Links for 2018-08-10

  • Anatomy of a tabloid Fortnite front page story

    Interesting writeup of how the UK tabloids concoct their scare stories, rustling up “victims” and paying them and their agents fees of thousands of pounds

    (tags: fortnite pokemon-go gaming tabloids uk newspapers truth the-sun games)

  • Hacker Finds Hidden ‘God Mode’ on Old VIA C3 x86 CPUs

    Domas discovered the backdoor, which exists on VIA C3 Nehemiah chips made in 2003, by combing through filed patents. He found one — US8341419 — that mentioned jumping from ring 3 to ring 0 and protecting the machine from exploits of model-specific registers (MSRs), manufacturer-created commands that are often limited to certain chipsets. Domas followed the “trail of breadcrumbs,” as he put it, from one patent to another and figured out that certain VIA chipsets were covered by the patents. Then he collected many old VIA C3 machines and spent weeks fuzzing code. He even built a testing rig consisting of seven Nehemiah-based thin clients hooked up to a power relay that would power-cycle the machines every couple of minutes, because his fuzzing attempts would usually crash the systems. After three weeks, he had 15 GB of log data — and the instructions to flip on the backdoor in the hidden RISC chip.
    (via Nelson)

    (tags: cpu via x86 fuzzing security nehemiah via:nelson)

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