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Security: Intel, Cisco, Apple, FBI

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Security
  • How Much Slower Will My PC Become After Meltdown And Spectre Patches?
  • Intel's Microcode Update for Spectre Exploit Is Now Available in Ubuntu's Repos

    Canonical announced a few moments ago that Intel's latest microcode update for the Spectre security vulnerability is now available from the software repositories of all supported Ubuntu Linux releases.

    After releasing earlier this week new kernel updates to mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre security exploits that put billions of devices at risk of attacks by allowing a local, unprivileged attacker to obtain sensitive information from kernel memory, Canonical now released the updated microcode from Intel for supported Intel CPUs.

  • Cisco can now sniff out malware inside encrypted traffic

    Cisco has switched on latent features in its recent routers and switches, plus a cloud service, that together make it possible to detect the fingerprints of malware in encrypted traffic.

    Switchzilla has not made a dent in transport layer security (TLS) to make this possible. Instead, as we reported in July 2016, Cisco researchers found that malware leaves recognisable traces even in encrypted traffic. The company announced its intention to productise that research last year and this week exited trials to make the service – now known as Encrypted Traffic Analytics (ETA) - available to purchasers of its 4000 Series Integrated Service Routers, the 1000-series Aggregation Services Router and the model 1000V Cloud Services Router 1000V.

    Those devices can’t do the job alone: users need to sign up for Cisco’s StealthWatch service and let traffic from their kit flow to a cloud-based analytics service that inspects traffic and uses self-improving machine learning algorithms to spot dodgy traffic.

  • MacOS High Sierra security bug lets you unlock App Store System Preferences with any random password

    According to the bug report, users can simply open System Preferences, go to App Store settings and check the padlock icon. If it is unlocked, lock it and then try unlocking it using your username and any password.

  • Intel tells select customers not to use its bug fixes

    Processor giant Intel has told some of its customers that the microcode patches it issued to fix the Meltdown and Spectre flaws in its products are buggy and that they should not install them.

  • Canonical reissues Meltdown and Spectre patches for Ubuntu after borkage
  • A Step in the Right Direction: House Passes the Cyber Vulnerability Disclosure Reporting Act

    The House of Representatives passed the “Cyber Vulnerability Disclosure Reporting Act” this week. While the bill is quite limited in scope, EFF applauds its goals and supports its passage in the Senate.

    H.R. 3202 is a short and simple bill, sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), that would require the Department of Homeland Security to submit a report to Congress outlining how the government deals with disclosing vulnerabilities. Specifically, the mandated report would comprise two parts. First, a “description of the policies and procedures developed [by DHS] for coordinating cyber vulnerability disclosures,” or in other words, how the government reports flaws in computer hardware and software to the developers. And second, a possibly classified “annex” containing descriptions of specific instances where these policies were used to disclose vulnerabilities in the previous year, leading to mitigation of the vulnerabilities by private actors.

    Perhaps the best thing about this short bill is that it is intended to provide some evidence for the government’s long-standing claims that it discloses a large number of vulnerabilities. To date, such evidence has been exceedingly sparse; for instance, Apple received its first ever vulnerability report from the U.S. government in 2016. Assuming the report and annex work as intended, the public’s confidence in the government’s ability to “play defense” may actually increase.

  • FBI Says Device Encryption Is 'Evil' And A Threat To Public Safety

    The FBI continues its anti-encryption push. It's now expanded past Director Christopher Wray to include statements by other FBI personnel. Not that Chris Wray isn't taking every opportunity he can to portray personal security as a threat to the security of the American public. He still is. But he's no longer the only FBI employee willing to speak up on the issue.

    Wray expanded his anti-encryption rhetoric last week at a cybersecurity conference in New York. In short, encryption is inherently dangerous. And the FBI boss will apparently continue to complain about encryption without offering any solutions.

  • Canonical Says It'll Release New Ubuntu Kernels to Further Mitigate Spectre Bugs

    Canonical's Dean Henrichsmeyer published today an update on the Ubuntu patches for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities and what they plan on doing next to mitigate these critical bugs.

    By now, most of you have probably updated your Ubuntu Linux computers to the new kernel versions Canonical released earlier this week, as well as the new Nvidia proprietary graphics driver and Firefox web browser, both including patches to mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre exploits affecting billions of devices powered by modern processors from Intel, AMD, and ARM.

More in Tux Machines

“Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) and Purism's Librem 5

  • Purism's Librem 5 To Rely On Secondary Processor For Binary Blobs
    With not being able to deliver a 100% fully free software / libre system, the Librem 5 smartphone will rely upon a secondary processor for dealing with the necessary binary blobs for hardware initialization to keep them out of touch from the U-Boot boot-loader and Linux kernel. The first road-block in their effort to make the Librem 5 smartphone as open as possible is the DDR PHY with firmware blobs needed for the DDR4 memory training process at boot time. With it not being realistic for them to rewrite the firmware blob to do the DDR4 PHY training, they are planning to punt the binary-only blobs out to a secondary processor. In doing so, they can also apply for an exclusion with the Free Software Foundation for still having a device that "Respects Your Freedom" while still having necessary binary blobs at play.
  • Solving the first FSF RYF hurdle for the Librem 5
    While investigating using the i.MX 8 for the Librem 5 phone we found an issue that would have been problematic for us to obtain the Free Software Foundation’s “Respects Your Freedom” (RYF) hardware endorsement...

Red Hat: Education, Automation, RHEL 6.10 and More

  • Red Hat, Lord Wandsworth College and University of Surrey collaborate
    Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, has announced its collaboration with Lord Wandsworth College (LWC), an independent school for girls and boys aged 11 to 18, and the University of Surrey, a public research university specialising in science, engineering, medicine and business, on the Open Schools Coding Competition, designed to inspire the next generation of coders and software developers. In so doing, the competition hopes to contribute to building the UK’s digital talent pool. The competition is now in its second year, with 10 schools and approximately 100 students in the UK taking part. The competition aims to engage children ahead of making their subject choices for GCSE, so is open to Key Stage 3 students. It challenges teams of students to use any free visual programming environment to create a gaming app that will help a charity of their choice. The competition enables participants to apply the basic principles of open source software development and open collaboration to solve a real world problem in a fun and competitive environment, with the opportunity to win a prize for their team and recognition for their school. In choosing a charitable cause, each student can gain a sense of how they can use digital skills to make their own contribution to addressing societal challenges and how open source technology and methodology can drive positive change in the world.
  • Red Hat Unveils Next-Generation Process Automation Offering
  • Red Hat Drives Mission-Critical Stability with Latest Update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
  • Red Hat Data Grid on Three Clouds (the details behind the demo)
    If you saw or heard about the multi-cloud demo at Red Hat Summit 2018, this article details how we ran Red Hat Data Grid in active-active-active mode across three cloud providers. This set up enabled us to show a fail over between cloud providers in real time with no loss of data. In addition to Red Hat Data Grid, we used Vert.x (reactive programming), OpenWhisk (serverless), and Red Hat Gluster Storage (software-defined storage.)
  • RedHat stock falls after Raymond James downgrade

Security: Updates, Reproducible Builds and Windows 'Fun'

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • Reproducible Builds: Weekly report #164
  • PyRoMineIoT cryptojacker uses NSA exploit to spread
    Larry Trowell, principal consultant with Synopsys Software Integrity Group, said the government shares some of the blame for the NSA exploit. "It's in every country's interest to develop systems enabling offensive and defensive strategies to protect individuals and national services," Trowell wrote via email. "There is no fault in that. If the NSA does have some blame to share in this situation, it is for allowing secrets to be exfiltrated -- not in developing them." Jett said although the NSA exploit was stolen, "they didn't create the vulnerabilities that allow for the malware to exploit devices." "As such, you can't hold them responsible for the malware that has emerged from the EternalRomance exploit. Vendors whose products are vulnerable to EternalRomance are responsible for resolving the exploit problem," Jett wrote. "Additionally, it has been more than a year since the NSA exploits were released, and vendors have created patches. It becomes incumbent on the users to make sure they are properly patching their software and reducing the threat surface for these exploits."
  • Can Hackers Crack the Ivory Towers?
    While both researchers agreed that their colleagues would gain from incorporating hackers' discoveries into their own work, they diverged when diagnosing the source of the gulf between the two camps and, to a degree, even on the extent of the rift.
  • 6-Year-Old Malware Injects Ads, Takes Screenshots On Windows 10
    A sneaky and persistent malware has surfaced which spams Windows 10 PCs with ads and takes screenshots to eventually send it to the attackers. Security researchers at Bitdefender found this malware named Zacinlo which first appeared in 2012. About 90% of Zacinlo’s victims are from the US running Microsoft Windows 10. There are other victims too from Western Europe, China, and India with a small fraction running Windows 7 or 8.

25th Anniversary for FreeBSD

  • 25th Anniversary for FreeBSD
    On June 19, 1993 the name FreeBSD was officially agreed on and has been used ever since. Find out more about how to celebrate this important day with us.
  • June 19 Has Been Declared National FreeBSD Day, Happy 25th Anniversary FreeBSD!
    The FreeBSD Foundation is pleased to announce today that June 19 has been declared National FreeBSD Day to celebrate the project's official name 25th anniversary. Exactly 25 years ago on this day, on June 19, 1993, David Greenman sent an email to one of the mailing lists available at that point in time to suggest "FreeBSD" as the name for the Unix-like operating system used by billions of people all over the world, which continues to have a positive impact on us every single day.