Daily News Brief: Hacking Processors - The Ultimate Back Door Attack?


Ulitmate Back Door Hack

Yikes! It was just a few months ago that Maximum PC ran a feature discussing how malware has evolved and what you can do to protect yourself ( Internet Security 2.0 , February issue), but a new method of hacking may just trump them all. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign demonstrated how attackers could gain back-door access to a computer using a hacked processor, and what's more, they did so on a system running Linux. The method involves reprogramming processor circuits, putting the hack out of reach of most script kiddies, but one that manages to make itself virtually undetectable. Read more here .

See Seagate. See Seagate Sue. Sue Seagate Sue!

Seagate on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court accusing STEC Inc. of patent infringement. The suit claims STEC's solid-state drives violate no less than four Seagate patents. Patrick Wilkinson, STEC's VP of marketing, said his company was not contacted before the suit and accused Seagate of feeling threatened by the growing demand for solid-state drives. Read more here .

First iPhone VoIP Client

Owners of jailbroken iPhones have a new application to play with, and one that will likely have AT&T up in arms. Fringe , currently in beta, is a mobile multi-IM client that also supports Skype voice chat, potentially opening the door to a less costly phone bill, and will probably draw ire from both Apple and AT&T. If you decide to give Fring a whirl, post your thoughts on the sound quality below.

Calling all Investors

Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, and...Carmen Electra? Peekaboo Pole dancing, makers of the Electra Pole , has sent out an email announcing their idea for a Wii game that will have gamers shaking their rumps in ways Nintendo could never have imagined. Peekabo is currently seeking a partner to help license their concept, but don't be surprised if this one never sees the light of day.

Jumping on AT&T's Pogo

AT&T has opened up a private beta of its new browser because, well, we suppose there just aren't enough to choose from already, and who better to jump into the ring than, um, AT&T? The hyper-visual web browser, called Pogo , is based on Mozilla and 3D technology from Vizible. Arstechnica spent some hands-on time with the beta build and walked away largely unimpressed. Comparatively steep system requirements, spotty performance on virtual machines, slow performance, and a confusing UI round out the majority of complaints. Check out the review here . Drats! Now we're only left with Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari, Netscape...

Monster Cables Awakens Monster

Remember when Monster Cables sent out a cease and desist order to Blue Jeans Cable over alleged patent infringement? Yeah, neither do we. But we won't soon forget the response Monster elicited from Kurt Denke, president of Blue Jeans and former lawyer. Denke writes:

"I say this because my observation has been that Monster Cable typically operates in a hit-and-run fashion. Your client threatens litigation, expecting the victim to panic and plead for mercy; and what follows is a quickie negotiation session that ends with payment and a licensing agreement. Your client then uses this collection of licensing agreements to convince others under similar threat to accede to its demands. Let me be clear about this: there are only two ways for you to get anything out of me. You will either need to (1) convince me that I have infringed, or (2) obtain a final judgment to that effect from a court of competent jurisdiction. It may be that my inability to see the pragmatic value of settling frivolous claims is a deep character flaw, and I am sure a few of the insurance carriers for whom I have done work have seen it that way; but it is how I have done business for the last quarter-century and you are not going to change my mind. If you sue me, the case will go to judgment, and I will hold the court's attention upon the merits of your claims--or, to speak more precisely, the absence of merit from your claims--from start to finish. Not only am I unintimidated by litigation; I sometimes rather miss it. "

Read the full text here .

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