Posted by: lrrp | September 28, 2007

One chip does three memory jobs

By Chris Mellor

Memory system designer Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. (SST) has combined NAND and NOR-like flash memory with RAM to produce a single chip with three memory applications.
SST says this memory consolidation will simplify the host interface, shorten design time, reduce overall system costs and improve quality and reliability for a variety of mobile and embedded intelligent devices.
The three different memory types will be used for storing programme code, and for data and system operations (RAM).
The first All-in-OneMemory product, called the SST88VP1107, comes configured with 512 kbyte instant-on boot NOR, 128 Mbyte execute-in-place code storage in a NOR-like flash, 120 Mbyte data storage in NAND flash and 12 Mbyte system RAM for mobile and embedded applications.

These three memory functions are accessed via a single PSRAM bus. The data storage is accessed sequentially, being laid out as a memory-mapped ATA disk; the others are accessed randomly.
The NOR function is carried out by pseudo-NOR composed of RAM cache and NAND flash memory. This saves money by eliminating the need for costly, high-density NOR flash memory.
Caching NAND flash content helps extend endurance and improve reliability by minimizing direct read/write access to the NAND flash.
Sleek design

SST says the All-in-OneMemory chip is well-suited for applications that need high-density memory with enhanced performance, superior quality and high reliability.
It is a small package, at 10mm x 13mm X 1.44mm, and so suited to deployment in hand-held intelligent devices with limited internal space as well as larger ones.
By intelligently managing all memory components with a resident 32-bit microcontroller, All-in-OneMemory offers instant secure boot, memory demand paging, NAND flash management and industry-standard ATA data storage protocol on a single PSRAM bus.
This reduces overall system complexity and lowers cost, SST claims.
SST plans to introduce other products in the All-in-OneMemory family and says the default configuration of the first product can be altered for specific application requirements.

The SST88VP1107 is sampling now with production chips expected to be available in December.
Pricing starts at $17.00 in 10K unit quantities.

Hacking extortionist resurfaces

2006 Trojan besets users again, demands $300 to unlock encrypted files

By Gregg Keizer

“Ransomware” last seen in 2006 has reappeared and is trying to extort $300 from users whose files the malware has encrypted, a Russian security researcher said today.
GpCode, a Trojan horse which last made a run at users last summer, has popped up again, said Aleks Gostev, senior virus analyst with Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab Inc., in a posting to the research centre’s blog.
Noting the long quiet time, Gostev added: “So you can imagine our feelings this weekend, when some of our non-Russian users told us their documents, photos, archive files etc. had turned into a bunch of junk data, and a file called ‘read_me.txt’ had appeared on their systems.”

Ransom Note

The text file contained the “ransom” note.
“Hello, your files are encrypted with RSA-4096 algorithm. You will need at least few years to decrypt these files without our software.
All your private information for last 3 months were collected and sent to us. To decrypt your files you need to buy our software. The price is $300.”
So-called ransomware typically follows the GpCode pattern: malware sneaks onto a PC, encrypts files, and then displays a message demanding money to unlock the data.
Gostev hinted that the blackmailer was likely Russian.
“The e-mail address is one that we’ve seen before in LdPinch and Banker [Trojan horse] variants, programmes which were clearly of Russian origin,” he said.
The blackmailer’s claim that the files were enciphered with RSA-4096 — the RSA algorithm locked with a 4,096-bit key — is bogus, said Gostev. Another oddity, he added, was that the Trojan has a limited shelf life: from July 10 to July 15.
“Why? We can only guess,” said Gostev.


Kaspersky is working on a decryption scheme to recover the files; that process has been the usual salvation — and solution — for users attacked by ransomware. “[But] we’d just like to remind you, if you’ve fallen victim to any type of ransomware, you should never pay up under any circumstances.
“Contact your anti-virus provider, and make sure you back up your data on a regular basis.”


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