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Security

Security: USB Bugs, OnePlus 'Back Door', and ME 'Back Door'

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Security

Security: Kaspersky in the UK and Apple's Face ID

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Security

Security: Kaspersky, Shadow Brokers, Core Infrastructure Initiative, Face ID

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Security
  • The Daily Mail whisks up Kaspersky fears - but where's the meat?

    Make a note. Whenever you see the Daily Mail publish a headline which asks a question, the correct answer is invariably "no". If they had any reason to believe it was "yes", then they wouldn't have posed it as a question.

    The truth is that newspapers post these "Is the Loch Ness Monster on Tinder?"-style headlines because they know they'll get more clicks than if they use a headline which reflects the actual conclusion of the article.

  • NSA Cyber Weapons Turned Against Them in Hack

    A hack on the National Security Agency, claimed by a group called the “Shadow Brokers,” has caused a chilling effect on agency staffers, as they wonder whether it was a foreign hacker or someone on the inside.

  • Why the cybersecurity industry should care about Open Source maintenance

    In June of this year, Thales eSecurity joined the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), a project both founded and managed by The Linux Foundation, with the aim of collaboratively enhancing and strengthening the security and resilience of critical Open Source projects. Many of the world’s largest technology companies already belong to the CII, with Thales being officially recognised as the first global security firm to join the initiative.

  • You Can Easily Beat iPhone X Face ID Using This 3D-Printed Mask

    When it launched the iPhone X, Apple said that the company has worked with professional mask makers and Hollywood makeup artists. It was to make sure their facial recognition tech doesn’t fail when someone attempts to beat it.

Security: Proprietary Software and Microsoft's Back Doors

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Microsoft
Security
  • Hackers Can Use Your Antivirus Software To Spread Malware [Ed: Crackers can use just about any proprietary software to spread other (even more malicious) proprietary software]
  • NYT: NSA Spy Units Forced to 'Start Over' After Leaks, Hacks
  • Media: homeland security USA “shocked” by the data theft [Ed: "shocked" by impact of its own collusion with Microsoft]
  • Report: NSA Hunts for Moles Amid Crippling Information Leaks

    The National Security Agency has spent more than a year investigating a series of catastrophic breaches and has yet to determine whether it’s fighting foreign hackers or a mole inside the agency, The New York Times reports. At the center of the saga is a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers, which has been taunting the agency with periodic dumps of secret code online—leaks that employees say are much more damaging to national security than the information leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Some of the stolen code has been used in global malware attacks such as the WannaCry cyberattack, which crippled hospitals and government institutions across the world. Current and former employees have described a mole hunt inside the agency, with some employees reportedly asked to hand over their passports and undergo questioning. Yet investigators still don’t know who the culprits are, be it an insider who stole an entire thumb drive of sensitive code, or a group of Russian hackers—for some, the prime suspects—who managed to breach NSA defenses. “How much longer are the releases going to come?” one former employee was cited as saying. “The agency doesn’t know how to stop it—or even what ‘it’ is.”

pfSense: Not Linux, Not Bad

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Security
BSD

Through the years, I've used all sorts of router and firewall solutions at home and at work. For home networks, I usually recommend something like DD-WRT, OpenWRT or Tomato on an off-the-shelf router. For business, my recommendations typically are something like a Ubiquiti router or a router/firewall solution like Untangled or ClearOS. A few years ago, however, a coworker suggested I try pfSense instead of a Linux-based solution. I was hesitant, but I have to admit, pfSense with its BSD core is a rock-solid performer that I've used over and over at multiple sites.

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Security: Minix, Shadow Brokers, Kaspersky

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Security
  • The Truth About the Intel’s Hidden Minix OS and Security Concerns

    That supplemental unit is part of the chipset and is NOT on the main CPU die. Being independent, that means Intel ME is not affected by the various sleep state of the main CPU and will remain active even when you put your computer in sleep mode or when you shut it down.

  • Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core

    Mr. Williams had written on his company blog about the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that had somehow obtained many of the hacking tools the United States used to spy on other countries. Now the group had replied in an angry screed on Twitter. It identified him — correctly — as a former member of the National Security Agency’s hacking group, Tailored Access Operations, or T.A.O., a job he had not publicly disclosed. Then the Shadow Brokers astonished him by dropping technical details that made clear they knew about highly classified hacking operations that he had conducted.

  • UK spymasters raise suspicions over Kaspersky software's Russia links

Security: Fancy Bear, MINIX, WikiLeaks Vault 8, Face ID

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Security
  • New Microsoft Word attacks infect PCs sans macros

    Fancy Bear, the advanced hacking group researchers say is tied to the Russian government, is actively exploiting a newly revived technique that gives attackers a stealthy means of infecting computers using Microsoft Office documents, security researchers said this week.

    Fancy Bear is one of two Russian-sponsored hacking outfits researchers say breached Democratic National Committee networks ahead of last year's presidential election. The group was recently caught sending a Word document that abuses a feature known as Dynamic Data Exchange. DDE allows a file to execute code stored in another file and allows applications to send updates as new data becomes available.

  • Minix Inside!

    Everything was find but in May a major security flaw was discovered and the fix required an update data to the AMT code. An update that many machines are unlikely to get. Since then various security researchers, mostly Google-based, have been looking into the hardware and the software and have made the discovery that there is an additional layer in the hardware that Intel doesn't talk about. Ring 3 is user land, Ring 0 is OS land and Ring -1 is for hypervisors. These we know about, but in addition there is Ring -2, used for the secure UEFI kernel and Ring -3, which is where the management OS runs. Guess what the management OS is Minix 3 - or rather a closed commercial version of Minix 3.

  • WikiLeaks: CIA impersonated Kaspersky Labs as a cover for its malware operations

    WikiLeaks, under its new Vault 8 series of released documents, has rolled out what it says is the source code to a previously noted CIA tool, called Hive, that is used to help hide espionage actions when the Agency implants malware.
    Hive supposedly allows the CIA to covertly communicate with its software by making it hard or impossible to trace the malware back to the spy organization by utilizing a cover domain. Part of this, WikiLeaks said, is using fake digital certificates that impersonate other legitimate web groups, including Kaspersky Labs.

  • My Younger Brother Can Access My iPhone X: Face ID Is Not Secure

    What this means is family members, who are probably the people you don’t want accessing your device, can now potentially access your iPhone. Especially your younger brother, or Mom… or Grandma.

Security: Intel Back Door, Hacking a Fingerprint Biometric, Dashlane, Vault 8, Cryptojacking, MongoDB and More

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Security
  • Recent Intel Chipsets Have A Built-In Hidden Computer, Running Minix With A Networking Stack And A Web Server

    The "Ring-3" mentioned there refers to the level of privileges granted to the ME system. As a Google presentation about ME (pdf) explains, operating systems like GNU/Linux run on Intel chips at Ring 0 level; Ring-3 ("minus 3") trumps everything above -- include the operating system -- and has total control over the hardware. Throwing a Web server and a networking stack in there too seems like a really bad idea. Suppose there was some bug in the ME system that allowed an attacker to take control? Funny you should ask; here's what we learned earlier this year...

    [...]

     Those don't seem unreasonable requests given how serious the flaws in the ME system have been, and probably will be again in the future. It also seems only fair that people should be able to control fully a computer that they own -- and that ought to include the Minix-based computer hidden within.

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  • “Game Over!” — Intel’s Hidden, MINIX-powered ME Chip Can Be Hacked Over USB

    Even the creator of MINIX operating system didn’t know that his for-education operating system is on almost every Intel-powered computer.

  • Researchers find almost EVERY computer with an Intel Skylake and above CPU can be owned via USB

     

    Turns out they were right. Security firm Positive Technologies reports being able to execute unsigned code on computers running the IME through USB. The fully fleshed-out details of the attack are yet to be known, but from what we know, it’s bad.

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  • Hacking a Fingerprint Biometric
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  • Dashlane Password Manager Now Supports Linux [Ed: But why would anyone with a clue choose to upload his/her passwords?]

    Dashlane, the popular password manager, now supports Linux (and ChromeOS and Microsoft Edge) thanks to new web extension and web app combination.

  • Source Code For CIA’s Spying Tool Hive Released By Wikileaks: Vault 8

    From November 9, Wikileaks has started a new series named Vault 8. As a part of this series, the first leak contains the source code and analysis for Hive software project. Later, the other leaks of this series are expected to contain the source code for other tools as well.

  • Cryptojacking found on 2496 online stores

    Cryptojacking - running crypto mining software in the browser of unsuspecting visitors - is quickly spreading around the web. And the landgrab extends to online stores. The infamous CoinHive software was detected today on 2496 e-commerce sites.

  • 2,500+ Websites Are Now “Cryptojacking” To Use Your CPU Power And Mine Cryptocurrency
  • MongoDB update plugs security hole and sets sights on the enterprise

    Document database-flinger MongoDB has long positioned itself as the dev's best friend, but after ten years it is now fluffing itself up for the enterprise.

    The firm, which went public just last month and hopes to earn up to $220m, has now launched the latest version of its database, which aims to appeal to these bigger customers.

  • How AV can open you to attacks that otherwise wouldn’t be possible [Ed: Any proprietary software put on top of any other software (FOSS included) is a threat and a possible back door]

    Antivirus programs, in many cases, make us safer on the Internet. Other times, they open us to attacks that otherwise wouldn't be possible. On Friday, a researcher documented an example of the latter—a vulnerability he found in about a dozen name-brand AV programs that allows attackers who already have a toehold on a targeted computer to gain complete system control.

    AVGater, as the researcher is calling the vulnerability, works by relocating malware already put into an AV quarantine folder to a location of the attacker's choosing. Attackers can exploit it by first getting a vulnerable AV program to quarantine a piece of malicious code and then moving it into a sensitive directory such as C:\Windows or C:\Program Files, which normally would be off-limits to the attacker. Six of the affected AV programs have patched the vulnerability after it was privately reported. The remaining brands have yet to fix it, said Florian Bogner, a Vienna, Austria-based security researcher who gets paid to hack businesses so he can help them identify weaknesses in their networks.

  • Estonia arrests suspected FSB agent accused of “computer-related crime”

    Estonian authorities announced this week that they had recently arrested a Russian man suspected of being an agent of the Federal Security Service (FSB) who was allegedly planning "computer-related crime."

    The 20-year-old man, whose identity was not made public, was arrested last weekend in the Estonian border city of Narva as he was trying to return to Russia.

Security: Updates and Intel Back Doors

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Security

Security Leftovers

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Security
  • What Is ARP Spoofing? — Attacks, Detection, And Prevention

    Spoofing is often defined as imitating (something) while exaggerating its characteristic features for comic effect. Not in the real world but also in the computer networking world, spoofing is a common practice among notorious users to intercept data and traffic meant for a particular user.

  • New Hope for Digital Identity

    For your inconvenience, every organization's identity system is also a separate and proprietary silo, even if it is built with open-source software and methods. Worse, an organization might have many different silo'd identity systems that know little or nothing about each other. Even an organization as unitary as a university might have completely different identity systems operating within HR, health care, parking, laundry, sports and IT—as well as within its scholastic realm, which also might have any number of different departmental administrative systems, each with its own record of students past and present.

  • Linux has a whole crock of USB vulnerabilities
  • Google Patches KRACK Vulnerability in Android
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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • Why Linus is right (as usual)
    Last year, some security “hardening” code was added to the kernel to prevent a class of buffer-overflow/out-of-bounds issues. This code didn’t address any particular 0day vulnerability, but was designed to prevent a class of future potential exploits from being exploited. This is reasonable. This code had bugs, but that’s no sin. All code has bugs. The sin, from Linus’s point of view, is that when an overflow/out-of-bounds access was detected, the code would kill the user-mode process or kernel. Linus thinks it should have only generated warnings, and let the offending code continue to run.
  • Kube-Node: Let Your Kubernetes Cluster Auto-Manage Its Nodes
    As Michelle Noorali put it in her keynote address at KubeCon Europe in March of this year: the Kubernetes open source container orchestration engine is still hard for developers. In theory, developers are crazy about Kubernetes and container technologies, because they let them write their application once and then run it anywhere without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. In reality, however, they still rely on operations in many aspects, which (understandably) dampens their enthusiasm about the disruptive potential of these technologies. One major downside for developers is that Kubernetes is not able to auto-manage and auto-scale its own machines. As a consequence, operations must get involved every time a worker node is deployed or deleted. Obviously, there are many node deployment solutions, including Terraform, Chef or Puppet, that make ops live much easier. However, all of them require domain-specific knowledge; a generic approach across various platforms that would not require ops intervention does not exist.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) Shares Bought by Aperio Group LLC
  • Cloudera, Inc. (CLDR) vs. Red Hat, Inc. (RHT): Breaking Down the Data

Software: VidCutter, Super Productivity, MKVToolNix

  • VidCutter 5.0 Released With Improved UI, Frame Accurate Cutting
    A new version of VidCutter, a free video trimmer app, is available for download. VidCutter 5.0 makes it easier to cut videos to specific frames, improves the export of video clips with audio and subtitle tracks, and refreshes the default application icon. Why Vidcutter? If you want split video, trim video, or join video clips into a single montage then Vidcutter is ideal. The app lets you perform these tasks, as well as many more, quickly and easily. VidCutter is a Qt5 application that uses the open-source FFMpeg media engine.
  • Linux Release Roundup: Fedora 27, Shotwell, Corebird + More
    It’s been another busy week in the world of Linux, but we’re here to bring you up to speed with a round-up of the most notable new releases. The past 7 days have given us a new version of free software’s most popular photo management app, a new release of a leading Linux distribution, and updated one of my favourite app finds of the year.
  • Super Productivity is a Super Useful To-Do App for Linux, Mac & Windows
    Super Productivity is an open-source to-do list and time tracking app for Windows, macOS and Linux. It’s built using Electron but doesn’t require an internet connection (which is pretty neat). And it has (optional) integration with Atlassian’s Jira software.
  • MKVToolNix 18.0.0 Open-Source MKV Manipulation App Adds Performance Improvements
    A new stable release of the MKVToolNix open-source and cross-platform MKV (Matroska) manipulation software arrived this past weekend with various performance improvements and bug fixes. MKVToolNix 18.0.0 continues the monthly series of stability and reliability updates by adding performance improvements to both the AVC and HEVC ES parsers thanks to the implementation of support for copying much less memory, and enabling stack protection when building the program with Clang 3.5.0 or a new version.

OSS Leftovers

  • Reveal.js presentation hacks
    Ryan Jarvinen, a Red Hat open source advocate focusing on improving developer experience in the container community, has been using the Reveal.js presentation framework for more than five years. In his Lightning Talk at All Things Open 2017, he shares what he's learned about Reveal.js and some ways to make better use of it. Reveal.js is an open source framework for creating presentations in HTML based on HTML5 and CSS. Ryan describes Gist-reveal.it, his project that makes it easier for users to create, fork, present, and share Reveal.js slides by using GitHub's Gist service as a datastore.
  • Font licensing and use: What you need to know
    Most of us have dozens of fonts installed on our computers, and countless others are available for download, but I suspect that most people, like me, use fonts unconsciously. I just open up LibreOffice or Scribus and use the defaults. Sometimes, however, we need a font for a specific purpose, and we need to decide which one is right for our project. Graphic designers are experts in choosing fonts, but in this article I'll explore typefaces for everyone who isn't a professional designer.
  • Broader role essential for OpenStack Foundation, says Mirantis’ Renski
  • URSA Announces Name Change to Open Source Integrators to Reflect Their Full Spectrum of Open ERP Expertise
  • 2018 is Year for Open Source Software for Pentagon
    The US Pentagon is set to make a major investment in open source software, if section 886 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 is passed. The section acknowledges the use of open source software, the release of source code into public repositories, and a competition to inspire work with open source that supports the mission of the Department of Defense.
  • How startups save buckets of money on early software development
     

    Moving along, we have to segue with a short modularity lesson. More specifically, how modularity applies to software.

    Essentially, all products and services become cheaper and more plentiful when all the processes involved in production become modularised.

today's howtos