Why You Should Check With CNS OIT Before You Buy or Build Your Next Computer

A computer is just a computer, right?  

You would think that, as they are everywhere; ubiquitous even. And we are used to using our personal computers to accomplish a range of tasks, everything from word processing, balancing financial spreadsheets, and keeping up on current events, to video chatting with family, friends, and colleagues thousands of miles away, watching movies, or playing games. Such computers are sometimes called general-purpose computers; and thanks to their versatility, it seems to many people that there's simply nothing they can't do.


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What you need to know about USB-C

Many new devices are starting to sport the new “USB-C” (or USB Type C) ports.  These ports are different in almost every way from previous generations of USB ports and devices.

Traditionally "USB" referred to the port, the cable, and the protocol being used over them.  While over the years there have been several different versions of USB ports (USB 1, USB 2, USB 3) and cables (micro, mini, etc), they all used the same USB protocols.  Using these USB devices was fairly painless, and cabling worked on the "if it fits, it works" theory.

With USB-C, that changes

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The Unpatchable USB Vulnerability

Did you know that USB interfaces can leave you open to vulnerabilities and exploits? Last summer, two hackers demonstrated that the firmware of almost half of all USB devices is hackable. Each USB peripheral runs its own controller and firmware to talk to the device into which it is inserted. Whether a USB device is hackable or not depends on whether its controller's firmware is reprogrammable. If so, these hackers showed that it can be reprogrammed to hold and run malware that is invisible to the OS of a machine with USB ports.

Malicious hacks that

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