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Security

Security News

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Security
  • Wednesday's security updates
  • This Android botnet relies on Twitter for its commands
  • Android Security Flaw Exposes 1.4B Devices [Ed: Alternative headline is, "Android is very popular, it has billions of users. And yes, security ain’t perfect." When did the press ever publish a headline like, "Windows flaw leaves 2 billion PCs susceptible for remote takeover?" (happens a lot)]
  • Wildfire ransomware code cracked: Victims can now unlock encrypted files for free

    Victims of the Wildfire ransomware can get their encrypted files back without paying hackers for the privilege, after the No More Ransom initiative released a free decryption tool.

    No More Ransom runs a web portal that provides keys for unlocking files encrypted by various strains of ransomware, including Shade, Coinvault, Rannoh, Rakhn and, most recently, Wildfire.

    Aimed at helping ransomware victims retrieve their data, No More Ransom is a collaborative project between Europol, the Dutch National Police, Intel Security, and Kaspersky Lab.

    Wildfire victims are served with a ransom note demanding payment of 1.5 Bitcoins -- the cryptocurrency favored by cybercriminals -- in exchange for unlocking the encrypted files. However, cybersecurity researchers from McAfee Labs, part of Intel Security, point out that the hackers behind Wildfire are open to negotiation, often accepting 0.5 Bitcoins as a payment.

    Most victims of the ransomware are located in the Netherlands and Belgium, with the malicious software spread through phishing emails aimed at Dutch speakers. The email claims to be from a transport company and suggests that the target has missed a parcel delivery -- encouraging them to fill in a form to rearrange delivery for another date. It's this form which drops Wildfire ransomware onto the victim's system and locks it down.

Security Leftovers

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Security News

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Security

Canonical Releases Massive Mir 0.24.0 Display Server Update for Ubuntu Linux OS

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Ubuntu

Canonical has pushed a new massive update (version 0.24.0) of the Mir display server used to power the Unity 8 user interface of the next-generation Ubuntu Linux operating system.

Read more

Security Leftovers

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Security News

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GitLab Features Expansion

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Development
Security

Security Leftovers

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Security News

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Security
  • Security and reproducible-build progress in Guix 0.11

    The GNU Guix package-manager project recently released version 0.11, bringing with it support for several hundred new packages, a range of new tools, and some significant progress toward making an entire operating system (OS) installable using reproducible builds.

    Guix is a "functional" package manager, built on many of the same ideas found in the Nix package manager. As the Nix site explains it, the functional paradigm means that packages are treated like values in a functional programming language—Haskell in Nix's case, Scheme in Guix's. The functions that build and install packages do so without side effects, so the system can easily offer nice features like atomic transactions, rollbacks, and the ability for individual users to build and install separate copies of a package without fear that they will interfere. Part of making such a system reliable is to ensure that builds are "reproducible"—meaning that two corresponding copies of a binary built on different systems at different times will be bit-for-bit identical.

  • VeraCrypt Audit Under Way; Email Mystery Cleared Up

    To say the VeraCrypt audit, which begins today, got off to an inauspicious start would be an understatement.

    On Sunday, two weeks after the announcement that the open source file and disk encryption software would be formally scrutinized for security vulnerabilities, executives at one of the firms funding the audit posted a notice that four emails between the parties involved had been intercepted.

  • Cryptocurrency Mining Virus Targets Linux Machines
  • Why The Windows Secure Boot Hack Is a Good Thing

    Most coverage of the subject has been written in that panicky, alarmist prose that makes for exciting news, but the problem is that the invalidation of Secure Boot is a very positive development for everyone concerned, except for Microsoft. Yes, it shows why backdoors for “the good guys” are a terrible idea — yes, it even has far-reaching implications for every piece of computing technology using the UEFI standard. However, I maintain that it will have a positive influence on the direction of security and tech standards moving forward.

Security Leftovers

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More in Tux Machines

Conferences and Kids

I've taken my daughter, now 13, to FOSDEM in Brussels every year that I had slots there. She isn't a geek, yet enjoys the crowds and the freebies. When I could, I also took my kids to other events, where I was speaking. In this post I'd like to capture my feelings about why children should be part of conferences, and what conferences can do to make this easier. First off, the "why?" Traditional conferences (in all domains, not just software) are boring, ritualized events where the participants compete to see who can send the most people to sleep at once. The real event starts later, over alcohol. It is a strictly adult affair, and what happens at the conf stays at the conf. Now our business is a little different. It is far more participative. Despite our history of finicky magic technologies that seem to attract mainly male brains, we strive for diversity, openness, broad tolerance. Most of what we learn and teach comes through informal channels. Finished is formal education, elitism, and formal credentials. We are smashing the barriers of distance, wealth, background, gender, and age. Read more

50 Essential Linux Applications

If you’re a refugee from Windows, you may be finding the Linux world slightly confusing, wondering how you can get the all same functionality you had in Windows, but still enjoy the freedom that Linux offers. Never fear! Linux is not some scary, difficult to use monster that’s only used by hackers and programmers, it’s actually becoming more and more user friendly every day. Read
more

today's leftovers

  • Debugging gnome-session problems on Ubuntu 14.04
  • Introducing snapd-glib
  • An awesome experience!
    GUADEC has been a week full of memorable moments. As my friend Rares mentioned in his post, our newcomers group was welcomed by friendly community members right as we arrived at the hotel. For someone who has never attended a similar event before, this really helped with getting into the conference atmosphere. In the first couple days of the conference, I found myself meeting a lot of people that I knew from IRC. It felt really nice to finally know the person behind the internet nick. I was especially excited about getting to meet my mentor, Carlos Soriano =). In between the presentations I also took the time to prepare my own lightning talk about compressed files in Nautilus. Speaking in front of the GNOME community for the first time was a unique experience.
  • Commvault Announces Support of Red Hat Virtualization 4 with Commvault Software
  • Modularity Infrastructure Design
    The purpose of our Modularity initiative is to support the building, maintaining, and shipping of modular things. So, in order to ensure these three requirements are met, we need to design a framework for building and composing the distribution. In terms of the framework, in general, we are concerned about the possibility of creating an exponential number of component combinations with independent lifecycles. That is, when the number of component combinations becomes too large, we will not be able to manage them. So that we don’t accidentally make our lives worse, we must limit the number of supported modules with a policy and provide infrastructure automation to reduce the amount of manual work required.
  • more, less, and a story of typical Unix fossilization
    In the beginning, by which we mean V7, Unix didn't have a pager at all. That was okay; Unix wasn't very visual in those days, partly because it was still sort of the era of the hard copy terminal. Then along came Berkeley and BSD. People at Berkeley were into CRT terminals, and so BSD Unix gave us things like vi and the first pager program, more (which showed up quite early, in 3BSD, although this isn't as early as vi, which appears in 2BSD). Calling a pager more is a little bit odd but it's a Unix type of name and from the beginning more prompted you with '--More--' at the bottom of the screen. All of the Unix vendors that based their work on BSD Unix (like Sun and DEC) naturally shipped versions of more along with the rest of the BSD programs, and so more spread around the BSD side of things. However, more was by no means the best pager ever; as you might expect, it was actually a bit primitive and lacking in features. So fairly early on Mark Nudelman wrote a pager with somewhat more features and it wound up being called less as somewhat of a joke. When less was distributed via Usenet's net.sources in 1985 it became immediately popular, as everyone could see that it was clearly nicer than more, and pretty soon it was reasonably ubiquitous on Unix machines (or at least ones that had some degree of access to stuff from Usenet). In 4.3 BSD, more itself picked up the 'page backwards' feature that had motived Mark Nudelman to write less, cf the 4.3BSD manpage, but this wasn't the only attraction of less. And this is where we get into Unix fossilization.
  • PNScan Linux Trojan Resurfaces with New Attacks Targeting Routers in India
    A trojan thought to have died out resurfaced with new attacks and a new and improved version, launching new attacks on routers running Linux-based firmware located in India's cyber-space.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • 4 tips for teaching kids how to build electronics
    Kids are naturally curious about how things work, and with a new trend in hardware companies creating open source hardware products, it's a great time to teach kids about electronics. But modern technology can seem too complex to even begin to understand. So where do you start?
  • Oil companies joining open source world by sharing data [Ed: No, oil companies, sharing data is open data and not open source. More openwashing, like greenwashing]
    The oil and gas industry has long collected huge volumes of data, but it hasn’t always known quite what to do with it all. Often, the terabytes aren’t even stored on computer systems that readily talk to each other. Industry insiders are used to it, said Michael Jones, senior director of strategy at the oil and gas software maker Landmark. But it’s not OK, he said. So, about a year ago, Jones and some of his oil industry colleagues set about to fix it. This week, at Landmark’s Innovation Forum & Expo at the Westin hotel in northwest Houston, the company unveiled the beginnings of a collaborative its members called groundbreaking. In a move to drive technology further, faster — and, perhaps, take a bigger piece of the burgeoning big-data market — Landmark is pushing its main computing platform into the cloud, for all to use.
  • Interactive, open source visualizations of nocturnal bird migrations in near real-time
    New flow visualizations using data from weather radar networks depict nocturnal bird migrations, according to a study published August 24, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Judy Shamoun-Baranes from University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues.
  • Go! Speed Racer Go!
    I finally reached a point where I could start running the go version of sm-photo-tool. I finished the option validation for the list command. While I was testing it I noticed how much faster the Go version felt. Here are the python vs Go versions of the commands.
  • Semantic Interoperability for European Public Services will be presented at the SEMANTiCS 2016 conference
    The revision of the European Interoperability Framework and the importance of data and information standardisation for promoting semantic interoperability for European Public Services will be presented by Dr. Vassilios Peristeras, DG Informatics, ISA unit at the SEMANTiCS 2016 conference which takes place in Leipzig on September 13th and 14th 2016. The title of the presentation is “Promoting Semantic Interoperability for European Public Services: the European Commission ISA2 Programme” (slideset to appear here soon).