Issue 1572 - Wednesday 23rd March, 2022

In Today's Issue

The News

Lapsus$ recruited an Okta employee, enabling a solid hacking and data theft spree

Looks like we have an answer as to how hacking group Lapsus$ got access to companies like Nvidia, Ubisoft, Samsung and now Microsoft - they popped Okta. Okta's main purpose is as a single sign on service for enterprises. You set up Okta and give it access to all the crap in your company, so all your staff have to do is log in to Okta once instead of logging into a dozen different things. It appears that Lapsus$ recruited an Okta support engineer to hand over the keys to their account and went from there into the accounts of other businesses. Okta claims they haven't been breached, not to panic and there's nothing to see here. Cloudflare outlined what they think went on and precautions they're taking as an Okta customer.

Nvidia's Grace Hopper ARM server CPU & GPU combo is very fast, very expensive

Nvidia's dropped a huge (both physically and metaphorically) ARM-based SoC called Grace and Nvidia claims its "1.5x faster" than the latest 64-core EPYC CPUs AMD just announced - in the SPECrate_2017_int_base benchmark. Nvidia also announced the Hopper server GPU architecture (aka H100), designed for machine learning applications with a 700W TDP to match. Nvidia is selling both of them in a single "Superchip" package called Grace Hopper, named after the legendary computer scientist and US Navy Rear Admiral. Go read the article if you want all the gory details, but the bottom line is that this thing is stupid fast and is actually quite technically similar to Apple's M1 Ultra (combining multiple CPUs with a high speed interconnect), but on steroids. Grace will start appearing for rent in cloud computing platforms early 2023.

Mercedes-Benz will take legal responsibility for any accidents when Drive Pilot is engaged

Mercedes-Benz's new level 3 autonomous driving feature, Drive Pilot, is so good that "once you engage Drive Pilot, you are no longer legally liable for the car's operation until it disengages. You can look away, watch a movie, or zone out. If the car crashes while Drive Pilot is operating, that's Mercedes' problem, not yours". The catch is it can only be used in specific circumstances. Max speed is 60km/h, "on limited-access divided highways with no stoplights, roundabouts, or other traffic control systems, and no construction zones" on roads mapped by Mercedes. I'd trust this 100x more than Tesla's Autopilot - which was in the news yesterday as someone in Melbourne hit a person boarding a tram and claimed Autopilot was in use at the time.

Something I Saw On The Internet

The Mac Studio's storage is not upgradeable in the canonical sense

Tear downs of the Mac Studio have discovered that unlike most other Macs, the storage is not soldered on the logic board. Awesome, right? Pop on down to MSY, pick up a nice Samsung SSD and save thousands of dollars compared to Apple's overpriced storage upgrade. Not so, as whilst a standard M.2 socket is there, the way the computer talks to the storage is far from standard. Apple's SSDs don't contain a storage controller, like every other SSD out there. Apple put that controller logic inside the M1 SoC (and the T2 SoC on Intel Macs), so when you pop a conventional SSD in there the Mac loses its shit and doesn't recognise the disk. Welcome to the future of computing, DIY upgrades aren't a thing.


The End

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