HP has launched a new family of gaming products designed for an immersive gaming experience. HP’s new high-end gaming products – the OMEN X Desktop, OMEN 17 Laptop, OMEN X Curved Display and OMEN with SteelSeries accessories – are engineered to deliver great performance and flexibility.
“The OMEN X Desktop was built for serious gamers who need fierce performance out-of-the-box in a fully customizable chassis – something not typically available from traditional PC manufacturers,” said Louis Perrin, director, consumer products, Personal Systems EMEA, HP. “HP’s engineers combined a unique design that maximizes thermal management with support for industry standard components so that the true enthusiast can always be up to date with the latest hardware to maintain peak performance with a customized rig.”
The OMEN X offerings are an extension of HP’s unified gaming portfolio announced in May to maximize gaming performance per dollar. The OMEN X brand focuses on overbuilt and over-engineered products meant to deliver bold innovation for gaming customers.
HP provided the following information:
The OMEN X features the latest graphics technology up to dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 to elevate the performance of any game with stunning visuals. The 6th generation Intel Core i5/i7 processor with overclocking capability paired with a VR-ready GPU will enable flawless Virtual Reality (VR) and immersive 4K experiences for even the most demanding AAA games.
HP engineered superior thermal management allowing customers to stay cool under pressure and get the highest possible performance and full potential of the hardware. This revolutionary thermal management includes a tri-chamber design to separate components and optimize thermals with dedicated cooling in each chamber. The OMEN X Desktop also includes support for up to three 120mm liquid cooling radiators with top mounted exhaust vents and a stand that lifts the case off the ground to help pull cool air in, allowing for maximum ventilation.
Other top features include:
· OMEN Control software provides complete design control, allowing for custom LED modifications and brightness adjustments in real time
· Chassis adheres to industry standards for seamless upgrades and modifications
· Tool-less access to the internals and a hidden toolkit in the chassis to accommodates upgrades
The ability to build a PC from the ground up is crucial for true enthusiast gamers and one of the most significant differentiators of the OMEN X Desktop. Builders and modders can purchase an empty OMEN X chassis as a standalone option for a completely immersive do-it-yourself (DIY) PC experience. The standalone chassis provides the same thermal benefits of the tri-chamber design and industry standards, making a custom build as seamless as end-users expect.
OMEN 17 Laptop Powered by New NVIDIA Graphics
The latest 17.3” (43.9cm) diagonal OMEN Laptop is designed from top-to-bottom with the performance gamer in mind. It’s now one of the highest performing gaming laptops on the market with the inclusion of the latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics, and one of the most portable measuring just 32.9 mm thin and weighing seven pounds (3.2kg).
The OMEN 17 Laptop is engineered and designed for gamers and provides the immersive experience and versatility required for relentless competition. New features include:
· The latest NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 and 1070 graphics technology deliver fast, smooth, and power-efficient gaming experiences
· G-SYNC display technology optimizes gaming by synchronizing the display refresh rates to the GPU
· Quad speakers with audio by Bang & Olufsen and HP Audio Boost for realistic sound quality
· The addition of a mini Display Port adds support for dual 2K or 4K output and streaming
· Up to 4K display resolution with 300 nits for another level for sharpness that enhances gaming and entertainment
· VR-Ready support for gamers who want to be ready for the next frontier of gaming with VR
· A 95W polymer battery to support the latest GPUs from NVIDIA for up to 7.25 hours of run time
OMEN X by HP Curved Display – Be Immersed
Display quality affects the overall gaming experience and to round out the OMEN ecosystem, HP is introducing the OMEN X Curved Display, which adds a new level of realism and immersion for end-users. The curved display is the first from HP to offer NVIDIA® G-Sync™ Technology, integrating the latest technologies and more choices for customers seeking wide viewing angles and a smooth gaming experience.
OMEN by HP with SteelSeries – Victory is at Hand
To complement and enhance users’ experience with the new OMEN line-up, HP is collaborating with SteelSeries to introduce a line of accessories designed to heighten gameplay and provide the utmost competitive advantage.
· OMEN Headset with SteelSeries features lightweight suspension construction to evenly spread the weight over the entire band, allowing gamers to play longer, more comfortably.
· OMEN Keyboard with SteelSeries enables personalization with over 16.8 million colours to create unique colour schemes and allow for colour changes in response to gameplay action.
· OMEN Mouse with SteelSeries includes features for unmatched performance including customization like RGB illumination, 6 fully programmable buttons for quicker action, and zero hardware acceleration for 1:1 tracking and precise movements.
· OMEN Mouse Pad with SteelSeries provides a high quality; non-slip rubber base and the precision professionals rely on with a durable smooth, surface.
The OMEN platform software is pre-installed on OMEN PCs and is offered for both the OMEN keyboard and OMEN mouse letting gamers easily take advantage of its many features by offering cross platform support, and features a cloud syncing system to make sure customers always have their favourite settings.
OMEN Challenge by HP at Gamescom 2016
HP will host its third OMEN Challenge in Europe at Gamescom 2016, featuring one of the world’s most popular PC games, “CS:GO” by Valve. The first live action game on Twitch, the OMEN Challenge will see Mousesports’ CS:GO team taking on Flipsid3 Tactics where the teams will endure ‘tortures’– including elements such as wind blasts and cold environments – to test the physical agility and skill of these elite gamers. Armed with the latest OMEN by HP PCs, the pro gamers will be pushed beyond their absolute limits as both the live and online Twitch audiences vote on how to distract them.
The OMEN Challenge will take place at the ESL Arena in Hall 9 at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, at 22:00 CET on Thursday, 18 August. It can also be viewed on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/omenchallenge.
Crouching Yeti strikes
Kaspersky Lab has uncovered infrastructure used by the Russian-speaking APT group Crouching Yeti, also known as Energetic Bear, which includes compromised servers across the world.
According to the research, numerous servers in different countries were hit since 2016, sometimes in order to gain access to other resources. Others, including those hosting Russian websites, were used as watering holes.
Crouching Yeti is a Russian-speaking advanced persistent threat (APT) group that Kaspersky Lab has been tracking since 2010. It is best known for targeting industrial sectors around the world, with a primary focus on energy facilities, for the main purpose of stealing valuable data from victim systems. One of the techniques the group has been widely using is through watering hole attacks: the attackers injected websites with a link redirecting visitors to a malicious server.
Recently Kaspersky Lab has discovered a number of servers, compromised by the group, belonging to different organisations based in Russia, the U.S., Turkey and European countries, and not limited to industrial companies. According to researchers, they were hit in 2016 and 2017 with different purposes. Thus, besides watering hole, in some cases they were used as intermediaries to conduct attacks on other resources.
In the process of analysing infected servers, researchers identified numerous websites and servers used by organisations in Russia, U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America that the attackers had scanned with various tools, possibly to find a server that could be used to establish a foothold for hosting the attackers’ tools and to subsequently develop an attack. Some of the sites scanned may have been of interest to the attackers as candidates for waterhole. The range of websites and servers that captured the attention of the intruders is extensive. Kaspersky Lab researchers found that the attackers had scanned numerous websites of different types, including online stores and services, public organisations, NGOs, manufacturing, etc.
Also, experts found that the group used publicly available malicious tools, designed for analyzing servers, and for seeking out and collecting information. In addition, a modified sshd file with a preinstalled backdoor was discovered. This was used to replace the original file and could be authorised with a ‘master password’.
“Crouching Yeti is a notorious Russian-speaking group that has been active for many years and is still successfully targeting industrial organisations through watering hole attacks, among other techniques. Our findings show that the group compromised servers not only for establishing watering holes, but also for further scanning, and they actively used open-sourced tools that made it much harder to identify them afterwards,” said Vladimir Dashchenko, Head of Vulnerability Research Group at Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT.
“The group’s activities, such as initial data collection, the theft of authentication data, and the scanning of resources, are used to launch further attacks. The diversity of infected servers and scanned resources suggests the group may operate in the interests of the third parties,” he added.
Kaspersky Lab recommends that organisations implement a comprehensive framework against advanced threats comprising of dedicated security solutions for targeted attack detection and incident response, along with expert services and threat intelligence. As a part of Kaspersky Threat Management and Defense, our anti-targeted attack platform detects an attack at early stages by analysing suspicious network activity, while Kaspersky EDR brings improved endpoint visibility, investigation capabilities and response automation. These are enhanced with global threat intelligence and Kaspersky Lab’s expert services with specialisation in threat hunting and incident response.
More details on this recent Crouching Yeti activity can be found on the Kaspersky Lab ICS CERT website.
R5m in software fines
South African companies paid almost R5.2 million in damages for using unlicensed software in 2017 up from R3.6 million in 2016.
This is according to data from BSA | The Software Alliance, a non-profit, global trade association created to advance the goals of the software industry and its hardware partners.
The significant increase in unlicensed software payments – which includes settlements as well as the cost of acquiring new software to become compliant – is the result of more accurate leads from informers, says Darren Olivier, Partner at Adams & Adams, legal counsel for BSA. In 2017 BSA received 281 reports in South Africa alleging the use of unlicensed software products of BSA member companies – this up considerably up from 230 leads in 2016.
“BSA’s recent social media campaign also helped to create awareness among local companies about the need to comply with existing legislation in order to avoid legal action,” Olivier says.
The result has been a 13% increase in settlements paid in 2017, with the settlements total reaching almost R2.5 million.
While the average settlement paid by companies in 2017 was around R36 094, in some cases the amount owed was far greater, as is evidenced by Shereno Printers, a print and design company based in Gauteng, which ended up paying a hefty settlement amount of R260 000 last year in an out of court settlement.
The company’s case was in line with a broader trend, which saw the print and design industry as a whole rank among the top sectors plagued by unlicensed software.
Aside from settlements, companies also paid more than R2.6 million in licenses purchased to legalise their unlicensed software.
And the ramifications of software piracy extend beyond financial implications. “It also results in potential job losses and loss in tax revenue. This is not to mention the financial and reputational damage brought about by security breaches and lost data,” comments Olivier.
As unlicensed software has not been updated with the latest security features, it leaves businesses vulnerable to cyberattack, he explains.
This is a particular problem for companies operating in South Africa where economic crime has recently reached record levels, according to the Global Economic Crime Survey. Indeed, 77% of South African organisations have experienced some form of economic crime. What’s more, instances of cybercrime totalled 29% of economic crimes reported.
This in turn, raises questions around government policy and the adequacy of existing copyright legislation, which only enables the registration of copyright in films, but not in computer programs.
Olivier notes that it is likely the percentage of unlicensed software on South African computers has increased over the past year. “We received many more leads this year, which is an indicator that the amount of pirated software is greater than in previous years,” he comments.
Often unlicensed software is not so much a case of deliberate piracy as it is a result of poor software asset management (SAM).
“For this reason, the BSA encourages all businesses to ensure they have effective SAM practices in place. Companies should be able to confirm what software they are using and are licensed to use – this will help them to identify unlicensed software and can also bring about cost savings. Even the most basic SAM practices such as regular inventories and software use policies can help,” says Chair of the BSA SA Committee, Billa Coetsee.
With this in mind the BSA offers a range of SAM solutions, not only to help organisations reduce legal and security risks, but also to create business value.