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Security: Remote (Home) Work, Patching OpenSSL and GNU C, IPFire on AWS

  • Security when you're suddenly remote

    Imagine a scenario where forces outside of your control have suddenly made it impossible for people to be in close proximity to each other, forcing them to vacate their offices but somehow continue "business as usual." This upheaval of daily life is all to help limit the spread of a virus that is spreading across the globe. It sounds like the opening scenes to a sci-fi movie, but it's our reality. In late January here in the US, and earlier in many other parts of the world, the global pandemic known as COVID-19 forced authorities to respond by recommending and/or requiring that we all stay at home and avoid non-essential contact with people outside of our households. This, of course, makes it very difficult to maintain a business. If you're reading this blog, you're probably either already working in IT or adjacent industry, or you're considering it. Most IT workers have the ability to think and work at a keyboard all day, no matter where they're geographically located. Other than a few datacenter roles that require you to be physically onsite, most IT jobs can be done from anywhere in the world. That also goes for most of the support, customer service, billing, and even human resources roles at an organization.

  • Patching OpenSSL and GNU C Libraries Without Service Restarts

    According to the 2020 Global Threat Intelligence Report, “cyber-attack volumes increased across all industries between 2018 and 2019.” Web shells, exploit kits and targeted ransomware are just a few tools that bad actors use for attacks. Mostly, such attacks are still successful due to organizational practices related to networks, operating systems and application configurations, testing, security controls and overall security posture. Attackers are still trying to exploit vulnerabilities which are several years old and have patches available, but nevertheless are not being addressed by many organizations’ patch and configuration management programs. Persistent exploitation of old and famous vulnerabilities such as HeartBleed (CVE-2014-0160) make OpenSSL the second most targeted software technology involved in 19% of hostile activity globally. According to researchers, OpenSSL was the most targeted technology in both the manufacturing and technology industries.

  • IPFire on AWS: Update to IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 146

    Today, we have updated IPFire on AWS to IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 146 - the latest official release of IPFire. Since IPFire is available on AWS, we are gaining more and more users who are securing their cloud infrastructure behind an easy to configure, yet fast and secure firewall. This update brings a new kernel as well as many other exciting changes.

Graphics: AMD GPU, Libinput, Intel's Elkhart Lake

  • AMD's Next-Gen Navi 22 'Navy Flounder' GPU Spied In Latest Linux Driver Release

    There's a new Linux driver release that contains a reference to an upcoming AMD graphics processing unit (GPU) codenamed "Navy Flounder," and now I can't get that Pinkard & Bowden song out of my head. You know, the fishy one titled, "I Lobster But Never Flounder." Yeah, don't judge, click that link and it will be stuck in YOUR head as well. You're welcome. But I digress—I'm not here to discuss goofy country songs. This is all about AMD's upcoming Navi launch, which is underpinned by the same second-generation Radeon DNA (RDNA 2) architecture that will power both Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X consoles, as well as a new round of Radeon graphics cards.

  • Libinput 1.16 Will Warn You If Your System Is Too Slow

    It's been over a half-year already for the current libinput 1.15 series for this input handling library used on both X.Org and Wayland environments. But libinput 1.16 is finally en route with the first release candidate out today. Libinput 1.16 has been baking a while due to no pressing features that needed to be shipped right away and seeing a number of 1.15.x point releases. Coming with this new series for libinput are: - Monitoring of timestamps compared to when the libinput dispatch function is called by the compositor. If the difference is too large that it could result in issues for input processing, a new warning is displayed in the log that the event processing is lagging behind and the system is "too slow."

  • Intel Adds More "Elkhart Lake" IDs To Their Linux Graphics Driver Code

    Two new PCI IDs were added for Elkhart Lake and two for Jasper Lake graphics that are in new hardware configurations as well. The new 0x4555 is Elkhart Lake graphics in a two subslice configuration with eight EUs per subslice along with a similar 0x4E55 addition for Jasper Lake with the 2x8 configuration.. The two other new IDs are 0x4557 and 0x4E57 for Elkhart and Jasper, respectively, that are for a four subslice configuration with five EUs per subslice.

GCC, GNU Toolchain and LLVM

  • GCC 10.2 Release Candidate available from gcc.gnu.org
    The first release candidate for GCC 10.2 is available from
    
     https://gcc.gnu.org/pub/gcc/snapshots/10.2.0-RC-20200715/
     ftp://gcc.gnu.org/pub/gcc/snapshots/10.2.0-RC-20200715/
    
    and shortly its mirrors.  It has been generated from git commit
    932e9140d3268cf2033c1c3e93219541c53fcd29.
    
    I have so far bootstrapped and tested the release candidate on
    x86_64-linux.  Please test it and report any issues to bugzilla.
    
    If all goes well, I'd like to release 10.2 on Thursday, July 23th.
    
  • GCC 10.2 Gearing Up For Release Next Week - RC Available For Testing

    The GCC crew is preparing to issue their first stable point release to the GCC 10 series next week. GCC 10.1 as the first stable GCC 10 version released back in early May while now GCC 10.2 as the first point release is preparing to make its way out, hopefully on 23 July.

  • GNU Toolchain Continues Phasing Out Native Client Support (NaCl)

    WebAssembly has seen much greater industry interest and adoption than Google's former Native Client (NaCl) effort for sandboxed applications that can be run within web browsers. Native Client hasn't seen any real activity in years and continues fading away. Google has been encouraging any Native Client users to migrate to WebAssembly for years with just a few remnants remaining.

  • LLVM 11 Feature Development Is Over With Many Changes

    LLVM 11 feature development has ended with the code having been branched in Git this morning and the first release candidate expected shortly. LLVM 11.0 was branched today in its mono repository including sub-projects like Clang. This branching is going as planned with aiming to ship LLVM 11.0 officially around 26 August.

today's howtos