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Security News, Notably Microsoft/NSA Catastrophe

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Microsoft
Security
  • Major cyber attack hits companies, hospitals, schools worldwide

    Private security firms identified the ransomware as a new variant of "WannaCry" that had the ability to automatically spread across large networks by exploiting a known bug in Microsoft's Windows operating system.

  • Massive cyberattack hits several hospitals across England
  • Rejection Letter

    We start with a shadowy US government agency, the NSA, systematically analyzing the software of the biggest American computer companies in search of vulnerabilities. So far, so plausible: this is one of the jobs of an intelligence and counter-espionage agency focussed on information technology. However, instead of helping Microsoft fix them, we are supposed to believe that the NSA hoard their knowledge of weaknesses in Microsoft Windows, a vitally important piece of their own nation's infrastructure, in case they'll come in handy againt some hypothetical future enemy. (I'm sorry, but this just won't wash; surely the good guys would prioritize protecting their own corporate infrastructure? But this is just the first of the many logical inconsistencies which riddle the back story and plot of "Zero Day".)

  • Microsoft issues ‘highly unusual’ Windows XP patch to prevent massive ransomware attack
  • Is it prudent to ask if Britain’s nuke subs, which also run Windows XP, have also been hit by ransomware?

    Let’s reword this to drive the point home. How likely is it that the United States NSA, through its persistent interest in keeping us unsafe, has managed to hand control of Britain’s nuclear weapons platforms to unknown ransomware authors, perhaps in Russia or Uzbekistan?

  • Current wave of ransomware not written by ordinary criminals, but by the NSA

    The lesson here is that the NSA’s mission, keeping a country safe, is in direct conflict with its methods of collecting a catalog of vulnerabilities in critical systems and constructing weapons to use against those systems, weapons that will always leak, instead of fixing the discovered weaknesses and vulnerabilities that make us unsafe.

  • Wana Decrypt0r Ransomware Outbreak Temporarily Stopped By "Accidental Hero"

    A security researcher that goes online by the nickname of MalwareTech is the hero of the day, albeit an accidental one, after having saved countless of computers worldwide from a virulent form of ransomware called Wana Decrypt0r (also referenced as WCry, WannaCry, WannaCrypt, and WanaCrypt0r).

  • DDOS attacks in Q1 2017

    In Q1 2017, the geography of DDoS attacks narrowed to 72 countries, with China accounting for 55.11% (21.9 p.p. less than the previous quarter). South Korea (22.41% vs. 7.04% in Q4 2016) and the US (11.37% vs. 7.30%) were second and third respectively.

    The Top 10 most targeted countries accounted for 95.5% of all attacks. The UK (0.8%) appeared in the ranking, replacing Japan. Vietnam (0.8%, + 0.2 p.p.) moved up from seventh to sixth, while Canada (0.7%) dropped to eighth.

  • Applied Physical Attacks and Hardware Pentesting

    This week, I had the opportunity to take Joe Fitzpatrick’s class “Applied Physical Attacks and Hardware Pentesting”. This was a preview of the course he’s offering at Black Hat this summer, and so it was in a bit of an unpolished state, but I actually enjoyed the fact that it was that way. I’ve taken a class with Joe before, back when he and Stephen Ridley of Xipiter taught “Software Exploitation via Hardware Exploitation”, and I’ve watched a number of his talks at various conferences, so I had high expectations of the course, and he didn’t disappoint.

  • SambaXP 2017: John Hixson’s Reflection

    The next talk was given by Jeremy Allison on the recent symlink CVE. Jeremy explained how it was discovered and the measures that were taken to fix it.

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