Archive for June 5, 2018

Here’s Everything That ASUS Announced At Computex

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 5, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS announced a ton of stuff at Computex this week. Here’s a list of what was announced.


Rule your game with the ROG Rapture GT-AX11000

The Republic of Gamers is renowned for cutting-edge hardware, so it’s fitting that the new ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 is the world’s first tri-band 802.11ax router. It’s built for the most demanding networks, with peak aggregate throughput of nearly 11,000Mbps: up to 1148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 4804Mbps on each of its dual 5GHz bands. The extra 5GHz band can be reserved for gaming devices to prevent other wireless activity from interfering with your primary machines.

Most wireless routers also include Gigabit Ethernet for wired connections, but the Rapture GT-AX11000 goes one step further with a 2.5Gbps Ethernet port capable of much higher hardline speeds. The extra bandwidth allows a single system to communicate with multiple gigabit-class devices at top speed, or exploit NAS devices that team multiple ports to achieve higher throughput.

Game Boost adaptive QoS analyzes network activity and automatically bumps gaming traffic ahead of everything else, preventing high-bandwidth tasks like downloading and streaming from introducing lag to multiplayer gaming. A new Turbo Key conveniently located on the outside of the chassis allows you to toggle various functions like Zero Wait DFS on or off without using the web GUI or App interface.

Just add Mesh with the AX6100 WiFi System

All of our 802.11ax routers will support AiMesh, an exclusive ASUS technology that allows mixing of multiple routers to create your own mesh network, but the new AiMesh AX6100 WiFi System (RT-AX92U 2-Pack) is purpose-built for the task. It comes in a two-pack that extends coverage across the far corners of your home, eliminating the dead spots that can occur with single routers. It’s also possible to add nodes using other AiMesh-compatible routers, even if they’re based on 802.11ac.

Despite its small size, the AiMesh AX6100 WiFi System is a tri-band design capable of peak aggregate throughput up to 6100Mbps. Most of that bandwidth is in the 5GHz 802.11ax band, which offers up to 4804Mbps on its own. Another 5GHz band offers 866Mbps of bandwidth for 802.11ac gear, while the 2.4GHz band serves up 400Mbps of 802.11n connectivity for legacy devices.

Meet the future with the ASUS RT-AX88U

The RT-AX88U router has much of the same underlying hardware as the Rapture applied to a more conventional dual-channel design. Both bands support 802.11ax devices, with up to 1148Mbps on 2.4GHz and up to 4804Mbps on 5GHz, for peak total bandwidth around 6000Mbps.

Wireless signals are passed over four antennas, while wired connections are handled by one Gigabit WAN port for your ISP and eight Gigabit LAN ports for local devices. With twice as many LAN ports as its peers, the RT-AX88U is ideal for environments with lots of wired clients in close proximity, like small businesses running several desktop PCs and pre-wired homes with lots of desktop or media devices.

Like its tri-band ROG counterpart, the RT-AX88U is controlled by a potent quad-core processor. It has dual USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports for shared peripherals like storage or a printer, and you can even add a 4G dongle for a backup WAN connection in case your normal internet service is disrupted.


ASUS announced the CG32 4K console gaming monitor, VG49V gaming monitor and ProArt PA34V professional monitor, a trio of innovative monitors designed for console gamers with the latest 4K UHD-capable systems, PC gamers looking for as much real estate as possible, and creative professionals who like to mix work and play.

Have console, need 4K UHD monitor, look here

Although console gaming usually happens in the living room, it’s not the only place to kick back with a gamepad. Plenty of bedrooms, gaming dens, playrooms, and even home offices contain an Xbox or PlayStation. These spaces are typically smaller than a living room and thus don’t need a giant TV as a display. In fact, for rooms where something so gargantuan would be out of place, like a bedroom, a good monitor is the best fit.

ASUS created the CG32UQ console gaming monitor for those less cavernous environments. Its 31.5-inch size is large without being overwhelming, and the 4K UHD resolution is high enough to handle Enhanced Xbox and PlayStation games. Adaptive Sync and HDR10 support further enhance gaming and entertainment across different platforms, while Halo Sync lighting adds reactive ambiance that extends beyond the boundaries of the display.

A complete feature rundown on this new console gaming monitor can be found in the ASUS CG32 article at ASUS EdgeUp.

It’s so wide, but so good

Gamers and professionals want as much screen real estate as they can afford, but size must be balanced with other features that make the viewing experience ideal. The ASUS VG49V fits that bill by delivering a massive 49-inch display that’s packed with technology to improve the viewing experience, whether blasting through an FPS at 144Hz using Adaptive Sync (FreeSync) to minimize stuttering or crafting a gorgeous multimedia presentation for work.

The monitor’s VA panel stretches a super-ultra-wide 32:9 aspect ratio over an 1800R curve that brings the far edges closer for a more immersive experience. The 3840 x 1080 resolution is exactly twice as wide as 1080p, which is why it’s dubbed Double Full HD or DFHD. It provides double the horizontal space of a Full HD monitor, which is tons of width to expand games deep into the user’s periphery and view multiple open windows and tabs. Devices connect via the VG49V’s DisplayPort 1.2 and dual HDMI 2.0 inputs.

Additional information on this ultra-wide gaming monitor can be found in the ASUS VG49V article at ASUS EdgeUp.

Work all day and then game all night

For creative professionals like video editors and photographers, a monitor cannot be an afterthought. It’s not just the canvas that displays work, but also a vital tool for doing work. For many privateers and prosumers who work from home, the same screen serves up games and entertainment at the end of the day.

The ASUS ProArt PA34V balances these two needs perfectly. It delivers the color accuracy required for media-intensive projects and with support for Adaptive Sync and refresh rates up to 100Hz; it also enables a very fluid gaming experience. The 34-inch display sports a 21:9 aspect ratio with a UWQHD resolution of 3440 x 1440. ASUS calibrates each one before it ships to guarantee a Delta-E color difference of less than 2.0. Users can further adjust the calibration if they desire, and ProArt Calibration Technology lets users save color profiles directly to the monitor itself instead of relying on their PC.

To connect those multiple sources, the ProArt PA34V has a DisplayPort 1.2 input as well as a pair of HDMI 2.0 ports. Two Thunderbolt3 ports add tremendous flexibility; via reversible USB Type-C(USB-C) connectors, they support peak bandwidth up to 40Gbps which is plenty of throughput to work with content on external storage devices.

More information about this professional monitor can be found in the ASUS ProArt PA34V article at ASUS EdgeUp.

New Gaming Products

Mice it your way with the TUF Gaming M5

Mice are particularly prone to physical wear and tear, so the TUF Gaming M5 is coated in durable paint that stands up to heavy use. The Omron switches under the left and right buttons are ready for the long haul, too. They’re rated to survive 50 million clicks, assuring reliably responsive input for years of regular gaming in even click-centric MOBAs. And all the buttons are programmable with functions or macros using our Armoury II software, which saves settings for up to three profiles directly on the mouse’s internal memory to make them available on any machine.

Pixart’s PAW3327 optical sensor monitors motion at resolutions up to 6200 DPI, which is more than enough sensitivity for the vast majority of gamers and even esports pros. ASUS Aura Sync adds configurable accent lighting that’s easy to match with the rest of the rig, ticking the final box on a list of essential features.

Splishing and splashing with the TUF Gaming K5 keyboard

Keyboards also suffer a lot of hands-on abuse, including accidental spills from inadvertent bumps at crowded LAN parties, or during hard-fought victory celebrations. But the TUF Gaming K5 isn’t afraid of a little liquid; its splash-proof design can withstand up to 60ml, preventing small spills from ruining the night.

The key caps are also covered by three layers of paint — one more than typical keyboards — which helps them hold up to everyday use. Under each cap, Mech-Brane switches use a specially tuned membrane to mimic the feel of a mechanical design. Five-zone Aura Sync backlighting stretches across the keys, powering a personalized array of colors and effects that can be easily synchronized with the M5 mouse. As with the M5 mouse, Armoury II lets users record custom macros and save them to onboard storage.

Getting comfortable with the TUF Gaming H5 headset

The TUF Gaming H5 headset is designed with a focus on durability, style and comfort. Its stainless steel headband adds strength in a key area while giving the headset a premium look. The lightweight design is comfortable to wear for longer gaming sessions that would otherwise test gamers’ endurance.

Each ear cup contains a 50mm Essence driver backed by an airtight chamber that improves sound quality. A removable boom hangs down from the left with an analog mic for squad communications. For more immersion, the included USB adapter adds virtual surround sound that puts the user at the center of the action.

Making a case for the TUF Gaming GT501

While TUF Gaming peripherals spread the military-inspired motif across the desktop, the GT501 chassis clads PC components in matching armor. Sturdy steel dominates the construction, with plastic limited to pieces for front-panel connectors and the base of the front face. A sheet of smoked tempered glass provides a stealthy window into the battle station and woven cotton handles make it a simple transport to LAN parties.

The thumb screws holding the window can sometimes be affixed too tightly at the factory, so the case ships with a handy TUF Gaming tag that doubles as a screwdriver. Once inside, ample routing options and a 30mm gap behind the motherboard tray make it easy to thread cables cleanly. There’s even space to neatly run RGB strips.

Effective cooling is one of the most important factors for sustaining peak gaming performance, so the GT501 has plenty of room for fans and radiators. It includes a trio of high-flow 140mm PWM fans right out of the box, which is perfect for pairing with the intelligent cooling control offered by TUF Gaming motherboards. There are additional mounts for three fans up top and three more at the front, with both locations supporting dual-fan radiators up to 280mm and triple-fan units up to 360mm. Removable filters in the bottom, front, and top panels prevent dust and other particles from getting sucked into the case.

Any rig is incomplete without parts from the TUF Gaming Alliance

The TUF Gaming Alliance is assembling an army of components made by like-minded partners. Our initial focus has been on maintaining an aesthetic theme across a broader array of the parts that make up a PC. Matching memory modules, coolers, cases, and one PSU are available now, with more on the way in each category. Products are already selling or in the works from a who’s-who of industry heavyweights that includes Antec, Apacer, Ballistix, Cooler Master, Corsair, Deepcool, Enermax, G.Skill, GeIL, In Win, Scythe, Silver Stone, Team Group, and XPG.

Beyond mandating consistent cosmetics, the TUF Gaming Alliance establishes new standards for stability that go beyond our usual vendor validation procedures. DRAM compatibility has long been a problem area, because some modules are pushed so close to the edge that they’re sensitive to minor frequency and voltage fluctuations that occur in the real world. We account for these normal variances with stricter DRAM testing that stresses modules with their clock speed raised and voltage lowered, plus the memory must survive 24 hours of Memtest in a thermal chamber cranked up to a sweltering 50°C.

Environmental conditions affect power delivery, so PSUs must endure their own torture test in the heat locker. They’re qualified at an even higher temperature and also face a steamy 90% humidity level throughout testing. We’re currently exploring other ways to not only guarantee stability, but also more deeply integrate products in the TUF Gaming Alliance.

An alternative approach to gaming laptops and desktops

TUF Gaming systems provide an alternative to DIY builds for gamers who want a ready-made desktop or a laptop they can take on the road. These initial imports into the family fit our priorities and provide an early glimpse at what ASUS will bring to affordable gaming machines.

Focusing on what matters for gaming is the best way to maximize a limited budget, so the TUF Gaming FX504 laptop offers upgrades in key areas. The top model’s 15.6-inch display hits all the right notes: high refresh rates, quick response, and a wide color gamut. Its 120Hz refresh rate makes gameplay much smoother and with its NVIDIA®GeForceGTX 1060 GPU, the FX504 can hit triple-digit frame rates in many popular titles. It’s available with up to a six-core Intel®Corei7-8750H processor with ample horsepower for gaming, live-streaming, and much more.

For stationary battle stations, the new TUF Gaming FX10CP desktop puts capable components in a reinforced tower. The Radiating-X design on the side panels adds structural reinforcement that protects the user’s investment, while dual chambers with dedicated intakes optimize cooling on the inside.

With up to an Intel Core i7-8700 six-core CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics, there’s enough horsepower for casual gaming and other tasks, like catching up on work, editing photos, or splicing together in-game recordings to create highlight reels.



ASUSRepublic of Gamers (ROG) has announced ROG Phone, a game-changing 6-inch smartphone designed specifically for high-performance mobile gaming.

With pure ROG gaming DNA at its core, and powered by the world’s fastest speed-binned 2.96GHz octa-core Qualcomm®Snapdragon845 Mobile Platform with gaming-optimized Qualcomm® Adreno630 GPU, ROG Phone breaks every rule to go where rivals fear to tread.

ROG Phone is built to win: its unique GameCool vapor-chamber cooling system — with detachable AeroActive Cooler for an extra cooling boost — sustains blur-free high frame rates in the heat of battle, while its no-compromise AMOLED display blends a blazing 90Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time with gorgeous HDR visuals.

The ultra-comfortable design of ROG Phone includes unique side-mounted ports, and the enhanced, ultra-responsive game controls — including two programmable ultrasonic AirTriggers and advanced force-feedback haptics — let gamers focus all their skills on the game, giving them the edge they need for total domination.

A unique range of powerful expansion accessories further enhances the ROG Phone gaming experience: the optional TwinView Dock for dual-screen handheld mode; the Mobile Desktop Dock for desktop-style gaming; and the Gamevice controller with WiGig Dock using 60GHz Wi-Fi for big-screen gaming. Other ROG Phone innovations include ASUS Aura RGB lighting and Aura Sync support, plus ASUS HyperCharge direct-charge technology for faster, safer and cooler battery charging.

“Qualcomm Technologies and ASUS have enjoyed great successes over many years and we are thrilled to be at the core of their newest cutting-edge device, the ROG phone,” said Don McGuire, vice president of global product marketing, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Our entirely re-architected Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with the gaming-optimized Adreno 630 GPU is designed for speed, minimizing thermal throttling and maximizing battery efficiency so users can play longer. Snapdragon 845 is engineered to deliver users an unparalleled gaming experience; supporting exceptional performance, fast and smooth graphics, and Gigabit speeds whether on LTE or 802.11ad Wi-Fi.”

Epic performance

Designed and built to uncompromising ROG standards, ROG Phone takes mobile gaming performance to the next level, with each and every component optimized for a lag-free, responsive experience. Each specially selected octa-core Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform  is speed-binned for maximum performance — delivering the world’s fastest sustained clock speeds of up to an incredible 2.96GHz — and the gaming-optimized Adreno 630 GPU is a graphics powerhouse, with performance outstripping the previous generation by up to 30%. This awesome power is complemented by up to 8GB of RAM and a massive up to 512GB of onboard ROM storage.

A high-end phone running graphics-intense, fast-paced AAA action games can generate a killer amount of heat. As well as being uncomfortable to hold, a hot phone is a slow phone: thermal throttling can bring even the fastest CPU to its knees. ROG Phone is built from the ground up to run smoothly even when the action gets frenetic: its exclusive GameCool system features highly efficient 3D vapor-chamber cooling inside that provides a 16X-larger surface area for heat dissipation than a standard heat-pipe cooling system. This cooling system is enhanced with a copper heat spreader and carbon cooling pads on the circuit board for maximum cooling performance.

The end result is a superb cooling system that enables sustained clock speeds up to 50% faster[ii]than a standard smartphone CPU, and which can achieve peak clock speeds for 5X longer than a conventional cooling system. There’s also a detachable external AeroActive Cooler for an extra cooling boost when the going gets really tough. With GameCool, hot hands and spoiled games are a thing of the past.

ROG Phone delivers consistent, smooth and stable frame rates with no lag, even during the toughest marathons. And since performance means nothing if the internet connection is slow, ROG Phone also packs ultrafast wireless connectivity in its inventory, including Cat 16 LTE and the latest gigabit-class 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi.

It’s easy for users to get optimum gaming performance on ROG Phone with the special X Mode. Just a single tap frees up all background RAM and dedicates it to games, optimizes game-data processing performance, and maximizes the efficiency of the AeroActive Cooler. X Mode also prevents RAM-eating and battery-sapping app activity, based on a customizable list of apps.

Unbeatable visuals

The ultimate gaming phone deserves the ultimate display — something that the ROG gaming heritage is uniquely qualified to deliver. ROG Phone uses an ultrafast AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and a jaw-dropping 1ms pixel response time for blur-free visuals that are as smooth as silk. With a wide 108.6% DCI-P3 color gamut, colors are incredibly vivid too, so game worlds look as glorious as they were intended, and high-dynamic-range (HDR) visuals with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio help reveal every hidden detail in the shadows.

Total control

In any game, precise control is the key to victory, but the lack of physical buttons on phones all too often compromises gameplay. ROG Phone is designed to give gamers total control and a more console-like experience, with three unique ultrasonic AirTrigger touch sensors.

Two of these ultra-responsive sensors are optimized as left/right triggers at the top of the display for landscape-mode gaming (the third is designed for use in portrait mode), and they’re fully programmable to activate any available on-screen action: aiming, firing, inventory selection — in fact, anything that normally requires a screen tap. With ROG Phone, gamers free up two extra fingers to control gameplay, giving them the edge over their thumb-bound rivals. AirTriggers use ultrasonic technology, so they only need a feather-light touch — just 20g compared to rival touch-sensitive controls that need up to 4X the force. An advanced haptic actuator provides a powerful force-feedback system for totally immersive gameplay.

Charging a phone while playing can make gaming impossibly awkward. ROG Phone throws away the design book away and starts from scratch, optimizing the entire layout for landscape-mode gaming. There’s an additional side-mounted custom USB-Cconnector that supports direct charging, HDMI output, gigabit LAN and headphones. And when the AeroActive Cooler is deployed, it provides a side-mounted USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack for unhindered gameplay. The side connector’s also used for the exclusive expansion modules, including the Mobile Desktop Dock and TwinView Dock.

Engineered for battle

Using a combination of tough, precision-crafted 2.5D- and 3D-curved Corning®Gorilla®glass, diamond-cut highlights and copper detailing, the metal-framed, water-resistant ROG Phone combines battle-hardened construction with a supremely comfortable gaming grip for an unrivaled gaming experience. ROG Phone feels instantly good in the hand, ready and waiting for the call of duty.

ROG Phone is the world’s first phone with ASUS Aura RGB lighting, featuring an illuminated rear ROG logo that can display a whole rainbow of lighting schemes: static, breathing, strobing or color cycling. Lighting effects can be triggered with phone events such as incoming calls, notifications and more, to give ROG Phone a unique personality.

The ultra-powerful front-facing stereo speakers on ROG Phone are driven by smart amplifiers to maximize volume and minimize distortion, with an audio engine that supports 24-bit/192Khz Hi-Res Audio playback. DTS Headphone:Xprovides theater-quality virtual surround-sound over headphones, and there’s support for high-definition audio via Bluetooth®.

ROG Phone is built to cope with the power-intensive demands of gaming, with a high-capacity 4000mAh battery. The bundled ROG Phone power adapter supports ASUS HyperCharge, a direct-charge technology that delivers more power (up to 20W) for shorter, safer charge times, and also means ROG Phone stays cooler when it’s charging.

Endless possibilities

ROG Phone features a unique range of optional expansion peripherals designed to take the mobile gaming experience to new heights.

The amazing TwinView Dock turns ROG Phone into a powerful dual-screen console for the ultimate gaming and live-streaming experience. As well as a 6-inch AMOLED (2160 x 1080) auxiliary screen that’s great for split-screen live-streaming, extended game display or group communication, it packs a front-facing quad-speaker system, two extra physical trigger buttons, dual-haptic force-feedback engine, an enhanced cooling system and a high-capacity 6000mAh extended battery pack.

The Mobile Desktop Dock allows gamers to connect ROG Phone to an external 4K UHD monitor, mouse and keyboard. ROG Phone can be used as an auxiliary display, hooked up to a wired gigabit LAN and drive a 5.1-channel surround-sound system via the SP/DIF output.

With the Gamevice controller and the WiGig Dock — using 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi — ROG Phone morphs into a portable console with a full inventory of physical gaming controls and ultra-low-latency wireless display connectivity for a seamless big-screen gaming experience that’s perfect for group viewing. It packs dual analog joysticks, left and right fire triggers and bumpers, a D-pad, along with A,B,X,Y and L3, R3 buttons.


ROG Components

ROG Ryujin 360/240

The ROG Ryujin is ROG’s flagship thermal solution available in radiator sizes of 240 mm and 360 mm. This one is a showstopper with a stylish shroud infused with NCVM effects. The surface treatment and slash across the face match our recent motherboards designs, helping the cooler maintain a consistent aesthetic.

Liquid cooling is powerful, yet it doesn’t circulate air around the CPU socket like a traditional heatsink and fan. Airflow in this area is important because it is home to the VRMs responsible for powering the CPU and often an M.2 slot for NVMe SSDs, so our engineers embedded a 60-mm fan inside the pump housing. This pushes air north, south, and west of the socket to lower the temperature of surrounding components. We designed the Ryujin to meet the thermal challenge of newer CPUs with ever-higher core counts. Noctua’s industrial-grade iPPC-2000 PWM fans are strapped to the radiator, blending high performance with low noise. 1.77-inch LiveDash color OLED shows real-time system stats and personalized images and GIFs.

ROG Ryuo 240/120

The ROG Ryuobrings the Asetek core of its big brother to a more affordable package. Its aluminum pump cover skips the Ryujin’s extra shell in favor of a more conventional look. But you still get same OLED display, and the socket is illuminated by nine addressable LEDs.With 240-mm and 120-mm sizes, the Ryuo covers mid-sized builds and smaller form factors. The radiator fans are based on our in-house Wing-Blade design, which is shared by ROG graphics cards and our new Thor PSU. The shape is optimized for high airflow, while keeping noise levels down.

ROG Thor 1200W Platinum

The new ROG Thor 1200W Platinum PSU is the first power supply from the Republic of Gamers and designed for overclocked CPUs and multiple graphics cards. Later this year, it will be joined by an 850W version tailored for gaming PCs that aren’t quite as extreme. We’ve amped up the cooling on proven Seasonic hardware, included custom heatsinks, ensured 80 Plus Platinum certification, added a 10-year warranty and infused it all with customizable Aura Sync lighting and a real-time wattage information displayed on an OLED panel. The result is a premium PSU that’s perfectly at home in high-end ROG rigs.

ROG Strix Gaming Chassis

Tastefully designed in aluminum and smoked glass with addressable AURA Sync lighting technology, Strix Gaming Chassis offers a distinctively ROG design, which includes a swappable panel up front to change the looks, plus woven handles up top for easy carrying to LAN parties. The Strix chassis has room for high-end liquid coolers like the Ryujin 360, and it will include a vertical GPU bracket to showcase Strix graphics cards. Separate addressable lighting on the side and front panel plug directly into headers on ROG motherboards, illuminating everything with your personalized palette.In addition, ROG Strix Chassis features a Quick Charge 3.0 port, a USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port, a tool-free ROG SSD caddy and magnetic dust filters.


ROG Delta

The ROG Delta Type-C headset is the latest addition to our growing line of audio devices. Like its namesake, the Delta merges converging paths with ease, bridging PCs and mobile devices with USB-C connectivitythat works with the latest examples of both, like our new Strix SCAR II and Hero II laptops and the ROG Phone.

With a lightweight design that’s optimized to cradle your head, the Delta is comfortable to wear whether you’re out and about with your phone or locked into a long battle on your PC. Inside, an ESS based quad-DAC array featuring an impressive 127-dB(A) SNR splits the stereo signal to produce clearer and more refined sound for games and other content. And outside, Aura Sync RGB lighting offers nearly limitless possibilities for personalized illumination.

ROG Balteus Qi

ROG Balteus Qi is an RGB gaming mouse pad that combines a performance surface with the convenience of Qi wireless charging on the desktop. A 370 x 320mm portrait-oriented surface offers ample space for simultaneous charging and gaming, while the micro-textured hard surface enables pixel-precise tracking. Featuring 15 individually customizable Aura Sync RGB lighting zones for personalization, the mouse pad is also equipped with an on-pad lighting mode button for on the fly adjustments and a USB 2.0 pass-through port for easy connections. Apart from ROG Balteus Qi, its sibling the Balteus will also be available for gamers who want the extra flair but without the wireless charging function.


Watch for these items to show up at your local retailer really soon.



Data From MyHeritage Shows Up On Third Party Server…. Millions Of Accounts Affected

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 5, 2018 by itnerd

MyHeritage, a genealogy and DNA testing service has announced that a researcher uncovered 92 million account details related to the company sitting on a server. In other words, there’s a data breach of epic proportions. Here’s the details via the announcement from MyHeritage:

Today, June 4, 2018 at approximately 1pm EST, MyHeritage’s Chief Information Security Officer received a message from a security researcher that he had found a file named myheritage containing email addresses and hashed passwords, on a private server outside of MyHeritage. Our Information Security Team received the file from the security researcher, reviewed it, and confirmed that its contents originated from MyHeritage and included all the email addresses of users who signed up to MyHeritage up to October 26, 2017, and their hashed passwords.

Immediately upon receipt of the file, MyHeritage’s Information Security Team analyzed the file and began an investigation to determine how its contents were obtained and to identify any potential exploitation of the MyHeritage system. We determined that the file was legitimate and included the email addresses and hashed passwords of 92,283,889 users who had signed up to MyHeritage up to and including Oct 26, 2017 which is the date of the breach. MyHeritage does not store user passwords, but rather a one-way hash of each password, in which the hash key differs for each customer. This means that anyone gaining access to the hashed passwords does not have the actual passwords.

The security researcher reported that no other data related to MyHeritage was found on the private server. There has been no evidence that the data in the file was ever used by the perpetrators. Since Oct 26, 2017 (the date of the breach) and the present we have not seen any activity indicating that any MyHeritage accounts had been compromised.

Well. That is not good to say the least. The usual advice in this sort of situation applies such as changing your password for this service. There doesn’t seem to be any indication of any payment info being swiped at this point. So I think you don’t have to worry about that at this point. I will also note that the company reported this according to GDPR regulations, so that’s positive. Hopefully MyHeritage explains what happened here and what they are going to do to stop it from happening again if they want to regain the trust of their users.

Apple Didn’t Mention iOS 12’s Killer Feature At The WWDC Keynote: USB Restricted Mode

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 5, 2018 by itnerd

Apple mentioned all sorts of cool new features when they talked about the upcoming iOS 12 at the World Wide Developer’s Conference keynote yesterday. But one feature flew completely under the radar. That feature is called USB Restricted Mode. What it is meant to do is to force iOS users to unlock the iPhone when connecting it to a USB/Lightning cable or device if it hasn’t been unlocked for over an hour. If you don’t unlock the phone within that timeframe, the USB/Lightning port becomes inactive for anything other than charging purposes.

So, what’s the big deal about that? Well, a device like the GrayKey which has become the new cool toy for law enforcement to get to crack iPhones relies on USB/Lightning connections to do that. Take away the ability for GrayKey to communicate via USB/Lightning and the iPhone becomes a whole lot more secure because you can’t crack something you can’t communicate with. And you can copy and paste that for anyone else who does anything similar like the tools that Cellebrite offers for example.

Now law enforcement is likely to freak when they realize this. So you can fully expect that the FBI and others will come out with another round of how evil Apple is and you can also expect that the demands for backdoors in phones and tablets will start up again. But I doubt that Apple cares. I’ve seen a feature like this on and off in various iOS betas for a while now. But I think that Apple clearly believes that it is time to ship it to the masses. Thus if you care about the security of your iPhone, you should hope that this feature makes it into the final version of iOS 12.


SkyHive Announces Release Of Skills Based Job And Talent Search Platform

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 5, 2018 by itnerd

SkyHive has announced the release of its consumer-facing application, and will be introducing its enterprise and training solutions in the coming weeks.

SkyHive is the first platform to apply a skills-based, as opposed to job-based, match of work opportunities. Its skills matching technology revolutionizes the recruitment process by using machine learning to extrapolate the technical and soft skills possessed by job seekers, as well as the hiring needs of employers. By matching job seekers with work based on skills, it exponentially increases the number of opportunities a candidate is qualified for, and offers a larger and more qualified pool of candidates to employers.

As a pending B Corporation, SkyHive strives to produce a positive social impact by customizing its technology to help drive employment to five under-represented groups in Canada and around the world: Women, Youth, Newly landed immigrant, Indigenous communities, and Veterans.

Research shows that skills-based recruitment results in a 50-70 percent reduction in time-to-hire, a 70 percent reduction in cost-to-hire, and a 25-75 percent reduction in turnover. This occurs because employers now have a far deeper and more accurate understanding of not only a worker’s complete skill set, but the gaps in their skills profile. It enables employers to quickly adjust onboarding and professional development plans that address those gaps; at the same time, the worker is empowered to spend their time on targeted training that helps integrate them into the position seamlessly.

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution approaches, helping people adapt to the fast-changing world of work will be a crucial task and challenge of our time. SkyHive’s application of machine learning technology to competency-based hiring and training methodologies is groundbreaking, holding the promise of inspiring a more confident and positive response to the future of work.

BSA Global Survey Finds Use Of Unlicensed Software Costs Canadian Businesses $819 Million In 2017

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 5, 2018 by itnerd

BSA | The Software Alliance has just released its bi-annual survey, ‘2018 Global Software Survey: Software Management: Security Imperative, Business Opportunity,’ to determine the volume and value of unlicensed software installed on personal computers across more than 110 national and regional economies and analyze the implications software compliance has on businesses worldwide.

  • Canada: The report reveals that despite Canada’s rate of illegal software use (22 per cent) being lower than the global average of 37 per cent, the country’s commercial value accrued to $819 million dollars in 2017.
  • North America: Of the six regions surveyed globally, North America’s average rate of unlicensed software use at 16 per cent, is more than 40 per cent lower than the highest rate at 57 per cent. However, due to its size, North America still constitutes a significant commercial value of $9.5 billion.

The study explores how improving software compliance and implementing software asset management (SAM) programs across organizations decreases the staggering commercial value of unlicensed software, minimizes debilitating cyber-risks, improves productivity and drives overall growth.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Unlicensed software leaves businesses vulnerable to costly and time-consuming malware infections: Each malware attack can cost a company more than $10,000 per infected computer or an average of $2.4 million per attack and can take up to 50 days to resolve.
  • Unlicensed software use is experiencing a modest decline: From 2015 to 2017, the worldwide unlicensed software rate declined 2 percentage points from 39 per cent to 37 per cent and the commercial value of unlicensed software dropped 8 per cent in constant currency to $46.3 billion globally.
  • Establishing adequate SAM systems boosts bottom-lines: Organizations taking proactive steps are finding that a 20 per cent increase in software compliance can improve a company’s profits by 11 percent — a boost of more than half a million dollars for the average-sized company in the survey.

You can view the complete report here. Business should take the time to read this and take action to ensure that their software asset management is completely on the the level.

We Never Asked For Data From Facebook: Apple

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 5, 2018 by itnerd

Yesterday I posted a story on Facebook sharing user data with a bunch of device makers. Something they only partially admit to doing. Apple was allegedly one of those device makers, but Tim Cook the CEO of Apple said that his company didn’t ask for this data:

“We’ve never been in the data business,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told NPR on Monday, responding to a report that Facebook struck agreements giving Apple and other device makers access to Facebook users’ personal information.


“The things mentioned in the Times article about relationship statuses and all these kinds of stuff, this is so foreign to us, and not data that we have ever received at all or requested — zero,” Cook told NPR’s Steve Inskeep and Laura Sydell during the company’s annual conference for developers in San Jose, Calif.

“What we did was we integrated the ability to share in the operating system, make it simple to share a photo and that sort of thing,” Cook added. “So it’s a convenience for the user. We weren’t in the data business. We’ve never been in the data business.”

I for one hope he’s on the level when it comes to this. Because I guarantee that if he’s not, someone will find out about it and he’ll have a huge PR problem on his hands. To go with the other PR problems he has like #BatteryGate and #KeyboardGate.