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Security: Updates, Equifax, Black Duck FUD, Emacs 25.3, and Measuring Security

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Security
  • Security updates for Monday
  • Researchers use Windows 10 Linux subsystem to run malware

    The provision of a Linux subsystem on Windows systems — a new Windows 10 feature known as Subsystem for Linux (WSL) — has made it possible to run known malware on such systems and bypass even the most common security solutions, security researchers at Check Point claim.

    In a detailed blog post, researchers Gal Elbaz and Dvir Atias said they had dubbed this technique of getting malware onto a Windows system as Bashware, with Bash being the default shell on a large number of Linux distributions.

  • Episode 62 - All about the Equifax hack
  • Equifax moves to fix weak PINs for “security freeze” on consumer credit reports

    As Equifax moved to provide consumers the ability to protect their credit reports on the heels of a major data breach, some of the details of the company's response were found lacking. As consumers registered and moved to lock their credit reports—in order to prevent anyone who had stolen data from opening credit in their name—they found that the security personal identification number (PIN) provided in the locking process was potentially insecure.

    [...]

    The PIN revelation came on the heels of concerns that Equifax was attempting to block the ability of those checking to see if their data was exposed or enrolling in the TrustedID Premiere service to sue Equifax over the breach. An Equifax spokesperson said that the arbitration clause in the Terms of Service for TrustedID Premier only applied to the service itself, not to the breach.

  • Unpatched Open Source Software Flaw Blamed for Massive Equifax Breach [Ed: But this claim has since then been retracted, so it might be fake news]
  • Equifax Breach Blamed on Open-Source Software Flaw [Ed: This report from a News Corp. tabloid has since been retracted, so why carry on linking to it?]
  • The hidden threat lurking in an otherwise secure software stack [Ed: Yet another attack on FOSS security, courtesy of the Microsoft-connected Black Duck]
  • [ANNOUNCE] Emacs 25.3 released
  • Emacs 25.3 Released To Fix A Security Vulnerability Of Malicious Lisp Scripts

    GNU --
    Emacs 25.3 is now available, but it doesn't offer major new features, rather it fixes a security vulnerability.

    Emacs' x-display decoding feature within the Enriched Text mode could lead to executing arbitrary malicious Lisp code within the text.

  • Measuring security: Part 1 - Things that make money

    If you read my previous post on measuring security, you know I broke measuring into three categories. I have no good reason to do this other than it's something that made sense to me. There are without question better ways to split these apart, I'm sure there is even overlap, but that's not important. What actually matters is to start a discussion on measuring what we do. The first topic is about measuring security that directly adds to revenue such as a product or service.

    [...]

    I see a lot of groups that don't do any of this. They wander in circles sometimes adding security features that don't matter, often engineering solutions that customers only need or want 10% of. I'll never forget when I first looked at actual metrics on new features and realized something we wanted to add was going to have a massive cost and generate zero additional revenue (it may have actually detracted in future product sales). On this day I saw the power in metrics. Overnight my group became heroes for saving everyone a lot of work and headaches. Sometimes doing nothing is the most valuable action you can take.

More in Tux Machines

Security: VPNFilter, Encryption in GNU/Linux, Intel CPU Bug Affecting rr Watchpoints

  • [Crackers] infect 500,000 consumer routers all over the world with malware

    VPNFilter—as the modular, multi-stage malware has been dubbed—works on consumer-grade routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, TP-Link, and on network-attached storage devices from QNAP, Cisco researchers said in an advisory. It’s one of the few pieces of Internet-of-things malware that can survive a reboot. Infections in at least 54 countries have been slowly building since at least 2016, and Cisco researchers have been monitoring them for several months. The attacks drastically ramped up during the past three weeks, including two major assaults on devices located in Ukraine. The spike, combined with the advanced capabilities of the malware, prompted Cisco to release Wednesday’s report before the research is completed.

  • Do Not Use sha256crypt / sha512crypt - They're Dangerous

    I'd like to demonstrate why I think using sha256crypt or sha512crypt on current GNU/Linux operating systems is dangerous, and why I think the developers of GLIBC should move to scrypt or Argon2, or at least bcrypt or PBKDF2.

  • Intel CPU Bug Affecting rr Watchpoints
    I investigated an rr bug report and discovered an annoying Intel CPU bug that affects rr replay using data watchpoints. It doesn't seem to be hit very often in practice, which is good because I don't know any way to work around it. It turns out that the bug is probably covered by an existing Intel erratum for Skylake and Kaby Lake (and probably later generations, but I'm not sure), which I even blogged about previously! However, the erratum does not mention watchpoints and the bug I've found definitely depends on data watchpoints being set. I was able to write a stand-alone testcase to characterize the bug. The issue seems to be that if a rep stos (and probably rep movs) instruction writes between 1 and 64 bytes (inclusive), and you have a read or write watchpoint in the range [64, 128) bytes from the start of the writes (i.e., not triggered by the instruction), then one spurious retired conditional branch is (usually) counted. The alignment of the writes does not matter, and it's not related to speculative execution.

In Memoriam: Robin "Roblimo" Miller, a Videographer and Free Software Champion

Videographer Robin Roblimo Miller

Robin "Roblimo" Miller was a clever, friendly, and very amicable individual who everyone I know has plenty of positive things to say about. I had the pleasure of speaking to him for several hours about anything from personal life and professional views. Miller was a very knowledgeable person whose trade as a journalist and video producer I often envied. I have seen him facing his critics in his capacity as a journalist over a decade ago when he arranged a debate about OOXML (on live radio). Miller, to me, will always be remembered as a strong-minded and investigative journalist who "did the right thing" as the cliché goes, irrespective of financial gain -- something which can sometimes be detrimental to one's longterm health. Miller sacrificed many of his later years to a cause worth fighting for. This is what we ought to remember him for. Miller was - and always will be - a FOSS hero.

May everything you fought for be fulfilled, Mr. Miller. I already miss you.

Today in Techrights

Tux Machines Privacy Statement

Summary: Today, May 25th, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into full effect; we hereby make a statement on privacy AS a matter of strict principle, this site never has and never will accumulate data on visitors (e.g. access logs) for longer than 28 days. The servers are configured to permanently delete all access data after this period of time. No 'offline' copies are being made. Temporary logging is only required in case of DDOS attacks and cracking attempts -- the sole purpose of such access. Additionally, we never have and never will sell any data pertaining to anything. We never received demands for such data from authorities; even if we had, we would openly declare this (publicly, a la Canary) and decline to comply. Privacy is extremely important to us, which is why pages contain little or no cross-site channels (such as Google Analytics, 'interactive' buttons for 'social' media etc.) and won't be adding any. Google may be able to 'see' what pages people visit because of Google Translate (top left of every page), but that is not much worse than one's ISP 'seeing' the same thing. We are aware of this caveat. Shall readers have any further questions on such matters, do not hesitate to contact us.