Networking and Servers
In my last infrastructure update, I documented our challenges with storage as GitLab scales. We built a CephFS cluster to tackle both the capacity and performance issues of NFS and decided to replace PostgreSQL standard Vacuum with the pg_repack extension. Now, we're feeling the pain of running a high performance distributed filesystem on the cloud.
Sysadmins can use the product to improve their skills or prepare for an interview by practicing some day to day job scenarios. There is an invitation list opened for the first testers of the product.
PINE, the rival company of Raspberry Pi and maker of the $20 Pine A64, has just announced its two below $100-priced Linux laptops, known as PINEBOOK. The affordable Linux laptop is powered by Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 64-bit processor and comes with an 11.6" or 14" monitor.
I have an odd confession: sometimes I feel (irrationally) embarrassed that despite being a computer person, I don't have a laptop. Everyone else seems to have one, yet here I am, clearly behind the times, clinging to a desktop-only setup. At times like this I naturally wind up considering the issue of what laptop I might get if I was going to get one, and after my recent exposure to a Chromebook I've been thinking about this once again.
I'll never be someone who uses a laptop by itself as my only computer, so I'm not interested in a giant laptop with a giant display; giant displays are one of the things that the desktop is for. Based on my experiences so far I think that a roughly 13" laptop is at the sweet spot of a display that's big enough without things being too big, and I would like something that's nicely portable.
Google and Mozilla
Google has launched a new project for continuously testing open source software for security vulnerabilities.
The company's new OSS-Fuzz service is available in beta starting this week, but at least initially it will only be available for open source projects that have a very large user base or are critical to global IT infrastructure.
Mozilla announced a major change in November 2014 in regards to the company's main revenue stream.
The organization had a contract with Google in 2014 and before that had Google pay Mozilla money for being the default search engine in the Firefox web browser.
This deal was Mozilla's main source of revenue, about 329 million US Dollars in 2014. The change saw Mozilla broker deals with search providers instead for certain regions of the world.
I received a container bugzilla today for someone who was attempting to assign a container process to the object_r role. Hopefully this blog will help explain how roles work with SELinux.
When we describe SELinux we often concentrate on Type Enforcement, which is the most important and most used feature of SELinux. This is what describe in the SELinux Coloring book as Dogs and Cats. We also describe MLS/MCS Separation in the coloring book.
The Internet Society (ISOC) is the latest organisation saying, in essence, “security is rubbish – fix it”.
Years of big data breaches are having their impact, it seems: in its report released last week, it quotes a 54-country, 24,000-respondent survey reporting a long-term end user trend to become more fearful in using the Internet (by Ipsos on behalf of the Centre for International Governance Innovation).
Report author, economist and ISOC fellow Michael Kende, reckons companies aren't doing enough to control breaches.
“According to the Online Trust Alliance, 93 per cent of breaches are preventable” he said, but “steps to mitigate the cost of breaches that do occur are not taken – attackers cannot steal data that is not stored, and cannot use data that is encrypted.”
Among the many unpleasant things in the Investigatory Powers Act that was officially signed into law this week, one that has not gained as much attention is the apparent ability for the UK government to undermine encryption and demand surveillance backdoors.
As the bill was passing through Parliament, several organizations noted their alarm at section 217 which obliged ISPs, telcos and other communications providers to let the government know in advance of any new products and services being deployed and allow the government to demand "technical" changes to software and systems.
Today the European Parliament approved the EU Budget for 2017. The budget sets aside 1.9 million euros in order to improve the EU's IT infrastructure by extending the free software audit programme (FOSSA) that MEPs Max Anderson and Julia Reda initiated two years ago, and by including a bug bounty approach in the programme that was proposed by MEP Marietje Schaake.
Since the initial launch of Qubes OS back in April 2010, work on Qubes has been funded in several different ways. Originally a pet project, it was first supported by Invisible Things Lab (ITL) out of the money we earned on various R&D and consulting contracts. Later, we decided that we should try to commercialize it. Our idea, back then, was to commercialize Windows AppVM support. Unlike the rest of Qubes OS, which is licensed under GPLv2, we thought we would offer Windows AppVM support under a proprietary license. Even though we made a lot of progress on both the business and technical sides of this endeavor, it ultimately failed.
Luckily, we got a helping hand from the Open Technology Fund (OTF), which has supported the project for the past two years. While not a large sum of money in itself, it did help us a lot, especially with all the work necessary to improve Qubes’ user interface, documentation, and outreach to new communities. Indeed, the (estimated) Qubes user base has grown significantly over that period. Thank you, OTF!
Every new Linux system administrator needs to learn a few core concepts before delving into the operating system and its applications. This short guide gives a summary of some of the essential security measures that every root user must know. All advice given follows the best security practices that are mandated by the community and the industry.
The law of leaky abstractions states that “all non-trivial abstractions, to some degree, are leaky”. In this blog post we’ll explore the ashmem shared memory interface provided by Android and see how false assumptions about its internal operation can result in security vulnerabilities affecting core system code.