Category Archives: News/Releases

News about new stuff, new program releases and my new tools, tweaks or fixes…

AMD has Ryzen from the “dead”!

AMD had a release presentation for new generation of AMD Ryzen processors. And they look sweet. AMD actually delivered!

And a report from Linus as he was allowed to play with real AMD Ryzen systems himself ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s pretty exciting, isn’t it? I’m actually going to handle one of these since my cousin was waiting for this CPU exactly and he’ll get one for sure and I’ll be building his system ๐Ÿ˜€

ASUS released new firmware v3.0.0.4.380.7266 for ASUS RT-AC87U router!

ASUS RT-AC87U Firmware version 3.0.0.4.380.7266

Bug fixed
– Fixed Android phone tethering mode detecting issue in quick internet setup process.
– Fixed PPPoE related issue.
– Fixed client rename issue in network map.
– Fixed network tool issues.
– Fixed wake on lan issues.

Modification
– Added automatic standby mode for CE Ecodesign directive.

Grab it here (select โ€œOthersโ€ as OS version):
http://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RTAC87U/HelpDesk_Download/

Major avast! version 17 released!

AVAST Software launched their brand new, major release of their flagship product avast!, this time with version number 17 (skipping 5 versions because of AVG acquisition). It’s probably one of the greatest and most complex releases of them all in a very long avast! history.

avast! v17 (example of Premier Edition)

avast17

New branding with trademark orange amoeba, new grey, white, green and purple color scheme. This is the new face of avast! ๐Ÿ™‚

What’s new in version 17

  • Improved user interface – simplified navigation, new brand colors, notification center
  • Behavior Shield – better protects you against ransomware by monitoring running programs for suspicious behavior
  • Game mode – helps reduce distractions and lag times by automatically prioritizing your gameโ€™s performance and suspending all unnecessary background notifications and processes while you play
  • Free version no longer requires email registration
  • Performance improvements – faster webpage loading and app launching thanks to optimized hashing algorithms
  • Wi-Fi Inspector – previously called Home Network Security, this feature now detects even more problems and vulnerabilities on both home and public networks
  • Passwords – faster UI and improved browser integration
  • Real Site – our new name for SecureDNS, which prevents DNS hijacking to help you avoid visiting fake websites
  • SafeZone browser – common settings for all modes, faster startup of bank mode, currency converter

Under the hood changes and features

I’m not going to bore you with really technical details, all I can say is this new version will provide SIGNIFICANTLY enhanced protection. DeepScreen has been moved to CyberCapture system, removing (for some) annoying “DeepScreen scanning…” popup, scan engine gained many cool features from AVG creating a hybrid engine of best features from both scan engines and lastly, the biggest addition, Behavior Shield. A feature I’ve been waiting for since version 5 and now it has finally made a debut in v17 in all its full glory. It’s a behavior based analysis system which continuously monitors execution process of each and every program on the system. Malware writers can use most sophisticated packers and crypters, but Behavior Shield doesn’t care about any of it. All it cares about is how program behaves on a higher level. If it’s doing suspicious or malicious things to your files or system, it’ll terminate the offensive program and reverse the changes. I’ve made an early test during BETA testing phase and it detected pretty much everything I’ve thrown at it. I’ve also seen internal operation of Behavior Shield during my visit of avast! HQ and it constantly feeds detection and sensors data back into their cloud, processing all the data in near real-time and feeding it back to users and into other avast! systems, progressively increasing protection with every sample processed. It’s already outstanding against ransomware, as well as all sorts of other malware types like file infectors (viruses), trojans, backdoors and worms. It’s gonna catch ’em all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Plans for the future

I can’t go into exact details due to NDA, but I can tell you avast! team is already working on additional anti-ransomware measures that will proactively protect whole system and personal user files from ransomware. One involves proactive measures and another one generic whitelist based protection where only programs on extensive avast! whitelist are allowed to modify user documents. This gives outstanding generic protection with nearly perfect user experience since users will still be able to edit their personal files using safe tools like image and text editors.

Phishing protection will also be moved from browser extension into Web Shield module, providing extended protection against phishing websites without the need to use browser extensions.

There are also extensive plans on interface upgrade. First stage is the main interface which you can already see in screenshot above. Next stages through March, April and later will evolve certain deeper menus even further, making them look nicer, more consistent with the new design theme and also more user friendly.

There are also many other smaller changes that I’m not covering here which will be included in upcoming monthly releases.

It’s a bright future ahead for avast! and I can’t wait to see how it will do in AV-Comparatives and AV-Test with the new Behavior Shield as well as all the other protection goodies. ๐Ÿ™‚

DOWNLOADS:

Home page:
https://www.avast.com

My referral link (you get a download, I get a referral point):
https://www.avast.com/get/PylIx3WC

Online installers (recommended, always up to date install):

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_internet_security_setup.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup.exe

Offline installers (only use if no connection on destination PC during installation):

http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_free_antivirus_setup_offline.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_pro_antivirus_setup_offline.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_internet_security_setup_offline.exe
http://files.avast.com/iavs9x/avast_premier_antivirus_setup_offline.exe

ASUS released new firmware v3.0.0.4.380.4180 for ASUS RT-AC87U router!

ASUS has released a larger bug and security update for the RT-AC87U router.

ASUS RT-AC87U Firmware version 3.0.0.4.380.4180

Security related
– Updated OpenSSL library to 1.0.2j to fix security issues.
– Updated Dropbear SSH to 2016.74 to fix security issues.
– Fixed a security vulnerability regarding XSS.
– Fixed a security vulnerability regarding CSRF.
– Added protection for Brute-force attack.

Bug fixed
– Fixed Chrome, Edge and IE compatibility issues.
– Fixed quick internet setting wizard compatibility issues.
– Fixed NAT issue caused by UPnP media server.
– Fixed dual wan issues in PPPoE or PPTP or L2TP + DHCP environment.
– Fixed AiCloud related issues.

Modified
– Updated NAT Acceleration setting help message.
– Supported Google DDNS .
– Modified the Quick Internet Setting wizard behavior to enhance compatibility.
– Enabled smart sync under AP/Media Bridge.
– Supported new 3G/LTE USB dongle, Docomo L-03D.

Grab it here (select โ€œOthersโ€ as OS version):
http://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RTAC87U/HelpDesk_Download/

Bitdefender Antivirus Free 2017 released!

Some years ago, Bitdefender released a widely popular free version of their product in a very trimmed down version with minimal settings and most of detection based on cloud lookup opposed to full fledged protection offered by their main paid for programs.

It was very popular because it was free, fast and had very high detection ratio. But then Windows 10 came and there were problems with its drivers which for some reason never got updated even though their main lineup was fully compatible already. This new version (I call it 2017 even though it doesn’t have such official name) was in beta for quite a while, but has been released into public final version.

BD_Free_2017.png

BD_Free_2017_2.png

As you can see (apart from white border of the bottom screenshot merging with my page background ๐Ÿ˜› ) it’s again super simple. You basically have no settings to control other than one button to initiate full system scan, one protection switch which allows you to toggle protection on and off on your own. Exclusions and quarantine are only under user control once something is detected first and user decides to release the file from quarantine and exclude it. You can’t exclude things in advance by adding file or folder paths on your own like in other antiviruses. Some don’t like this, but it’s perfect for most casual users since it just protects them with minimal interference and interface that isn’t overwhelming at all.

I haven’t yet tested it’s protection capabilities, but since it’s from Bitdefender which has always been at the top of all protection charts, it should be pretty effective despite lacking a lot of advanced protective features found in their paid product.

Be aware that Bitdefender Antivirus Free requires registration of a Bitdefender account and being logged into that account within the antivirus in order to use it for free. Registration itself is free, I just wanted to let you guys know, because I know some don’t like antiviruses which require this.

DOWNLOAD:

http://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html

Samsung Magician 5.0 SSD software released!

I don’t know, either Samsung actually listened to my complaint on 19th November or it’s all just a pure coincidence ๐Ÿ™‚ Because here it is, a major overhaul of the Samsung Magician software. This time in version 5.0 which comes with fixed SATA and AHCI detection as well as entirely new interface (which looks absolutely amazing I have to add) and new tray icon.

Samsung_Magician_5.0.png
New Samsung Magician 5.0 interface

This has to be by far the best interface design I’ve seen in years. It’s super minimalistic, looks really nice and is very responsive. And as you can see, very informative as well. But not too cluttered. Asian companies used to be famous for their botched interface designs, but this thing, this defies old stereotypes and puts many western designs to shame. Really nice job Samsung!

Download

Download latest Samsung Magician

Download Samsung Magician 5.0 (Mirror)

Killing Floor 2 officially released on PC & PS4!

KF2

That day has finally arrived! Killing Floor 2 was released minutes ago on PC and PS4 platforms. I’ve been playing it on PC since its inception through Early Access on Steam and it has been an exciting experience since day one. You can read more about my impressions back then here. And I can assure you, despite quite a lot of changes that happened since then, they are majorly for the better. The game looks amazing, can run well even on more basic systems and most of all, it’s so exciting and fun, servers are well populated through entire day and things will get even better now that it’s officially released. During release time, there is also a 25% launch discount, so grab it while it’s still hot ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ve also created a tweak tool called Killing Floor 2 Tweaker for this game that allows you to fiddle with few otherwise hidden settings and parameters like adjusting amount of permanent gore (how much corpses and gibs are hanging around as you lay death upon Zeds), adjust sound settings, texture streaming, mouse behavior like mouse acceleration and scaling etc.

What are you still waiting? Grab the game and see you on the battlefield! Lets show those Zeds what’s what!

Killing Floor 2

Official Killing Floor 2 webpage

Killing Floor 2 on Steam

Killing Floor 2 Tweaker

Download Killing Floor 2 Tweaker