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Security in Android, Windows

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  • With Android Oreo, Google is introducing Linux kernel requirements

    Android may be a Linux-based operating system, but the Linux roots are something that few people pay much mind. Regardless of whether it is known or acknowledged by many people, the fact remains that Android is rooted in software regarded as horrendously difficult to use and most-readily associated with the geekier computer users, but also renowned for its security.

  • Exclusive: India and Pakistan hit by spy malware - cybersecurity firm [Ed: When you use Microsoft Windows in government in spite of back doors]

    Symantec Corp, a digital security company, says it has identified a sustained cyber spying campaign, likely state-sponsored, against Indian and Pakistani entities involved in regional security issues.

    In a threat intelligence report that was sent to clients in July, Symantec said the online espionage effort dated back to October 2016. 


    Symantec’s report said an investigation into the backdoor showed that it was constantly being modified to provide “additional capabilities” for spying operations.

Microsoft-Connected Firm Says GNU/Linux Desktop Market Exceeds 3%, Microsoft in Trouble in France

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  • Linux desktop market share has hit another all time high above 3%, according to netmarketshare [Ed: This Microsoft-connected firm says share on the desktop higher than 3%; in reality can be higher than this, especially if ChromeOS, Android etc. get counted.]
  • Linux Browser Marketshare Strikes Above 3%

    According to Net Applications' Netmarketshare, the Linux market share on the desktop as judged by browser interactions may now be above 3%.

    The company is reporting a 3.37% Linux marketshare for August 2017, a rise from 2.53% a month prior and the first time they have reported the Linux desktop marketshare above 3%.

  • France demands €600 million in tax from Microsoft

    France's tax authority is seeking 600 million euros ($715 million) from Microsoft's local subsidiary for billing French customers from Ireland, the weekly L'Express reported on Wednesday.
    The magazine reported that the bills concerned internet advertising and keywords for internet searches.
    Despite a considerable presence in France, Microsoft paid only 32.2 million euros in corporate tax there last year, according to L'Express.

Proprietary and Openwashing: Facebook. Skype, LinkedIn, Talend, and Slack

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Today, August 31st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the Angelfire project of the CIA. Angelfire is an implant comprised of five components: Solartime, Wolfcreek, Keystone (previously MagicWand), BadMFS, and the Windows Transitory File system. Like previously published CIA projects (Grasshopper and AfterMidnight) in the Vault7 series, it is a persistent framework that can load and execute custom implants on target computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system (XP or Win7).

Solartime modifies the partition boot sector so that when Windows loads boot time device drivers, it also loads and executes the Wolfcreek implant, that once executed, can load and run other Angelfire implants. According to the documents, the loading of additional implants creates memory leaks that can be possibly detected on infected machines.

Keystone is part of the Wolfcreek implant and responsible for starting malicious user applications. Loaded implants never touch the file system, so there is very little forensic evidence that the process was ever ran. It always disguises as "C:\Windows\system32\svchost.exe" and can thus be detected in the Windows task manager, if the operating system is installed on another partition or in a different path.

BadMFS is a library that implements a covert file system that is created at the end of the active partition (or in a file on disk in later versions). It is used to store all drivers and implants that Wolfcreek will start. All files are both encrypted and obfuscated to avoid string or PE header scanning. Some versions of BadMFS can be detected because the reference to the covert file system is stored in a file named "zf".

The Windows Transitory File system is the new method of installing AngelFire. Rather than lay independent components on disk, the system allows an operator to create transitory files for specific actions including installation, adding files to AngelFire, removing files from AngelFire, etc. Transitory files are added to the 'UserInstallApp'.

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Bugs? What bugs? Microsoft sees no evil.

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On Aug. 23, Microsoft released Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Build 16273. This late beta doesn’t introduce new features. It’s all about stabilizing the next Windows 10 update before releasing it to the public. In short, it’s a bug-fix version — with a twist. While Microsoft tells us which bugs have been fixed in this build, it doesn’t say anything about new bugs, or old bugs that haven’t been fixed.

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Microsoft Openwashing of Visual Studio and LinkedIn

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Desktop: Entroware's New GNU/Linux Laptop, Microsoft Caught Red-handed

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Openwashing: Oracle, Mono, Microsoft and Red Hat

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  • Oracle Open Source Library now available to C and C++ developers [Ed: openwashing of a link to Oracle's proprietary lockin]

    The production release of the Oracle Database Programming Interface for C (ODPI-C), which gives more streamlined access to C and C++ developers to Oracle Database, has been launched on GitHub.

    The open-source wrapper is aimed primarily at language interface developers, allowing users to quickly call more common features of the Oracle Call Interface (OCI), the main C API for Oracle Database. But the company says that its conciseness makes it a flexible and accessible tool.

  • Mono 5.2 Released With Various Changes [Ed: Microsoft lockin painted as "open"]
  • Microsoft's .NET Core 2.0: What's new and why it matters
  • Microsoft Launches .NET Core 2.0 With Better Linux Support
  • Tips for finding partners open enough to work with you

    Imagine I'm working on the front line of an open organization, and I'm committed to following principles like transparency, inclusivity, adaptability, collaboration, community, accountability, and commitment to guide that front-line work. A huge problem comes up. My fellow front-line workers and I can't handle it on our own, so we discuss the problem and decide that one of us has to take it to top management. I'm selected to do that.

    When I do, I learn there is nothing we can do about the problem within the company. So management decides to let me present the issue to outside individuals who can help us.

    In my search for the expertise required to fix the problem, I learned that no single individual has that expertise—and that we must find an outside, skilled partner (company) to help us address the issue.

Slackware Security and Windows Insecurity

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  • OpenJDK7 and Flash Player security updates (Aug ’17)

    On the blog of IcedTea release manager Andrew Hughes (aka GNU/Andrew) you can find the announcement for IcedTea 2.6.11 which builds OpenJDK 7u151_b01. This release includes the official July 2017 security fixes for Java 7. Note that the security updates for Java 8 were already pushed to my repository some time ago.

  • Kremlin's hackers 'wield stolen NSA exploit to spy on hotel guests in Europe, Mid East'

    Miscreants are using various techniques, including the leaked NSA EternalBlue exploit also wielded by the WannaCry malware, to hack into laptops and other devices used by government and business travelers, FireEye researchers declared on Friday.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

How to build something ‘useful’ with a Raspberry Pi

In honor of Pi Day, Chaim Gartenberg and I cooked up a tiny little Raspberry Pi project for yesterday’s episode of Circuit Breaker Live. We started with a simple concept: a button that says “Why?” when you press it, in honor of our favorite podcast. So we knew we’d need a button, some sound files, a little bit of Python code, and, of course, a Raspberry Pi. A new Pi is $35, but we found an old Raspberry Pi 2 in my desk drawer, which was up to the task. (Newer Pis have built-in Wi-Fi and faster processors, but for our simple button project we didn’t need internet or extra horsepower.) Read more

Wine 3.4

  • Wine Announcement
    The Wine development release 3.4 is now available.
  • Wine 3.4 Release Continues With Vulkan Upbringing, Some Wine-Staging Patches
    The latest bi-weekly release of Wine is now available for running your favorite or necessary Windows programs/games on Linux and macOS. Wine 3.4 is this latest release and it's significant for continuing to land the "WineVulkan" code. This does include the latest Wine Vulkan patches as of yesterday including the first bits of apps/games working and integration with the X11 driver.

Graphics: AMDGPU, Mesa 17.3.7, RADV

  • Linux 4.17 To Enable AMDGPU DC By Default For All Supported GPUs
    Since the introduction of the AMDGPU DC display code (formerly known as DAL) in Linux 4.15, this modern display stack has just been enabled by default for newer Radeon Vega and Raven Ridge devices. With Linux 4.17 that is changing with AMDGPU DC being enabled by default across the board for supported GPUs. Building off the earlier DRM-Next material for Linux 4.17, Alex Deucher minutes ago sent in another round of feature updates for targeting this next kernel cycle. This latest batch has continued code refactoring around PowerPlay, support for fetching the video RAM type from the video BIOS, allowing the TTM memory manager to drop its backing store when not needed, DC bandwidth calculation updates, enabling DC backlight control for pre-DCE11 GPUs, various display code fixes, and other bug fixes.
  • AMDGPU / ATI 18.0.1 X.Org DDX Driver Releases, Fixes Infinite Loop & Crashes
    Michel Dänzer of AMD issued bug-fix updates on Thursday for the xf86-video-ati and xf86-video-amdgpu DDX drivers. Just two weeks after the AMDGPU 18.0 X.Org driver release as the first version under their new year-based versioning scheme, the 18.0.1 bug-fix release is out. The xf86-video-amdgpu 18.0.1 DDX update fixes a potential infinite loop after a xorg-server reset in some configurations, Xorg crashing when multiple primary screens are configured, and using the TearFree feature could trigger Pixman library debugging spew.
  • Mesa 17.3.7 Nearing Release With 50+ Changes
    While waiting for Mesa 18.0, the Mesa 17.3.7 point release will soon hit stable users of this open-source, user-space graphics stack.
  • RADV Patches Are Closer For Sub-Group Capabilities
    Daniel Schürmann continues hacking on the sub-group patch-set for the RADV Vulkan driver to expose this important feature of the recent Vulkan 1.1 release.