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LWN.net is a comprehensive source of news and opinions from and about the Linux community. This is the main LWN.net feed, listing all articles which are posted to the site front page.
Updated: 39 min 4 sec ago

[$] A return-oriented programming defense from OpenBSD

Wednesday 30th of August 2017 01:13:21 AM
Stack-smashing attacks have a long history; they featured, for example, as a core part of the Morris worm back in 1988. Restrictions on executing code on the stack have, to a great extent, put an end to such simple attacks, but that does not mean that stack-smashing attacks are no longer a threat. Return-oriented programming (ROP) has become a common technique for compromising systems via a stack-smashing vulnerability. There are various schemes out there for defeating ROP attacks, but a mechanism called "RETGUARD" that is being implemented in OpenBSD is notable for its relative simplicity.

Disabling Intel ME 11 via undocumented mode (Positive Technologies)

Tuesday 29th of August 2017 06:37:49 PM
A team of Positive Technologies researchers describe the discovery of a mechanism that can disable Intel Management Engine (ME) 11 after hardware is initialized and the main processor starts. "Intel Management Engine is a proprietary technology that consists of a microcontroller integrated into the Platform Controller Hub (PCH) chip and a set of built-in peripherals. The PCH carries almost all communication between the processor and external devices; therefore Intel ME has access to almost all data on the computer. The ability to execute third-party code on Intel ME would allow for a complete compromise of the platform. We see increasing interest in Intel ME internals from researchers all over the world. One of the reasons is the transition of this subsystem to new hardware (x86) and software (modified MINIX as an operating system). The x86 platform allows researchers to make use of the full power of binary code analysis tools. Previously, firmware analysis was difficult because earlier versions of ME were based on an ARCompact microcontroller with an unfamiliar set of instructions."

Security updates for Tuesday

Tuesday 29th of August 2017 03:39:16 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (ffmpeg, fontforge, and openjdk-7), Fedora (cvs, java-1.8.0-openjdk-aarch32, krb5, and mercurial), Mageia (chromium and libgxps), Red Hat (rh-nginx110-nginx), SUSE (java-1_7_1-ibm), and Ubuntu (ghostscript, kernel, linux, linux-aws, linux-gke, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-raspi2, linux-hwe, linux-lts-xenial, and python-crypto).

[$] Goodbye to GFP_TEMPORARY and dma_alloc_noncoherent()

Monday 28th of August 2017 05:29:28 PM
Like most actively developed programs, the kernel grows over time; there have only been two development cycles ever (2.6.36 and 3.17) where the kernel as a whole was smaller than its predecessor. The kernel's internal API tends to grow in size and complexity along with the rest. The good thing about the internal API, though, is that it is completely under the control of the development community and can be changed at any time. Among other things, that means that parts of the kernel's internal API can be removed if they are no longer needed — or if their addition in the first place is deemed to be a mistake. A pair of pending removals in the memory-management area shows how this process can work.

Security updates for Monday

Monday 28th of August 2017 03:24:15 PM
Security updates have been issued by Debian (augeas, connman, fontforge, freeradius, git, mariadb-10.1, openjdk-7, php5, qemu, qemu-kvm, and tenshi), Fedora (augeas, libsndfile, thunderbird, and xen), Gentoo (AutoTrace and jbig2dec), Mageia (dbus, flash-player-plugin, groovy, groovy18, heimdal, kernel-linus, kmail(kdepimlibs4), libice, libmodplug, miniupnpc, and postgresql9.3/4/6), openSUSE (freeradius-server, gnome-shell, ImageMagick, and openvswitch), and SUSE (java-1_8_0-ibm, libzypp, and postgresql94).

GnuPG 2.2.0 released

Monday 28th of August 2017 01:57:08 PM
Version 2.2.0 of the GNU Privacy Guard is out; this is the beginning of a new long-term stable series. Changes in this release are mostly minor, but it does now install as gpg rather than gpg2, and it will automatically fetch keys from keyservers by default. "Note: this enables keyserver and Web Key Directory operators to notice when you intend to encrypt to a mail address without having the key locally. This new behaviour will eventually make key discovery much easier and mostly automatic."

Kernel prepatch 4.13-rc7

Monday 28th of August 2017 03:19:53 AM
The 4.13-rc7 kernel prepatch has been released. "We had a few issues come up the past week, but nothing that is really impacting the release schedule. So here's rc7, and I still expect this to the the last rc, although the best-laid plans of mice and men.."

More in Tux Machines

OpenSUSE fonts – The sleeping beauty guide

Pandora’s box of fonts is one of the many ailments of the distro world. As long as we do not have standards, and some rather strict ones at that, we will continue to suffer from bad fonts, bad contrast, bad ergonomics, and in general, settings that are not designed for sustained, prolonged use. It’s a shame, because humans actually use computers to interface with information, to READ text and interpret knowledge using the power of language. It’s the most critical element of the whole thing. OpenSUSE under-delivers on two fonts – anti-aliasing and hinting options that are less than ideal, and then it lacks the necessary font libraries to make a relevant, modern and pleasing desktop for general use. All of this can be easily solved if there’s more attention, love and passion for the end product. After all, don’t you want people to be spending a lot of time interacting, using and enjoying the distro? Hopefully, one day, all this will be ancient history. We will be able to choose any which system and never worry or wonder how our experience is going to be impacted by the choice of drivers, monitors, software frameworks, or even where we live. For the time being, if you intend on using openSUSE, this little guide should help you achieve a better, smoother, higher-quality rendering of fonts on the screen, allowing you to enjoy the truly neat Plasma desktop to the fullest. Oh, in the openSUSE review, I promised we would handle this, and handle it we did! Take care. Read more

Today in Techrights

Direct Rendering Manager and VR HMDs Under Linux

  • Intel Prepping Support For Huge GTT Pages
    Intel OTC developers are working on support for huge GTT pages for their Direct Rendering Manager driver.
  • Keith Packard's Work On Better Supporting VR HMDs Under Linux With X.Org/DRM
    Earlier this year Keith Packard started a contract gig for Valve working to improve Linux's support for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs). In particular, working on Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) and X.Org changes needed so VR HMDs will work well under Linux with the non-NVIDIA drivers. A big part of this work is the concept of DRM leases, a new Vulkan extension, and other changes to the stack.

Software: Security Tools, cmus, Atom-IDE, Skimmer Scanner

  • Security Tools to Check for Viruses and Malware on Linux
    First and foremost, no operating system is 100 percent immune to attack. Whether a machine is online or offline, it can fall victim to malicious code. Although Linux is less prone to such attacks than, say, Windows, there is no absolute when it comes to security. I have witnessed, first hand, Linux servers hit by rootkits that were so nasty, the only solution was to reinstall and hope the data backup was current. I’ve been a victim of a (very brief) hacker getting onto my desktop, because I accidentally left desktop sharing running (that was certainly an eye opener). The lesson? Even Linux can be vulnerable. So why does Linux need tools to prevent viruses, malware, and rootkits? It should be obvious why every server needs protection from rootkits — because once you are hit with a rootkit, all bets are off as to whether you can recover without reinstalling the platform. It’s antivirus and anti-malware where admins start getting a bit confused. Let me put it simply — if your server (or desktop for that matter) makes use of Samba or sshfs (or any other sharing means), those files will be opened by users running operating systems that are vulnerable. Do you really want to take the chance that your Samba share directory could be dishing out files that contain malicious code? If that should happen, your job becomes exponentially more difficult. Similarly, if that Linux machine performs as a mail server, you would be remiss to not include AV scanning (lest your users be forwarding malicious mail).
  • cmus – A Small, Fast And Powerful Console Music Player For Linux
    You may ask a question yourself when you see this article. Is it possible to listen music in Linux terminal? Yes because nothing is impossible in Linux. We have covered many popular GUI-based media players in our previous articles but we didn’t cover any CLI based media players as of now, so today we are going to cover about cmus, is one of the famous console-based media players among others (For CLI, very few applications is available in Linux).
  • You Can Now Transform the Atom Hackable Text Editor into an IDE with Atom-IDE
    GitHub and Facebook recently launched a set of tools that promise to allow you to transform your Atom hackable text editor into a veritable IDE (Integrated Development Environment). They call the project Atom-IDE. With the release of Atom 1.21 Beta last week, GitHub introduced Language Server Protocol support to integrate its brand-new Atom-IDE project, which comes with built-in support for five popular language servers, including JavaScript, TypeScript, PHP, Java, C#, and Flow. But many others will come with future Atom updates.
  • This open-source Android app is designed to detect nearby credit card skimmers
    Protecting our data is a constant battle, especially as technology continues to advance. A recent trend that has popped up is the installation of credit card skimmers, especially at locations such as gas pumps. With a simple piece of hardware and 30 seconds to install it, a hacker can easily steal credit card numbers from a gas pump without anyone knowing. Now, an open-source app for Android is attempting to help users avoid these skimmers.