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Linux Mint security – 28 days later

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GNU
Linux
Security

Linux Mint has suffered a reputation damage, which has led to doubts and questions being raised in the community. Valid questions, because you don’t want any private, confidential data to be transmitted to a third party without your knowledge and consent. So you may want to check if Mint is clean, and whether it can be used safely. This article outlines the technical methods.

However, you should also not forget that this is not the first, nor the last hack of a website related to a distro project. All the big names have had similar issues in the past. Moreover, obscurity does not guarantee security. If you’ve never thought about this topic before Feb 20, then you really should not be focusing too much energy on it now. Because all the other times you downloaded packages and updates your system, there could have been a breach somewhere, but since you were not aware of it, you did not do anything about it. Now you are aware, but it does not change the reality, only your perception. You may want to double-check everything now, it’s a natural reaction, but it’s not really grounded in any hard, solid facts. If anything, the hack only helps put more security highlight on the distros and their management, so they should now be more secure than ever before.

There.

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Q4OS 1.4.9, Orion

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GNU
Linux

We introduce 'Bourbon' start menu, the brand new default start menu in Q4OS. The two panel 'Bourbon' menu is highly efficient and customizable and features a search line, favorites, history and more options.

Q4OS 1.4.9 'Orion' is based on the most recent Debian 8.4 'Jessie' stable version released a few days ago. System packages have been updated and important security patches have been applied. A significant update for the native Q4OS uninstaller fixes the unintentional removal of the 'locales' package. Numerous under the hood improvements is provided as usual.

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When Free Software Depends On Non-Free

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GNU

When a program is free software (free as in freedom), that means it gives users the four freedoms (gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html) so that they control what the program does. In most cases, that is sufficient for the program's distribution to be ethical; but not always. There are additional problems that can arise in specific circumstances. This article describes a subtle problem, where upgrading the free program requires using a nonfree program.

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GNU/Linux will eventually be desktop king

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GNU
Linux
  • Linux will eventually be desktop king

    Linux inventor Linus Torvalds has told the world that he has not given up on replacing Windows on the desktop with his glorious creation.

    Linux, which is now 25 years old, has done well on the network and on mobiles, but has not ever become a serious threat to Windows. For many years some bright spark declares that this year will be the year of Linux on the desk-top but it never arrived. Lately such calls have been fewer, ironically as more PC's use Linux for gaming.

  • Linus has not given up on desktops

    The colourful Linux creator Linus Torvalds has not given up on replacing Windows on the desktop with his sort of stuff.

    Speaking from his bed at the Embedded Linux Conference, Torvalds said that Linux had not been a failure on the desktop.

    “The desktop hasn’t really taken over the world like Linux has in many other areas, but just looking at my own use, my desktop looks so much better than I ever could have imagined,” he told the throngs.

  • Wearing ’em Down

    In 1995, GNU/Linux was in the fight but was forced to the flanks by exclusive dealing and a war of FUD. In 2016, ARM is designing whole CPUs and systems and manufacturers are designing motherboards perfectly capable of running desktops and mobile thingies and IoTs while Intel fights a rearguard action, trying to stem the tide of applications that don’t involve Wintel or even Intel.

MATE 1.14

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GNU
Linux

IceCat 38.7.1 release

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GNU

GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license restricts distribution in several ways incompatible with freedom 0.
https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/

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Microsoft Neglects Linux

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft Loves Neglects Linux

GNU/Linux Leftovers

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GNU
Linux
  • Coming to Terms With Microsoft and Linux [Ed: Microsoft does not love Linux but exploits it in an effort to topple Amazon, Oracle etc.]

    Ultimately, it's apparent that Microsoft intends to make Linux platforms an equal citizen with Windows on its Azure platform, which most notably is evidenced by the availability of an entire open-source stack of software from Red Hat on Azure. The ultimate goal is to create a critical mass of applications on Azure that will enable Microsoft to counter Amazon Web Services for supremacy in the public cloud.

  • Hating Microsoft

    Hating Microsoft has been part of open source from the start. Infamous for its executives calling Linux unAmerican, the equivalent of communism and a cancer, Microsoft has been the arch-enemy, working behind the scenes in reality almost as much as in the minds of conspiracy theorists, the proprietary and corporate antithesis of everything that open source is about.

    [...]

    Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols has pointed out that, for all its newfound friendliness, Microsoft continues to enforce patents against Android. Dropping the patent enforcement, he suggests, is the one thing Microsoft needs to do to prove its change of heart -- and probably won't do, because the enforcement is too profitable.

  • Windows 7's grip on the enterprise desktop is loosening

    So even if every PC sold this year runs Windows 10 – which won't happen, because lots will be Macs – the new OS is likely to score only about 10 per cent more market share. Remember, also, that smartphones are selling at a rate of a billion a year, most on Android. iPads are still selling decently. Some PCs just won't ever be replaced.

  • Choosing Linux Desktops: Customizers vs. Launchers

    Asked to recommend a Linux desktop, users respond in a number of ways. Many recommend their own preferences. Others suggest the desktop environment that they believe is closest in appearance and function to Windows or OS X.

    A while ago, though, I realized that the seven major Linux desktops can be ranked on a spectrum from the highly customizable to those that are little more than launchers for their applications.

  • SCTE/ISBE Will Work Within the OpenDaylight Open Source Community to Support APSIS Standard

    The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers and its global arm, the International Society of Broadband Experts (ISBE), announced it is leveraging the open source community to accelerate adoption of SCTE/ISBE’s Adaptive Power Systems Interface Specification (APSIS), which can reduce power consumption in next-generation network equipment.

    SCTE/ISBE will work within the OpenDaylight open source community to support the APSIS standard (SCTE 216 2015) by driving the development of code based on the Internet Engineering Task Force Energy Management framework. One of more than a dozen energy management standards developed in conjunction with the SCTE/ISBE Energy 2020 program, APSIS has been designed to enable cable operators to implement traffic-based energy controls that align power consumption with usage and can help systems respond to national disasters and brownouts.

  • Signs Indicate the Internet of Things Has Come of Age

    Indeed, openness is something we all should root for as the Internet of Things gains momentum. The AllSeen Alliance's focus is on the AllJoyn framework, which has already found its way into devices and applications. “We are building out an open source software project that delivers code that will help people build interoperable tools and devices,” said DesAutels when we talked with him. “That is fundamental, and our software is downloadable today, and in production. There are many tools and devices that have AllJoyn today, and it helps ensure that everything works together.”

Why Linux Is the Best Platform for Emulation

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GNU
Linux
Gaming

Do you wish you could play games meant for other platforms on your PC? Do you have an itch to play games meant for old systems that just aren’t cool anymore (or expensive because they’re antique)? Well don’t worry, because you can play your games without having to buy a console for each one. How? Simple, just use Linux! There are so many emulators available for our favorite open source operating system that you can play just about anything your heart desires right on your computer.

Don’t believe me? I’ll show you just how many emulators there really are.

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New Manjaro Linux 15.12 Update Pack Adds Nvidia 361.42, Linux Kernel 4.6 RC2

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GNU
Linux

The Manjaro development team has announced today, April 7, 2016, the general availability of the fifteenth update pack for the Manjaro Linux 15.12 (Capella) operating system.

Including the latest security patches from the upstream Arch Linux software repositories, the new update pack for Manjaro Linux 15.12, the current stable branch of the Arch Linux-based OS for workstations, received initial support for the upcoming Linux 4.6 kernel, as well as updates for some of the most important software components.

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Leftovers: OSS

Security Leftovers

  • Security updates for Thursday
  • OpenSSL patches two high-severity flaws
    OpenSSL has released versions 1.0.2h and 1.0.1t of its open source cryptographic library, fixing multiple security vulnerabilities that can lead to traffic being decrypted, denial-of-service attacks, and arbitrary code execution. One of the high-severity vulnerabilities is actually a hybrid of two low-risk bugs and can cause OpenSSL to crash.
  • Linux Foundation Advances Security Efforts via Badging Program
    The Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative's badging program matures, as the first projects to achieve security badges are announced.
  • Linux Foundation tackles open source security with new badge program
  • WordPress Plugin ‘Ninja Forms’ Security Vulnerability
    FOSS Force has just learned from Wordfence, a security company that focuses on the open source WordPress content management platform, that a popular plugin used by over 500,000 sites, Ninja Forms, contains serious security vulnerabilities.
  • Preparing Your Network for the IoT Revolution
    While there is no denying that IP-based connectivity continues to become more and more pervasive, this is not a fundamentally new thing. What is new is the target audience is changing and connectivity is becoming much more personal. It’s no longer limited to high end technology consumers (watches and drones) but rather, it is showing up in nearly everything from children’s toys to kitchen appliances (yes again) and media devices. The purchasers of these new technology-enabled products are far from security experts, or even security aware. Their primary purchasing requirements are ease of use.
  • regarding embargoes
    Yesterday I jumped the gun committing some patches to LibreSSL. We receive advance copies of the advisory and patches so that when the new OpenSSL ships, we’re ready to ship as well. Between the time we receive advance notice and the public release, we’re supposed to keep this information confidential. This is the embargo. During the embargo time we get patches lined up and a source tree for each cvs branch in a precommit state. Then we wait with our fingers on the trigger. What happened yesterday was I woke up to a couple OpenBSD developers talking about the EBCDIC CVE. Oh, it’s public already? Check the OpenSSL git repo and sure enough, there are a bunch of commits for embargoed issues. Pull the trigger! Pull the trigger! Launch the missiles! Alas, we didn’t look closely enough at the exact issues fixed and had missed the fact that only low severity issues had been made public. The high severity issues were still secret. We were too hasty.
  • Medical Equipment Crashes During Heart Procedure Because of Antivirus Scan [Ed: Windows]
    A critical medical equipment crashed during a heart procedure due to a timely scan triggered by the antivirus software installed on the PC to which the said device was sending data for logging and monitoring.
  • Hotel sector faces cybercrime surge as data breaches start to bite
    Since 2014, things have become a lot more serious with a cross section of mostly US hotels suffering major breaches during Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals. Panda Security lists a string of attacks on big brands including on Trump Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, Starwood, Rosen Hotels & Resorts as well two separate attacks on hotel management outfit White Lodging and another on non-US hotel Mandarin Oriental.

Android Leftovers

today's howtos