Holiday Shoppers Face New Point-of-Sale Malware Threats

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2015-11-16 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: New POS malware emerges in time for the holidays; Google's About Me tool gives users greater control over personal data; Samsung's Exynos 8 Octa mobile chip will feature a custom ARM core; and there's more.

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Today's topics include the emergence of new POS malware, the perks of Google's About Me tool, Samsung's Exynos 8 Octa mobile chip, and ARM math libraries will improve speeds of high-performance computing applications.

Ever since the Target data breach was first revealed in December 2013, there has been a heightened awareness around point-of-sale malware.

Now, a few short weeks before the 2015 holiday shopping season starts in earnest, multiple security firms are sounding the alarm on POS malware that is both old and new.

Trustwave, the security firm that first publicly identified the Backoff POS malware that affected more than 1,000 U.S businesses in 2014, is now warning about the Cherry Picker POS malware. Cherry Picker will run on most Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Internet users worried about Google publicly sharing their personal information now have a way of controlling what others can see of that information.

The company has quietly rolled out a new About Me tool in which individuals can get a consolidated view of the personal data that Google has on them.

This includes their birthday, home address, work history, gender, their social media sites and places they have previously lived. Individuals can use the tool to turn on privacy settings for information that they do not wish others to see, or to edit and update incorrect or outdated information.

Later this year, Samsung Electronics will begin mass producing its latest Exynos smartphone processor. It will be the first in the vendor's lineup to feature a custom core of its own design, a move that is in line with other ARM based chip makers like Qualcomm and Apple.

The 64-bit Exynos 8 Octa 8890 is an eight-core processor that will continue to use ARM's big.Little architecture to drive performance and power efficiency.

However, while the four "little" cores will still be ARM's Cortex-A53 CPUs, the four "big" cores will feature Samsung's first custom-designed CPU that reportedly has been in the works for two years.

At the SC 15 supercomputing show in Austin, Texas, which started yesterday, ARM will showcase its latest move in the high-performance computing space: new math libraries tuned for 64-bit processors built on the ARMv8-A architecture.

According to the company, the ARM Performance Libraries are key math routines designed to improve the performance of computational software running on ARM-based high performance computing systems.

It's a move that illustrates the importance of software as ARM pushes to make inroads in the HPC space against Intel.


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