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Security

Data leak from Russian delivery app shows dining habits of the secret police

A massive data leak from Russian food delivery service Yandex Food revealed the delivery addresses, phone numbers, names, and delivery instructions belonging to those associated with Russia’s secret police, according to findings from Bellingcat.

Yandex Food, a subsidiary of the larger Russian internet company, Yandex, first reported the data leak on March 1st, blaming it on the “dishonest actions” of one of its employees and noting that the leak doesn’t include users’ login information. Russian communications regulator Roskomnadzor has since threatened to fine the company up to 100,000 rubles (~$1,166 USD) for the leak, which Reuters says exposed the information of about 58,000 users. The Roskomnadzor also blocked access to an online map containing the data — an attempt to conceal the information of ordinary citizens, as well as those with ties to the Russian military and security services.

Researchers at Bellingcat gained access to the trove of information, sifting through it for leads on any people of interest, such as an individual linked to the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. By searching the database for phone numbers collected as part of a previous investigation, Bellingcat uncovered the name of the person who was in contact with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to plan Navalny’s poisoning. Bellingcat says this person also used his work email address to register with Yandex Food, allowing researchers to further ascertain his identity.

Researchers also examined the leaked information for the phone numbers belonging to individuals tied to Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), or the country’s foreign military intelligence agency. They found the name of one of these agents, Yevgeny, and were able to link him to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and find his vehicle registration information.

Bellingcat uncovered some valuable information by searching the database for specific addresses as well. When researchers looked for the GRU headquarters in Moscow, they found just four results — a potential sign that workers just don’t use the delivery app, or opt to order from restaurants within walking distance instead. When Bellingcat searched for FSB’s Special Operation Center in a Moscow suburb, however, it yielded 20 results. Several results contained interesting delivery instructions, warning drivers that the delivery location is actually a military base. One user told their driver “Go up to the three boom barriers near the blue booth and call. After the stop for bus 110 up to the end,” while another said “Closed territory. Go up to the checkpoint. Call [number] ten minutes before you arrive!”

In a translated tweet, Russian politician and Navalny supporter, Lyubov Sobol, said the leaked information even led to additional information about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s former mistress and their alleged “secret” daughter. “Thanks to the leaked Yandex database, another apartment of Putin’s ex-mistress Svetlana Krivonogikh was found,” Sobol said. “That’s where their daughter Luiza Rozova ordered her meals. The apartment is 400 m², worth about 170 million rubles [~$1.98 million USD]!”

If researchers were able to uncover this much information based on data from a food delivery app, it’s a bit unnerving to think about the amount of information Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and others have on users. In 2019, a DoorDash data breach exposed the names, email addresses, phone numbers, delivery order details, delivery addresses, and the hashed, salted passwords of 4.9 million people — a much larger number than those affected in the Yandex Food leak.



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Computing

Intel Arc Alchemist A380 Discrete Graphics Card: Specs Leak

Intel’s upcoming discrete GPUs, dubbed Intel Arc Alchemist, are coming next year, and some new leaks reveal what kind of performance we can expect from them.

According to the leak, one of the upcoming GPUs, the A380, is likely to offer performance similar to that of Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Super, an entry-level video card from Nvidia’s previous generation of graphics.

Image credit: Wccftech

The information comes from TUM_APISAK on Twitter, a well-known source for graphics card-related rumors and leaks. The tweet in question talks about some of the specifications of the upcoming Intel Arc A380 graphics card and reveals the expected naming convention Intel might use. It seems that Intel is going to name the new cards A***, with the numbers changing to correspond to the performance tier of that specific card.

What we’re seeing in TUM_APISAK’s reveal is most likely the desktop variant of this graphics card. In terms of specifications, the A380 is said to be based on an Alchemist (XE-HPG DG2) GPU. It will be fabricated on the TSMC 6nm process node. Its 8 Xe cores will house 128 execution units (EUs). The top model of this lineup will allegedly have 512 EUs and 32 Xe cores.

The card is also rumored to have an impressive clock speed of 2.45GHz. Whether this frequency will be the boost clock or the base clock remains to be seen, but such speeds put the A380 within range of AMD Navi 22 and Navi 23 graphics cards. In addition, the card will have 6GB of GDDR6 memory. It has also been said that all Arc Alchemist cards will come with ray-tracing and the XeSS feature set, a form of image upscaling on Intel cards.

There was no mention of the bus, but previous leaks suggest a 96-bit interface. In the desktop version of the card, we can expect to see 16Gbps pin speeds, adding up to 168GB/s of bandwidth. The laptop version is said to be slightly worse, with 14Gbps pin speeds and 168GB/s bandwidth. Intel Arc Alchemist A380 is likely going to be fairly conservative with poweer, with a TDP of 75W.

Intel Arc A380 Graphics
2.45GHz 6GB

perf 1650S#IntelArc #DG2

— APISAK (@TUM_APISAK) December 2, 2021

TUM_APISAK hasn’t provided any benchmarks, but he did suggest that the performance of this card is going to rival that of the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super. While that is a rather dated card by now, it continues to be one of the best budget graphics cards out there. This bodes well for the Arc Alchemist.

The pricing of the card hasn’t yet been revealed, but the launch is still a few months away. Remember, its performance and specifications may not be accurate right now. If the leaks prove to be true, this card is likely to be rather inexpensive, with a price of around $250 or less.

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Computing

Memory Leak Bug Is Killing MacOS Monterey Performance

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Apple’s newest desktop operating system, MacOS Monterey, brings a handful of useful new features, but an assortment of issues as well. Some people are reporting memory leaks after upgrading to MacOS Monterey — some of which have even included warnings that the entire system has run out of memory.

While new operating system rollouts tend to have a few bugs, this one seems particularly bothersome. Memory leaks occur when an application uses more memory, or RAM, than is necessary. This happens because the process in question doesn’t release the memory that’s allocated to it after it’s closed and continues to use more memory, sometimes until there’s none left.

There have been a number of complaints across multiple forums, including Apple’s own support forums, Reddit, and Twitter. YouTuber Gregory McFadden tweeted a picture in which Control Center was using a whopping 26GB of RAM. By comparison, Final Cut Pro was only using 6GB of RAM,  and that’s a full-fledged professional video editing program. Control Center normally only uses a couple of megabytes of RAM.

The issue doesn’t seem to be limited to a particular Mac model either. Users with M1, M1 Pro/Max, and Intel versions have all reported memory leaks. One Firefox user with an Intel Mac reported Firefox usage of almost 80GB of RAM. While some users like Gregory McFadden had upwards of 64GB of RAM installed, a lot of others will likely have much lower RAM and will feel the pinch of a memory leak more acutely.

So glad I got 64GB of memory on my new Mac so I can use 26GB of it for control center… Wait… what. pic.twitter.com/inCOPaii1o

— Gregory McFadden (@GregoryMcFadden) October 28, 2021

This isn’t the only major issue with MacOS Monterey. Those with older Macs who install the new operating system are at risk of bricking their computer. Many of the users reported Macs that simply wouldn’t turn on at all after upgrading. While there does seem to be a temporary fix, that requires access to another Mac.

Lest the Windows faithful get cocky, Windows 11 users have also reported memory issues. Windows Insiders found that File Explorer consumes memory even after being closed. We were able to reproduce the leak on both Windows 11 and Windows 10. Fortunately, it seems this is limited to just the File Explorer and not random programs like MacOS’ issue.

Regardless, the memory leak on MacOS Monterey could just be the teething signs of a new operating system. Apple will hopefully issue a patch to fix the leak, although MacOS memory leaks seem to be a common occurrence. At any rate, it may be worth holding off upgrading your Mac for now.

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Computing

Leak Shows Stunning M1 Max MacBook Pro Premiere Performance

When Apple announced the M1 Max chip at its Apple Unleashed event, we knew it would be a powerful processor. And a growing pile of leaked benchmarks is lending credibility to Apple’s claims, with the M1 Max outperforming nearly all of the best laptops you can buy right now.

The most recent result comes from PugetBench for Premiere Pro — a benchmark we use when testing machines ourselves. The result shows an M1 Max-equipped MacBook Pro with 64GB of RAM earning an overall score of 1,168. We’re not sure if this is the 32-core or 24-core GPU model of the M1 Max, though the result suggests it’s the former.

That’s far above even the most performant laptops on the market. A machine equipped with AMD’s Ryzen 9 5900HX and Radeon RX 6800M — the two top mobile parts from AMD — earned a score of 863. The M1 Max is around 35% faster. Similarly, an Alienware X17 R1 with an Intel Core i7-11800H and RTX 3080 mobile GPU earned a score of 872 — about 34% behind the M1 Max MacBook Pro.

The results still aren’t perfect, though. The mobile chip can’t best a desktop machine with an RTX 2080 Super in the graphics department, which runs counter to a previous rumor. Still, the M1 Max is close to some recent desktop graphics cards, with an almost identical GPU score to the AMD RX 6800.

With more cores, RAM, and graphics power, it shouldn’t come as surprise that the M1 Max vastly outperforms the base M1. The new result shows about a 188% increase over the base M1 MacBook Pro. This is only one benchmark, so you shouldn’t expect that large of an increase across the board. Still, it illustrates Apple’s claims about the M1 Max’s power.

The M1 Max and M1 Pro are both based on the M1 that Apple released in 2020. The new chips just bump up the specs by a lot. Both come with 10 CPU cores instead of eight, and they feature more performance cores (eight performant and two efficient cores on the M1 Pro and Max, compared to a four/four split on the M1).

More important, the M1 Pro doubles the GPU cores of the M1 while the M1 Max quadruples them. That bump is doing wonders for the chip if leaked benchmarks are to be believed.

Still, it’s important to wait for third-party testing before making any performance assumptions. The M1 Max looks like an obscenely powerful chip, but other factors — such as heat, noise, and battery life — could sour the experience. Apple says the new machines have even better battery life than the M1 MacBook Pro, but we don’t have any testing to reference on that front yet.

The 2021 MacBook Pro 14 and 16 are available to pre-order now, and Apple says the first units will start shipping the week of October 25. Lead times might be longer than normal, though, as Apple and other device makers deal with the fallout from the chip shortage.

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Game

HTC Vive Flow headset images leak days before reported launch

HTC is expected to launch a new VR headset within the week, but you don’t have to wait till then to see what it looks like. A collection of Vive Flow images has made its way online, courtesy of evleaks, before the launch event. According to Protocol, the Vive Flow is a lightweight headset developed for consumers under the internal name “Hue.” The Bluetooth SIG consortium previously published documents describing Hue as a VR AIO (all-in-one) product, which means the device could be a standalone headset that doesn’t need a phone or doesn’t have to be tethered to a PC to work. 

The company reportedly wants to position the Vive Flow primarily as a way to consume media, with some access to gaming. Its chip is less powerful than the Oculus Quest 2’s, Protocol says, but it will have six degrees of freedom tracking. The images leaked online also show more information about the device, including a dual-hinge system to make sure it fits most people, snap-on face cushion, immersive spatial audio, adjustable lenses and active cooling system. After you pair your phone with it via Bluetooth, you can use your mobile device as a VR controller and to stream content to VR using Miracast tech.

In addition, the images show that the Vive Flow will be available for pre-order starting on October 15th, with shipments going out in early November. The headset will set you back US$499, which is $200 more than the Quest 2’s launch price, and you’ll get seven free virtual reality content and a carrying case if you pre-order.

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Computing

Intel Alder Lake Destroys AMD In New Gaming Performance Leak

If rumors are true, the release of Intel Alder Lake is about a month away, and that means more and more benchmarks begin to leak out. This time, the high-end Intel Core i9-12900K processor was put through several synthetic and in-game benchmarks, giving us our first look at how the processor will perform during gaming.

It passed the test with flying colors, most likely securing its position on any future list of the best processors for gaming.

One of the latest benchmarks comes from Enthusiast Citizen, a member of the Chinese social media platform Bilibili. The leaker tested Intel Core i9-12900K alongside the AMD Radeon RX 6600. Aside from the recently released Radeon GPU, the test platform featured DDR5-3886 memory, what looks like a basic CPU cooler, and an ASRock Z690 motherboard. There is no case included in this setup, so the processor gets a lot of airflow.

The leaker ran synthetic tests using benchmark programs and then also tested the CPU in a few different games. The synthetic performance was measured using 3DMark Time Spy and Fire Strike. These tests went very well for Intel’s latest CPU, as the processor scored 17,915 points in 3DMark Time Spy and 41,477 points in Fire Strike Ultra.

Comparing it to processors of the current generation, both AMD and Intel, puts the new Core i9-12900K in a great light. The closest contender in 3DMark Time Spy is the Core i9-10900K, which scored 14,026 points, with Ryzen 9 5950X close behind at 13,780.

An engineer smiles as she holds up two processor chips.
The 12th Generation of Intel processors, Alder Lake, is set to release in the fall. (Image credit: Intel)

It seems that the new Alder Lake will also shine in gaming, although the lead over AMD is much smaller. Running Forza Horizon 4 at 1080p on Windows 11 produces 193 frames per second (fps). The leaker tested the same game on a Ryzen 9 5950X rig, resulting in 189 fps. This test was performed on Windows 10, which makes perfect sense, considering the fact that Windows 11 actually slows down the gaming performance of AMD processors right now.

The processor was also benchmarked in Rainbow Six Siege (252 fps at 1080p) and Shadow of the Tomb Raider (112 fps at 1080p). These tests were only done on the Alder Lake system, so we have nothing to compare these results to right now.

With the specifications and the price range Intel Core i9-12900K is likely to end up in, it’s no wonder that it might turn out to be a true gaming beast. The CPU will come with 16 cores and 24 threads. Eight of its cores will be Performance cores with 16 threads, and the remaining eight are Efficiency cores with eight threads. It also will feature a 30MB L3 cache.

Intel Alder Lake is set to launch sometime in early November, although the exact date is still just a rumor. Alongside it, we will likely see the release of many new 600-series motherboards with the new LGA1700 socket, as well as DDR5 RAM.

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Game

Twitch says ‘server configuration change’ led to massive data leak

Twitch has released an update on a massive hack that appears to have exposed source code, streamer payment figures and other information. It said that data was exposed to the internet “due to an error in a Twitch server configuration change that was subsequently accessed by a malicious third party.” It added that its teams are working with “urgency” to investigate the attack. 

The Amazon-owned streaming site added that it has “no indication” that any login credentials, including passwords, were exposed. “Additionally, full credit card numbers are not stored by Twitch, so full credit card numbers were not exposed,” the company said.

Twitch also said that “out of an abundance of caution, we have reset all stream keys,” and provided a link to get a new one. Depending on the broadcast software you use, you may need to manually update your software to start a new stream. “Twitch Studio, Streamlabs, Xbox, PlayStation and Twitch Mobile App users should not need to take any action for your new key to work,” it wrote. “OBS users who have connected their Twitch account should also not need to take any action.”

However, if you haven’t connect your OBS account to Twitch, you’ll need to manually copy your stream from the Twitch Dashboard and paste it into OBS. “For all others, please refer to specific setup instructions for your software of choice.”

Yesterday, attackers said they stole the “entirety of Twitch.tv,” including the site’s mobile, desktop and console Twitch clients. It also accessed proprietary SDKs and internal AWS services, red-teaming tools and more. All of that information could make Twitch vulnerable to future attacks by letting potential hackers probe for weaknesses. 

The leak also shows creator payments in the millions for streamers like xQc, Nickmercs and Shroud. Several have confirmed that the figures are accurate. 

Twitch said that the investigation is ongoing. “We are still in the process of understanding the impact in detail,” the company wrote. 

Update 10/7/2021 4:54 AM ET: Twitch has reset all stream keys and advised users on how to update their software. That information has been added to the article. 

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Security

Hackers reportedly threaten to leak data from Gigabyte ransomware attack

Gigabyte has been the victim of a cyberattack, which was reportedly the work of a ransomware outfit called RansomEXX. According to The Record, the attack didn’t have an impact on any of the company’s production systems, but it did affect some internal servers. Currently, some parts of Gigabyte’s website, including its support section, are down, giving customers issues when trying to access warranty repair information and updates. The hackers who claim to have carried out the attack are reportedly threatening to release data from the company, including confidential documents from Intel, AMD, and American Megatrends.

Gigabyte is mainly known for its PC components such as motherboards and graphics cards, but it also has a line of laptops and peripherals like gaming monitors, which are often branded with the Aorus name.

According to a ransom note and dark web webpage, seen by Bleeping Computer and The Record, RansomEXX threatens to publish 112GB of data it got from Gigabyte and an American Megatrends Git repo. Bleeping Computer reports that the hackers also include screenshots of documents from Intel, AMD, and American Megatrends that are under an NDA. American Megatrends creates firmware for motherboard and computer manufacturers as well as for certain Chromebook manufacturers.

Various parts of Gigabyte’s website are nonfunctional.

PC manufacturers aren’t an uncommon target for hackers: earlier this year, Acer was reportedly hit with an attack by the REvil group, which would later go on to target one of Apple’s suppliers. In both cases, hackers threatened to release valuable data if the companies didn’t pay exorbitantly high ransoms of $50 million. The scourge of ransomware has also gone beyond traditional tech companies, affecting hospitals, fuel pipelines, insurance companies, and more.

In Gigabyte’s case, the sum that the hackers are seeking doesn’t yet appear to be public. Bleeping Computer reports, however, that RansomEXX’s ransom notes direct companies to contact an email address to start negotiations.

Gigabyte didn’t respond to a request for comment, but it told The Record that the company has isolated the affected servers, notified law enforcement, and is beginning an investigation. Gigabyte hasn’t publicly named RansomEXX as the responsible party.

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Game

PS5 VR details leak from private developers conference

It’s arguable that Facebook’s Oculus now takes up the majority of the attention in the virtual reality market, but it is hardly the only major player. HTC is still actively working on Vive, and Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality also dips into that field. And then there’s PlayStation VR, the only console-based system among the VR giants. With the new PlayStation 5 console, however, the interest in a VR system to match has also grown. Fortunately, Sony does seem to have big plans for what the PS5 VR will offer, both in hardware and content.

The Next-Gen VR or NGVR, the alleged codename for the PS5 VR, will come with a headset that will boast significant upgrades over its predecessor. Considering the PSVR pictured above hasn’t exactly gotten major upgrades since it launched in 2016, that’s not exactly a surprising revelation.

According to the details reported by PSVR Without Parole, the headset will feature a new HDR OLED screen with a combined 4000×2040 resolution and 110 field-of-view. Eye-tracking will be used to implement foveated rendering, and a new flexible scaling resolution will supposedly improve performance. The new controllers will also allegedly have capacitive touch sensors for the thumb, index, and middle finger, probably for finger tracking.

An upgraded VR system, however, also needs upgraded VR experiences, and Sony is looking into bringing AAA titles to its VR ecosystem. That might mean requiring new titles to support a hybrid VR version alongside the regular flat screen game. There is no word yet on backward compatibility, though.

This PS5 VR upgrade could take Sony’s VR system to the next level and help it catch up with its peers. Unfortunately, it seems that fans will have to wait next year for that to happen.

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Game

Fortnite Grab-itron and location abductions update with cosmetics leak

Today after a brief server down time Fortnite nabbed an update to version 17.30. This newest update to Fortnite brings about The Abduction of Slurpy Swamp, just before the Ariana Grande Rift Tour event. If you head over to Slurpy Swamp and find it slightly more difficult to stay stuck to the ground, don’t worry! You’re not alone in this abduction situation.

The Mothership is using its tractor beam to lift bits of the Earth, buildings, vehicles, and other elements upward. Abductions like this will occur throughout the week, with locations like Coral Castle and Corny Complex headed towards the ship in the very near future.

Abduction zones will have low gravity, so you’ll find yourself afloat. These locations will have extra IO Chests and Launch Pads spawning in as well. You’ll do well to make the best of the inevitable with the new Grab-itron weapon.

Grab-itron can be found on top of Abductors, in everyday average chests, and onboard the Mothership. This weapon is not available in competitive modes, because competitions are not meant to be fun, they’re all about business.

The Grab-itron weapon is a versatile piece of hardware. It works like a flying Saucer with its own tractor beam. You’ll be able to pick up almost anything in the game, hold said item at a short distance, and toss at tremendous speed. The versatility of the weapon comes not only in its ability to pick up a wide variety of items, but in its size, material, and speed-based damage distribution.

The damage caused by an item tossed with the Grab-itron depends on what an item is made of, how large an item is, and how fast it is launched. Items can be used as shields, and potentially to bash, too – it’s wild!

Above you’ll also see some new items that appear in the game files for version 17.30. Some of these items might not be available to you right out the gate – they’ve only just been added to the innards!

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