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Security Leftovers

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  • Matthew Garrett: Bug bounties and NDAs are an option, not the standard

    Zoom had a vulnerability that allowed users on MacOS to be connected to a video conference with their webcam active simply by visiting an appropriately crafted page. Zoom's response has largely been to argue that:

    a) There's a setting you can toggle to disable the webcam being on by default, so this isn't a big deal,
    b ) When Safari added a security feature requiring that users explicitly agree to launch Zoom, this created a poor user experience and so they were justified in working around this (and so introducing the vulnerability), and,
    c) The submitter asked whether Zoom would pay them for disclosing the bug, and when Zoom said they'd only do so if the submitter signed an NDA, they declined.

    (a) and (b ) are clearly ludicrous arguments, but (c) is the interesting one. Zoom go on to mention that they disagreed with the severity of the issue, and in the end decided not to change how their software worked. If the submitter had agreed to the terms of the NDA, then Zoom's decision that this was a low severity issue would have led to them being given a small amount of money and never being allowed to talk about the vulnerability. Since Zoom apparently have no intention of fixing it, we'd presumably never have heard about it. Users would have been less informed, and the world would have been a less secure place.


    If your bug bounty requires people sign an NDA, you should think about why. If it's so you can control disclosure and delay things beyond 90 days (and potentially never disclose at all), look at whether the amount of money you're offering for that is anywhere near commensurate with the value the submitter could otherwise gain from the information and compare that to the reputational damage you'll take from people deciding that it's not worth it and just disclosing unilaterally. And, seriously, never ask for an NDA before you're committing to a specific $ amount - it's never reasonable to ask that someone sign away their rights without knowing exactly what they're getting in return.

  • Microsoft July 2019 Patch Tuesday fixes zero-day exploited by Russian hackers [Ed: Let's blame Russia instead of NSA back doors put there by Microsoft. More trash from CBS tabloid ZDNet.]

    Since the Microsoft Patch Tuesday is also the day when other vendors also release security patches, it's also worth mentioning that Adobe and SAP have also published their respective security updates earlier today.

  • William Brown: I no longer recommend FreeIPA

    The FreeIPA project focused on Kerberos and SSSD, with enough other parts glued on to look like a complete IDM project. Now that’s fine, but it means that concerns in other parts of the project are largely ignored. It creates design decisions that are not scalable or robust.

    Due to these decisions IPA has stability issues and scaling issues that other products do not.

    To be clear: security systems like IDM or LDAP can never go down. That’s not acceptable.

  • Ubuntu Source code is Safe in the Canonical GitHub account hacking!

    The canonical Security is once again under questionable notice. The forum has been hacked thrice on different occasions. In July 2013, details of 1.82 Million users were stolen by hackers followed by the second hacking where 2 million users data were stolen in July 2016 and in July 2019, the Github account of Canonical limited has been hacked.

    This company works behind the distribution of Ubuntu Linux and was hacked on July 6th, 2019. The Security team accepted that the Canonical owned account on Github was compromised on credentials and was used to create disturbance and issues among other activities. Though the company has removed the account from the organization in Github, it is still working on checking out the breach. The company believes that the source code or PII was affected in any way.

  • Azure Sphere OS Built on a Compact, Secured Linux

More in Tux Machines

Annual Report 2018: LibreOffice development

Throughout the second half of 2018, the developer community worked on a new major release: LibreOffice 6.2. Details about the end-user-facing new features are provided on this page, and in the following video – so in the rest of this blog post, we’ll focus on developer-related changes. Read more

Programming Leftovers

Linux Kernel: Chrome OS, Direct Rendering Manger (DRM) and Char/Misc

  • Various Chrome OS Hardware Support Improvements Make It Into Linux 5.3 Mainline

    Various Chrome OS hardware platform support improvements have made it into the Linux 5.3 kernel for those after running other Linux distributions on Chromebooks and the like as well as reducing Google's maintenance burden with traditionally carrying so much material out-of-tree.

  • The Massive DRM Pull Request With AMDGPU Navi Support Sent In For Linux 5.3

    At 479,818 lines of new code and just 36,145 lines of code removed while touching nearly two thousand files, the Direct Rendering Manger (DRM) driver updates for Linux 5.3 are huge. But a big portion of that line count is the addition of AMD Radeon RX 5000 "Navi" support and a good portion of that in turn being auto-generated header files. Navi support is ready for the mainline Linux kernel!

  • Char/Misc Has A Bit Of Changes All Over For Linux 5.3

    The char/misc changes with each succeeding kernel release seem to have less changes to the character device subsystem itself and more just a random collection of changes not fitting in other subsystems / pull requests. With Linux 5.3 comes another smothering of different changes.

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