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Security: Updates, Microsoft, Google, and Telegram

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Security
  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • Winter Olympics was hit by cyber-attack, officials confirm [Ed: This is a Microsoft Windows issue, but Bill Fates is paying The Guardian, so...]
  • Google Patches Chromebooks Against Meltdown/Spectre, Adds New Chrome OS Features

    Earlier this month, Google updated its Chrome OS computer operating system to stable version 64.0.3282.134 and platform version 10176.65.0, an update that's now available for most Chromebook devices.

    Besides the usual security improvements and bug fixes, the latest Chrome OS 64 release includes several new features that are worth mentioning, such as the ability to take screenshots by simultaneously pressing the Power and Volume Down buttons on your Chromebook with a 360-degree hinge.

  • Skype can't fix a nasty security bug without a massive code rewrite
  • Perfect Computer Security Is a Myth. But It’s Still Important [Ed: The "everything is broken" defeatism overlooks the coordinated vandalism done to put back doors in most things]

    Maybe you’ve heard it before: “Security is a myth.” It’s become a common refrain after a never-ending string of high-profile security breaches. If Fortune 500 companies with million dollar security budgets can’t lock things down, how can you?

    And there’s truth to this: perfect security is a myth. No matter what you do, no matter how careful you are, you will never be 100 percent safe from hackers, malware, and cybercrime. That’s the reality we all live in, and it’s important to keep this in mind, if only so that we can all feel more sympathy for victims.

  • Microsoft Fixes 50 Vulnerabilities In February’s Patch Tuesday Update

    Microsoft has released February’s cumulative updates for Windows 10, better known as Patch Tuesday. The reason why the update is worth getting is it comes with fixes for 50 vulnerabilities in various versions of Windows 10.

    As per the release notes, the software addressed as a part of the Patch Tuesday update are Windows OS, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Services and Web Apps, and the JavaScript engine ChakraCore. In addition to security fixes, Microsoft has also made improvements to address minor glitches in Windows 10.

  • Telegram Zero-Day Vulnerability Lets Hackers Pwn Your PC to Mine Cryptocurrency

    A zero-day vulnerability was discovered by Kaspersky Lab in the Telegram Desktop app that could let hackers pwn your computer to mine for cryptocurrencies like Zcash, Monero, Fantomcoin, and others.

    Kaspersky Lab's security researchers say the zero-day vulnerability can be used to deliver multi-purpose malware to computer users using the Telegram Desktop app, including backdoors and crypto-cash mining software.

    The security company also discovered that hackers had actively exploited the vulnerability in the Telegram Desktop app, which is based on the right-to-left override Unicode method, since March last year, but only to mine cryptocurrencies like Fantomcoin, Monero, and Zcash.

More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Mesa, Vega and ETC2

  • RADV Driver Gets Big Patch Series For 8-bit & 16-bit Arithmetic, 8-bit Storage
    A set of 38 patches have been sent out that wire in support for the VK_KHR_shader_float16_int8, VK_AMD_gpu_shader_half_float, VK_AMD_gpu_shader_int16, and VK_KHR_8bit_storage extensions to the RADV driver within Mesa. Rhys Perry who started contributing to the Nouveau driver stack has been working on this 8-bit and 16-bit arithmetic support for the Radeon Vulkan "RADV" driver. These 8-bit / 16-bit extensions work for AMD Volcanic Islands GPUs and newer. However, the half-floats support needs LLVM 8.0 or newer due to bugs on LLVM 7.
  • BACO Power Savings Support Comes To AMD's Vega 12
    The latest addition to AMD's open-source Linux kernel driver is supporting BACO on Vega 12. With the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle, BACO is enabled for Vega 10 and Vega 20. BACO is short for Bus Active, Chip Off as a low-power mode whereby most of the GPU is shut-off during idle periods in order to drastically cut the power consumption of the graphics card. BACO is also known as AMD ZeroCore Power mode.
  • Improved ETC2 Texture Compression Lands For Older Haswell/Ivybridge GPUs On Linux
    The previously mentioned work on improving ETC2 support for older generations of Intel graphics has now been mainlined for Mesa 19.1. This work for the ETC2 texture compression is improving the "fake" support for Intel Gen 7 class graphics, the Ivybridge and Haswell era graphics. This work was done by Igalia to address the lack of native ETC2 coverage on these several year old chips. Following this improved implementation for the fake ETC2 support is also wiring up OES_copy_image support for this extension. ETC2 is the lossy texture compression mandated since OpenGL ES 3.0 and OpenGL 4.3.

Bitmain SoC Support Coming To Linux 5.1 - Sophon ARMv8 + RISC-V Chip For Deep Learning

Queued for mainlining with the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel cycle is initial support for Bitmain SoCs. Bitmain is the Chinese company that started out designing ASICs for Bitcoin mining with the Antminer and other products. The company has also been venturing into designs for artificial intelligence and deep learning. With the upcoming Linux 5.1 kernel will be initial support for Bitmain's BM1880 System-on-a-Chip as well as the "Sophon Edge" developer board. Read more

Debian Developers' Updates and Python Bits

Tales of colours: GIMP and Latte Dock (KDE)

  • Colorization in GIMP
    As part of the Image team at GREYC lab (CRNS, ENSICAEN, University of Caen), I implemented the “fill by line art” algorithm in GIMP, also known as “Smart Colorization“. You may know this algorithm in G’Mic (developed by the same team), so when they proposed me to work with them, I wanted to implement this algorithm in GIMP core. Thus it became my first assignment.
  • Latte and a Colors tale...
    A few months ago while I was scratching Latte Dock limits an idea came and haunted my thoughts. How Latte could give the colors freedom for panels and windows that an Android phone already provides? Questions like this arose and solutions appeared suddenly in many different places, but an important and concrete dream prevail in the end.