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Proprietary Software and Digital Restrictions (DRM)

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  • GitHub still won’t explain if it fired someone for saying ‘Nazi,’ and employees are pissed

    The current conflict began the day of the riots in Washington, DC when a Jewish employee told co-workers: “stay safe homies, nazis are about.” Some colleagues took offense to the language, although neo-Nazi organizations were, in fact, present at the riots. One engineer responded: “This is untasteful conduct for workplace [in my opinion], people have the right to protest period.”

  • Amazon Web Services opens first office in Greece

    It said services covered areas from big data analytics and mobile, web and social media applications to enterprise business applications and the internet of things.

  • Critical Microsoft Defender Bug Actively Exploited; Patch Tuesday Offers 83 Fixes

    Researchers believe the vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-1647, has been exploited for the past three months and was leveraged by hackers as part of the massive SolarWinds attack. Last month, Microsoft said state-sponsored hackers had compromised its internal network and leveraged additional Microsoft products to conduct further attacks.

    Affected versions of Microsoft Malware Protection Engine range from 1.1.17600.5 to 1.1.17700.4 running on Windows 10, Windows 7 and 2004 Windows Server, according to the security bulletin.

  • Making Clouds Rain :: Remote Code Execution in Microsoft Office 365

    TL;DR; This post is a story on how I found and exploited CVE-2020-168751, a remote code execution vulnerability in Exchange Online and bypassed two different patches for the vulnerability. Exchange Online is part of the Office 365 suite that impacted multiple cloud servers operated by Microsoft that could have resulted in the access to millions of corporate email accounts.

  • Dropbox lays off 11% of its workforce as COO departs

    Dropbox in November provided revenue guidance of $497 million to $499 million for the fourth quarter. The company said at the time that it’s aiming to achieve margins of 28% to 30% in the long term.

  • Technical Error 'Saw 150,000 U.K. Police Records Wiped' From Databases

    Police have been asked to assess if there is a threat to public safety after it was revealed that thousands of police records were deleted in error, including data on fingerprints, DNA, and arrest histories.

    The error, first reported in the Times, saw 150,000 files lost, with fears it could mean offenders go free. A coding error is thought to have caused the earmarking of the files for deletion.

    The U.K. Home Office said the lost entries related to people who were arrested and then released without further action and no records of criminal or dangerous people had been deleted. Home secretary Priti Patel is now under pressure to explain the mistake, which the opposition Labour party said "presents huge dangers" for public safety.

  • January 2021 Linux Foundation Newsletter: Bootcamp Sale, SolarWinds Orion, New Kubernetes & WebAssembly Classes, LFX Webinar Series
  • How I hijacked the top-level domain of a sovereign state

    Note: This issue has been resolved and the .cd ccTLD no longer sends NS delegations to the compromised domain.

    TL;DR: Imagine what could happen if the country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) of a sovereign state fell into the wrong hands. Here’s how I (@Almroot) bought the domain name used in the NS delegations for the ccTLD of the Democratic Republic of Congo (.cd) and temporarily took over 50% of all DNS traffic for the TLD that could have been exploited for MITM or other abuse.

  • Apple begins blocking M1 Mac users from side loading iPhone and iPad applications

    As a refresher, Apple Silicon Macs allow users to run iOS and iPad applications on their Mac, but developers can opt out of allowing their apps to be installed on the Mac. This is the path that many developers have taken, making the necessary change in App Store Connect to remove their app from the Mac App Store.

    But with that being said, until today, you could manually install iOS apps like Netflix, Instagram, and Facebook on an M1 Mac by using their respective IPA files downloaded under a valid Apple ID. Many people were using tools such as iMazing to complete this process.

    9to5Mac has now confirmed that, starting today, this is no longer possible unless the application is available on the Mac App Store. Apple has flipped the necessary sever-side switch to block iPhone and iPad applications from being installed on Apple Silicon Macs.

  • Apple is blocking Apple Silicon Mac users from sideloading iPhone apps

    Apple has turned off users’ ability to unofficially install iOS apps onto their M1 Macs (via 9to5Mac). While iOS apps are still available in the Mac App Store, many apps, such as Dark Sky and Netflix, don’t have their developer’s approval to be run on macOS. Up until now, there was a workaround that allowed the use of third-party software to install the apps without having to use the Mac App Store, but it seems like Apple has remotely disabled it.

    When we tried to install an unsupported app on an M1 Mac running macOS 11.1, we got an error message saying that we couldn’t install it and should “try again later”. You can see a screenshot at the top of this article.

  • Apple TV Plus Free Subscriptions Extended Again, This Time Through July 2021

    The tech giant is extending the free-access period for Apple TV Plus customers who have signed up through its 12-month free subscription offer through July 2021. That’s after it had previously pushed that gratis period to February. So if you were among the first to take the one-year-free deal back in November 2019, that’s turned into 21 months free of Apple TV Plus.

  • Spotify Enters Settlement Talks With PRO Music Rights Founder Jake P. Noch

    But a new legal filing, shared with DMN this afternoon, reveals that Spotify and Noch have officially entered settlement talks. The involved parties “jointly” moved for a 60-day stay, “including discovery and all deadlines,” so that they can “attempt to negotiate a resolution of this matter,” the three-page-long document (dated January 13th, 2021) indicates.

    Furthermore, the filing specifies that Sosa Entertainment, Jake P. Noch, and Spotify “have recently made progress towards a potential resolution of the litigation.” The joint motion doesn’t elaborate upon the terms of this possible agreement – though Noch said in a statement that he’s eager to begin working towards an “excellent resolution” in earnest.

  • The FSF fights for your right to repair

    It is this example of automated vehicles that served as inspiration for the FSF's animated video Fight to Repair.

    However, any technology we use could potentially be co-opted by the proprietary, DRM-controlled subscription model Tesla and the tractor manufacturers are proposing. Imagine your "smart home" having a broken lock, or worse, being broken into, and not having the control, or the simple right to repair the bug. Countless other examples can be found showing us that the key to a free future is the right to repair. We need to fight for a future in which the software used is free in order to maintain ownership and control not only over our technology, but over our lives.

More in Tux Machines

Events: GNOME, LF, and Linux App Summit (LAS)

  • Felipe Borges: Save the date: GNOME LATAM 2021, March 27th

    I’m happy to spread the word that a GNOME event in Spanish and Portuguese is taking place this month, on the 27th of March. It will be a free virtual event with talks and panels where everybody is welcome.

  • Cloud Foundry Summit 2021: Call For Papers Open

    The Summit will allow European attendees to participate, as well, with sessions tailored to the virtual format. The Cloud Foundry Foundation will join forces with the community-elected program committee to curate a program that fosters collaboration among attendees and offers interactive platform education.

  • The Linux App Summit (LAS) returns in May, applications open for talks until March 15 | GamingOnLinux

    Planned to happen online again during May 13-15, the Linux App Summit (LAS) is set to return giving you a chance to listen to talks about the future of application design, development and more for Linux. Last year had some pretty interesting talks, like Linux game porter and FNA developer Ethan Lee giving a presentation on how games get built and packages plus Collabora gave an overview of their work with Valve.

CoreELEC 19.0 “Matrix” Linux Distro Released for Amlogic Hardware Based on Kodi 19

As its codename suggests, CoreELEC 19.0 “Matrix” is the first release of this LibreELEC fork to be based on the recently released Kodi 19.0 “Matrix” open-source home theater software, which introduces numerous new featiures and improvements for those who want to make their own media center PC or HTPC. Based on the CoreELEC 9.2.6 Amlogic-NG release, the CoreELEC 19.0 series becomes the active development branch, supporting only Amlogic-NG devices like LaFrite, LePotato, ODROID-C4, ODROID-HC4, and ODROID-N2. Read more

Mozilla Leftovers

  • A Better Terminal for Mozilla Build [Ed: Mozilla is moving in a bad direction that serves Windows, not standards or the open Web or software freedom]

    If you’re working with mozilla-central on Windows and followed the official documentation, there’s a good chance the MozillaBuild shell is running in the default cmd.exe console. If you’ve spent any amount of time in this console you’ve also likely noticed it leaves a bit to be desired. Standard terminal features such as tabs, splits and themes are missing. More importantly, it doesn’t render unicode characters (at least out of the box).

  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: India’s new intermediary liability and digital media regulations will harm the open internet

    Last week, in a sudden move that will have disastrous consequences for the open internet, the Indian government notified a new regime for intermediary liability and digital media regulation. Intermediary liability (or “safe harbor”) protections have been fundamental to growth and innovation on the internet as an open and secure medium of communication and commerce. By expanding the “due diligence” obligations that intermediaries will have to follow to avail safe harbor, these rules will harm end to end encryption, substantially increase surveillance, promote automated filtering and prompt a fragmentation of the internet that would harm users while failing to empower Indians. While many of the most onerous provisions only apply to “significant social media intermediaries” (a new classification scheme), the ripple effects of these provisions will have a devastating impact on freedom of expression, privacy and security.

  • Karl Dubost: Capping User Agent String - followup meeting [Ed: Hopefully enough people understand the degree to which use agents in a Web browser are leveraged for fingerprinting/tracking/surveillance/abuse]

    A couple of weeks ago, I mentionned the steps which have been taken about capping the User Agent String on macOS 11 for Web compatibility issues. Since then, Mozilla and Google organized a meeting to discuss the status and the issues related to this effort. We invited Apple but probably too late to find someone who could participate to the meeting (my bad). The minutes of the meeting are publicly accessible.

Security Leftovers

  • Is Your Browser Extension a Botnet Backdoor?

    A company that rents out access to more than 10 million Web browsers so that clients can hide their true Internet addresses has built its network by paying browser extension makers to quietly include its code in their creations. This story examines the lopsided economics of extension development, and why installing an extension can be such a risky proposition.

  • Security updates for Tuesday [LWN.net]

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (bind, intel-ucode, ipmitool, isync, openssl, python, python-cryptography, python-httplib2, salt, tar, and thrift), Fedora (ansible, salt, webkit2gtk3, and wpa_supplicant), Oracle (bind), Red Hat (bind, kernel, and kpatch-patch), Scientific Linux (bind), SUSE (firefox, gnome-autoar, java-1_8_0-ibm, java-1_8_0-openjdk, nodejs10, open-iscsi, perl-XML-Twig, python-cryptography, and thunderbird), and Ubuntu (bind9).

  • Malicious NPM packages target Amazon, Slack with new dependency attacks [Ed: Microsoft delivering malware again, but the media (actually a Microsoft propaganda site in this case) does not mention Microsoft (similar to this)]

    Last month, BleepingComputer reported that security researcher Alex Birsan earned bug bounties from 35 companies by utilizing a new flaw in open-source development tools.

  • Working Spectre exploits for Windows and Linux devices uncovered

    A security researcher has discovered several working Spectre exploits that were uploaded to the VirusTotal database last month. Spectre, along with Meltdown, are two extremely severe hardware vulnerabilities that affect Intel, IBM POWER, and some ARM-based processors. While Intel has since implemented hardware mitigations for the vulnerability in newer processors, older ones have to rely on software fixes that come with a performance penalty, which prevents its blanket use. This means that there’s still a large number of systems that are vulnerable to the recently discovered exploits by security researcher Julien Voisin.