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More in Tux Machines

Microsoft slips Bing search into Android through Outlook

If you use Outlook for your Android phone’s email and calendars, you might see an unexpected sales pitch for Microsoft’s search engine. Android users have discovered that Outlook slips a “Bing search” option into the long-press menu you see when you select text. Tap it and it will open your default browser with a Bing query for whatever words you had selected. It’s helpful, but likely not what you wanted if you live in a Google-centric world. The menu option doesn’t appear for everyone, and some have reported success in getting rid of it by uninstalling Outlook. It might not even be visible if you reinstall the app. It doesn’t appear to be available when you install other Microsoft apps beyond Bing. Read more Also: Microsoft caught sneaking Bing search onto phones with the Outlook app Microsoft's clever trick to get Android users search on Bing instead of Google

My Linux story: breaking language barriers with open source

My open source journey started rather late in comparison to many of my peers and colleagues. I was pursuing a post-graduate degree in medicine in 2000 when I managed to fulfill a dream I’d had since high school—to buy my own PC. Before that, my only exposure to computers was through occasional access in libraries or cyber cafés, which charged exorbitant prices for access at that time. So I saved up portions of my grad student stipend and managed to buy a Pentium III 550 Mhz with 128MB RAM, and as came standard in most computers in India at that time, a pirated version of Windows 98. Read more

5 things to look for in an open source alternative to SharePoint

We're entering a collaboration platform renaissance as remote work becomes the norm for enterprises large and small. Microsoft SharePoint—a collaboration platform available on premises or in the cloud—is the de-facto standard for corporations and government agencies. However, SharePoint implementations are infamous for the challenges that prevent their completion. Combine those common speedbumps with shrinking IT budgets and rising collaboration requirements because of remote work, and open source alternatives to SharePoint become well worth a look. Read more

German bill provides network traffic redirection to install state trojans

Preliminary note: This post primarily affects users falling under German jurisdiction, but may apply to other countries as well, where similar laws are already in place or about to be introduced. Unfortunately, some primary sources are German only. According to current status and local knowledge, the German government is about to establish a law that provides the redirection of network traffic through a intelligence agencies' infrastructure in order to exploit security vulnerabilities and, for example, to install a certain type of malware known as Staatstrojaner (state trojans). The bill lists both end-user devices and servers as potential targets, and requires "telecommunication service providers" to establish and maintain infrastructure for transparently redirecting traffic of certain users, households, or IP addresses. "Telecommunication service providers" covers any company providing telecommunication services, thus ranging from cable, DSL or fiber providers to mail, VoIP and messaging vendors. Ultimately, even backbone providers or internet exchanges are covered by this definition. [...] The state trojan was meant to be the ultima ratio when it was introduced in 2009. It could only be used by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) in case of international terrorism and preventing terrorist attacks. Once such laws were introduced, governments usually get a taste for it. As of today, any police authority may use it even in cases of less severe crimes than terrorism such as counterfeiting money or violations against the Narcotics Act (Betäubungsmittelgesetz, e. g. drug consumption or trafficking). As you can see, compromising devices became increasingly common as a measure at law enforcement agencies. It is probably going to be extended to intelligence agencies within a short amount of time. For obvious historical reasons, the German state only gives certain rights to police and intelligence agencies to avoid too much power being concentrated in one organisation, which could turn it against their people. [...] At IPFire, we fight to protect your network. Frankly, this was complicated enough before governments legalised hacking by intelligence agencies. This German bill will not make anything more secure. Instead, it will turn defense against security vulnerabilities even more into an arms race. This is not an example of "the opposite of good is good intentions". This is beyond dangerous. Imagine, for example, cyber criminals or foreign intelligence agencies (ab)using that redirection infrastructure in order to deploy their malware. Perhaps they will be able to take advantage of some zero day exploits left on some servers in that infrastructure as well (the CIA suffered from a similar breach in 2017). With a blink of an eye, arbitrary malware could be placed on a significant amount of computers compromised that way. Ransomware attacks such as WannaCry or NonPetya come to mind... Imagine compromised machines being vulnerable to other attacks as well, as some security measures have been turned off. Image surveillance abuse. Imagine future governments abusing this feature for persecution of unwanted people or political opponents - with a view at current political events, one may be concerned about personal liberties being restricted. [...] We will start next week by providing advice on whom to trust and how to establish a security-focussed mindset. Afterwards, we focus on specific technical aspects and advise how to configure IPFire machines as secure as possible - as it already implements effective mitigations against those attacks. Read more