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Security: Browsealoud, Updates, Apple, and Linux Patches

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Security
  • U.S., UK government websites infected with crypto-mining malware: report

    Thousands of websites, including ones run by U.S. and UK government agencies, were infected for several hours on Sunday with code that causes web browsers to secretly mine digital currencies, technology news site The Register reported.

    More than 4,200 sites were infected with a malicious version of a widely used tool known as Browsealoud from British software maker Texthelp, which reads out webpages for people with vision problems, according to The Register.

  • Security updates for Monday
  • Apple's top-secret iBoot firmware source code spills onto GitHub for some insane reason

    The confidential source code to Apple's iBoot firmware in iPhones, iPads and other iOS devices has leaked into a public GitHub repo.

  • Linux Meltdown patch: 'Up to 800 percent CPU overhead', Netflix tests show

    The Linux mitigation for Meltdown known as kernel page table isolation (KPTI) can cause a massive drain on CPU performance, according to an analysis by Brendan Gregg, a senior performance architect at Netflix.

    While Intel's Spectre mitigations have attracted the most attention for causing performance and stability problems, Gregg finds that KPTI causes the "largest kernel performance regressions I've ever seen".

  • KPTI/KAISER Meltdown Initial Performance Regressions

    The recently revealed Meltdown and Spectre bugs are not just extraordinary issues of security, but also performance. The patches that workaround Meltdown introduce the largest kernel performance regressions I've ever seen. Many thanks to the engineers working hard to develop workarounds to these processor bugs.

More in Tux Machines

FreeBSD 12.0-RC1 Released, Fixes Ryzen 2 Temperature Reporting

Arguably most user-facing with this week's FreeBSD 12.0-RC1 release is updating the amdsmn/amdtemp drivers for attaching to Ryzen 2 host bridges. Additionally, the amdtemp driver has been fixed for correctly reporting the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX core temperature. The 2990WX temperature reporting is the same fix Linux initially needed to for a 27 degree offset to report the correct temperature. It's just taken FreeBSD longer to add Ryzen 2 / Threadripper 2 temperature bits even though they had beat the Linux kernel crew with the initial Zen CPU temperature reporting last year. Read more Also: MeetBSD 2018: Michael W Lucas Why BSD?

GPU/Graphics: DRM/KMS and CUDA

  • Google's Pixel 3 Is Using The MSM DRM Driver, More Android Phones Moving To DRM/KMS Code
    It turns out Google's recently announced Pixel 3 smartphone is making use of the MSM Direct Rendering Manager driver associated with the Freedreno open-source Qualcomm graphics project. Google is also getting more Android vendors moving over to using DRM/KMS drivers to power their graphics/display. Alistair Strachan of Google presented at this week's Linux Plumbers Conference and the growing adoption of Direct Rendering Manager / Kernel Mode-Setting drivers by Android devices.
  • Red Hat Developers Working Towards A Vendor-Neutral Compute Stack To Take On NVIDIA's CUDA
    At this week's Linux Plumbers Conference, David Airlie began talking about the possibility of a vendor-neutral compute stack across Intel, Radeon, and NVIDIA GPU platforms that could potentially take on NVIDIA's CUDA dominance. There has been the work on open-source NVIDIA (Nouveau) SPIR-V compute support all year and that's ongoing with not yet having reached mainline Mesa. That effort has been largely worked on by Karol Herbst and Rob Clark, both open-source GPU driver developers at Red Hat. There has also been other compute-motivated open-source driver/infrastructure work out of Red Hat like Jerome Glisse's ongoing kernel work around Heterogeneous Memory Management (HMM). There's also been the Radeon RADV driver that Red Hat's David Airlie co-founded and continues contributing significantly to its advancement. And then there has been other graphics/compute contributions too with Red Hat remaining one of the largest upstream contributors to the ecosystem.

Endless OS Switching To The BFQ I/O Scheduler For More Responsive Linux Desktop

While Con Kolivas' kernel patch series decided to do away with BFQ support, the GNOME-aligned Endless OS Linux distribution has decided to do the opposite in move from CFQ as the default I/O scheduler over to BFQ. Endless OS has decided to switch to the BFQ (Budget Fair Queuing) I/O scheduler since it prioritizes interactive workloads and should make for a better experience for its users particularly when applications may be upgrading in the background. During heavy background I/O, Endless found that their launch time of LibreOffice went from taking 16 seconds with CFQ to just three seconds when using BFQ. Other tests were also positive for improving the interactivity/responsiveness of the system particularly during heavy background I/O. Read more

Goa to train teachers in new open-source software apps for cyber security

After working with Google India for wider adoption of internet safety in schools two years ago, Goa education agencies will implement another project to train computer, information and communication technology school and higher secondary teachers in new open-source software applications for cyber security integration. The State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education and Goa State Council Educational Research and Training (GSCERT) have decided to begin the second programme with over 650 computer teachers from December 4 to 18, Mr. Ajay Jadhav, Board of Study member and coordinator of the first project with Google, said on Friday. The cyber security training syllabus has been worked out and 18 resource persons are ready for the project. Read more