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Security: ThreadX, Kali Linux, Rocke and Data Loss

  • Vulnerabilities Found in Highly Popular Firmware for WiFi Chips
    WiFi chip firmware in a variety of devices used mainly for gaming, personal computing, and communication comes with multiple issues. At least some of them could be exploited to run arbitrary code remotely without requiring user interaction. The security flaws were discovered in ThreadX, a real-time operating system (RTOS) developed by Express Logic. The vendor claims on their website that ThreadX has over 6.2 billion deployments, being one of the most popular software powering Wi-Fi chips. The firmware is also powering the Avastar 88W8897 SoC (Wi-Fi + Bluetooth + NFC) from Marvell, present in Sony PlayStation 4 (and its Pro variant), Microsoft Surface (+Pro) tablet and laptop, Xbox One, Samsung Chromebook and smartphones (Galaxy J1), and Valve SteamLink.
  • Wolf Halton on what’s changed in tech and where we are headed
    The tech industry is changing at a massive rate especially after the storage options moved to the cloud. However, this has also given rise to questions on security, data management, change in the work structure within an organization, and much more. Wolf Halton, an expert in Kali Linux, tells us about the security element in the cloud. He also touches upon the skills and knowledge that should be inculcated in your software development cycle in order to adjust to the dynamic tech changes at present and in the future. Following this, he juxtaposes the current software development landscape with the ideal one.
  • Rocke coinminer disables cloud protection agents
    A group of hackers that specializes in infecting servers with cryptocurrency mining software has started disabling security software agents used in cloud environments to evade detection. Known as Rocke in the security industry, the group has been active since at least April 2018 and is known for exploiting critical vulnerabilities in web application frameworks and servers like Apache Struts, Oracle WebLogic and Adobe ColdFusion.
  • Malware used by “Rocke” group evolves to evade detection by cloud security products
  • Malware uninstalls cloud security products from Linux machines
    After removing the cloud security, the malware then proceeded to mine the monero cryptocurrency on its hosts.
  • I Nearly Lost All Of My Data!

    At this point I’m really worried. You see, I cancelled my off-site Amazon Glacier backups around 6 months ago. What are the chances of both a 4 disk RAID failing AND a USB drive at the same time? Not likely, I thought. Boy was I wrong

Solving the Year 2038 problem in the Linux kernel

Because of the way time is represented in Linux, a signed 32-bit number can't support times beyond January 19, 2038 after 3:14:07 UTC. This Year 2038 (Y2038 or Y2K38) problem is about the time data type representation. The solution is to use 64-bit timestamps. I started working on the problem while working as an Outreachy intern for kernel developer Arnd Bergmann. Outreachy is a benevolent program that helps new programmers get into kernel development. The mentors for the kernel projects are usually experienced kernel developers like Arnd. Read more

Booting Linux faster

Of all the computers I've ever owned or used, the one that booted the quickest was from the 1980s; by the time your hand moved from the power switch to the keyboard, the BASIC interpreter was ready for your commands. Modern computers take anywhere from 15 seconds for a laptop to minutes for a small home server to boot. Why is there such a difference in boot times? A microcomputer from the 1980s that booted straight to a BASIC prompt had a very simple CPU that started fetching and executing instructions from a memory address immediately upon getting power. Since these systems had BASIC in ROM, there was no loading time—you got to the BASIC prompt really quickly. More complex systems of that same era, such as the IBM PC or Macintosh, took a significant time to boot (~30 seconds), although this was mostly due to having to read the operating system (OS) off a floppy disk. Only a handful of seconds were spent in firmware before being able to load an OS. Read more

Akira: The Linux Design Tool we’ve always wanted?

Akira wants to create an awesome design tool for Linux that could compete with the likes of Figma, Sketch and Adobe XD. They need your help to achieve this goal. Read more