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Security

WebKitGTK+ security status

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GNOME
Security

Security: GNU/Linux Versus Windows

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Microsoft
Security
  • Towards (reasonably) trustworthy x86 laptops

    Can we build trustworthy client systems on x86 hardware? What are the main challenges? What can we do about them, realistically? Is there anything we can?

  • Recently Bought a Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Has Your Encryption Key [Ed: yes, flawed by design]

    One of the excellent features of new Windows devices is that disk encryption is built-in and turned on by default, protecting your data in case your device is lost or stolen. But what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key – which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk – to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt-out.

    During the “crypto wars” of the nineties, the National Security Agency developed an encryption backdoor technology – endorsed and promoted by the Clinton administration – called the Clipper chip, which they hoped telecom companies would use to sell backdoored crypto phones. Essentially, every phone with a Clipper chip would come with an encryption key, but the government would also get a copy of that key – this is known as key escrow – with the promise to only use it in response to a valid warrant. But due to public outcry and the availability of encryption tools like PGP, which the government didn’t control, the Clipper chip program ceased to be relevant by 1996. (Today, most phone calls still aren’t encrypted. You can use the free, open source, backdoorless Signal app to make encrypted calls.)

Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Security Researchers Offer Warnings About Hackable Railroads

    The well-being of critical infrastructure and transportation has long been the elephant in the room when it comes to cybersecurity: plenty of researchers have warned about the possibility of attacks on power-plants, the national grid, and, more recently, even the emergence of internet connected cars.

    Now, researchers are warning of the gaping holes in the security of railroad systems. On Sunday at Chaos Communication Congress, a security, arts and politics conference held annually in Hamburg, Germany, members of the SCADA StrangeLove collective presented a long list of problems with railroad systems that attackers could exploit.

  • DLL Hijacking Just Won’t Die

    To make a long and complicated story short, a bad guy who exploits this vulnerability places a malicious DLL into your browser’s Downloads folder, then waits. When you run an installer built by an earlier version of NSIS from that folder, the elevation prompt (assuming it runs at admin) shows the legitimate installer’s signature asking you for permission to run the installer. After you grant permission, the victim installer loads the malicious DLL which runs its malicious code with the installer’s permissions. And then it’s not your computer anymore.

  • CA Council to Improve Internet Certificate Security in 2016

    At the heart of much of the Internet's security is the use of Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS), which provides encryption for data in motion. Certificate Authorities (CAs) are the trusted entities that issue TLS certificates, and as a group, the CAs are gearing up for big year in 2016, with multiple efforts designed to improve the security of the Internet.

  • Backspace Flaw Enables Linux Zero-Day Attack

Purism's Librem 13 laptop will come with Qubes OS installed

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

Most Linux distributions are fairly similar these days, but Qubes OS is different. Qubes OS is based on Linux, but it runs applications in lightweight virtual machines. Applications can be completely isolated from each other, limiting the damage a security vulnerability can cause and aiding in privacy. It's no surprise Edward Snowden said he was excited by Qubes OS.

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Security Leftovers

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Security
  • #OLEOutlook - bypass almost every Corporate security control with a point’n’click GUI

    In this tutorial, I will show you how to embed an executable into a corporate network via email, behind the firewall(s), disguised as a Word document. There is no patch for this issue.

  • Somebody Tried to Get a Raspberry Pi Exec to Install Malware on Its Devices

    Liz Upton, the Director of Communications for the Raspberry Pi Foundation, has tweeted out a screenshot of an email where an unknown person has proposed that the Foundation install malware on all of its devices.

    In the email, a person named Linda, is proposing Mrs. Upton an agreement where their company would provide an EXE file that installs a desktop shortcut, that when clicked redirects users to a specific website. (Raspberry Pi devices can run Windows as well, not just Linux variants.)

  • Botnet of Aethra Routers Used for Brute-Forcing WordPress Sites

    Italian security researchers from VoidSec have come across a botnet structure that was using vulnerable Aethra Internet routers and modems to launch brute-force attacks on WordPress websites.

  • Steam Had A Very Rough Christmas With A Major Security Issue

    The security issue looks like it might be resolved now, but resulted in gamers being able to see other account holder's information. Seeing other accounts included partial credit card information, addresses, and other personal information. For a while, the Steam store was completely shut down. The issue seems to stem from some caching issues due to account holders being presented with the wrong information.

Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Thursday's security updates
  • MMD-0047-2015 - SSHV: SSH bruter ELF botnet malware w/hidden process kernel module
  • Another “critical” “VPN” “vulnerability” and why Port Fail is bullshit

    The morning of November 26 brought me interesting news: guys from Perfect Privacy disclosed the Port Fail vulnerability, which can lead to an IP address leak for clients of VPN services with a “port forwarding” feature. I was indignant about their use of the word “vulnerability”. It’s not a vulnerability, just a routing feature: Traffic to VPN server always goes via ISP, outside of VPN tunnel. Pretty obvious thing, I thought, which should be known by any network administrator. Besides that, the note is technically correct, so nothing to worry about. But then the headlines came, and shit hit the fan.

  • Cracking Linux with the backspace key?

    The source of these reports is a mildly hype-ridden disclosure of a vulnerability in the GRUB2 bootloader by Hector Marco and Ismael Ripoll. It seems that hitting the backspace character at the GRUB2 username prompt enough times will trigger an integer underflow, allowing a bypass of GRUB2's authentication stage. According to the authors, this vulnerability, exploitable for denial-of-service, information-disclosure, and code-execution attacks, "results in an incalculable number of affected devices." It is indeed a serious vulnerability in some settings and it needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, some of the most severely affected systems may also be the hardest to patch. But language like the above leads reporters to write that any Linux system can be broken into using the backspace key, which stretches the truth somewhat.

Pro tip: Check your Android device for vulnerabilities with Belarc Security Advisor

Filed under
Android
Security

For many admins, Belarc's Security Adviser is the go-to tool for information gathering on a Windows desktop system. Now, you can reach for Belarc Security Advisor on the Android platform.

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Security Leftovers

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Security

Security Leftovers

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Security

Git Vulnerability Founds and Fixed in All Supported Ubuntu OSes

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Security
Ubuntu

A Git vulnerability has been identified and repaired in Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.

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  • Apache Graduates Another Big Data Project to Top Level
    For the past year, we've taken note of the many projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support. Only days ago, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. And now, Apache Twill has graduated as well. Twill is an abstraction over Apache Hadoop YARN that reduces the complexity of developing distributed Hadoop applications, allowing developers to focus more on their application logic.
  • Spark 2.0 takes an all-in-one approach to big data
    Apache Spark, the in-memory processing system that's fast become a centerpiece of modern big data frameworks, has officially released its long-awaited version 2.0. Aside from some major usability and performance improvements, Spark 2.0's mission is to become a total solution for streaming and real-time data. This comes as a number of other projects -- including others from the Apache Foundation -- provide their own ways to boost real-time and in-memory processing.
  • Why Uber Engineering Switched from Postgres to MySQL
    The early architecture of Uber consisted of a monolithic backend application written in Python that used Postgres for data persistence. Since that time, the architecture of Uber has changed significantly, to a model of microservices and new data platforms. Specifically, in many of the cases where we previously used Postgres, we now use Schemaless, a novel database sharding layer built on top of MySQL. In this article, we’ll explore some of the drawbacks we found with Postgres and explain the decision to build Schemaless and other backend services on top of MySQL.
  • GNU Hyperbole 6.0.1 for Emacs 24.4 to 25 is released
    GNU Hyperbole (pronounced Ga-new Hi-per-bo-lee), or just Hyperbole, is an amazing programmable hypertextual information management system implemented as a GNU Emacs package. This is the first public release in 2016. Hyperbole has been greatly expanded and modernized for use with the latest Emacs 25 releases; it supports GNU Emacs 24.4 or above. It contains an extensive set of improvements that can greatly boost your day-to-day productivity with Emacs and your ability to manage information stored across many different machines on the internet. People who get used to Hyperbole find it helps them so much that they prefer never to use Emacs without it.
  • Belgium mulls reuse of banking mobile eID app
    The Belgium government wants to reuse ‘Belgian Mobile ID’ a smartphone app for electronic identification, developed by banks and telecom providers in the country. The eID app could be used for eGovernment services, and the federal IT service agency, Fedict, is working on the app’s integration.
  • Water resilience that flows: Open source technologies keep an eye on the water flow
    Communities around the world are familiar with the devastation brought on by floods and droughts. Scientists are concerned that, in light of global climate change, these events will only become more frequent and intense. Water variability, at its worst, can threaten the lives and well-beings of countless people. Sadly, humans cannot control the weather to protect themselves. But according to Silja Hund, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, communities can build resilience to water resource stress. Hund studies the occurrence and behavior of water. In particular, she studies rivers and streams. These have features (like water volume) that can change quickly. According to Hund, it is essential for communities to understand local water systems. Knowledge of water resources is helpful in developing effective water strategies. And one of the best ways to understand dynamic water bodies like rivers is to collect lots of data.