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Security: Updates, RDS, FBI, Microsoft, Google and Ransom

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Thursday
  • Severe Linux kernel flaw found in RDS
  • FBI Tells The Governor Of Florida About Election Hacking, But Says He Can't Tell Anyone Else

    I thought this was America, but whatever. Secrecy in all things government, despite the (often misheld) presumption that our public servants will be open and honest about issues that affect us.

    It's no secret voting systems and databases are not secure. These are problems that date back 15 years, but have shown little improvement since. Election interference is just another tool in the nation-state hacking kit, and the US is far from immune from these attacks.

    Federal agencies investigating election interference are at least speaking to officials in states affected by these efforts. But those officials are apparently not allowed to pass on this information to those affected the most: voters.

  • Microsoft’s First Windows XP Patch in Years Is a Very Bad Sign

    THIS WEEK, MICROSOFT issued patches for 79 flaws across its platforms and products. One of them merits particular attention: a bug so bad that Microsoft released a fix for it on Windows XP, an operating system it officially abandoned five years ago.

  • Google Says Titan Security Keys Could Be Hacked; Offers Free Replacement

    Today Google has announced a security flaw in its Bluetooth Titan Security Key that is used for 2-factor authentication. The security flaw could allow hackers in close proximity to bypass the security mechanism and connect their own devices.

  • Firms That Promised High-Tech Ransomware Solutions Almost Always Just Pay the Hackers

    FROM 2015 TO 2018, a strain of ransomware known as SamSam paralyzed computer networks across North America and the U.K. It caused more than $30 million in damage to at least 200 entities, including the cities of Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey, the Port of San Diego and Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles. It knocked out Atlanta’s online water service requests and billing systems, prompted the Colorado Department of Transportation to call in the National Guard, and delayed medical appointments and treatments for patients nationwide whose electronic records couldn’t be retrieved. In return for restoring access to the files, the cyberattackers collected at least $6 million in ransom.

    “You just have 7 days to send us the BitCoin,” read the ransom demand to Newark. “After 7 days we will remove your private keys and it’s impossible to recover your files.”
    At a press conference last November, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced that the U.S. Department of Justice had indicted two Iranian men on fraud charges for allegedly developing the strain and orchestrating the extortion. Many SamSam targets were “public agencies with missions that involve saving lives,” and the attackers impaired their ability to “provide health care to sick and injured people,” Rosenstein said. The hackers “knew that shutting down those computer systems could cause significant harm to innocent victims.”

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KDE Usability & Productivity: Week 72

Week 72 in Usability & Productivity initiative is here and it’s chock-full of goodies! We continue to polish Plasma 5.16 ahead of its release in two weeks. There was one point in time when veteran KDE developer and author of the new notifications system Kai Uwe Broulik was literally committing fixes faster than I could add them to this blog post! In addition, features for Plasma 5.17 as well as many of our apps are starting to trickle in. Check it out... Read more

Iran & Iraq Are Embracing GNU Health Project | Dr Axel Braun

In this episode of Let’s Talk, Dr Axel Braun talks about the new features and updates of the GNU Health project. He also talked about the increasing adoption of the project. Read more Also: The Man Behind OpenSUSE Conference – Douglas DeMaio

GNOME 3.33.2 released!

Hello GNOME developers,

GNOME 3.33.2 is now available. This is the second unstable release
leading to 3.34 stable series.

I had to disable gnome-contacts, gnome-calendar and gnome-maps because of the not-very-well coordinated evolution-data-server transition.

If you want to compile GNOME 3.33.2, you can use the official
BuildStream project snapshot.

https://download.gnome.org/teams/releng/3.33.2/gnome-3.33.2.tar.xz

The list of updated modules and changes is available here:

https://download.gnome.org/core/3.33/3.33.2/NEWS

The source packages are available here:

https://download.gnome.org/core/3.33/3.33.2/sources/

WARNING!
--------
This release is a snapshot of development code. Although it is
buildable and usable, it is primarily intended for testing and hacking
purposes. GNOME uses odd minor version numbers to indicate development
status.

For more information about 3.34, the full schedule, the official module
lists and the proposed module lists, please see our 3.33 wiki page:

https://www.gnome.org/start/unstable


Cheers,

Abderrahim Kitouni,
GNOME Release Team
Read more Also: GNOME 3.33.2 Released As Another Step Towards The GNOME 3.34 Desktop

Security Leftovers

  • Serious Security: Don't let your SQL server attack you with ransomware [Ed: Article focuses on things like Windows and RDP. SQL Server is proprietary software that runs on a platform with NSA back doors. So if you choose it, then you choose to have no security at all, only an illusion of it. Why does the article paint Windows issues as pertaining to MySQL?]
    Tales from the honeypot: this time a MySQL-based attack. Old tricks still work, because we're still making old mistakes - here's what to do. [...] As regular readers will know, one of the popular vehicles for malware crooks at the moment is Windows RDP, short for Remote Desktop Protocol.
  • How Screwed is Intel without Hyper-Threading?
    As it stands Microsoft is pushing out OS-level updates to address the four MDS vulnerabilities and you’ll get those with this month's Windows 10 1903 update. However, this doesn’t mitigate the problem entirely, for that we need motherboard BIOS updates and reportedly Intel has released the new microcode to motherboard partners. However as of writing no new BIOS revisions have been released to the public. We believe we can test a worst case scenario by disabling Hyper-Threading and for older platforms that won’t get updated this might end up being the only solution.
  • SandboxEscape drops three more Windows 10 zero-day exploits

    SandboxEscaper also indicated that she was in the market to sell flaws to "people who hate the US", a move made in apparent response to FBI subpoenas against her Google account.

  • Huawei can’t officially use microSD cards in its phones going forward

    The SD Association is also by no means the first to cut ties: Google, ARM, Intel, Qualcomm, and Broadcom are also among the companies that have stopped working with Huawei due to the ban. The Wi-Fi Alliance (which sets Wi-Fi standards across the industry) has also “temporarily restricted” Huawei’s membership due to the US ban, and Huawei has also voluntarily left JEDEC (a semiconductor standards group best known for defining RAM specifications) over the issues with the US as well, according to a report from Nikkei Asian Review. All this could severely hamper Huawei’s ability to produce hardware at all, much less compete in the US technology market.

  • Huawei barred from SD Association: What’s that mean for its phones and microSD cards?

    As such, companies that aren’t on the SD Association’s list of members can’t officially produce and sell devices with SD card support that use the SD standards. According to SumahoInfo, the member page showed Huawei a few weeks ago, but no longer lists the firm this week.