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Security: Patches, Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), Crypto AG, More Issues

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Security
  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (systemd and thunderbird), Debian (clamav, libgd2, php7.3, spamassassin, and webkit2gtk), Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, and sway), Mageia (firefox, kernel-linus, mutt, python-pillow, sphinx, thunderbird, and webkit2), openSUSE (firefox, nextcloud, and thunderbird), Oracle (firefox and ksh), Red Hat (curl, java-1.7.0-openjdk, kernel, and ruby), Scientific Linux (firefox and ksh), SUSE (sudo and xen), and Ubuntu (clamav, php5, php7.0, php7.2, php7.3, postgresql-10, postgresql-11, and webkit2gtk).

  • The Linux Foundation and Harvard’s Lab for Innovation Science Release Census for Open Source Software Security

    The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a project that helps support best practices and the security of critical open source software projects, and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), today announced the release of ‘Vulnerabilities in the Core,’ a Preliminary Report and Census II of Open Source Software.`

    This Census II analysis and report represent important steps towards understanding and addressing structural and security complexities in the modern day supply chain where open source is pervasive, but not always understood. Census II identifies the most commonly used free and open source software (FOSS) components in production applications and begins to examine them for potential vulnerabilities, which can inform actions to sustain the long-term security and health of FOSS. Census I (2015) identified which software packages in the Debian Linux distribution were the most critical to the kernel’s operation and security.

    “The Census II report addresses some of the most important questions facing us as we try to understand the complexity and interdependence among open source software packages and components in the global supply chain,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation. “The report begins to give us an inventory of the most important shared software and potential vulnerabilities and is the first step to understand more about these projects so that we can create tools and standards that results in trust and transparency in software.”

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  • [Attackers] are demanding nude photos to unlock files in a new ransomware scheme targeting women

                         

                           

    The malware doesn’t appear to be the first to demand explicit images: In 2017, security firm Kaspersky reported another type of ransomware that demanded nude photos in exchange for unlocking access to infected computers. In other cases, scammers on dating apps have requested nude photos from would-be suitors, then held them for ransom by threatening to leak the photos.

  • Alarming ‘Hidden’ Cyber Attack Leaves Millions Of Windows And Linux Systems Vulnerable [Ed: Misleading headline from decades-long Microsoft booster. This isn't an OS level issue.]

    Vulnerabilities that can be hidden away out of sight are amongst the most-coveted by cyber-criminals and spooks alike. That's why zero-day vulnerabilities are deemed so valuable, and cause so much high-level concern when they are exposed. It's also why the CIA secretly purchased an encryption equipment provider to be able to hide backdoors in the products and spy upon more than 100 governments.

    While we are almost accustomed to reading government warnings about vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system, Linux cybersecurity threat warnings are less common. Which is partly why this report on the hidden exploit threat within both Linux and Windows systems caught my eye. The Eclypsium researchers concentrated on unsigned firmware as this is a known attack vector, which can have devastating implications, yet one in which vendors have appeared to be slow taking seriously enough. The unsigned firmware in question was found in peripherals used in computers from Dell, Lenovo and HP as well as other major manufacturers. They also demonstrated a successful attack using a network interface card with, you guessed it, unsigned firmware that is used by the big three server manufacturers. "Despite previous in-the-wild attacks," the report said, "peripheral manufacturers have been slow to adopt the practice of signing firmware, leaving millions of Windows and Linux systems at risk of firmware attacks that can exfiltrate data, disrupt operations and deliver ransomware."

    The truth is that, as far as cybersecurity is concerned, much of the defensive effort is focused on the operating system and applications. Hardly surprising, given these are the most visible attack surfaces. By not adding firmware into the threat prevention model, however, organizations are leaving a gaping hole just waiting to be filled by threat actors. "This could lead to implanted backdoors, network traffic sniffing, data exfiltration, and more," says Katie Teitler, a senior analyst at TAG Cyber. "Unfortunately, though, firmware vulnerabilities can be harder to detect and more difficult to patch," she says, "best practice is to deploy automated scanning for vulnerabilities and misconfigurations at the component level, and continuously monitor for new issues or exploits."

  • The Week in Internet News: CIA Had Encryption Backdoor for Decades

    The U.S. CIA secretly had an ownership stake in Swiss encryption company Crypto AG for decades and was able to read encrypted messages sent using the company’s technology, the Washington Post reports. West German intelligence agencies worked with the CIA. Forbes columnist Jody Westby called for a congressional investigation.

  • Insights from Avast/Jumpshot data: Pitfalls of data anonymization

    There has been a surprising development after my previous article on the topic, Avast having announced that they will terminate Jumpshot and stop selling users’ data. That’s not the end of the story however, with the Czech Office for Personal Data Protection starting an investigation into Avast’s practices. I’m very curious to see whether this investigation will confirm Avast’s claims that they were always fully compliant with the GDPR requirements. For my part, I now got a glimpse of what the Jumpshot data actually looks like. And I learned that I massively overestimated Avast’s success when anonymizing this data.

    [...]

    The data I saw was an example that Jumpshot provided to potential customers: an excerpt of real data for one week of 2019. Each record included an exact timestamp (milliseconds precision), a persistent user identifier, the platform used (desktop or mobile, which browser), the approximate geographic location (country, city and ZIP code derived from the user’s IP address), a guess for user’s gender and age group.

    What it didn’t contain was “every click, on every site.” This data sample didn’t belong to the “All Clicks Feed” which has received much media attention. Instead, it was the “Limited Insights Pro Feed” which is supposed to merely cover user’s shopping behavior: which products they looked at, what they added to the cart and whether they completed the order. All of that limited to shopping sites and grouped by country (Germany, UK and USA) as well as product category such as Shoes or Men’s Clothing.

    This doesn’t sound like there would be all too much personal data? But there is, thanks to a “referrer” field being there. This one is supposed to indicate how the user came to the shopping site, e.g. from a Google search page or by clicking an ad on another website. Given the detailed information collected by Avast, determining this referrer website should have been easy – yet Avast somehow failed this task. And so the supposed referrer is typically a completely unrelated random web page that this user visited, and sometimes not even a page but an image or JSON data.

    If you extract a list of these referrers (which I did), you see news that people read, their web mail sessions, search queries completely unrelated to shopping, and of course porn. You get a glimpse into what porn sites are most popular, what people watch there and even what they search for. For each user, the “limited insights” actually contain a tiny slice of their entire browsing behavior. Over the course of a week this exposed way too much information on some users however, and Jumpshot customers watching users over longer periods of time could learn a lot about each user even without the “All Clicks Feed.”

  • Byos Cautions RSA Conference 2020 Attendees, Travelers and General Public to “Dirty Half-Dozen” Public Wi-Fi Risks

    Byos, Inc., an endpoint security company focused on concept of Endpoint Microsegmentation through Hardware-Enforced Isolation, recommends caution for attendees of major conferences and events such as the RSA Conference 2020, a leading cybersecurity conference in San Francisco, February 24-28, and travelers in general risks of Free Wi-Fi. Many attendees will access the Internet via multiple free Wi-Fi connection points from Hotels, Airports, Coffee Shops and the Conference itself, and every free Wi-Fi access presents security risks for users that Byos calls “The Dirty Half-Dozen.”

    [...]

    The Dirty Half-Dozen risks are:

    Scanning, enumerating, and fingerprinting
    Eavesdropping
    Evil-Twin Wi-Fi
    Exploits
    Lateral network infections
    DNS hijacking

The Linux Foundation identifies most important open-source...

  • The Linux Foundation identifies most important open-source software components and their problems

    Red Hat recently reported open-source software now dominates the enterprise. Actually, it does more than that. Another older study found open-source software makes up 80% to 90% of all software. You may not know that, because many of these programs are built on deeply buried open-source components. Now, The Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH) have revealed -- in "Vulnerabilities in the Core, a preliminary report and Census II of open-source software" -- the most frequently used components and the vulnerabilities they share.

The Linux Foundation reveals the most commonly open-source

  • The Linux Foundation reveals the most commonly open-source software components

    The Linux Foundation is addressing structural and security complexities in today’s modern software supply chains with the release of the ‘Vulnerabilities in the Core,’ a preliminary report and census II of open-source software.

    The report was put together by the Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH).

LWN's mention of it

The Trouble with Free and Open Source Software

  • The Trouble with Free and Open Source Software

    Insecure developer accounts, legacy software, and nonstandard naming schemes are major problems, Linux Foundation and Harvard study concludes.
    A wide-ranging study by researchers at the Linux Foundation and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard has yielded vital new information on the most widely used free and open source software (FOSS) within enterprises — and potential security risks related to that use.

    The researchers found that a lack of a standardized naming scheme for FOSS components has made it hard for organizations and other stakeholders to quickly and precisely identify questionable or vulnerable components.

    They also discovered that accounts belonging to developers contributing most actively to some of the most widely deployed open source software need to be secured much better. A third finding was that legacy packages within the open source space are becoming riskier by the day, just like any other older hardware or software technology.

    "FOSS components underpin nearly all other software out there — both open and proprietary — but we know so little about which ones might be the most widely used and most vulnerable," says Frank Nagle, professor at Harvard Business School and co-author of the report. "Given the estimated economic impact of FOSS, far too little attention is paid to systematic efforts to support and maintain this core infrastructure," he says.

    For the study, the researchers from the Linux Foundation and Harvard analyzed enterprise software usage data provided by, among others, software composition analysis firms and application security companies such as Snyk and the Synopsys Cybersecurity Research Center. In trying to identify the most widely used open source software, the researchers considered all of the dependencies that might exist between a FOSS package or component and other enterprise applications and systems.

Linux Foundation Works With -- and For -- Microsoft Proxies

Linux Foundation study throws the open source sustainability

  • Linux Foundation study throws the open source sustainability debate into question

    Open source developers, it turns out, tend to be well paid. That's one possible conclusion to be drawn from a recent Linux Foundation report (PDF), which found that over 75% of the top maintainers for the 200 most active open source projects are paid to work on open source full or part-time. This isn't a new development (I wrote about it back in 2008), but it bears repeating since we are apparently in the midst of an open source sustainability crisis (again).

    As Luis Villa has suggested, "getting paid" isn't the same thing as "comfortable work," which can lead to burnout. But it does suggest we may need to approach the conversation with more data and less hand waving.

Census For Open Source Software Security Released

  • Census For Open Source Software Security Released

    “The Census II report addresses some of the most important questions facing us as we try to understand the complexity and interdependence among open source software packages and components in the global supply chain,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation.

    “The report begins to give us an inventory of the most important shared software and potential vulnerabilities and is the first step to understand more about these projects so that we can create tools and standards that results in trust and transparency in software,” Zemlin added.

Top 10 Most Used Open Source Software: Linux Foundation Report

  • Top 10 Most Used Open Source Software: Linux Foundation Report

    Accounting for 80-90 percent of all software, Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) ecosystem is booming with high dependency usage by all sector companies.

    Accordingly, The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) in collaboration with Harvard’s Lab for Innovation Science has released a census report titled “Vulnerabilities in the Core, a Preliminary Report and Census II of Open Source Software.”

Linux Foundation in 2020 still amplifies stigma that FOSS is bad

  • 7 of the World’s Top 10 Open Source Packages Come with This Warning

    “Changes to code under the control of these individual developer accounts are significantly easier to make, and to make without detection”

    Of the world’s top 10 most-used open source packages, seven are hosted on individual developer accounts, the Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative has warned, saying this could pose a security risk to code at the heart of the global economy.

    The finding came as the CII delivered the first major census of the free and open source software (FOSS) components that are most widely used in production applications.

  • The great big open-source census: Most-used libraries revealed – plus 10 things developers should be doing to keep their code secure

    With modern applications now composed of 80 to 90 per cent Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), the Linux Foundation and Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard University (LISH) on Wednesday published their second open-source census to promote better security and code management practices.

    The first such report appeared in 2015, and focused on enumerating critical components in the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. The latest one, "Vulnerabilities in the Core, a Preliminary Report and Census II of Open Source Software," examines the most commonly used FOSS packages in production applications with an eye toward potential vulnerabilities so organizations can develop better management and security tools

"Linux Foundation’s recipe for security disaster"

  • Individual accounts, missing naming standards, and legacy – Linux Foundation’s recipe for security disaster [Ed: Another new example of Linux Foundation (LF) speaking against FOSS on behalf of companies like Snyk that work for Microsoft and sell proprietary software. LF: Join Microsoft GitHub today and pay Black Duck/Snyk for their proprietary software for 'security' (they pay us to market them).]

    The Linux Foundation has, together with Harvard’s Lab for Innovation Science, released its second go at a FOSS census, attempting to identify the most used open source components and their potential vulnerabilities.

    The preliminary report titled “Vulnerabilities at the core” is a product of the foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative, which was started in 2014 in the wake of an OpenSSL security bug, which had an impact on about half a million secure web servers. Members of the CII now provide funding and support for critical open source infrastructure projects in the hopes of preventing a rerun of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability.

Harvard as FUD vendor for proprietary software companies

  • Linux Foundation & Harvard carry out open source ‘security census’

    The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) is a project designed to support best practices with a key eye on the security of critical open source software projects.

    The CII team has this month worked with the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH).

  • The Linux Foundation and Harvard’s Lab for Innovation Science Release Census for Open Source Software Security

    The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a project that helps support best practices and the security of critical open source software projects, and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), today announced the release of ‘Vulnerabilities in the Core,’ a Preliminary Report and Census II of Open Source Software.`

    This Census II analysis and report represent important steps towards understanding and addressing structural and security complexities in the modern day supply chain where open source is pervasive, but not always understood. Census II identifies the most commonly used free and open source software (FOSS) components in production applications and begins to examine them for potential vulnerabilities, which can inform actions to sustain the long-term security and health of FOSS. Census I (2015) identified which software packages in the Debian Linux distribution were the most critical to the kernel’s operation and security.

Linux and LISH release census for open source security

  • Linux and LISH release census for open source security

    The Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), announced the release of ‘Vulnerabilities in the Core,’ a Preliminary Report and Census II of Open Source Software.

    This Census II analysis and report represent important steps towards understanding and addressing structural and security complexities in the modern-day supply chain where open source is pervasive, but not always understood. Census II identifies the most commonly used free and open-source software (FOSS) components in production applications and begins to examine them for potential vulnerabilities, which can inform actions to sustain the long-term security and health of FOSS. Census I (2015) identified which software packages in the Debian Linux distribution were the most critical to the kernel’s operation and security.

"Key Lessons from a Major Open Source Census"

  • Vulnerabilities in the Core: Key Lessons from a Major Open Source Census

    A major new Open Source census has identified the Top 20 most commonly used free and open source software (FOSS) components in production applications.

    The Linux Foundation/ Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH) “Census II” report, published this week, represents what it describes as the “first steps toward addressing the structural issues that threaten the FOSS ecosystem.”

More bad press

  • What Are The Most Common Issues With Free Open Source Software?

    Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has become a prominent aspect of the new age global economy. It has been analysed that FOSS makes up about 80-90% of any particular piece of today’s software. It is to be noted that software is an increasingly-critical resource in almost all businesses, both public and private. But, there are many issues with FOSS, according to the Linux Foundation.

    The Linux Foundation established the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) in 2014 as a part of which its members gave funding and support for FOSS projects, which are important to worldwide data and information infrastructure. In 2015, CII finished the Census Project (“Census I”) to find out which software packages in the Debian Linux distribution had been the most important to the kernel’s overall security.

    While the Census I project emphasised on analysing the Linux kernel distribution packages, it did not go deep into which software was utilised in production applications. That’s where Census II comes in.

LF as Spokesperson of Foes of FOSS

  • Linux Foundation and LISH publish latest open-source census with suggestions to boost security

    The latest open-source census has been published by the Linux Foundation and Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard University (LISH) with some interesting observations.

    Now in its second edition, the census examines the current state of open-source software. The latest report, catchily titled “Vulnerabilities in the Core, a Preliminary Report and Census II of Open Source Software," focuses on common Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) used in production applications.

Linux Foundation 'research' still in 'the news'

  • The Elements And Benefits Of Open-Source Compliance [Ed: Linux Foundation 'research' is an attack on Free software. It's like it's run for Microsoft, Oracle etc.]

    The goal of the Linux Foundation’s[1] OpenChain Project, and the specification[2] it maintains, is to promote predictability and uniformity in the management of open source. The project also aims to create consistency in how critical open-source compliance information is collected and retained so that it may be properly communicated to others. The specification is gaining momentum and will likely be adopted by the International Organization for Standardization by mid-2020. With open-source use on the rise and more and more demanding proof of compliance becoming mainstream, this is a perfect time to reevaluate how you address compliance. But first, let’s explore....

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    Damn it March. 2020 was doing so well. The biggest news last month was the dramatic escalation of COVID-19. We won’t go into any detail, I’m sure you’re seeing enough of that. But due to the outbreak, the state of robotics this March has been, heartwarming. We have seen a surge in online learning platforms, companies, startups and communities rising to the challenge. Members of open-source communities across the world are doing great things, with and without robotics, to support whoever they can. In this blog, we first want to highlight at a few responses to COVID-19 using robotics. And then it’s back to usual programming, highlighting robotics work and projects we have seen or done in March. If we have missed something in particular, please reach out to robotics.community@canonical.com and let us know.

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    In part 1 we talked about the industrial applications and benefits that 5G and fast compute at the edge will bring to AI products. In part 2 we went deeper into how you can benefit from this new opportunity. In part 3 we focused on the key technical barriers that 5G and Edge compute remove for AI applications. In this part we will summarise the IoT use cases that can benefit from smart cell towers and how they will help businesses focus their efforts on their key differentiating advantage.

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