 2021 MacBook Pro, they will also bring back the SD card slot!

New Apple MagSafe 3 Connector!

The new MagSafe 3 connector is bidirectional and has 5 pins, and will lock and detach magnetically like the previous two generations.

The MagSafe 3 connector is not compatible with older MacBook computers, and has a pill-shaped design with a thinner profile.

The MagSafe 3 port is located on the left side of the 2021 MBP, next to two Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) ports, and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Ports on the left side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

Return Of The SD Card Reader!

We are also glad to report that Apple will (finally) bring back the SD card reader that many photographers LOVED, and bemoaned when Phil Schiller killed it in 2016.

Now that Schiller is out of Apple, it looks like it’s been resurrected for the 2021 MacBook Pro. Utility finally trumped cumbersome!

The SD card reader is located on the right side, together with a third Thunderbolt 3 (USB4) port and a HDMI 2.0 port.

Ports on the right side of the 2021 Apple MBP | Copyright : Tech ARP (www.techarp.com)

 

2021 Apple MacBook Pro : What Else Is New?

So what else is new in the 2021 MacBook Pro, other than MagSafe 3 and the resurrected SD card reader?

14-inch + 16-inch Models

There will be two 2021 MacBook Pro models – with 14-inch and 16-inch displays.

Apple M1X SoC

There will no longer be Intel CPU options, only the Apple M1X SoC.

Nothing much is known about the Apple M1X, other than it is a more powerful version of the M1 that has stunned many with its performance.

But rumours have it that it will have 12 processor cores, split into two performance clusters :

  • P Cluster (Performance) : 8 x Firestorm (?) cores
  • E Cluster (Efficient) : 4 x Icestorm (?) cores

It will have a more powerful GPU than Apple M1‘s 8-core GPU.

Memory

The Apple M1X will use the same unified memory design as the M1, built directly onto the package for near-instantaneous access.

However, it will offer larger memory options – 24 GB and 32 GB are possible – in addition to 16 GB currently available with the M1.

External Display Support

A big limitation of the Apple M1 is its support for just one external display of up to 6K resolution at 60 Hz.

The 2021 MacBook Pro will support at least two external displays, if not more, via its Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI ports.

OLED Touch Bar Gone!

Good riddance to the pointless OLED Touch Bar. That’s gone for the 2021 MacBook Pro models.

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Computer | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


Apple M1 Gaming : Watch It Run The Witcher 3!

Windows gaming on the ARM-based Apple M1 is possible!

Watch how well the Apple M1 runs The Witcher 3 using CrossOver 20!

 

Apple M1 Gaming : Watch It Run The Witcher 3 On CrossOver 20!

MrMacRight successfully ran The Witcher 3 on CrossOver 20, using the 2020 Apple MacBook Pro with the new ARM-based Apple M1 SoC.

Here was his recorded gameplay of The Witcher 3 at the 1080p resolution, with the Medium graphics and post-processing presets, and VSync enabled.

He could not get the FPS counter to work, but it looks smooth and very playable, albeit with some visual artefacts.

Basically – Apple M1 gaming is not only possible, it is possible to play Windows games!

Video Credit : MrMacRight

 

Windows Gaming On Apple M1 : Rosetta 2 + Windows API Translation!

That quick gameplay showcase of The Witcher 3 shows that Windows gaming is possible on the Apple M1.

The ability to run The Witcher 3 on CrossOver 20, and at such playable frame rates, is important for two reasons.

Windows App Compatibility

The Witcher 3 is a 64-bit Windows-only game, so you wouldn’t expect it to run well on the ARM-based Apple M1, right?

Running it on the Apple M1 involves translating Windows API calls using CrossOver, and then translating x86 instructions to ARM instructions using Rossetta 2.

Yet it not only worked, it ran pretty well on the Apple M1!

Performance

While AppleGamers was not able to obtain a frame rate, The Witcher 3 appears to run pretty well at the 1080p resolution.

That shows that the Apple M1’s integrated 8-core GPU is fast, and will have no problem handling native ARM games at 1080p, and likely 1440p as well.

 

Apple M1 : A Quick Primer

The Apple M1 is the first ARM-based SoC (System on a Chip) designed by Apple for use in Mac computers.

Packing 16 billion transistors, it is the first chip to be manufactured on the new 5 nm TSMC process technology.

It comes with 4 high-performance Firestorm CPU cores, 4 power-efficient Icestorm cores, an 8-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine.

As the M1 is based on the ARM architecture, you can natively run iPhone and iPad apps on it. However, existing macOS apps will have to be ported over, or translated on-the-fly using Rosetta 2.

It is currently available in these Apple Mac computers :

  • 2020 MacBook Air : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 MacBook Pro 13-inch : US | UK | AU | MY | SG
  • 2020 Mac mini : US | UK | AU | MY | SG

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Gaming | ComputerHome

 

Support Tech ARP!

Please support our team by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or donating to our fund. Thank you!

Influent + 3 DLCs : How To Get Them FREE!

The language game, Influent and 3 DLCs, are FREE for a limited time!

Find out how to get Influent and the three DLCs for FREE, and make sure you tell your friends!

If you missed this, well, next time join the Tech ARP Facebook page to get these updates quickly!

 

Influent

Influent immerses players in a fully interactive 3D environment where the names for absolutely every object in the game can be gleaned with a single click! Even more information can be learned with a double-click!

Every door, drawer, and cabinet can be opened with a right-click here and a right-click there, revealing more and more things to be learned!

Packed to the brim with hundreds of native audio pronunciations (painstakingly recorded specifically for this game), Influent offers players a unique opportunity to enjoy learning both vocabulary and pronunciation in the language of their choice.

  • Audio from native speakers
  • Synonym swap functionality
  • Learn at your own pace!
  • Fully interactive modern apartment
  • Over 420 words to collect and master
  • Includes Nouns, Adjectives, and Verbs
  • 15+ Languages to choose from (more to come!)

 

Influent : How To Get It Free!

Adding to your Humble Bundle Account

Humble Bundle is giving away Influent for FREE up till 1 December 2020, at 4 PM MYT (GMT+8).

  1. Log into Humble Bundle, or create your free account.
  2. Go to the Influent page.
  3. Click on the green Add To Cart button.
  4. Click on the green Checkout button.
  5. In the pop-up window, click on the Get it for free! button.
  6. Scroll down and click on the Get It Now button.
  7. Go to the Purchases page and select Influent to get your Steam key, or click on the Redeem Now link in the Humble Bundle email.
  8. You will be given access to the Windows, Mac and Linux direct download links, as well as the Bittorrent torrent link.

Direct Downloads

You can also skip all those steps if you don’t want to add it to your Humble Bundle account, and use these direct download links :

 

Influent + 3 DLCs : How To Get Them Free!

Note : This method may no longer work. Please let us know if it no longer works!

Follow these steps to get Influent as well as the French, Italian and Korean DLCs for FREE :

  1. Log into your existing Steam account, or create a new account.
  2. Go to https://store.steampowered.com/account/licenses/ using a web browser.
  3. Open the Console in your web browser
    – in Google Chrome, use Ctrl+Shift+J (Windows) or Ctrl+Option+J (Mac)
    – in Firefox, use Ctrl+Shift+K (Windows) or Command+Option+K (Mac)
  4. In the Console, copy and paste the code below, and press Enter
jQuery.post('//store.steampowered.com/checkout/addfreelicense',
{action:'add_to_cart',sessionid:g_sessionID,subid:451929});

jQuery.post('//store.steampowered.com/checkout/addfreelicense',
{action:'add_to_cart',sessionid:g_sessionID,subid:43186});

jQuery.post('//store.steampowered.com/checkout/addfreelicense',
{action:'add_to_cart',sessionid:g_sessionID,subid:39871});

jQuery.post('//store.steampowered.com/checkout/addfreelicense',
{action:'add_to_cart',sessionid:g_sessionID,subid:39884});

That’s it! You now have Influent and the three DLCs in your Steam account!

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Games + Gaming | SoftwareHome

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

After years of letting third-party companies sell camera covers, Apple just issued a warning that using a camera cover can damage your MacBook laptop!

Find out what’s going on, and why using a camera cover may be critical for your privacy, but can damage your MacBook!

 

Warning : Using A Camera Cover Can Damage Your MacBook!

In a new technical advisory, Apple warns that closing your MacBook laptop with a camera cover attached could physically damage the display, due to the limited clearance between the display and the chassis.

In addition, installing a camera cover can block the ambient light sensor located next to the camera. This will prevent features like automatic brightness and True Tone from working properly.

If you close your Mac notebook with a camera cover installed, you might damage your display because the clearance between the display and keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances.

Covering the built-in camera might also interfere with the ambient light sensor and prevent features like automatic brightness and technical advisory from working.

Instead of using a camera cover, Apple recommends relying on the camera indicator light to tell you when it is actively recording you.

This is a VERY BAD idea, which we will elaborate in this article : Apple Is Wrong. You Need To Cover Your Mac Camera!

 

What If You MUST Use A Camera Cover?

If your organisation or work requires you to use a camera cover, Apple issued these recommendations :

  • Make sure the camera cover is not thicker than 0.1 mm.
  • Avoid using a camera cover that leaves adhesive residue.
  • If you install a camera cover that is thicker than 0.1 mm, remove the camera cover before closing your computer.

For Americans and anyone else still stuck with Imperial measurements, 0.1 mm = 0.00393 inch.

This example of an ultra-thin camera cover designed for the MacBook is 8X too thick, according to Apple.

It is physically impossible to create a camera cover that thin. In other words, Apple is telling you yet again NOT to use an actual camera cover!

Instead, try using a tiny piece of sticky note. It is not only thin, it is also soft. Just make sure it covers only the camera, and not the ambient light sensor.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Computer | Cybersecurity | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


How To Fix NAS Connection Failure In macOS Catalina!

One of the issues you may face after upgrading to macOS Catalina is a sudden failure to connect to your NAS. And no matter what you do – you just can’t access your NAS!

Fortunately, we have the solution for this problem. Here is our guide on how you can fix the NAS connection failure in macOS Catalina!

 

The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Issue

After upgrading to macOS Catalina, you may experience a sudden and persistent inability to connect to your NAS.

When you try to access your NAS, it will say Connection Failed. And nothing happens when you click the Connect As… button – you don’t get the usual security pop-up to log into your NAS.

This is beyond annoying, because you have now lost all access to your NAS on macOS Catalina.

It is definitely a macOS Catalina issue because if you try using a Windows PC or an old macOS system, you will have no issue accessing the same NAS.

So what should you do?

 

The Cause Of The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Failure

From what we can tell, this issue is happening because Apple apparently dropped support for SMB1 and SMB 2.0 in macOS Catalina.

With many NAS defaulting to SMB1 for compatibility reasons, users will immediately lose the ability to connect once they upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

How To Fix The macOS Catalina NAS Connection Failure

The key is to set your NAS to use SMB 3.0 or later. This should not be a problem if your NAS is less than 5-6 years old, because SMB 3.0 was introduced in 2012.

In our guide, we are going to use the screenshots from our Synology NAS. But it should be similar in concept to NAS from other brands like QNAP and WD :

  1. Log into your NAS
  2. Go to Control Panel > File Services.
  3. Under the SMB section, click on Advanced Settings.

  1. In the Advanced Settings pop-up, you will find that the Maximum SMB protocol is probably set to SMB1.
  2. You need to set the Maximum SMB protocol to SMB3.

  1. Now, this is not necessary, but while you are here, you might as well just set the Minimum SMB protocol to SMB2 and Large MTU.
  2. Then click Apply at the bottom of the Advanced Settings pop-up to save the settings.

  1. If it works, you should be able to connect to your NAS after you log out of your NAS. However, in many cases, you need to take an additional step by manually connecting to your NAS.
  2. To do that, you need to select Go > Connect to Server… in Finder.
  3. Then key in smb://ServerName/ (in our example, smb://DiskStation/) and click Connect.
  1. This should finally launch the security login pop-up, where you can key in your Name and Password to log into your NAS.

After logging into your NAS, you should have no issue accessing your NAS. You can also drag and add your NAS folders to the Favourites list in Finder.

 

Recommended Reading

[adrotate group=”2″]

Go Back To > Software | Computer | Home

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


macOS Catalina – The Full List of 235 Incompatible Apps!

Make sure you check for incompatible apps before you upgrade to macOS Catalina, because it no longer supports 32-bit apps!

Let’s take a look at the full list of 235 incompatible apps that the macOS Catalina installer has been programmed to look for.

 

Why Are These Apps Incompatible With macOS Catalina?

While many developers have transitioned their software to 64-bit versions over the years, there are still many 32-bit apps out there.

After all, not everyone is able or willing to upgrade to the latest version of any software. There are plenty of people who are happy to stick with the software they purchased years ago.

However, macOS Catalina is the first macOS operating system to drop all support for 32-bit apps, rendering all those apps incompatible.

There is no workaround – they will not work with macOS Catalina, period.

 

What If My App Is In The macOS Catalina Incompatible List?

If an app you are using is listed above, then it is a 32-bit app that will not work with macOS Catalina.

[adrotate group=”2″]

You have two options at this point :

a) if you want to use macOS Catalina – you will need to uninstall that app, and replace it with a 64-bit alternative

b) if you want to continue using the app – then you should NOT upgrade to macOS Catalina. Just stick to macOS Mojave or earlier, and you will do just fine.

 

Check Your Other Apps Before Upgrading To Catalina!

It would be wise not to just rely on the list of incompatible apps that macOS Catalina recognises, because it is just a partial list of all the 32-bit apps that are still being used worldwide.

You should identify the other 32-bit apps you need to upgrade or replace, before upgrading to macOS Catalina.

 

The Full List Of 235 Apps Incompatible With macOS Catalina

Hidden in the macOS Catalina’s installer code is a list of 235 apps that Apple has identified to be incompatible.

Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and mainly covers popular software that Apple will highlight as incompatible during the upgrade process.

  • 10.5 Software Update or earlier
  • 1Password 2.12.1 or earlier
  • 3D Weather Globe / 3D Weather Globe Deluxe Edition / 3D Weather Globe 2 Screensaver
  • 3ivx 504 or earlier
  • ADmitMac 9.0.1 or earlier
  • Adobe Creative Cloud 1.0.x or earlier
  • Adobe Creative Cloud 1.1.x or earlier
  • AirDisplay 1.6.3 or earlier
  • AJA 12.2.1 or earlier
  • AJA Io HD Driver 6.0.3 or earlier
  • Antidote HD 7.2 or earlier
  • Antidote HD 3.1.6 or earlier
  • Antidote RX
  • App Tamer 2.0.5 or earlier
  • Apple Configurator 1.9.9 or earlier
  • Asepsis
  • AT&T Laptop Connect Card 1.0.4 or earlier
  • AT&T Laptop Connect Card 1.0.5 or earlier
  • AT&T Laptop Connect Card 1.10.0 or earlier
  • Avast! 1.0.1 or earlier
  • Avast Mac Security 10.14 or earlier
  • Avid CoreAudio Plugin 12.1.0.x or earlier
  • Bark 1.1 or earlier
  • Bark 1.0.1 or earlier
  • Belkin Router Monitor
  • Best Youtube Downloader
  • Billings Pro 1.6.5 or earlier
  • Box Sync 4.0.6567 or earlier
  • Camouflage 2.0 or earlier
  • Canon UFRII 2.25 or earlier
  • Canon UFRII 2.35 or earlier
  • cDock 1.1.3 or earlier
  • CHUD
  • Clusters 1.7 or earlier
  • CosmoPod 4.5.1 or earlier
  • DAVE 12.0.1 or earlier
  • Default Folder X 4.3.10 or earlier
  • Disk for iPhone
  • DisplayLink 1.9 or earlier
  • DisplayPad 5 or earlier
  • DisplayPad 1.4 or earlier
  • DivX 1.3 or earlier
  • DoubleCommand 1.6.9 or earlier
  • Dropbox 1.1.34 or earlier
  • eID 4.0.7 or earlier
  • ESET Cyber Security 6.0.14 or earlier
  • FastCut Threshold Plugin 1.0 or earlier
  • Flip4Mac 3.0 or earlier
  • FortiClient 5.4.0.493 or earlier
  • FinderPop 2.4.9 or earlier
  • Final Cut Server Preference 1.5.2 or earlier
  • Genieo 2.0 or earlier
  • GlimmerBlocker 1.4.12 or earlier
  • Glims 1.0b34 or earlier
  • Glims 1.0.42 or earlier
  • Google Japanese IM 1.13.1880 or earlier
  • GPG Mail 2.5.1 or earlier
  • Growl 1.2.2 or earlier
  • Gutenprint 5.2.10 or earlier
  • Hear Plugin 1.0.4 or earlier
  • Hear Plugin 1.0.5 or earlier
  • Hear Plugin 1.1.4 or earlier
  • InstantOn 7.2.1 or earlier
  • iStat Menus 2.9 or earlier
  • iStat Menus 4.20 or earlier
  • iStat Menus 5.10 or earlier
  • iStat Server 2.21 or earlier
  • Kaspersky Antivirus 2.2.0d16 or earlier
  • Kanbox 1.1.2.x or earlier
  • Kanbox 1.1.1 or earlier
  • KeyMagic 1.5 or earlier
  • KinemeCore 0.5.1 or earlier
  • LabTech Agent 1.0 or earlier
  • LaCie USB 3.0 Driver 1.0.8 or earlier
  • launch2net Drivers 2.13.0 or earlier
  • LazyMouse 2.5 or earlier
  • Litecoin Ticker 1.337 or earlier
  • Little Snitch 1.2.64 or earlier
  • Little Snitch 2.5.3 or earlier
  • Little Snitch 3.3 or earlier
  • Line6 TonePort Driver 4.1.0 or earlier
  • Logitech Control Center 3.9.4 or earlier
  • M-Audio Driver 1.10.1 or earlier
  • M-Audio Driver 2.3.1 or earlier
  • Macspoofer 1.0 or earlier
  • Magican 1.4.8 or earlier
  • McAfee Internet Security 3.3 or earlier
  • McAfee Security 1.0.0d1 or earlier
  • McAfee VirusScan 8.6 or earlier
  • Mou 0.8.7 or earlier
  • Move Media Player
  • MyBook RAID Manager 1.0.1 or earlier
  • Net Nanny 3.1.7 or earlier
  • Norton AntiVirus
  • Norton Internet Security 5.9.1 or earlier
  • Opswat Gears 10.2.185 or earlier
  • Parallels 2.5 or earlier
  • Parallels 7.0.15094 or earlier
  • Parallels Access 2.0.0 or earlier
  • Pen Tablet Preference 5.3.3-3
  • Plaxo 1.0 or earlier
  • Plaxo 3.16.2 or earlier
  • Plaxo 3.0 or earlier
  • Printopia 2.1.10 or earlier
  • Pro Tools 9.0f121 or earlier
  • Qmaster Components
  • Qmaster Preference 3.5 or earlier
  • QT Desktop Video Out 1.2.7 or earlier
  • QuickBooks 2009 10.0f2440 or earlier
  • QuickBooks 2010 11.0f2972 or earlier
  • QuickBooks 2011 12.0f5460 or earlier
  • QuickBooks 2012 13.0.f7630 or earlier
  • QuickBooks 2013 14.0f10166 or earlier
  • QuickBooks 2014 15.0f2630 or earlier
  • QuickBooks 2015 16.0.6 or earlier
  • Quicken Essentials 1.7.4 or earlier
  • QQ Input 2.8.999 or earlier
  • QQ Mac Manager 2.4.0 or earlier
  • Rapport 1.0 or earlier
  • Rapport 2.0 or earlier
  • Razer Kraken Audio Plugin 1.04 or earlier
  • Razer Kraken 7.1 Audio Plugin 1.02 or earlier
  • Razer Kraken 7.1 Chroma Audio Plugin 1.04 or earlier
  • Razer Kraken 7.1 Blue Audio Plugin 1.03 or earlier
  • Razer Kraken 7.1 v2 Audio Plugin 1.1 or earlier
  • Razer Mamba 2012 1.07 or earlier
  • Razer ManOWar Audio Plugin 1.2 or earlier
  • Rubbernet 1.2 or earlier
  • Screen Sharing 1.4 or earlier
  • Seagate Maxtor NotificationExec 4.1.6 or earlier
  • SecureVault LexarFilter 2.2.0 or earlier
  • Shake 4.10 or earlier
  • Smith Micro Internet Cleanup 5.0.4 or earlier
  • Smith Micro Internet Cleanup 5.1.1 or earlier
  • SMS Widget 3.4 or earlier
  • Snapz Pro X 4.0.0 or earlier
  • Sogou IM 2.9.0 or earlier
  • Sonner Qio 2.7.1 or earlier
  • Sophos AntiVirus 7.2.0 or earlier
  • Sophos AntiVirus 9.4.4 or earlier
  • Sophos Auto Update 7.3.4 or earlier
  • Sophos Endpoint 9.5.2 or earlier
  • Sophos Home 9.4.4 or earlier
  • Sound Bunny 1.0.1 or earlier
  • Sound Control 2.2.3 or earlier
  • SourceTree 1.5.6 or earlier
  • Sony Palm 6 Sync Driver 2.0.1 or earlier
  • SRS iWOW 3.1.x or earlier
  • SRS iWOW 3.0.x or earlier
  • SugarSync Manager 1.9.26 or earlier
  • Suitcase Fusion 17.0.0 or earlier
  • SugarSync 1.0 or earlier
  • SugarSync 1.0.9 or earlier
  • Switcher Maestro
  • SuperDrive Update 2.1 or earlier
  • Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.1.6565 or earlier
  • Synergy KM 1.0.1 or earlier
  • Sxs Memory Card Driver 1.0.45049 or earlier
  • TabExpose 2.3 or earlier
  • TelldusCenter 2.1.1 or earlier
  • TorchUpdated 25.0 or earlier
  • TotalFinder 1.6.2 or earlier
  • TotalSpaces 1.2.9 or earlier
  • Transmit 4.1.7 or earlier
  • Trend Smart Surfing 1.6.1089 or earlier
  • Trim Enabler 3.2.4 or earlier
  • Trusteer Endpoint Protection 1609.22 or earlier
  • Undercover 5.5 or earlier
  • VirusBarrier 10.6.12 or earlier
  • Visor 2.2 or earlier
  • Videobox TAAVPlugin 2.3T or earlier
  • Virtru 1.0.2 or earlier
  • Vodafone v2.0.6 or earlier
  • VMWare Fusion 3.1.4 or earlier
  • VMWare Fusion 4.1.1 or earlier
  • Wacom 6.3.8-2 or earlier
  • WD Drive Manager 2.2.7 or earlier
  • WD SmartWare 2.1.x or earlier
  • WD SmartWare 1.0.x or earlier
  • WebEx Outlook Plugin 32.5.1 or earlier
  • XtraFinder 0.25.4 or earlier
  • ZEV0 2012.09.23 or earlier

The list was consolidated somewhat, combining minor revisions for the same software.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > SoftwareHome

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


macOS Catalina – Don’t Upgrade Until You Do This First!

macOS Catalina (or macOS version 10.15) is coming in October 2019, bringing with it a slew of really nice improvements and new features.

However, unlike earlier macOS releases – you need to prepare for macOS Catalina, or you could run into trouble right after the upgrade!

 

macOS Catalina Requirements

Before we start, make sure you have one of these systems – macOS Catalina will only run on these Mac computers.

  • iMac Pro : All models
  • iMac : Late 2012 or newer
  • Mac Pro : Late 2013 or newer
  • Mac mini : Late 2012 or newer
  • MacBook Pro : Mid 2012 or newer
  • MacBook : Early 2015 or newer
  • MacBook Air : Mid 2012 or newer

 

macOS Catalina – Don’t Upgrade Until You Do This First!

Unlike earlier versions of macOS, Catalina drops support for 32-bit apps. Therefore, you must check if you are still using any 32-bit apps before you upgrade.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check for 32-bit apps in macOS :

  1. Click on the Apple icon on the top left of the task bar.
  2. Select About This Mac from the pull-down list.

  1. In the Overview screen, click on the System Report… button.

  1. When System Report loads, select Software > Applications from the column on the left.
  2. It will now take a minute or two to scan all of your apps.
  3. Once it loads, you can scroll through all of your apps to look for any that have their 64-Bit (Intel) status marked No.

  1. However, an EASIER method is to locate the 64-Bit (Intel) column, and click on it to list all those marked No at the top.As you can see, quite a number of applications, including those used to setup the actual apps, are still 32-bit apps.

  1. Now, you need to uninstall all those 32-bit apps and replace them with 64-bit versions. Otherwise, they will all fail to work once you upgrade to Catalina!

 

Why Do You Need To Run This Check Again?

You need to find out what 32-bit apps you are still running, because they will NOT work after you install macOS Catalina.

You will need to upgrade these 32-bit apps with newer 64-bit versions, BEFORE you upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

Can’t I Upgrade My Apps After I Upgrade To macOS Catalina?

[adrotate group=”2″]

It is possible to remove your 32-bit apps and install their 64-bit versions after upgrading to macOS Catalina.

However, you may have trouble removing all of the older components, if the old 32-bit app used an installer.

So we highly recommend that you uninstall all 32-bit apps, and install their 64-bit versions… BEFORE you upgrade to macOS Catalina.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > SoftwareHome

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


Apple Finally Kills iTunes… Good Riddance To Bad Rubbish!

Apple FINALLY kills off iTunes, and the world is a better place for it!

Find out what killing off iTunes means for Apple users, and why we should celebrate its death with champagne and loud cheers!

 

iTunes Lifeline Finally Cut!

Well, not right away though. That junk software will continue to soldier on until you upgrade to macOS Catalina (macOS 10.15) – their next-generation operating system.

After you upgrade to macOS Catalina, iTunes will no longer exist. Only then you can safely toast its demise with champagne.

 

iTunes Was A Bloated Piece Of Shit

Honestly, why are some Apple fans so crazy about iTunes, literally crying virtual tears over its impending demise?

That piece of shit should have been canned years ago. Cast in concrete and dropped into the deepest ocean humanity can find.

You guys do know that you can be an Apple fanboy without pretending to love iTunes, right? RIGHT?

 

Apple Just Cut It Into Three Pieces

I’m ecstatic Apple finally pulled the plug on that bloated, unwieldy junk software, instead of forcing a new version down our throats every year.

I’m just a little sad that they chose to split iTunes into three smaller apps – Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts.

Sure, this would finally align macOS devices with their iOS cousins, which already have those apps. But now, you have to use three separate apps to manage your media, instead of just one.

There is also the tendency for those apps to bloat, as Apple adds more features with each iteration.

 

Wasted Opportunity?

IMHO, Apple could have used this opportunity to reinvent (and revolutionise?) how we manage and use media.

Instead of killing iTunes, perhaps they should have created a completely new unified app, with a different concept and UI… and a new name.

Not only is the iTunes name now irrevocably associated with user frustration, it is also incongruous with what iTunes has become.

 

The BEST Part About Killing iTunes

The BEST part about Apple killing iTunes is something many people somehow missed – you can now backup, update and sync your iOS devices through Finder!

This feature alone is worth upgrading to macOS Catalina at the earliest opportunity, even if Apple did not kill iTunes.

No longer will you have to use iTunes to backup, update and manage files in your iOS devices.

No longer will you be forced to use specific folders to sync your media files with your iOS devices.

No longer will you wonder why iTunes stubbornly refuses to sync certain photos and videos, while syncing all other photos and videos.

Yes, no longer will you have to put up with the piece of shit software called Apple iTunes to use your iOS devices!

If it actually works as advertised, this feature alone will finally see me purchase my first iPad since I sold off my first-generation iPad many years ago.

 

Recommended Reading

[adrotate group=”2″]

Go Back To > Mobile Devices | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


Mac eGPU Support Guide for macOS 10.13.4

Official Mac eGPU support just arrived with macOS 10.13.4! Yes, you can now add an eGPU (external graphics processor) to your Mac, greatly accelerating its performance and turning it into a gaming machine. Get the full details on the Mac eGPU support you can expect!

 

New Mac eGPU Support

eGPUs have been in the market for a number of years now, but this is the first time Apple has added official support for them. The new official Mac eGPU support is limited to :

  • MacBook Pro notebooks released in 2016 or later,
  • iMac computers released in 2017 or later, and
  • the iMac Pro

Once you have macOS 10.13.4 installed, you will be able to :

  • Accelerate applications that use Metal, OpenGL, and OpenCL
  • Connect additional external monitors and displays
  • Use virtual reality headsets plugged into the eGPU
  • Charge your MacBook Pro while using the eGPU
  • Use an eGPU with your MacBook Pro while its built-in display is closed
  • Connect an eGPU while a user is logged in
  • Connect more than one eGPU using the multiple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on your Mac2
  • Use the menu bar item  to safely disconnect the eGPU
  • View the activity levels of built-in and external GPUs. Open Activity Monitor, then choose Window > GPU History.

 

Mac eGPU Support In Applications

The new Mac eGPU support is designed to accelerate Metal, OpenGL and OpenCL applications. In general, installing an eGPU will accelerate these kinds of applications :

  • Professional applications designed to utilise multiple GPUs
  • 3D games, when an external monitor is attached directly to the eGPU
  • VR applications, when a VR headset is attached directly to the eGPU
  • Professional applications and 3D games that can accelerate the built-in display

For the best results, you should set the display attached to the eGPU as the primary display :

  1. Go to System Preferences > Displays
  2. Select the Arrangement tab
  3. Drag the white menu bar to the box that represents the display attached to the eGPU

Note : The eGPU support  won’t run in Windows using Boot Camp, or when your Mac is in the macOS Recovery mode, or while installing system updates.

 

Recommended Mac eGPU Configurations

If you are looking for a pre-configured all-in-one Thunderbolt 3 eGPU package, this was recommended by Apple :

  • Sonnet Radeon RX 570 eGFX Breakaway Puck : $599

Here is a list of recommended graphics cards :

  • AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition : $929
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100 : $1,749
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100 : $626
  • Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 64 : Price Check
  • XFX Radeon RX Vega 64 : $1,349
  • Sapphire Radeon RX Vega 56 : $799
  • XFX Radeon RX Vega 56 : Price Check

And these are the recommended Mac eGPU Thunderbolt 3 chassis for the recommended graphics cards :

AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 / Frontier Edition / Radeon Pro WX 9100

  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W ($449, $1,299 with Vega 64)

AMD Radeon RX Vega 56

[adrotate group=”2″]

  • OWC Mercury Helios FX ($319)
  • PowerColor Devil Box
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W ($329, $729 with RX 580)
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W ($449, $1,299 with Vega 64)

AMD Radeon RX 570 / 580 / Radeon Pro WX 7100

  • OWC Mercury Helios FX ($319)
  • PowerColor Devil Box
  • Sapphire Gear Box
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 350W ($249, $649 with RX 580)
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 550W ($329, $729 with RX 580)
  • Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W ($449, $1,299 with Vega 64)

Go Back To > Guides | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Everything On The Meltdown + Spectre CPU Flaws! Rev. 3.0

The Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws that the Google Project Zero team discovered are arguably the worst we have ever known. These vulnerabilities were built into BILLIONS of CPUs that we have been using for the last decade or so.

Not just Intel CPUs, but also CPUs made by AMD, Apple and ARM. Even those that power our smartphones and other smart devices!

Let’s take a look at what we know so far about Meltdown and Spectre, how they affect you, and what we can do about them.

This story is still developing. We will update the article as and when new details emerge. Be sure to check back and refresh the page for the latest information!

 

Article Update History

Click here for the Article Update History

2018-02-17 : Updated the table of CPUs vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre. Updated four sections with new information.

2018-02-05 : Added a table of CPUs vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre. Updated three sections with new information.

2018-01-25 : Revamped the entire article. Added a new section on the difference between Meltdown and Spectre, and a new section on InSpectre. Updated the list of vulnerable processors, mitigation efforts by Microsoft and Apple, as well as the Intel spontaneous reboot issues with their Spectre 2 patches.

2018-01-16 : Updated the list of vulnerable processors, and added a new section on Intel CPUs spontaneously rebooting after applying Meltdown and Spectre patches. Also added cautionary advice on holding off these updates.

2018-01-12 : Updated the article with the AMD confirmation that their processors are vulnerable to both Spectre exploits. Also added details on the Google Retpoline mitigation technique against Spectre attacks.

2018-01-11 : Added new sections on the performance impact of the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation patches, and reports of those patches bricking some AMD PCs. Also expanded the list of affected CPUs, and corrected information on the Intel-SA-00086 Detection Tool.

Between 2018-01-09 and 2018-01-10 : Numerous updates including details of patches and affected CPUs.

Originally posted @ 2018-01-09


 

The Meltdown + Spectre Vulnerabilities

  • The Project Zero team identified these vulnerabilities in 2017, reporting it to Intel, AMD and ARM on 1 June 2017.
  • These vulnerabilities take advantage of the Speculative Execution and Branch Prediction features of the modern processor, that have been used for many years to improve performance.
  • Speculative Execution lets the CPU predict and pre-execute the next instruction, allowing it to “instantly” deliver the results if it’s correct.
  • Branch Prediction helps the CPU predict future execution paths that should be speculatively-executed for better performance.
  • There are THREE (3) variants of the speculative execution CPU bug :
    • Variant 1 : Bounds Check Bypass (CVE-2017-5753)
    • Variant 2 : Branch Target Injection (CVE-2017-5715)
    • Variant 3 : Rogue Data Cache Load (CVE-2017-5754)
  • The Spectre attack (whitepaper) exploits variants 1 and 2.
  • The Meltdown attack (whitepaper) exploits variant 3.
  • There is a Variant 3a, which appears to affect only certain ARM processors.

 

What’s The Difference Between Meltdown & Spectre?

  • Spectre tricks the CPU branch predictor into mis-predicting the wrong path, thereby speculatively executing code that would not otherwise be executed.
  • Meltdown takes advantage of the out-of-order execution capability of modern processors, tricking them into executing malicious code that would normally not be allowed.
  • The Spectre name is based on both the root cause – speculative execution, and the fact that it is not easy to fix, and will haunt us for a long time like a spectre (ghost).
  • The Meltdown name was chosen because the vulnerability “basically melts security boundaries which are normally enforced by the hardware“.

 

How Bad Are Meltdown & Spectre?

  • The Spectre exploits let an attacker access and copy information from the memory space used by other applications.
  • The Meltdown exploit lets an attacker copy the entire physical memory of the computer.
  • Unless patched, the affected processors are vulnerable to malware and cyberattacks that exploits this CPU bug to steal critical information from running apps (like login and credit card information, emails, photos, documents, etc.)
  • While the Meltdown exploit can be “fixed”, it is likely that the Spectre exploit cannot be fixed, only mitigated, without a redesign of the processors. That means we will have to live with the risks of a Spectre attack for many more years to come.

 

How Many Processors Are Affected? Updated!

For the complete list of affected AMD, Apple, ARM and Intel processors, please see this separate article – The Complete List Of CPUs Vulnerable To Meltdown / Spectre

Company Spectre 1 Spectre 2 Meltdown
AMD 295 Server CPUs
42 Workstation CPUs
396 Desktop CPUs
208 Mobile CPUs
295 Server CPUs
42 Workstation CPUs
396 Desktop CPUs
208 Mobile CPUs
None
Apple 13 Mobile SoCs 13 Mobile SoCs 13 Mobile SoCs
ARM 10 Mobile CPUs
3 Server SoCs
10 Mobile CPUs
3 Server SoCs
4 Mobile CPUs
3 Server SoCs
IBM 10 POWER CPUs 10 POWER CPUs 10 POWER CPUs
Intel 732 Server / Workstation CPUs
443 Desktop CPUs
583 Mobile CPUs
51 Mobile SoCs
732 Server / Workstation CPUs
443 Desktop CPUs
583 Mobile CPUs
51 Mobile SoCs
732 Server / Workstation CPUs
443 Desktop CPUs
583 Mobile CPUs
51 Mobile SoCs

Total

2786 CPUs 2786 CPUs 1839 CPUs

For the complete list of affected AMD, Apple, ARM and Intel processors, please see this separate article – The Complete List Of CPUs Vulnerable To Meltdown / Spectre

 

Intel Detection Tool?

The Intel-SA-00086 Detection Tool does NOT detect the processor’s susceptibility to these vulnerabilities. It only checks for different vulnerabilities affecting the Intel Management Engine.

 

InSpectre

Our reader Arthur shared that the Gibson Research Corporation has an aptly-named utility called InSpectre.

It checks for Meltdown and Spectre hardware and software vulnerabilities in a Windows system. It will help you check if your system is getting patched properly against these vulnerabilities.

 

What Is Being Done??? Updated!

Note : The terms “mitigate” and “mitigation” mean the possibility of a successfully attacked are reduced, not eliminated.

  • Intel has started issuing software and firmware updates for the processors introduced in the last 5 years. By the middle of January 2018, Intel expects to have issued updates for more than 90% of those CPUs. However, that does not address the other Intel processors sold between 2010 and 2012.
  • Microsoft and Linux have started to roll our the KPTI (Kernel Page Table Isolation) patch, also known as the KAISER (Kernel Address Isolation to have Side-channels Efficiently Removed) patch.
  • The KPTI or KAISER patch, however, will only protect against the Meltdown exploit. It has no effect on a Spectre attack.
  • Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 received the KB4056890 security update on 3 January 2018, to prevent a Meltdown attack.
  • Firefox 57 includes changes to mitigate against both attacks.
  • Google Chrome 64 will be released on 23 January 2018, with mitigations against Meltdown and Spectre attacks.
  • For Mac systems, Apple introduced mitigations against Spectre in macOS 10.13.2 (released on 8 January 2018), with more fixes coming in macOS 10.13.3.
  • For iOS devices, Apple introduced mitigations against Meltdown in iOS 11.2 and tvOS 11.2.
  • On 8 January 2018, Apple released iOS 11.2.2, which mitigates the risk of the two Spectre exploits in Safari and WebKit, for iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPod touch 6th generation or later.
  • ARM has made available the KPTI / KAISER kernel patches for Linux, while Google will provide them for Android.
  • Google patched Android against both exploits with the December 2017 and January 2018 patches.
  • Google shared details of their Return Rrampoline (Retpoline) binary modification technique that can be used to protect against Spectre attacks. It is a software construct that ensures that any associated speculative execution will “bounce” (as if on a trampoline) endlessly.
  • NVIDIA issued six driver and security updates for affected devices and software between 3-9 January 2018.
  • On 11 January 2018, AMD announced that the “majority of AMD systems” have received the mitigation patches against Spectre 1, albeit some older AMD systems got bricked by bad patches. They also announced that they will make “optional” microcode updates available for Ryzen and EPYC processors by the same week.
  • In the same 11 January 2018 disclosure, AMD also shared that Linux vendors have started to roll out OS patches for both Spectre exploits, and they’re working on the “return trampoline (Retpoline)” software mitigations as well.[adrotate group=”2″]
  • On 23 January 2018, Apple released Meltdown patches for macOS Sierra and OS X El Capitan, but not macOS High Sierra.
  • On 23 January 2018, Microsoft finally revealed their Spectre and Meltdown patch schedule.
  • On 24 January 2018, AMD revealed their 11 software mitigations for both Spectre exploits.
  • The 24 January 2018 AMD whitepaper also revealed that the AMD K10 and K8 processors are vulnerable as well, adding an additional 663 CPU models to the list of vulnerable processors.
  • On 2 February 2018, Microsoft released KB4078130 to disable the Spectre 2 patches that were causing many Intel systems to randomly and spontaneously reboot.
  • On 8 February 2018, an Intel microcode update schedule revealed that their Penryn-based processors are also vulnerable, adding an additional 314 CPU models to the list of vulnerable processors.
  • On 14 February 2018, Intel revealed an expanded Bug Bounty Program, offering up to $250,000 in bounty awards.

 

Some AMD PCs Got Bricked

In the rush to mitigate against Meltdown and Spectre, Microsoft released Windows 10 patches that bricked some AMD PCs. They blamed the incorrect / incomplete documentation provided by AMD.

You can read more about this issue @ These Windows 10 Updates Are Bricking AMD PCs!

 

Buggy Intel Spectre 2 Patches Updated!

Intel’s rush to patch Meltdown and Spectre resulted in buggy microcode patches, causing several generations of their CPUs to randomly and spontaneously reboot.

So far, over 800 Intel CPU models have been identified to be affected by these spontaneous reboot issues. If you have one of the affected CPUs, please hold off BIOS / firmware updates!

Intel has identified the cause as the Spectre 2 patches in their microcode updates for some of these processors. They’re still investigating the cause of the other affected CPU models.

Fortunately for Windows users, Microsoft issued the KB4078130 emergency update to stop the reboots while Intel worked to fix the issue.

You can read more about this issue @ The Intel Spectre Reboot Issue, and the Microsoft solution @ KB4078130 : Emergency Windows Update To Disable Intel Spectre Patches!

 

What Should You Do? Updated!

First and foremost – DO NOT PANIC. There is no known threat or attack using these exploits.

Although we listed a number of important patches below, the buggy updates are worse than the potential threat they try to fix. So we advise HOLDING OFF these patches, and wait for properly-tested versions a few weeks down the line.

  • If you are using Windows, make sure you install the latest Microsoft Spectre and Meltdown updates.
  • If you are using a Mac system, get the latest Apple Spectre and Meltdown patches.
  • If you are using an iOS device, get updated to iOS 11.2 or tvOS 11.2.
  • If you are using Firefox, update to the latest Firefox 57.
  • If you are using Google Chrome, make sure you watch out for Chrome 64, which will be released on 23 January.
  • Download and install the latest software firmware updates from your PC, laptop, motherboard brands. In particular, install the latest driver for the Intel Management Engine (Intel ME), the Intel Trusted Execution Engine (Intel TXE), and the Intel Server Platform Services (SPS)
  • If you are running an ARM processor on Linux, grab the kernel patches.
  • IBM POWER system users can download and install these firmware updates.
  • Users of affected NVIDIA systems can download and install these driver and firmware updates.
  • If you are using an Intel system, hold off updating your firmware, unless you have already verified that your CPU is not affected by the buggy Intel patches, or Intel has already issued corrected patches.

 

The Performance Impact Of The Mitigation Patches

Many benchmarks have been released, showing performance impacts of between 5% to 30%, depending on the type of benchmark and workload. Microsoft has called those benchmark results into question, stating that they did not cover both operating system and silicon microcode patches.

They released an initial report on their findings, which we have summarised in our article – Pre-2016 Intel CPUs Hit Worst By Meltdown + Spectre Fix.

 

Meltdown + Spectre Reading Suggestions

[adrotate group=”2″]

Go Back To > Articles | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

The Apple Spectre + Meltdown Patches Detailed!

Within a week after the Meltdown and Spectre exploits revealed, the first Apple Spectre patches were introduced. And Apple has finally released their next slew of patches that will help protect Apple computers against Meltdown and Spectre.

There has been some confusion about what was “fixed” in which patch. In this article, we will share with you exactly mitigations were introduced in which OS X update. As usual, we will update this article, as and when new Apple Spectre or Meltdown patches are released.

 

The Apple Spectre + Meltdown Patches

macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Supplemental Update

Date Of Introduction : 8 January 2018
Operating System Patched : macOS 10.13 High Sierra
GPZ Variant Addressed : Spectre 1 and 2 (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715)

The first known update was the macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Supplemental Update. It introduced a number of mitigations against the two Spectre variants (CVE-2017-5753 and CVE-2017-5715). Specifically, several security improvements were made to Safari and WebKit.

After updating, Safari will be upgraded to version 11.0.2 (13604.4.7.1.6) or version 11.0.2 (13604.4.7.10.6).

 

Security Update 2018-001 Sierra

[adrotate group=”2″]

Date Of Introduction : 23 January 2018
Operating System Patched : macOS 10.12 Sierra
GPZ Variant Addressed : Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754)

This security update patched all versions of macOS Sierra against the Meltdown exploit (CVE-2017-5754).

 

Security Update 2018-001 El Capitan

Date Of Introduction : 23 January 2018
Operating System Patched : OS X 10.11 El Capitan
GPZ Variant Addressed : Meltdown (CVE-2017-5754)

This security update patched all versions of OS X El Capitan against the Meltdown exploit (CVE-2017-5754).

 

Outstanding Apple Spectre + Meltdown Patches

From what we understand, these are the likely Apple Spectre and Meltdown patches that are still outstanding, and will eventually be released :

  1. A Meltdown patch for macOS High Sierra
  2. Spectre mitigation patches for macOS Sierra and OS X El Capitan
  3. EFI firmware updates for various Mac computers

We will update this article, as and when new Apple Spectre or Meltdown patches are released.

Go Back To > Guides | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

The NVIDIA GeForce NOW Free Beta Details Revealed!

Thanks to NVIDIA GeForce NOW, your underpowered PC can now let you play games as if it is powered by a high-performance GeForce GTX graphics card! And best of all, NVIDIA is now offering GeForce NOW as a free beta for Windows and Mac desktops and laptops!

 

What Is NVIDIA GeForce NOW?

NVIDIA GeForce NOW is a game-streaming service that connects your Windows or macOS computer to supercomputers in the cloud that stream 1080p graphics at up to 120 frames per second!

Since all of the graphics processing happens in NVIDIA’s data centers, you can now play the latest PC games even on PCs with low performance integrated graphics. All you have to do is connect to your game library on digital stores like Uplay PC and Steam, and start playing!

 

Always Updated, Always Expanding

NVIDIA GeForce NOW receives regular updates, including service enhancements, new games and additional data centers. In fact, the 10th NVIDIA GeForce NOW data center was recently opened in Amsterdam.

GeForce NOW also handles your system maintenance tasks, ensuring that patches and driver updates are installed automatically. It also enables cloud saves for cross-platform play.

 

The Free Public Beta Details

[adrotate group=”2″]

NVIDIA GeForce NOW is currently available as a free public beta for Windows and Mac desktops and laptops in most of North America and Europe.

The app has been localized in French and German, with local language support for many top and diverse gaming experiences including PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, Arma 3, Garry’s Mod, Fortnite, and more.

Due to the overwhelming demand, there is currently a waitlist to give the free public beta a try. You can get yourself on the waitlist!

Go Back To > News | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

Apple Rushed Out macOS Root Bug Fix & It Shows…

Lemi Orhan Ergin did not give Apple any forewarning when he publicly revealed the massive macOS root bug on Twitter. He basically exposed a zero-day vulnerability for hackers to use, while Apple rushed on a bug fix. The good news is Apple just issued the root bug fix in Security Update 2017-001.

This is really fast work, but it also showed their sloppiness. Hopefully, the bug fix does not introduce additional bugs!

 

macOS Security Update 2017-001

[adrotate group=”2″]

Apple released macOS Security Update 2017-001 just a day after the macOS root bug was revealed. They also gave us more information on the bug that caused so much ruckus around the world (and rightly so).

  • The bug only affected macOS High Sierra 10.13.1.
  • The bug did not affect computers running macOS Sierra 10.12.6 or earlier.
  • They confirmed that it allowed an attacker to “bypass administrator authentication without supplying the administrator’s password“.

You can get more details on the root bug in our dedicated article – The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Explained!

 

How Do I Download The Root Bug Fix?

The macOS root bug fix is now available for download via the App Store. If it doesn’t appear yet, just click on the Updates icon to refresh.

Please note that this bug fix will reset and disable the root user account.  If you need to use the root user account, you will need to re-enable it, and change its password, after applying the update.

 

Terminal Users, Watch Out!

If you’re using Terminal to update though, you may face some complications due to Apple’s sloppiness. Chai discovered that Apple accidentally used a space instead of the version number.

This is not an issue if you are downloading the patch through the App Store. But if you’re applying the patch via Terminal, you need to add a space.

softwareupdate -i “Security Update 2017-001- “

Go Back To > Articles | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Explained! Rev. 2.0

The Internet is abuzz with the shocking revelation that now everyone can hack an Apple computer… as long as it’s using the latest macOS High Sierra operating system. Let us explain what’s going on, and share with you the workaround for the macOS High Sierra root bug.

Updated @ 2017-11-30 : Added a new section on the Apple bug fix (Security Update 2017-001) [1], and additional information on the root bug [2].

Originally posted @ 2017-11-29


 

What Is Root User?

If you are the primary user of a MacOS X system, you have an administrator account with administrator privileges. This gives you more privileges and access than a standard user account. However, that is not the highest access level possible.

There is a Mac superuser account called “root” that gives you elevated read and write privileges to hidden or protected areas of the system. With the Mac root user account, you can even access files in other user accounts.

In fact, it gives you such God-like powers, you can modify or even delete critical system files. In fact, a Mac root user can use the rm -rf * command to delete the contents of every mounted drive in the computer, until macOS crashes when a crucial file or folder is deleted.

So this Mac root user account should only remain disabled unless you really, REALLY need to use it.

Suggested Reading : The Mac Root User Login & Password Guide

 

The macOS High Sierra Root Bug Updated!

On Tuesday, 28 November 2017, Turkish software developer Lemi Orhan Ergin revealed the macOS High Sierra root bug. With a few simple steps, anyone can gain elevated root user privileges in any computer running macOS High Sierra! Here is a summary of what we know about the root bug :

  1. The root bug exploit requires a computer running macOS High Sierra, with multiple user accounts.
  2. When prompted for a username and password, use these steps to gain root user access without any password :
    • Type “root” as the username and leave the password field blank.
    • Just click “Unlock” twice.
  3. The root bug cannot be exploited remotely, unless screen sharing is enabled.
  4. The root bug was introduced in macOS High Sierra 10.13.1. Earlier versions of macOS were not affected.
  5. Apple confirmed that the bug was due to “a logic error… in the validation of credentials“.
  6. Apple also confirmed that the bug would allow an attacker to “bypass administrator authentication without supplying the administrator’s password“.
  7. Several security researchers successfully replicated the bug.

 

How Serious Is This Root Bug?

The macOS High Sierra root bug is EXTREMELY serious, because it allows a hacker to easily bypass all of the macOS operating system’s security protections.

It doesn’t matter if you encrypted your computer, and secured it with an extremely long and complex password. Anyone who gains root user privileges using this bug can access (read, copy or move) the files in any user account (even those of an administrator) without knowing the password.

What’s even more troubling is that the root bug works even with a disabled root user account. This means the vast majority of Apple computers running on High Sierra are compromised, as the root user account is disabled by default.

 

How To Fix The Root Bug?

Unlike other security researchers, Lemi Orhan Ergin did not forewarn Apple before publicly revealing the bug, on Twitter no less. He basically exposed a zero-day vulnerability for hackers to use, while Apple rushes to fix the bug.

1. Install macOS Security Update 2017-001 New!

Apple just released Security Update 2017-001. This update will remove the root bug and improve credential validation. INSTALL THIS UPDATE NOW!

Note : This bug fix will reset and disable the root user account.  If you need to use the root user account, you will need to re-enable it, and change its password, after applying the update.

Note : Apple rushed out this update so quickly that they accidentally used a space instead of the version number. You can read more about this in our article – Apple Rushed Out macOS Root Bug Fix & It Shows…

This is not an issue if you are downloading the patch through the App Store. But if you’re applying the patch via Terminal, you need to add a space.

softwareupdate -i “Security Update 2017-001- “

2. Enable Root User With Your Own Password

[adrotate group=”2″]

If you cannot apply Apple’s bug fix yet, you can block this root bug by enabling the root user account, and setting a password for it.

It’s not so straightforward, so we created a step-by-step guide for you – The Mac Root User Login & Password Guide.

3. Use Additional Encryption

Alternatively, you can opt to move your sensitive data to encrypted containers or drives using third-party encryption utilities like VeraCrypt. Hackers may use the High Sierra root bug to gain access to the encrypted containers or drives, but without the correct password, the actual data won’t be accessible.

4. Physically Protect Your Apple Computer

The good news is the High Sierra root bug generally requires physical access to your Apple computer. Until this bug is fixed, you should make sure your Apple computer is never left unsupervised.

Keep it in a locked room or bag, whenever you are not using it. If no one can get to it, they cannot use the bug to gain root access.

5. Disable Screen Sharing

The High Sierra root bug can be exploited remotely if Screen Sharing is enabled. So make sure you disable Screen Sharing.

Go Back To > Articles | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!