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Interviews

FESCo Elections: Interview with Germano Massullo (Caterpillar / germano)

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

I am a Fedora user since 2009.

I co-maintain various packages: BOINC, darktable, LemonPOS and ownCloud client package.

I do tests of Fedora pre-releases in order to have the most stable releases and I am proudly involved in the bug reporting process because I think that the best help you can provide to developers, is helping them finding issues in their software.

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OpenBSD Interview: Renato Westphal (renato@)

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Interviews
BSD

My history with OpenBSD started around 2011 when I was still an undergrad student working part-time on an University-Industry partnership program. In this job I was assigned the task of implementing a full (!) MPLS solution for Linux and that task encompassed having a working implementation of the LDP protocol, among several other things. I started then looking for an open source implementation of LDP and found out that OpenBSD had a daemon called ldpd(8). I decided to check it out and it was love at the first sight when I saw its code: it was beautiful! I started then porting this daemon to Linux and on top of that fixed quite a few bugs. Two years later I decided that it would be fair to contribute my fixes back to the original implementation, it was when claudio@ invited me to join the OpenBSD team. Around that time I didn't know much about OpenBSD and was surprised with the invitation. Theo de Raadt sent me a couple of emails and I had no clue about who he was. Nevertheless, I was excited with the invitation and started to follow the mailing lists and even bought a book about OpenBSD. Within a couple days I was hooked on it and OpenBSD became my OS of choice.

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Also: Hackfest OpenBSD presentations

Keeping the peace: KDE board chair's recipe

Filed under
KDE
Interviews

Over the years, one thing that has been always guaranteed about the free software and open source software community is that periodically there will be some unholy row or the other, mostly over issues allegedly to do with sexism and inequality.

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The Linux Setup - Sean Davis, Xubuntu Lead

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Interviews

I’m Sean Davis (bluesabre in the FOSS world). I am the current Xubuntu Technical Lead, an Xfce core developer, and I’m a web developer during the day. I’ve been an Ubuntu/Xubuntu user since 2005.

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Vendor Q&A Series: Mark Enzweiler, Red Hat

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews
OSS

Open source will play a big part in this evolution. It is, after all, the foundation of many of these technologies. Solution providers will need to become intimately familiar with how open source works and the benefits it provides.

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tim bray

Filed under
Android
Interviews

Watching Tim Bray talk to an audience is a little intimidating. He talks fast and every word counts. And he wants action – he wants his audience to change the world. After founding companies, co-authoring the XML specification, working at Sun Microsystems and then Google (leaving because he famously didn’t want to leave Canada for Silicon Valley), Tim has seen, thought and talked about most things to do with technology. He’s even making his own security contributions to the amazing open source Android email application, K-9. His keynote at OSCON 2014 was about threats – threats to our privacy, threats to our online freedoms and threats to our data, and “Now is the time for sensible, reasonable, extreme paranoia,” as he puts it. Which is exactly what we wanted to talk about when we met with him.

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Why systemd is a practical tool for sys admins

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

I met Alison Chaiken at LinuxCon 2010 in Boston, not long after she joined Nokia as a Meego technical consultant. A few months later, I interviewed her about her role at Nokia and her predictions about where open source technology was headed in 2011. She predicted an increasing role for cameras and microphones in mobile. "Cameras and microphones are used deliberately to take photos and record voice commands, but in the future they will be always on, gathering ambient data about the environment of users on the go," she said.

These days Alison works on automotive Linux systems programming at Mentor Graphics' Embedded Software Division, and she spends a lot of time working with, contributing to, and speaking about systemd. She'll be leading a training session, systemd, the Next-Generation Linux System Manager, at LISA15 in Washington D.C. on November 9. In this interview, she makes another prediction—that sys admins will enjoy using systemd.

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Deweloperzy OpenBSD: Stefan Sperling

Filed under
Interviews
BSD

I’m currently self-employed, with a focus on open source development and consulting for companies interacting with open source projects.

Besides OpenBSD, I have been contributing to Apache Subversion since 2007. One of my main jobs is to provide support, workshops, and consulting for Subversion, plus fixing bugs and working on new features. I am somewhat involved in the Apache Software Foundation as a whole, but at this point in time my contributions there are more symbolic in nature, mostly because of lack of time and focus.

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Linux Foundation Scholarship Recipient: Kiran Padwal

Filed under
Linux
Interviews

I did my bachelor’s in Electronics Engineering, and embedded systems interested me a lot. Linux runs on millions of embedded devices and is a huge collaborative project -- thanks to Linus Torvalds and the Linux community. I started following Linux in my college days.

When I actually started working on the Linux kernel, I saw some memory leaks in kernel code and observed that every contributor has a voice in the open source community. Therefore, I started sending small patches on LKML. I got great support from maintainers and, because of that, my interest was boosted.

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Red Hat CIO: Business advice on IT value

Filed under
Red Hat
Interviews

To be truly successful as an IT organization, you must bring new ideas to drive revenue or reduce cost for the business as a whole. If you don’t, they’ll do it without you where there is a critical need and they have a budget. Then, you’ll end up with a non-integrated set of solutions and potentially security exposures.

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Leftovers: BSD

Security Leftovers

  • Stop using SHA1 encryption: It’s now completely unsafe, Google proves
    Security researchers have achieved the first real-world collision attack against the SHA-1 hash function, producing two different PDF files with the same SHA-1 signature. This shows that the algorithm's use for security-sensitive functions should be discontinued as soon as possible. SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) dates back to 1995 and has been known to be vulnerable to theoretical attacks since 2005. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has banned the use of SHA-1 by U.S. federal agencies since 2010, and digital certificate authorities have not been allowed to issue SHA-1-signed certificates since Jan. 1, 2016, although some exemptions have been made. However, despite these efforts to phase out the use of SHA-1 in some areas, the algorithm is still fairly widely used to validate credit card transactions, electronic documents, email PGP/GPG signatures, open-source software repositories, backups and software updates.
  • on pgp
    First and foremost I have to pay respect to PGP, it was an important weapon in the first cryptowar. It has helped many whistleblowers and dissidents. It is software with quite interesting history, if all the cryptograms could tell... PGP is also deeply misunderstood, it is a highly successful political tool. It was essential in getting crypto out to the people. In my view PGP is not dead, it's just old and misunderstood and needs to be retired in honor. However the world has changed from the internet happy times of the '90s, from a passive adversary to many active ones - with cheap commercially available malware as turn-key-solutions, intrusive apps, malware, NSLs, gag orders, etc.
  • Cloudflare’s Cloudbleed is the worst privacy leak in recent Internet history
    Cloudflare revealed today that, for months, all of its protected websites were potentially leaking private information across the Internet. Specifically, Cloudflare’s reverse proxies were dumping uninitialized memory; that is to say, bleeding private data. The issue, termed Cloudbleed by some (but not its discoverer Tavis Ormandy of Google Project Zero), is the greatest privacy leak of 2017 and the year has just started. For months, since 2016-09-22 by their own admission, CloudFlare has been leaking private information through Cloudbleed. Basically, random data from random sites (again, it’s worth mentioning that every site that used CloudFlare in the last half year should be considered to having fallen victim to this) would be randomly distributed across the open Internet, and then indefinitely cached along the way.
  • Serious Cloudflare bug exposed a potpourri of secret customer data
    Cloudflare, a service that helps optimize the security and performance of more than 5.5 million websites, warned customers today that a recently fixed software bug exposed a range of sensitive information that could have included passwords and cookies and tokens used to authenticate users. A combination of factors made the bug particularly severe. First, the leakage may have been active since September 22, nearly five months before it was discovered, although the greatest period of impact was from February 13 and February 18. Second, some of the highly sensitive data that was leaked was cached by Google and other search engines. The result was that for the entire time the bug was active, hackers had the ability to access the data in real-time by making Web requests to affected websites and to access some of the leaked data later by crafting queries on search engines. "The bug was serious because the leaked memory could contain private information and because it had been cached by search engines," Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming wrote in a blog post published Thursday. "We are disclosing this problem now as we are satisfied that search engine caches have now been cleared of sensitive information. We have also not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits of the bug or other reports of its existence."

Security Leftovers

  • Change all the passwords (again)
    Looks like it is time to change all the passwords again. There’s a tiny little flaw in a CDN used … everywhere, it seems.
  • Today's leading causes of DDoS attacks [Ed: The so-called 'Internet of things' (crappy devices with identical passwords) is a mess; programmers to blame, not Linux]
    Of the most recent mega 100Gbps attacks in the last quarter, most of them were directly attributed to the Mirai botnet. The Mirai botnet works by exploiting the weak security on many Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The program finds its victims by constantly scanning the internet for IoT devices, which use factory default or hard-coded usernames and passwords.
  • How to Set Up An SSL Certificate on Your Website [via "Steps To Secure Your Website With An SSL Certificate"]
  • SHA-1 is dead, long live SHA-1!
    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you heard that some researchers managed to create a SHA-1 collision. The short story as to why this matters is the whole purpose of a hashing algorithm is to make it impossible to generate collisions on purpose. Unfortunately though impossible things are usually also impossible so in reality we just make sure it’s really really hard to generate a collision. Thanks to Moore’s Law, hard things don’t stay hard forever. This is why MD5 had to go live on a farm out in the country, and we’re not allowed to see it anymore … because it’s having too much fun. SHA-1 will get to join it soon.
  • SHA1 collision via ASCII art
    Happy SHA1 collision day everybody! If you extract the differences between the good.pdf and bad.pdf attached to the paper, you'll find it all comes down to a small ~128 byte chunk of random-looking binary data that varies between the files.
  • PayThink Knowledge is power in fighting new Android attack bot
    Android users and apps have become a major part of payments and financial services, carrying an increased risk for web crime. It is estimated that there are 107.7 million Android Smartphone users in the U.S. who have downloaded more than 65 million apps from the Google App Store, and each one of them represents a smorgasbord of opportunity for hackers to steal user credentials and other information.
  • Red Hat: 'use after free' vulnerability found in Linux kernel's DCCP protocol IPV6 implementation
    Red Hat Product Security has published details of an "important" security vulnerability in the Linux kernel. The IPv6 implementation of the DCCP protocol means that it is possible for a local, unprivileged user to alter kernel memory and escalate their privileges. Known as the "use-after-free" flaw, CVE-2017-6074 affects a number of Red Hat products including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and Red Hat Openshift Online v2. Mitigating factors include the requirement for a potential attacker to have access to a local account on a machine, and for IPV6 to be enabled, but it is still something that will be of concern to Linux users. Describing the vulnerability, Red Hat says: "This flaw allows an attacker with an account on the local system to potentially elevate privileges. This class of flaw is commonly referred to as UAF (Use After Free.) Flaws of this nature are generally exploited by exercising a code path that accesses memory via a pointer that no longer references an in use allocation due to an earlier free() operation. In this specific issue, the flaw exists in the DCCP networking code and can be reached by a malicious actor with sufficient access to initiate a DCCP network connection on any local interface. Successful exploitation may result in crashing of the host kernel, potential execution of code in the context of the host kernel or other escalation of privilege by modifying kernel memory structures."

Android Leftovers