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Security: Cryptomining, Catalin Cimpanu's Latest Scaremongering, and Tegra Flaw Helps Linux

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Linux
Security

More drama. Meanwhile, Windows has designed remote back doors.

  • Until last week, you could pwn KDE Linux desktop with a USB stick

    A recently resolved flaw in the KDE Linux desktop environment meant that files held on a USB stick could be executed as soon as they were plugged into a vulnerable device.

  • Uh-oh. How just inserting a USB drive can pwn a Linux box

    It was a highly-sophisticated piece of malware – developed by the United States and Israeli intelligence – which targeted Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility.

    One of the things which made Stuxnet so notable was that it exploited a zero-day vulnerability in Windows, meaning that it could infect a Windows computer (even with Windows AutoRun and AutoPlay disabled) just by plugging in an infected USB stick.

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As outlined yesterday, significant slowdowns with the Linux 4.20 kernel turned out to be due to the addition of the kernel-side bits for STIBP (Single Thread Indirect Branch Predictors) for cross-HyperThread Spectre Variant Two mitigation. This has incurred significant performance penalties with the STIBP support in its current state with Linux 4.20 Git and is enabled by default at least for Intel systems with up-to-date microcode. Here are some follow-up benchmarks looking at the performance hit with the Linux 4.20 development kernel as well as the overall Spectre and Meltdown mitigation impact on this latest version of the Linux kernel. Some users have said AMD also needs STIBP, but at least with Linux 4.20 Git and the AMD systems I have tested with their up-to-date BIOS/microcode, that hasn't appeared to be the case. Most of the AMD STIBP references date back to January when Spectre/Meltdown first came to light. We'll see in the week ahead if there is any comment from AMD but at this time seems to be affecting up-to-date Intel systems with the Linux 4.20 kernel. Read more

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