OpenCL Stories May 12, 2015

Malware hidden in Nvidia GPUs can infect Macs too, say developers behind proof of concept

Anonymous developers who have successfully infected Nvidia GPU cards with malware on both Linux and Windows machines say that the same can be done on Macs, and that they will release the proof soon. The aim of the whitehat developers is to raise awareness of this new method of attack, reports IT World.

The team successfully created a piece of malware called WIN_JELLY which acts as a Remote Access Tool, enabling attackers to control a machine over the Internet. They now plan to release a version for OS X called MAC_JELLY, demonstrating that Macs too are vulnerable.

There are, they say, two core problems. First, the growing power of modern GPUs means that it is increasingly common for processing tasks to be passed to them, something that would look legitimate to the OS. Second, most security tools designed to detect malware don’t scan the RAM used by the GPU.

The developers hint that the Mac version of the exploit will use OpenCL, a framework for writing code that can run on multiple platforms – including GPUs – and which is installed as standard as part of OS X.

While Mac and iOS malware is rare, neither platform is immune from attack. Wirelurker was last year found to be capable of infecting non-jailbroken iOS devices when connected to Macs running compromised software, and Flashback infected hundreds of thousands of Macs back in 2012.

Apple recently pulled many antivirus apps from the iOS app store, though this may be because many of them performed no useful function.

Via Slashdot

OpenCL Stories November 23, 2014

handbrakeThe developers of Handbrake just announced the 0.10 update to their extremely popular and useful Open Source video transcoding product. Originally focused on ripping DVDs, the product now can be used for transcribing many different types of files/codecs to almost any other. Today’s headliner updates include H.265 and VP8 encoding.

  • The LibAV AAC encoder is now the default as FAAC has been removed.
    • This encoder is adequate for most, but until it improves a bit further, we have enabled support for the FDK-AAC encoder also.
      • This FDK option is a temporary measure until the LibAV encoder improves.
      • Note that FDK-AAC is much slower and will likely bottleneck the encode process, but will produce better quality audio.
  • H.265 encoder
    • Using x265 v1.4
    • This encoder is still early in it’s development, so is missing many H.265 features and optimisations.
  • Added VP8 Encoder (using libvpx)
    • Available in MKV files only.

Hit the download button in Handbrake or download here. Full change list below:

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OpenCL Stories May 21, 2014

Apple’s new expensive line of Mac Pro computers seem to be causing a headache for a tiny fraction of the Mac userbase. According to several professional video editors who have contacted us or posted information to various online forums, the recent OS X 10.9.3 update is breaking compatibility between some Mac Pro graphics cards and video editing applications such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve…

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OpenCL Stories February 14, 2012

It looks like Apple could (again) select the graphics giant Nvidia as the primary GPU provider for the upcoming Mac Pro hardware refresh. According to a mostly speculative story by MIC Gadget based on unnamed industry sources, new Mac Pros will feature Intel’s upcoming Ivy Bridge chipset fabbed on the chip maker’s latest 22-nanometer Trigate transistor technology (no surprise there). According to Intel, 22nm Ivy Bridge silicon claims a 37 percent speed jump and lower power consumption compared to the chip giant’s 32 nanometer planar transistors. ‘Trigate’ Ivy Bridge chips can feature up to eight processing cores and are more power-savvy, so they should help scale frequency, too. On a more interesting note, MIC Gadget speculates Apple could switch back to Nvidia as the primary supplier of next-generation GPUs for the new Mac Pros.

Nvidia has their “Kepler” platform due out around the same time as Intel is making their changes, and our sources within the company indicate that they have chosen to have Nvidia lead the charge so to speak on the graphics front.

Eagle-eyed readers could mention that AMD recently released the Radeon HD 7970 graphics card powered by the Tahiti GPU (its nearest rival is Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 590), with observes deeming it Apple’s go-to graphics card for future Mac Pros. Indeed, traces of support for Tahiti-driven AMD GPUs are found in Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3, at least indicating people might be able to upgrade their future Mac Pro with this card. Oh, and it’s great for Hackintosh builders, too.

Also indicative is a March 2011 Snow Leopard 10.6.7 update that enabled support for a bunch of AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5xxx and 6xxx cards, not all of which were in Macs at the time. On the other hand, a speculative switch to Nvidia would not be out of character as California-based Apple is known for frequently switching between Nvidia chips and those manufactured by rival AMD…

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