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Security Leftovers

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  • Intel's Management Engine is a security hazard, and users need a way to disable it

    Since 2008, most of Intel’s CPUs have contained a tiny homunculus computer called the “Management Engine” (ME). The ME is a largely undocumented master controller for your CPU: it works with system firmware during boot and has direct access to system memory, the screen, keyboard, and network. All of the code inside the ME is secret, signed, and tightly controlled by Intel. Last week, vulnerabilities in the Active Management (AMT) module in some Management Engines have caused lots of machines with Intel CPUs to be disastrously vulnerable to remote and local attackers. While AMT can be disabled, there is presently no way to disable or limit the Management Engine in general. Intel urgently needs to provide one.

    This post will describe the nature of the vulnerabilities (thanks to Matthew Garrett for documenting them well), and the potential for similar bugs in the future. EFF believes that Intel needs to provide a minimum level of transparency and user control of the Management Engines inside our CPUs, in order to prevent this cybersecurity disaster from recurring. Unless that happens, we are concerned that it may not be appropriate to use Intel CPUs in many kinds of critical infrastructure systems.

  • 'Accidental hero' halts ransomware attack and warns: this is not over

    Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a user’s data, then demands payment in exchange for unlocking the data. This attack used a piece of malicious software called “WanaCrypt0r 2.0” or WannaCry, that exploits a vulnerability in Windows. Microsoft released a patch (a software update that fixes the problem) for the flaw in March, but computers that have not installed the security update remain vulnerable.

  • Vanilla Forums Open Source Software Vulnerable to RCE, Host Header Injection Vulnerability

    Popular open source forum software suffers from vulnerabilities that could let an attacker gain access to user accounts, carry out web-cache poisoning attacks, and in some instances, execute arbitrary code.

  • Vanilla Forums has a plain-flavoured zero-day

    The popular Vanilla Forums software needs patching against a remote code execution zero-day first reported to the developers in December 2016.

    Published by ExploitBox, the zero-day “can be exploited by unauthenticated remote attackers to execute arbitrary code and fully compromise the target application when combined with Host Header injection vulnerability CVE-2016-10073.”

    The problem arises because Vanilla Forums inherits a bug in PHPMailer. The mailer uses PHP's mail() function as its default transport, as discussed by Legal Hackers here.

  • Google Fuzzing Service Uncovers 1K Bugs in Open-Source Projects

    Today’s topics include Google’s fuzzing service uncovering more than 1,000 bugs in open-source projects in five months, VMware helping Google make Chromebooks better for business; Edward Snowden advocating the need for open source and OpenStack; and Dell EMC aiming servers at data center modernization efforts.

More in Tux Machines

Security: Equifax, Kodi, Infrared, and Windows XP in 2017

  • Safer but not immune: Cloud lessons from the Equifax breach
  • Warning: If you are using this Kodi repository, you could be in danger
    Kodi is quite possibly the best media center software of all time. If you are looking to watch videos or listen to music, the open source solution provides an excellent overall experience. Thanks to its support for "addons," it has the potential to become better all the time. You see, developers can easily add new functionality by writing an addon for the platform. And yes, some addons can be used for piracy, but not all of them are. These addons, such as Exodus and Covenant, are normally added using a repository, which hosts them. [...] We do not know 100 percent if the person that re-registered the metalkettle name on GitHub is planning anything evil, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
  • Infrared signals in surveillance cameras let malware jump network air gaps
    The malware prototype could be a crucial ingredient for attacks that target some of the world's most sensitive networks. Militaries, energy producers, and other critical infrastructure providers frequently disconnect such networks from the Internet as a precaution. In the event malware is installed, there is no way for it to make contact with attacker-controlled servers that receive stolen data or issue new commands. Such airgaps are one of the most basic measures for securing highly sensitive information and networks. The proof-of-concept malware uses connected surveillance cameras to bridge such airgaps. Instead of trying to use the Internet to reach attacker-controlled servers, the malware weaves passwords, cryptographic keys, and other types of data into infrared signals and uses a camera's built-in infrared lights to transmit them. A nearby attacker then records the signals with a video camera and later decodes embedded secrets. The same nearby attackers can embed data into infrared signals and beam them to an infected camera, where they're intercepted and decoded by the network malware. The covert channel works best when attackers have a direct line of sight to the video camera, but non-line-of-sight communication is also possible in some cases.
  • Manchester police still relies on Windows XP
    England's second biggest police force has revealed that more than one in five of its computers were still running Windows XP as of July. Greater Manchester Police told the BBC that 1,518 of its PCs ran the ageing operating system, representing 20.3% of all the office computers it used. Microsoft ended nearly all support for the operating system in 2014. Experts say its use could pose a hacking risk. The figure was disclosed as part of a wider Freedom of Information request. "Even if security vulnerabilities are identified in XP, Microsoft won't distribute patches in the same way it does for later releases of Windows," said Dr Steven Murdoch, a cyber-security expert at University College London.

Flock 2017, Fedora 27, and New Fedora 26 (F26) ISO

  • Flock 2017: How to make your application into a Flatpak?
  • Flock to Fedora 2017
  • Flock 2017 – A Marketing talk about a new era to come.
    I had two session at Flock this year, one done by me and another in support of Robert Mayr in the Mindshare one, if there were been any need for discussing. Here I’m talking about my session: Marketing – tasks and visions (I will push the report about the second one after Robert’s one, for completion). In order to fit the real target of a Flock conference (that is a contributor conference, not a show where people must demonstrate how much cool they are; we know it!) is to bring and show something new, whether ideas, software, changes and so on, and discuss with other contributors if they’re really innovative, useful and achievable.
  • F26-20170918 Updated Live isos released
  • GSoC2017 Final — Migrate Plinth to Fedora Server
  • Building Modules for Fedora 27
    Let me start with a wrong presumption that you have everything set up – you are a packager who knows what they want to achieve, you have a dist-git repository created, you have all the tooling installed. And of course, you know what Modularity is, and how and why do we use modulemd to define modular content. You know what Host, Platform, and Bootstrap modules are and how to use them.

Red Hat Financial Results Expectations High

Will Microsoft love Linux to death? Shuttleworth and Stallman on whether Windows 10 is free software's friend

Richard Stallman is a free-software activist and creator of the GNU OS that forms part of the basis of modern GNU/Linux distros. He believes that Microsoft's decision to build a Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) amounts to an attempt to extinguish software that users are free to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve. "It certainly looks that way. But it won't be so easy to extinguish us, because our reasons for using and advancing free software are not limited to practical convenience," he said. "We want freedom. As a way to use computers in freedom, Windows is a non-starter." Read more