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Updated: 2 hours 44 min ago
The world wide web has been around for 28 years now. Web inventor Sir Tim
about the challenges facing the modern web, including the loss of control of
our personal data, the spread of misinformation, and the lack of
transparency in political advertising. "Political advertising online
a sophisticated industry. The fact that most people get their
information from just a few platforms and the increasing sophistication of
algorithms drawing upon rich pools of personal data, means that political
campaigns are now building individual adverts targeted directly at
suggests that in the 2016 US election, as many as 50,000
variations of adverts were being served every single day on Facebook, a
near-impossible situation to monitor. And there are suggestions that some
political adverts – in the US and around the world – are being used in
unethical ways – to point voters to fake news sites, for instance, or to keep
others away from the polls
. Targeted advertising allows a campaign to
say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different
groups. Is that democratic?"
The LLVM 4.0.0 release is out. "This release is the result of the community's work over the past six
months, including: use of profile data in ThinLTO, more aggressive
aggressive dead code elimination, experimental support for coroutines,
experimental AVR target, better GNU ld compatibility and significant
performance improvements in LLD, as well as improved optimizations,
many bug fixes and more." The LLVM compiler project has moved to a
new numbering scheme with this release, where the first number increments
with each major release.
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, firefox, libxslt, and thunderbird), Debian (firefox-esr, icoutils, and pidgin), Fedora (firefox, freetype, GraphicsMagick, kdelibs, kdelibs3, kernel, libupnp, munin, php-pear-PHP-CodeSniffer, thunderbird, and wireshark), Mageia (flac, flash-player-plugin, potrace, and wireshark), openSUSE (bitlbee, cacti, kdelibs4, kio, lynx, openssh, pax-utils, perl-Image-Info, Wireshark, and xen), and SUSE (qemu).
kernel prepatch is out for
testing. "I think we're in fine shape for this stage in the
development kernel, it shouldn't be particularly scary to just say 'I'll be
a bit adventurous and test an rc2 kernel'. Yes, it's early rc time still,
but go on, help us make sure we're doing ok."
stable kernel updates are out; each
contains another relatively large set of important fixes.
Security updates have been issued by Debian (firefox-esr, pidgin, and vim), openSUSE (potrace and sane-backends), SUSE (xen), and Ubuntu (libarchive and lxc).
Ars Technica is reporting
that a recently patched vulnerability in the Apache Struts 2
web framework is being actively exploited in the wild.
"It's not clear why the vulnerability is being exploited so widely 48 hours after a patch was released. One possibility is that the Apache Struts maintainers didn't adequately communicate the risk. Although they categorize the vulnerability security rating as high, they also describe it as posing a 'possible remote code execution' risk. Outside researchers, meanwhile, have said the exploits are trivial to carry out, are highly reliable, and require no authentication. It's also easy to scan the Internet for vulnerable servers. It's also possible to exploit the bug even if a Web application doesn't implement file upload functionality."
Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox and kvm), Debian (kernel and wget), Fedora (drupal7-views, firefox, GraphicsMagick, knot, and knot-resolver), Oracle (firefox), Red Hat (firefox), Scientific Linux (firefox), and Ubuntu (kde4libs and linux-aws).
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for March 9, 2017 is available.
Samba 4.6 has been released with many new features and changes. New
features include Kerberos client encryption types, a new option for owner
inheritance, multi-process Netlogon support, new options for controlling
TCP ports used for RPC services, and more.
Security updates have been issued by Debian (texlive-base), Fedora (cacti, drupal7-metatag, freeipa, mingw-gtk-vnc, suricata, and xen), Oracle (kvm), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-ibm and kvm), Scientific Linux (kvm), Slackware (firefox and thunderbird), SUSE (qemu), and Ubuntu (firefox, imagemagick, kernel, linux, linux-gke, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-raspi2, linux, linux-ti-omap4, linux-hwe, linux-lts-trusty, linux-lts-xenial, and network-manager-applet).
On February 28th, GitHub published
a brand new version of its Terms of
(ToS). While the first
announced earlier in February didn't generate much reaction, the
new ToS raised concerns that they may break at least the spirit, if not the
letter, of certain free-software licenses. Digging in further reveals that
the situation is probably not as dire as some had feared.
Firefox 52.0 has been released. This version features support for
WebAssembly, adds user warnings for non-secure HTTP pages with logins,
implements the Strict Secure Cookies specification which forbids insecure
HTTP sites from setting cookies with the "secure" attribute, and enhances
Sync to allow users to send and open tabs from one device to another. See
for more information.
Security updates have been issued by Debian (freetype and libzip-ruby), Fedora (cacti, canl-c, and mupdf), and openSUSE (bind, munin, and mysql-community-server).
Ars Technica argues
that Encrypted Media Extensions (EME), a framework that will allow the
delivery of DRM-protected media through the browser, will be good for the
web. "Moreover, a case could be made that EME will make it easier for content distributors to experiment with—and perhaps eventually switch to—DRM-free distribution.
Under the current model, whether it be DRM-capable browser plugins or DRM-capable apps, a content distributor such as Netflix has no reason to experiment with unprotected content. Users of the site's services are already using a DRM-capable platform, and they're unlikely to even notice if one or two videos (for example, one of the Netflix-produced broadcasts like House of Cards or the forthcoming Arrested Development episodes) are unprotected. It wouldn't make a difference to them."
The Free Software Foundation has a
different take on EME. "We have been fighting EME since 2013, and we will not back off because the W3C presents weak guidance as a fig leaf for DRM-using companies to hide their disrespect for users' rights. Companies can impose DRM without the W3C; but we should make them do it on their own, so it is seen for what it is—a subversion of the Web's principles—rather than normalize it or give it endorsement."
Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (curl), CentOS (ipa, kernel, and qemu-kvm), Debian (munin, ruby-zip, and zabbix), Fedora (bind99, gtk-vnc, jenkins, jenkins-remoting, kdelibs, kf5-kio, libcacard, libICE, libXdmcp, and vim), openSUSE (php5), Oracle (kernel), Red Hat (ansible and openshift-ansible and rpm-ostree and rpm-ostree-client), and Ubuntu (munin).
The first 4.11 kernel prepatch
is out, and
the merge window is closed for this development cycle. "This looks
like a fairly regular release. It's on the smallish side, but mainly just
compared to 4.9 and 4.10 - so it's not really _unusually_ small (in recent
kernels, 4.1, 4.3, 4.5, 4.7 and now 4.11 all had about the same number of
commits in the merge window)." There were 10,960 non-merge commits
pulled in the end, so it's definitely not unusually small.
Over at the Red Hat Security Blog, Hooman Broujerdi looks at threat modeling
as a tool to help create more secure software. "Threat modeling is a systematic approach for developing resilient software. It identifies the security objective of the software, threats to it, and vulnerabilities in the application being developed. It will also provide insight into an attacker's perspective by looking into some of the entry and exit points that attackers are looking for in order to exploit the software.
Although threat modeling appears to have proven useful for eliminating security vulnerabilities, it seems to have added a challenge to the overall process due to the gap between security engineers and software developers. Because security engineers are usually not involved in the design and development of the software, it often becomes a time consuming effort to embark on brainstorming sessions with other engineers to understand the specific behavior, and define all system components of the software specifically as the application gets complex.
While it is important to model threats to a software application in the project life cycle, it is particularly important to threat model legacy software because there's a high chance that the software was originally developed without threat models and security in mind. This is a real challenge as legacy software tends to lack detailed documentation. This, specifically, is the case with open source projects where a lot of people contribute, adding notes and documents, but they may not be organized; consequently making threat modeling a difficult task."
Ben Francis has posted a
detailed history of the Firefox OS project
"For me it was never about Firefox OS being the third mobile platform. It
was always about pushing the limits of web technologies to make the web a
more competitive platform for app development. I think we certainly
achieved that, and I would argue our work contributed considerably to the
trends we now see around Progressive Web Apps. I still believe the web will
win in the end. "
Security updates have been issued by Debian (munin), Fedora (kernel, libXdmcp, and xrdp), Mageia (ming, quagga, util-linux, and webkit2), Oracle (ipa, kernel, and qemu-kvm), Red Hat (ipa, kernel, kernel-rt, python-oslo-middleware, and qemu-kvm), Scientific Linux (ipa, kernel, and qemu-kvm), and Ubuntu (munin, php7, and w3m).