Broadband Internet

Archive for June, 2011

IHS iSuppli: Don’t Hold Your Breath Waiting for DDR4

by on Jun.29, 2011, under Broadband Internet

Feel free to load up on DDR3 memory without worrying about it going obsolete in the next 12 months, or even 24 months. According to market research firm IHS iSuppli, DDR3 modules, which currently claim between 85-90 percent of the memory market, will remain the dominant DRAM type for at least three more years before it starts to give up ground to faster, next-generation DDR4 modules.

“DDR3 has been the main DRAM module technology shipped in terms of bits since the first quarter of 2010, gaining adoption quickly in the PC ecosphere as the market’s primary driver,” said Clifford Leimbach, analyst for memory demand forecasting at IHS. “Not only is DDR3 the dominant technology today in the three PC channels for original equipment manufacturers, the PC white-box space and the upgrade market, DDR3 is also the chief presence across all PC applications, such as desktops and laptops, as well as their subcategories in the performance, mainstream and entry-level computing sectors.”

By the end of 2011, IHS iSuppli predicts DDR3 will account for 89 percent of the 808 million DRAM module units shipped, up from 67 percent one year ago and 24 percent in 2009. In 2012, DDR3 will account for 92 percent of all memory and then peak at 94 percent in 2013 “before it heads down an irreversible cycle of decline that starts in 2014.” By 2015, IHS iSuppli predicts DDR4 will account for the majority of DRAM with a 56 percent market share.


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Razer Rolls Out Transformers 3 Themed Peripherals

by on Jun.29, 2011, under Broadband Internet

Razer isn’t new to movie tie-ins by any means, having released an assortment of Tron-themed gaming gear. Now it’s Transformers’ turn to tango with Razer with a range of Transformers 3 peripherals, including themed DeathAdder mice in four different colors, themed dual-sided Vespula mouse mat, and customized laptop sleeves.

You can declare your allegiance to the Autobots by picking up a DeathAdder in red with blue LED (Optimus Prime) or yellow (Bumblebee), or dance with the Decepticons with a silver (Megatron) or purple (Shockwave) mouse. Each one runs $70 and sports the same specs as the non-theme DeathAdder.

The Vespula mouse mat runs $45 and includes an Autobot “speed” surface on one side for a smoother, faster-paced swiping action, and a Decepticon “control” surface on the other side for ultra-precise movements.

Finally, the laptop sleeves come in four different colors (red, yellow, silver, and purple) and fit up to 15-inch laptops. They’re made of a hard, flexible plastic shell with a padded inner lining and run $50 each.

Razer Transformers 3 Product Page

Image Credit: Razer


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Kaspersky: Cybercriminals Have Spent $250,000 Spreading TDSS Botnet

by on Jun.29, 2011, under Broadband Internet

The security gurus over at Kaspersky crunched some numbers and determined that cybercriminals are spending big bucks promoting the TDSS botnet, TDL-4. In just the first three months of 2011, TDL-4 has helped infect more than 4.5 million computers around the world, requiring an investment of around a quarter of a million dollars from cybercriminals, Kaspersky says.

Kaspersky arrived at that figure based on the notion that malware writers pay third parties to spread their foul files. According to Kaspersky, partners are paid from $20 to $200 dollars for the installation of 1,000 malicious programs.

“We don’t doubt that the development of TDSS will continue,” Kaspersky quotes the experts who carried out the investigation. “Malware and botnets connecting infected computers will cause much unpleasantness — both for end-users and IT-security specialists. Active reworkings of TDL-4 code, rootkits for 64-bit systems, the launch of a new operating system, use of exploits from the Stuxnet arsenal, use of P2P technologies, proprietary ‘anti-virus’ and much much more make the TDSS malicious program one of the most technologically developed and most difficult to analyze.”

Kaspersky classifies TDSS as “the most sophisticated threat today,” noting it “has a powerful rootkit component, which allows it to conceal the presence of any other types of malware in the system.” Kasperskyk says TDL-4 contains an updated algorithm encrypting the protocol used for communication between infected computers and botnet command and control servers, making it far more dangerous than previous versions. This particular variant is also a bootkit, meaning it infects the MBR to launch itself.

Much more on the topic here.

Image Credit: Fat Joe


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BullGuard Fetches VB100 Award from Virus Bulletin

by on Jun.29, 2011, under Broadband Internet

Security software maker BullGuard on Tuesday dropped us a line to let us know its BullGuard Antivirus 10 software received a VB100 award from Virus Bulletin, an independent testing lab that we ourselves reference when reviewing AV software. Virus Bulletin’s latest AV comparative focuses on performance in Windows Server 2008, giving BullGuard a score of 9 out of 10 based on fast scan times, no stability problems, and exceptional protection.

BullGuard caught Virus Bulletin’s entire collection of ‘in-the-wild’ and polymorphic viruses, 99 percent of trojans, and 99.78 percent of worms and bots.

“Detection rates were uniformly excellent, with stunning coverage of the RAP sets, and the core certification sets were handled admirably too,” said John Hawes, Technical Consultant and Test Team Director at Virus Bulletin. “BullGuard thus comfortably earns a VB100 award, its history showing only sporadic entries but solid pass rates, with three passes from three entries in the last year, five from five entries in the last dozen tests.”

In our own evaluation of BullGuard Internet Security 10 — the fully fleshed out version of BullGuard Antivirus 10 — we awarded the suite a 7 out of 10 verdict, noting excellent behavioral-based scanning and customizable alerts as high points, and dinging the product for its impact on system performance. You can read our review of this and several other Internet security suites here.


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MasterCard Blames Temporary Outage on ISP, Not Hackers

by on Jun.29, 2011, under Broadband Internet

Hackers are trying to take credit for bringing down MasterCard’s website yesterday, a plausible claim given the recent hackathon that’s been sweeping through cyberspace. However, the world’s second largest consumer payment network blamed the temporary downtime on its telecommunications service provider, while insisting that no card user accounts are in jeopardy.

“We can confirm that MasterCard’s corporate, public-facing website experienced intermittent service disruption, due to a telecommunications/Internet Service Provider outage that impacted multiple users,” MasterCard spokesperson James Issokson told MSNBC.com. In an earlier statement, Issokson ensured, “It is important to note that no cardholder data has been impacted and that cardholders can continue to use their cards securely.”

On Twitter, hacking group “Ibom Hactivist” tried to take credit for bringing down MasterCard.com and tweeted, “MasterCard.com DOWN!!!, thats what you get when you mess with @wikileaks @Anon_Central and enter community of lulz loving individuals :D” The tweet references two high-profile hacking groups, including Anonymous and Lulz Security, the latter of which recently disbanded.

While MasterCard isn’t willing to credit hackers with taking down its site, hackers were successful in doing so back in December after the firm blocked WikiLeaks from using its network to collect payment from donors, Boston.com reports. Yesterday marked the six-month anniversary of MasterCard’s decision to block payments.

Image Credit: MasterCard


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