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Security: Updates, AMD, Intel, IBM/Power, Blender 3D, CES and More

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Security
  • Security updates for Friday
  • AMD processors: Not as safe as you might have thought

    In a posting. Mark Papermaster, AMD's CTO, admitted Google Project Zero (GPZ) Variant 1 (Bounds Check Bypass or Spectre) is applicable to AMD processors. But, Papermaster wrote, "We believe this threat can be contained with an operating system (OS) patch and we have been working with OS providers to address this issue."

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  • AMD CPUs Are Potentially Vulnerable To Spectre / Variant 2

    Last week in light of the Spectre disclosure. AMD believed they were at "near zero risk" to Variant Two / Branch Target Injection. But now the company confirmed last night that's not the case: they are at least potentially vulnerable.

  • AMD Confirms Its Chips Are Affected By Spectre Flaw, Starts Pushing Security Patches
  • Intel Releases Linux CPU Microcodes To fix Meltdown & Spectre Bugs

    On January 8th Intel released new Linux Processor microcode data files that can be used to mitigate the Spectre and and Meltdown vulnerabilities in Intel CPUs. Using microcode files, an operating system can fix known bugs in Intel CPU without having to perform a BIOS update on the computer.

  • Power Systems And The Spectre And Meltdown Threats

    Speculative execution is something that has been part of modern processors for well over a decade, and while it is hard to quantify how much of a performance benefit this collection of techniques have delivered, it is obviously significant enough that all CPUs, including IBM Power and System z chips, have them. And that, as the new Spectre and Meltdown security holes that were announced by Google on January 3 show, turns out to be a big problem.

    Without getting too deep into the technical details, there are many different ways to implement speculative execution, which is used to keep the many instruction pipelines and layers of cache in a processor busy doing what is hoped will be useful work. So much of what a computer does is an IF-THEN-ELSE kind of branch, and being able to pre-calculate the answers to multiple possible branches in an instruction stream is more efficient than following each path independently and calculating the answers in series. The speculative part of the execution involves using statistics to analyze patterns in data and instructions underneath an application and guessing which branches and data will be needed. If you guess right a lot of the time, then the CPU does a lot more work than it might otherwise. There are no modern processors (except for the PowerPC A2 chips used in the BlueGene/Q supercomputers from IBM) that we can find that don’t have speculative execution in some form or another, and there is no easy way to quantify how much of a performance boost it gives.

  • Blender 3D open source platform plagued with arbitrary code vulnerabilities

    Cisco Talos researchers identified multiple unpatched vulnerabilities in the Blender Open Source 3D creation suite that could allow an attacker to run arbitrary code.

  • Technologies That Secure the Home, WiFi and More Debut at CES 2018
  • What is the Future of Wi-Fi?
  • Spectre and Meltdown Attacks Against Microprocessors

    This is bad, but expect it more and more. Several trends are converging in a way that makes our current system of patching security vulnerabilities harder to implement.

  • Four Tips for a More Secure Website

    Security is a hot topic in web development with great reason. Every few months a major website is cracked and millions of user records are leaked. Many times the cause of a breach is from a simple vulnerability that has been overlooked. Here are a few tips to give you a quick overview of standard techniques for making your websites more secure. Note: I do not guarantee a secure website if you follow these suggestions, there are many facets to security that I don’t even touch in this article. This write-up is for increasing awareness about techniques used to correct some common vulnerabilities that appear in web applications.

  • What is DevSecOps? Developing more secure applications

    The simple premise of DevSecOps is that everyone in the software development life cycle is responsible for security, in essence bringing operations and development together with security functions. DevSecOps aims to embed security in every part of the development process. It is about trying to automate core security tasks by embedding security controls and processes early in the DevOps workflow (rather than being bolted on at the end). For example, this could be the case when migrating to microservices, building out a CI/CD pipeline, compliance automation or simply testing cloud infrastructure.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

today's leftovers

Games: Atari VCS Console, Humble Store and TUNG (The Ultimate Nerd Game)

  • Atari VCS Console Runs a Custom Linux Distro Called “AtariOS”
    Following criticism of its mediocre internal makeup the Ataris VCS console will now ship with 8GB RAM by default, up from the 4GB proposed during the funding push. It’s a decent increase in memory that should help the system cope better with more intensive indie games (don’t expect AAA titles to play nicely on the machine with the middling AMD Bristol Ridge APU).
  • Humble Store is doing a 'Pixel Perfect Platformers Sale' and it has some top Linux games for cheap
    For those of you who love your platformers, regardless of them being 2D, 3D, puzzle or action adventures there's bound to be something for the bored Linux gamer in the Humble Store Pixel Perfect Platformers Sale.
  • TUNG (The Ultimate Nerd Game) made me realise how stupid I really am
    The Ultimate Nerd Game or TUNG for short, is a first-person sandbox game about building intricate machines and it made me feel so very dumb. If you loved Minecraft's Redstone circuits or anything remotely similar, this is probably a free game you're going to love. For me, it was an exercise in frying my brain like it's in a microwave.

OSS Leftovers

  • Pharmaceutical industry gets first open source platform for Level 4 serialization
    Pharmaceutical companies today for the first time have an open source alternative for level 4 serialization with the launch of QU4RTET, a platform that provides them with new flexibility, transparency and affordability as they comply with global drug anti-counterfeiting laws.
  • Kontron Uses Open Source to Move Beyond Bare Metal
    Kontron, a company known for its embedded computing technology, is leveraging virtualization and open source to become a direct supplier to large service providers, promising to integrate hardware and operating system software with best-of-breed virtual network functions. That new sales strategy has evolved to support containers, particularly as they fit at the edge of the network, which for Kontron AG is the cell tower. In May, Kontron announced that its integrated SYMKLOUD open source platform now supports the latest versions of OpenStack for virtual machines and bare metal, as well as Kubernetes v1.10 for Docker and containers, via its distribution partnership with Canonical.
  • Open Source Expands In Finance With The FINOS Platform
  • Global Open Source Services Market Forecast to 2025 Published by Marketresearchnest
  • Synopsys ARC HS4x Processors Now Supported By GCC
    The GCC 8 compiler brought the Synopsys ARC CPU target while for the GCC 9 release is going to be support for the company's HS4x processors. Merged today to mainline GCC is support for the HS4x CPUs within the ARC target. Adding this newer generation of ARC processors to the GNU Compiler Collection code-base was just a few hundred lines of code with building off the existing target code.
  • GPL Cooperation Commitment gets more support for open source licensing
    Red Hat has announced its open source license enforcement initiative is making new strides. As part of the GPL Cooperation Commitment, 14 new companies have joined the effort to promote greater predictability for GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x licenses. “Through this initiative, we hope ultimately to increase participation in the use and development of open source software by helping to ensure that enforcement, when it takes place, is fair and predictable,” according to the commitment’s website.
  • The Global IP Exchange: Human ingenuity and open source technology
    He said: “Customers do increasingly care about open source, and if you don’t comply you are at risk of upsetting authors, as well as litigation and injunctions.” “If you’re just distributing internally, then you’re fine, but as soon as it leaves your company, then you’ve triggered an obligation.” For those who don’t comply, he warned that either the licensor, or the Free Software Foundation will find out.
  • How to Setup Python Virtual Environment on Ubuntu 18.04
    Python is a versatile programming language that can be used for many different programming projects(Web - Mobile - Desktop). Easy to set up, and written in a relatively straightforward style with immediate feedback on errors, Python is a great choice for beginners and experienced developers alike. Python 3 is the most current version of the language and is considered to be the future of Python. This article will guide you through installing Python 3 on your local Linux machine and setting up a programming virtual environment via the command line. This article will explicitly cover the installation procedures for Ubuntu 18.04, but the general principles apply to any other distribution of Debian Linux.
  • How expensive is globbing for sources in large projects
    Since we have the measurement script, let's use it for something more interesting. Modules are an upcoming C++ feature to increase build times and a ton of other coolness depending on who you ask. The current specification works by having a kind of "module export declaration" at the beginning of source files. The idea is that you first compile those to generate a sort of a module declaration file and then you can start the actual compilation that uses said files. If you thought "waitaminute, that sounds exactly like how FORTRAN is compiled", you are correct. Because of this it has the same problem that you can't compile source files in an arbitrary order, but instead you must first somehow scan them to find out the interdependencies between source (not header) files. In practice what this means is that instead of single-phase compilation all files must be processed twice. All scan operations must be done before any compilation jobs can start because otherwise you might start to compile a file before its dependencies are fully processed. The scanning can be done in one of two ways. Either the build system scans the sources meaning it needs to understand the syntax of source files or the compiler can be invoked in a special preprocessing mode. Note that build systems such as Ninja do not do any such operations by themselves but instead always invoke external processes to do their work.
  • Security updates for Monday