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Windows Security Cannot be Blamed on "XP"

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Microsoft
Security

More in Tux Machines

Malicious Proprietary Software

  • Discord Is Not An Acceptable Choice For Free Software Projects

    Discord’s communication is not end to end (e2e) encrypted. It is encrypted only between the individual user and the servers operated by Discord Inc. Their spying extends to every single message sent and received by anyone, including direct messages betweeen users. The service can and does log every message sent, both in-channel and DMs. It is impossible to have a private conversation on Discord, as there will always be an unencrypted log of it stored by Discord. Discord can, at their option, provide those stored messages to any third party they wish, including cops or government snoops, for any reason, even without a legal order, without any obligation to tell you that they have done so.

  • [Attackers] Were Inside Citrix for Five Months

    Networking software giant Citrix Systems says malicious [attackers] were inside its networks for five months between 2018 and 2019, making off with personal and financial data on company employees, contractors, interns, job candidates and their dependents. The disclosure comes almost a year after Citrix acknowledged that digital intruders had broken in by probing its employee accounts for weak passwords.

  • [Vulnerable] firmware lurks inside Dell, HP and Lenovo computers amid supply chain security efforts

    “Firmware is meant to be invisible to the user, and so it’s not surprising that most people don’t pay attention to it,” said Eclypsium CEO Yuriy Bulgin. “However, these components make up the foundation upon which every device, operating system, and application depends.”

    Researchers used unsigned firmware to show how an attacker could compromise an operating system remotely in order to steal network data. The highlighted flaws could also enable “direct-memory access” attacks which exploit a computer’s core operating system.

  • Aera Launches Cognitive ‘Business Brain’ Operating System [Ed: This is NOT an 'operating system". Terms misused these days.]

    Infor labels one of its core brands Infor OS and quite unashamedly uses the term operating system to explain the function of its industry-specific Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) cloud software. Mountain View headquartered Aera Technology has used a similar naming convention within its branding and called its automation-centric cloud platform the Aera Cognitive Operating System.

  • Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux Now In Public Preview

    Microsoft Defender ATP for Linux is now available in a public preview that allows administrators and security professionals to test the product in six different Linux distributions.

  • Keen to check for 'abnormal' user behaviours? Microsoft talks insider risk, AWS imports and compliance at infosec shindig RSA [Ed: “Microsoft talks insider risk”; but Microsoft is the risk]

    As well as widening the preview of Microsoft Threat Protection, a system aimed at a more automated response to threats, the gang has also extended the cross-platform support for Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) to include a whole bunch of Linux distributions.

  • Microsoft plans to add Linux support for Chromium-based Edge

    Microsoft fought long and hard to maintain and push its own proprietary browser, even launching Edge, hoping to get away from the stigma against Internet Explorer. However, the dominating market share of Chromium-based browsers finally got to Microsoft, and the company announced it would rebuild Edge with the Chromium source code. Last month, we reported that Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge was out of development and ready for public deployment.

LWN on Kernel (Paywall Lapsed): Linux 5.6, better tools for kernel developers, and kernel operations structures in BPF

  • The rest of the 5.6 merge window

    Linus Torvalds released the 5.6-rc1 prepatch and closed the merge window on February 9; at that point, 10,780 non-merge changesets had been pulled into the mainline repository for 5.6. That is substantially less than recent development cycles (14,350 for 5.5, 14,619 for 5.4), but is similar to what was going on at this time last year (10,843 for 5.0-rc1 in January 2019). About 6,000 of those changes were pulled since the first 5.6 merge-window article was written; read on for what was included in those changes.

  • Better tools for kernel developers

    By many accounts, the kernel project uses outdated tooling, far behind the state of the art that Kids Today tend to favor. The kernel's workflow has worked well (enough) for years, but there are signs that it may not be sustainable indefinitely. As a result, there has been an ongoing conversation about improving the kernel's workflow, but little has changed so far. The posting of a simple tool called get-lore-mbox is a sign that the rate of change may be about to increase. The kernel project's reliance on email strikes many as quaint and antiquated. It may indeed partly be a natural outcome of the aging nature of the kernel community; many of the developers there, especially in the important maintainer positions, got started well before tools like web-based Git forges existed. Indeed, some of them got started using punch cards and may still be unconvinced of the virtues of, say, text editors. But the truth of the matter is that there are a number of good reasons for the kernel community's continued reliance on email; there is little else that can handle a community of that size and diversity. So, while it seems that the future of email (as opposed to, say, proprietary services like Gmail) is uncertain at best, the path toward a replacement in the kernel community is unclear. Developers will have to be convinced that any new tools will make their lives better, not worse; busy maintainers have little patience for "improvements" that slow things down.

  • Kernel operations structures in BPF

    One of the more eyebrow-raising features to go into the 5.6 kernel is the ability to load TCP congestion-control algorithms as BPF programs; networking developer Toke Høiland-Jørgensen described it as a continuation of the kernel's "march towards becoming BPF runtime-powered microkernel". On its face, congestion control is a significant new functionality to hand over to BPF, taking it far beyond its existing capabilities. When one looks closer, though, one's eyebrow altitude may well increase further; the implementation of this feature breaks new ground in a couple of areas. The use case for this feature seems clear enough. There are a number of such algorithms in use, each of which is suited for a different networking environment. There may be good reasons to distribute an updated or improved version of an algorithm and for recipients to be able to make use of it without building a new kernel or even rebooting. Networking developers can certainly benefit from being able to play with congestion-control code on the fly. One could argue that congestion control is not conceptually different from other tasks, such as flow dissection or IR protocol decoding, that can be done with BPF now — but congestion control does involve a rather higher level of complexity. A look at the patch set posted by Martin KaFai Lau reveals that what has been merged for 5.6 is not just a mechanism for hooking in TCP congestion-control algorithms; it is far more general than that. To be specific, this new infrastructure can be used to allow a BPF program to replace any "operations structure" — a structure full of function pointers — in the kernel. It is, at this point, only capable of replacing the tcp_congestion_ops structure used for congestion control; experience suggests, though, that other uses will show up sooner rather than later.

Hardware: AMD "Rome", AMD Defects and Microsoft Defects

  • Google Cloud Rolls Out "N2D" VMs Built Atop AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" CPUs

    We are seeing more cloud providers now offering AMD EPYC 7002 "Rome" series processors with the latest being Google now offering the new N2D VM family in beta for their public cloud.

  • AMD Announces EPYC 7532 + EPYC 7662 As Newest Rome Processors
  • Linux Will Finally Stop Flickering With AMD Stoney Ridge On 4K Displays

    For those still running the AMD "Stoney Ridge" mobile APUs from 2016 that were launched aside Bristol Ridge with Excavator-based CPU cores and GCN 1.2 graphics, the Linux kernel has a fix finally for flickering issues when driving a 4K display off the APU.

  • Microsoft crack habit reports: User claims Surface Laptop 3 screen fractured again after repair

    Screens on Microsoft's Surface Laptop 3 have appeared to develop a crack habit, with one of the latest complaints claiming this happened even after repair. Reports on Twitter noted whinges sprouting on Reddit and Microsoft's own support forums last week about the new hardware appearing to suffer from spontaneously cracked screens. Users have described hairline cracks on the touchscreens of the Surface Laptop 3, and have insisted that the things weren't dropped, bashed or otherwise interfered with, other than the usual stroking of the glass. A Microsoft agent in the company's forums told a customer, who had spanked the best part of a years' savings on a 13.5-inch matte black model only to find the fracture shortly after setting the thing up, that: "Physical damage do[es] not happen if there is no external force."

Software: Rav1e, Cockpit, SSH Tools and Curl

  • Rav1e 0.3.1 Is 25~40% Faster At Low Speed Levels For Rust-Based AV1 Encoding

    It was not even two full weeks ago that Rav1e 0.3 was released with speed optimizations and other AV1 encoding enhancements while released on Tuesday was Rav1e 0.3.1 with a change to boost encode speeds at lower levels. The principal change with Rav1e 0.3.1 for this Rust-written AV1 video encoder is 25~40% better performance at lower speed levels (two through five). This big speed-up is by disabling fine directional prediction and intra-block transform splitting within inter-frames. The consequence of disabling these features for the double digit percentage speed improvements is approximately 1~2% lower video quality at these levels, which the developers deemed to be an acceptable trade for the faster encode times.

  • Cockpit Project: Cockpit 213

    Cockpit is the modern Linux admin interface. We release regularly. Here are the release notes from version 213.

  • Tools for SSH key management

    I use SSH constantly. Every day I find myself logged in to multiple servers and Pis (both in the same room as me and over the internet). I have many devices I need access to, and different requirements for gaining access, so in addition to using various SSH/SCP command options, I have to maintain a config file with all the connection details.

  • Daniel Stenberg: The command line options we deserve

    A short while ago curl‘s 230th command line option was added (it was --mail-rcpt-allowfails). Two hundred and thirty command line options! A look at curl history shows that on average we’ve added more than ten new command line options per year for very long time. As we don’t see any particular slowdown, I think we can expect the number of options to eventually hit and surpass 300. Is this manageable? Can we do something about it? Let’s take a look.