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Security: Nest Lockout, Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance, DNS Hijacking Attacks and Australian Cracking

  • Nest is locking customers out of accounts until they fix their security

    Emails were sent last night to all users that may have been affected by recent [breaches], with a new password being mandatory, as it tries to avoid the "I'll do it later" attitude that means that often vulnerable passwords remain in use for months or years.

  • A Moment of Truth for Cyber Insurance

    Mondelez’s claim represents just a fraction of the billions of dollars in collateral damage caused by NotPetya, a destructive, indiscriminate cyberattack of unprecedented scale, widely suspected to have been launched by Russia with the aim of hurting Ukraine and its business partners. A compromised piece of Ukrainian accounting software allowed NotPetya to spread rapidly around the world, disrupting business operations and causing permanent damage to property of Mondelez and many others. According to reports, Zurich apparently rejected Mondelez’s claim on the grounds that NotPetya was an act of war and, therefore, excluded from coverage under its policy agreement. If the question of whether and how war risk exemptions apply is left to the courts to decide on a case-by-case basis, this creates a profound source of uncertainty for policyholders about the coverage they obtain.

  • A Deep Dive on the Recent Widespread DNS Hijacking Attacks

    The U.S. government — along with a number of leading security companies — recently warned about a series of highly complex and widespread attacks that allowed suspected Iranian hackers to siphon huge volumes of email passwords and other sensitive data from multiple governments and private companies. But to date, the specifics of exactly how that attack went down and who was hit have remained shrouded in secrecy.

    This post seeks to document the extent of those attacks, and traces the origins of this overwhelmingly successful cyber espionage campaign back to a cascading series of breaches at key Internet infrastructure providers.

  • With elections weeks away, someone “sophisticated” [cracked] Australia’s politicians

    With elections just three months away, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on February 18 that the networks of the three major national political parties had been breached by what Australian security officials described as a "sophisticated state actor."

  • Australia's major political parties [cracked] in 'sophisticated' attack ahead of election

    Sources are describing the level of sophistication as "unprecedented" but are unable to say yet which foreign government is behind the attack.

  • Parliament attackers appear to have used Web shells

    Attackers who infiltrated the Australian Parliament network and also the systems of the Liberal, National and Labor Parties appear to have used Web shells – scripts that can be uploaded to a Web server to enable remote administration of a machine.

Android Leftovers

How Linux testing has changed and what matters today

If you've ever wondered how your Linux computer stacks up against other Linux, Windows, and MacOS machines or searched for reviews of Linux-compatible hardware, you're probably familiar with Phoronix. Along with its website, which attracts more than 250 million visitors a year to its Linux reviews and news, the company also offers the Phoronix Test Suite, an open source hardware benchmarking tool, and OpenBenchmarking.org, where test result data is stored. According to Michael Larabel, who started Phoronix in 2004, the site "is frequently cited as being the leading source for those interested in computer hardware and Linux. It offers insights regarding the development of the Linux kernel, product reviews, interviews, and news regarding free and open source software." Read more

Programmes and Events: Outreachy, FOSDEM and LibreOffice Asia Conference

  • Outreachy Summer 2019 Applications Open With Expanded Eligibility
    But beginning this round, they are also opening the application process to "anyone who faces systemic bias or discrimination in the technology industry of their country is invited to apply." For evaluating the systemic bias or discrimination, an essay question was added to the application process about what discrimination they may have faced or otherwise think they could face in seeking employment. Also different beginning this round is only students (update: for non-student participants, this restriction does not apply) from the Northern Hemisphere can apply to this May to August round while the Southern Hemisphere round is being deemed the December to March round moving forward.
  • VkRunner at FOSDEM
    I attended FOSDEM again this year thanks to funding from Igalia. This time I gave a talk about VkRunner in the graphics dev room. It’s now available on Igalia’s YouTube channel below: I thought this might be a good opportunity to give a small status update of what has happened since my last blog post nearly a year ago.
  • First LibreOffice Asia Conference
    The First LibreOffice Asia Conference Will Be Held On May 25-26, 2019 In Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan This is the first ever LibreOffice conference covering Asia, a rapidly-growing area for free and open source software. The call for papers will be launched soon. Berlin, February 18, 2019 – After the huge success of the LibreOffice Conference Indonesia in 2018, members of the Asian communities have decided to raise the bar in 2019 with the first ever LibreOffice Asia Conference in Nihonbashi – the very center of Tokyo, Japan – on May 25-26. One of the main organizers, Naruhiko Ogasawara, a member of the Japanese LibreOffice community and The Document Foundation, can’t hide his excitement: “When we launched the LibreOffice Mini Conference Japan in 2013 as a local event, we knew little about communities in other parts of Asia. In recent years we have attended the LibreOffice Conference and other Asian events like OpenSUSE Asia, COSCUP etc. We have realized that many of our colleagues are active and that our community should learn a lot from them. We are proud to be able to hold the first Asia Conference with our colleagues to further strengthen that partnership.”