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Security: Updates, Microsoft, Google, and Telegram

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Security
  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Winter Olympics was hit by cyber-attack, officials confirm [Ed: This is a Microsoft Windows issue, but Bill Fates is paying The Guardian, so...]
  • Google Patches Chromebooks Against Meltdown/Spectre, Adds New Chrome OS Features

    Earlier this month, Google updated its Chrome OS computer operating system to stable version 64.0.3282.134 and platform version 10176.65.0, an update that's now available for most Chromebook devices.

    Besides the usual security improvements and bug fixes, the latest Chrome OS 64 release includes several new features that are worth mentioning, such as the ability to take screenshots by simultaneously pressing the Power and Volume Down buttons on your Chromebook with a 360-degree hinge.

  • Skype can't fix a nasty security bug without a massive code rewrite
  • Perfect Computer Security Is a Myth. But It’s Still Important [Ed: The "everything is broken" defeatism overlooks the coordinated vandalism done to put back doors in most things]

    Maybe you’ve heard it before: “Security is a myth.” It’s become a common refrain after a never-ending string of high-profile security breaches. If Fortune 500 companies with million dollar security budgets can’t lock things down, how can you?

    And there’s truth to this: perfect security is a myth. No matter what you do, no matter how careful you are, you will never be 100 percent safe from hackers, malware, and cybercrime. That’s the reality we all live in, and it’s important to keep this in mind, if only so that we can all feel more sympathy for victims.

  • Microsoft Fixes 50 Vulnerabilities In February’s Patch Tuesday Update

    Microsoft has released February’s cumulative updates for Windows 10, better known as Patch Tuesday. The reason why the update is worth getting is it comes with fixes for 50 vulnerabilities in various versions of Windows 10.

    As per the release notes, the software addressed as a part of the Patch Tuesday update are Windows OS, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps, and the JavaScript engine ChakraCore. In addition to security fixes, Microsoft has also made improvements to address minor glitches in Windows 10.

  • Telegram Zero-Day Vulnerability Lets Hackers Pwn Your PC to Mine Cryptocurrency

    A zero-day vulnerability was discovered by Kaspersky Lab in the Telegram Desktop app that could let hackers pwn your computer to mine for cryptocurrencies like Zcash, Monero, Fantomcoin, and others.

    Kaspersky Lab's security researchers say the zero-day vulnerability can be used to deliver multi-purpose malware to computer users using the Telegram Desktop app, including backdoors and crypto-cash mining software.

    The security company also discovered that hackers had actively exploited the vulnerability in the Telegram Desktop app, which is based on the right-to-left override Unicode method, since March last year, but only to mine cryptocurrencies like Fantomcoin, Monero, and Zcash.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu, Debian, RHEL, and CentOS Linux Now Patched Against "Foreshadow" Attacks

Both Canonical and Red Hat emailed us with regards to the L1 Terminal Fault security vulnerability, which are documented as CVE-2018-3620 for operating systems and System Management Mode (SMM), CVE-2018-3646 for impacts to virtualization, as well as CVE-2018-3615 for Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX). They affect all Linux-based operating system and machines with Intel CPUs. "It was discovered that memory present in the L1 data cache of an Intel CPU core may be exposed to a malicious process that is executing on the CPU core. This vulnerability is also known as L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF). A local attacker in a guest virtual machine could use this to expose sensitive information (memory from other guests or the host OS)," reads the Ubuntu security advisory. Read more

Hands-on with Linux Mint Debian Edition 3 Beta

I have been out of touch for the past six months, because I accepted a teaching position in Amsterdam. The amount of time that required, and the weekly commute from Switzerland (yes, really, weekly), was vastly more than I expected, and left me no time to do justice to my blog. But now I am back again, and determined to manage my time more effectively and keep up with blogging. Although I haven't been writing, I certainly have been keeping up with news and developments in the Linux world. What really inspired me to get busy and write again was the announcement of LMDE 3 (Cindy) Beta. Hooray! How long have we been waiting for this? It feels like years. Oh, that's because it has been years. Read more

Security Leftovers

  • Theo on the latest Intel issues

    Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) posted to the tech@ mailing list with some background on how the latest discovered Intel CPU issues relate to OpenBSD.

    [...]

    These 3 issues (CVE-2018-3615, CVE-2018-3620, CVE-2018-3646) together are the currently public artifacts of this one bug.

  • Putting Stickers On Your Laptop Is Probably a Bad Security Idea

    Mitchell said political stickers, for instance, can land you in secondary search or result in being detained while crossing a border. In one case, Mitchell said a hacker friend ended up missing a flight over stickers.

  • Video Shows Hotel Security at DEF CON Joking About Posting Photos of Guests' Belongings to Snapchat

    But the room check captured on video suggests the walkthroughs are subject to abuse by hotel personnel who may use them as opportunity to snoop on guests or take and post images for amusement. And accounts of other searches that involved hotel security staff refusing to show ID or showing insufficient ID, and displaying bullying and threatening behavior to guests in occupied rooms, raises questions about the legality of the searches and the tactics and training of security personnel.

  • Researchers in Finland detect vulnerability in password management software
    Researchers identified a security gap in more than 10 applications used by millions around the world, including an app used by Finland's population registry.
  • Trump ends Obama-era rules on US-led cyberattacks: report
     

    The memorandum required that an extensive interagency process take place before the U.S. government embarks on any cyberattacks. Trump reversed the rules to try and ease some of those restrictions, which critics argued were detrimental to launching the attacks quickly, according to the Journal.

Android Leftovers