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Security: National Security Threat, Windows Back Doors and Huawei Technologies

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Security
  • Lack of Secure Coding Called a National Security Threat

    The "call to action" report, "Software Security Is National Security: Why the U.S. Must Replace Irresponsible Practices with a Culture of Institutionalized Security," discusses systemic issues with the software development landscape and what needs to be done to rectify the problem of negligent coding. But solving the problem won't be easy, given the problems of speed-to-market pressures and the sheer number of IoT devices being produced, the report notes.

  • [Attackers] have been holding the city of Baltimore’s computers hostage for 2 weeks [Ed: Windows]

    Here’s what’s happening: On May 7, [attackers] digitally seized about 10,000 Baltimore government computers and demanded around $100,000 worth in bitcoins to free them back up. It’s a so-called “ransomware” attack, where hackers deploy malicious software to block access to or take over a computer system until the owner of that system pays a ransom.

    Baltimore, like several other cities that have been hit by such attacks over the past two years, is refusing to pay up. As a result, for two weeks, city employees have been locked out of their email accounts and citizens have been unable to access essential services, including websites where they pay their water bills, property taxes, and parking tickets. This is Baltimore’s second ransomware attack in about 15 months: Last year, a separate attack shut down the city’s 911 system for about a day. Baltimore has come under scrutiny for its handling of both attacks.

  • [Windows] Ransomware Cyberattacks Knock Baltimore's City Services Offline

    With no key, Rubin said the city will have to rebuild its servers from the ground up. That will likely take months, he said, and will involve implementing new hardware and software and restoring any data the city may have backed up.

  • After 2 Years, WannaCry Remains a Threat

    And while the immediate dangers associated with WannaCry have faded, the ransomware still lurks, and many systems have not been patched to prevent exploits by EternalBlue and EternalRomance.

  • ARM latest firm to suspend business with Huawei; Intel mum

    Chip designer ARM says it has to suspend business with Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei Technologies, a report claims.

  • The case against Huawei, explained

    This morning, ARM announced that it was cutting ties with Huawei, in the interest of “complying with all of the latest regulations set forth by the U.S. government.” It’s a catastrophe for Huawei’s device business, halting its access to current and future chip designs and coming on the heels of similar breaks from Google and Microsoft. Huawei is in deep, deep trouble, and we still don’t have a clear picture of why.

    Security experts have been warning about Huawei for more than a year, but it’s only in the last week that those warnings have escalated into an all-out trade blockade on the company’s US partners. There’s never been a full accounting of why the US government believes Huawei is such a threat, in large part because of national security interests, which means much of the evidence remains secret. But it’s worth tracing out exactly where the concerns are coming from and where they could go from here.

More in Tux Machines

Python Across Platforms

  • Chemists bitten by Python scripts: How different OSes produced different results during test number-crunching

    Chemistry boffins at the University of Hawaii have found, rather disturbingly, that different computer operating systems running a particular set of Python scripts used for their research can produce different results when running the same code. In a research paper published last week in the academic journal Organic Letters, chemists Jayanti Bhandari Neupane, Ram Neupane, Yuheng Luo, Wesley Yoshida, Rui Sun, and Philip Williams describe their efforts to verify an experiment involving cyanobacteria, better known as blue-green algae. Williams, associate chair and professor in the department of chemistry at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said in a phone interview with The Register on Monday this week that his group was looking at secondary metabolites, like penicillin, that can be used to treat cancer or Alzheimer's.

  • Chemists discover cross-platform Python scripts not so cross-platform

    In a paper published October 8, researchers at the University of Hawaii found that a programming error in a set of Python scripts commonly used for computational analysis of chemistry data returned varying results based on which operating system they were run on—throwing doubt on the results of more than 150 published chemistry studies. While trying to analyze results from an experiment involving cyanobacteria, the researchers—Jayanti Bhandari Neupane, Ram Neupane, Yuheng Luo, Wesley Yoshida, Rui Sun, and Philip Williams—discovered significant variations in results run against the same nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) data. The scripts, called the "Willoughby-Hoye" scripts after their authors—Patrick Willoughby and Thomas Hoye of the University of Minnesota—were found to return correct results on macOS Mavericks and Windows 10. But on macOS Mojave and Ubuntu, the results were off by nearly a full percent.

today's leftovers

  • Fedora Removes 32bit, System76 Coreboot, Flatpak, Valve, Atari VCS, Docker | This Week in Linux 84

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we talk about Fedora Removing 32-bit, well sort of. System76’s announced two laptops using Coreboot firmware. There is some interesing news regarding Docker and its future. Then we’ll check out some Linux Gaming news with some really exciting news from Valve! 

  • PostgreSQL 12 boosts open source database performance

    Performance gains are among the key highlights of the latest update of the open source PostgreSQL 12 database. PostgreSQL 12 became generally available Oct. 3, providing users of the widely deployed database with multiple enhanced capabilities including SQL JSON query support and improved authentication and administration options. The PostgreSQL 12 update will potentially affect a wide range of use cases in which the database is deployed, according to Noel Yuhanna, an analyst at Forrester Research. "Organizations are using PostgreSQL to support all kinds of workloads and use cases, which is pushing the needs for better performance, improved security, easier access to unstructured data and simplified deployments," Yuhanna said. "To address this, PostreSQL12 improves performance by improving its indexing that requires less space and has better optimization to deliver faster access."

  • Olimex Launches NB-IoT DevKit Based on Quectel BC66 Module for 19 Euros

    There are three LPWAN standards currently dominating the space LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, and Sigfox. 

  • Intel Denverton based Fanless Network Appliance Comes with 6x Ethernet Ports, 2x SFP Cages
  • Heading levels

    the headings would be “Apples” (level 1), “Taste” (level 2), “Sweet” (level 3), “Color” (level 2). Determining the level of any given heading requires traversing through its previous siblings and their descendants, its parent and the previous siblings and descendants of that, et cetera. That is too much complexity and optimizing it with caches is evidently not deemed worth it for such a simple feature. However, throwing out the entire feature and requiring everyone to use h1 through h6 forever, adjusting them accordingly based on the document they end up in, is not very appealing to me. So I’ve been trying to come up with an alternative algorithm that would allow folks to use h1 with sectioning elements exclusively while giving assistive technology the right information (default styling of h1 is already adjusted based on nesting depth). The simpler algorithm only looks at ancestors for a given heading and effectively only does so for h1 (unless you use hgroup). This leaves the above example in the weird state it is in in today’s browsers, except that the h1 (“Color”) would become level 2. It does so to minimally impact existing documents which would usually use h1 only as a top-level element or per the somewhat-erroneous recommendation of the HTML Standard use it everywhere, but in that case it would dramatically improve the outcome.

  • openSUSE OBS Can Now Build Windows WSL Images

    As Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is becoming a critical piece of Microsoft’s cloud and data-center audience, openSUSE is working on technologies that help developers use distributions of their choice for WSL. Users can run the same WSL distribution that they run in the cloud or on their servers. The core piece of openSUSE’s WSL offering is the WSL appx files, which are basically zip files that contain a tarball of a Linux system (like a container) and a Windows exe file, the so called launcher.

2D using Godot

This brings me to the GUI parts. I’m still not convinced that I understand how to properly layout stuff using Godot, but at least it looks ok now – at the cost of some fixed element sizes and such. I need to spend some more time to really understand how the anchoring and stretching really works. I guess I have a hard time wrapping my head around it as the approach is different from what I’m used to from Qt. Looking at the rest of the code, I’ve tried to make all the other scenes (in Godot, everything is a scene) like independent elements. For instance, the card scene has a face, and an is_flipped state. It can also signal when it is being flipped and clicked. Notice that the click results in a signal that goes to the table scene, which decides if the card needs to be flipped or not. The same goes for the GUI parts. They simple signal what was clicked and the table scene reacts. There are some variables too, e.g. the number of pairs setting in the main menu, and the points in the views where that is visible. Read more

Linux Graphics Stack: Intel, AMD and More

  • Intel Linux Graphics Driver Adds Bits For Jasper Lake PCH

    Details are still light on Jasper Lake, but volleyed onto the public mailing list today was the initial support for the Jasper Lake PCH within the open-source Linux graphics driver side. The patch adds in the Jasper Lake PCH while acknowledging it's similar to Icelake and Tigerlake behavior. The Jasper Lake PCI device ID is 0x4D80. The patch doesn't reveal any other notable details but at least enough to note that the Jasper Lake support is on the way. Given the timing, the earliest we could see Intel Jasper Lake support out in the mainline kernel would be for Linux 5.5, which will be out as stable as the first kernel series of 2020 and in time for the likes of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Fedora 32.

  • Linux Graphics Drivers Could Have User-Space API Changes More Strictly Evaluated

    In response to both the AMD Radeon and Intel graphics drivers adding new user-space APIs for user-space code that just gets "[thrown] over the wall instead of being open source developed projects" and the increase of Android drivers introducing their own UAPI headaches, Airlie is looking at enforcing more review/oversight when DRM drivers want to make user-space API changes. The goal ultimately is to hopefully yield more cross-driver UAPI discussions and in turn avoiding duplicated efforts, ensuring good development implementations prior to upstreaming, and better quality with more developers reviewing said changes.

  • xf86-video-ati 19.1 Released With Crash & Hang Fixes

    For those making use of xf86-video-ati on X.Org-enabled Linux desktops, the version 19.1 release brings just a handful of new fixes. This release was announced today by Michel Dänzer who last month departed AMD to now work on Red Hat's graphics team. Michel is sticking around the Mesa/X.Org world for Red Hat's duties but is hoping someone else will be picking up maintenance of the xf86-video-ati/xf86-video-amdgpu DDX drivers going forward. Granted, not a lot of activity happens to these X.Org DDX drivers these days considering more Linux desktops slowly moving over to Wayland, many X11 desktops using the generic xf86-video-modesetting, and these AMD drivers being fairly basic now with all of the big changes in the AMDGPU DRM kernel driver.