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Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Google offers app to help companies assess their vendors' security

    Google has published an interactive questionnaire that companies can use to assess the security practices of their suppliers or to review and improve their own security programs.

    The Vendor Security Assessment Questionnaire (VSAQ) is a Web-based application and was released under an open-source license on GitHub. It contains a collection of questionnaires that Google itself uses to review multiple aspects of a vendor's security.

  • Google Opens Up Collection of Vendor Security Assessment Questionnaires

    Google is continuing its rapid pace of open source contributions this year. As we've covered, the company recently opened up some powerful and interesting machine learning tools. It is open sourcing a program called TensorFlow that is based on the same internal toolset that Google has spent years developing to support its AI software and other predictive and analytics programs. You can find out more about TensorFlow at its site, and you might be surprised to learn that it is the engine behind several Google tools you may already use, including Google Photos and the speech recognition found in the Google app.

  • Let's Encrypt has issued its first million certificates
  • WordPress: Got Plugins? (4 Plugins you need to check)

    Thanks to a wordfence blog post, we have a fuller understanding of a previously disclosed backdoored official plugin ( CCTM ) and 3 more plugins which within the last week or so have been publicly disclosed and patched.

  • New Mac ransomware was ported from Linux

Linux Mint Passwords Change

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Security
  • Linux Mint Devs Finally Decide to Change the Website's Password Policies
  • Linux Mint updates password policy after getting hacked and failing its users

    Linux Mint is a good operating system. The problem, however, is that it really doesn't need to exist. Mint is based on Ubuntu, which is a wonderful OS on its own. Ultimately, the biggest reason for Mint's existence is the Cinnamon desktop environment, and that is certainly no reason for an entirely new OS. One of the things keeping Linux behind on the desktop is the sheer number of unnecessary distributions, such as Mint, but I digress.

    When Linux Mint forums and ISOs were compromised, many of its users felt betrayed. After all, Linux is supposed to be safe and secure -- this hack was a major blemish to the community overall. Of course, this is unfair -- the kernel was not hacked, only Mint's servers. Today, as a reactionary response to the hack, Mint is changing password policies.

Security Leftovers

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Security

Making the Internet Safer, One Secure Site at a Time: Let’s Encrypt Hits 1 Million Certificates

Filed under
Linux
Security

Let’s Encrypt today issued its one millionth free certificate (at 9:04am GMT to be exact), just about 100 days after it released its beta version of the service. This is a major accomplishment for the group, but also big news for the web and the security of everyone online.

In the past three months, our online activities and web traffic have become much safer and better protected through the efforts of Let’s Encrypt, an open source project that is hosted by The Linux Foundation and supported by organizations like Mozilla, Cisco, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Facebook, and Google Chrome.

Read more

Security Leftovers

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Security

10 do's and don'ts for securing your Android device

Filed under
Android
Security

Afraid being mobile means being insecure? These Android security measures will give you some peace of mind.

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Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Friday's security updates
  • Top 10 Critical CVEs That Can Lead To A Data Breach And How To Fix Them
  • CacheBleed: A Timing Attack on OpenSSL Constant Time RSA
  • How Mature is Your Vulnerability Coordination?

    Among the many best practices for security professionals is to have some process for handling inbound vulnerability reporting. So if someone finds a bug or exploit in a product or service, the company with the vulnerability is able to respond to a researcher and knows what to do with a report.

    It's a topic that security industry luminary Katie Moussouris, chief policy officer at HackerOne, is well versed in, as she is the author of the Vulnerability Coordination Maturity Model.

  • The Risk of Open WiFi on Display at RSA

    Security experts from around the globe descended on the Moscone Center here this week for the annual RSA Conference, which provided free WiFi throughout the sessions and exhibit halls. While the WiFi has been generally available, there has been one key problem with it--it's unencrypted.

  • A Day in the Life of Google's Security Chief

    Gerhard Eschelbeck, vice president of security engineering at Google, has one of the toughest jobs in IT security: He has to keep Google secure. In a session at the RSA Conference here March 1 titled "My Life as Chief Security Officer at Google," Eschelbeck gave attendees insight into how he spends his days working and his nights worrying about IT security.

  • DROWN Flaw Illustrates Dangers of Intentionally Weak Crypto

    Calls for encryption backdoors that date back to the 1990s are coming back to haunt the industry 20 years later with DROWN, security experts say. The flaw that researchers found with DROWN center around the fact that during the so called Crypto Wars of the 1990s President Bill Clinton’s administration insisted that US government have a way to break the encryption that was exported outside of the United States.

  • Truly Random Number Generator Promises Stronger Encryption Across All Devices, Cloud

    Before, Entropy Engine only worked on the local device. With NetRandom, they can feed randomness through the network and strengthen the encryption used by virtual machines, cloud instances, clients, servers, and embedded systems in Internet of Things devices. "One of them could support tens of thousands of virtual machines," says Newell.

  • RSA 2016: 4 Data Issues Faced by States, Localities in the Digital Age

    Industry experts discussed the risks, benefits and next steps around data in the government space during the 2016 RSA Conference in San Francisco.

  • How To Disable (Blacklist) Your Laptop Webcam & Microphone in Linux

    Since Linux isn't spyware and do not contain any backdoor like other popular operating system, that's another reason we all love to use this operating system. It is bit difficult for surveillance people to install an application on your Linux without special permissions or spyware doesn't work obviously on Linux like does on other OS's but if you install something from untrusted source or you physically gave access to somebody to your system then there might be chances that you can be victim of surveillance and the whole could be nightmare for you. There are couple of things you can do to prevent it like do a OS re-install or blacklist ports and non-removable devices like webcam and microphone, by the way you should physically cover your laptop and phone camera with sticker. So without further we go, lets start doing it.

  • Trouble at Linux Mint — and beyond [Ed: no more paywall]

    When the Linux Mint project announced that, for a while on February 20, its web site had been changed to point to a backdoored version of its distribution, the open-source community took notice. Everything we have done is based on the ability to obtain and install software from the net; this incident was a reminder that this act is not necessarily as safe as we would like to think. We would be well advised to think for a bit on the implications of this attack and how we might prevent similar attacks in the future.

Subgraph OS: Secure, Free, Open Source Linux Operating System For Non-technical Users

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GNU
Linux
Security

To answer your security related concerns, Subgraph OS is here as a free, secure, open source Linux operating system for the non-technical users. This security-focused distro comes with complete TOR integration, full-disk encryption, OpenPGP mail integration, system hardening and other features. Know more about the OS and make your system secure.

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JasPer Vulnerabilities Fixed in Ubuntu

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Security
Ubuntu

A couple of JasPer issues have been found and repaired in the Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

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Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Security advisories for Thursday
  • State Department Backs Off Criminalizing Security Research Tools

    Some good news for security researchers: the US government's adoption of the Wassenaar Arrangement will no longer treat the tools of security research like crates of machine guns. While exploits and penetration tools can be used by bad people for bad things, they're also invaluable to security researchers who use these to make the computing world a safer place.

    Vague wording in the US government's proposed adoption of the 2013 version of the Wassenaar Arrangement threatened to criminalize the development of security research tools and make any researcher traveling out of the country with a laptop full of exploits an exporter of forbidden weapons.

  • IRS Tool Designed To Protect Identity Theft Victims -- Exposes Users To Identity Theft

    Last year, the personal records of 100,000 taxpayers wound up in the hands of criminals, thanks to a flimsy authentication process in the agency's "Get Transcript" application. In short, the IRS used all-too-common static identifiers to verify taxpayer identity (information that could be found anywhere), allowing criminals to use the system to then obtain notably more sensitive taxpayer information and ultimately steal finances. At the time, the IRS breathlessly insisted it would be shoring up its security standards, though it failed to really detail how it would accomplish this.

  • 1Password sends your password across the loopback interface in clear text

    1Password sends your password in clear text across the loopback interface if you use the browser extensions.

  • Bruce Schneier: We're sleepwalking towards digital disaster and are too dumb to stop

    Security guru Bruce Schneier has issued a stark warning to the RSA 2016 conference – get smart or face a whole world of trouble.

    The level of interconnectedness of the world's technology is increasing daily, he said, and is becoming a world-sized web – which he acknowledged was a horrible term – made up of sensors, distributed computers, cloud systems, mobile, and autonomous data processing units. And no one is quite sure where it is all heading.

  • Latest attack against TLS shows the pitfalls of intentionally weakening encryption
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University fuels NextCloud's improved monitoring

Encouraged by a potential customer - a large, German university - the German start-up company NextCloud has improved the resource monitoring capabilities of its eponymous cloud services solution, which it makes available as open source software. The improved monitoring should help users scale their implementation, decide how to balance work loads and alerting them to potential capacity issues. NextCloud’s monitoring capabilities can easily be combined with OpenNMS, an open source network monitoring and management solution. Read more

Linux Kernel Developers on 25 Years of Linux

One of the key accomplishments of Linux over the past 25 years has been the “professionalization” of open source. What started as a small passion project for creator Linus Torvalds in 1991, now runs most of modern society -- creating billions of dollars in economic value and bringing companies from diverse industries across the world to work on the technology together. Hundreds of companies employ thousands of developers to contribute code to the Linux kernel. It’s a common codebase that they have built diverse products and businesses on and that they therefore have a vested interest in maintaining and improving over the long term. The legacy of Linux, in other words, is a whole new way of doing business that’s based on collaboration, said Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation said this week in his keynote at LinuxCon in Toronto. Read more

Car manufacturers cooperate to build the car of the future

Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) is a project of the Linux Foundation dedicated to creating open source software solutions for the automobile industry. It also leverages the ten billion dollar investment in the Linux kernel. The work of the AGL project enables software developers to keep pace with the demands of customers and manufacturers in this rapidly changing space, while encouraging collaboration. Walt Miner is the community manager for Automotive Grade Linux, and he spoke at LinuxCon in Toronto recently on how Automotive Grade Linux is changing the way automotive manufacturers develop software. He worked for Motorola Automotive, Continental Automotive, and Montevista Automotive program, and saw lots of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Ford, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota in action over the years. Read more

Torvalds at LinuxCon: The Highlights and the Lowlights

On Wednesday, when Linus Torvalds was interviewed as the opening keynote of the day at LinuxCon 2016, Linux was a day short of its 25th birthday. Interviewer Dirk Hohndel of VMware pointed out that in the famous announcement of the operating system posted by Torvalds 25 years earlier, he had said that the OS “wasn’t portable,” yet today it supports more hardware architectures than any other operating system. Torvalds also wrote, “it probably never will support anything other than AT-harddisks.” Read more