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Security: Updates, Ken Thompson's Unix Password, Microsoft Spying on Everything for 'Security', Cross Site Scripting Fix

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Security
  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by Fedora (chromium), openSUSE (rust and sqlite3), SUSE (dnsmasq, firefox, and kubernetes, patchinfo), and Ubuntu (python2.7, python3.5, python3.6, python3.7).

  • Ken Thompson's Unix password

    Somewhere around 2014 I found an /etc/passwd file in some dumps of the BSD 3 source tree, containing passwords of all the old timers such as Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, Brian W. Kernighan, Steve Bourne and Bill Joy.

    Since the DES-based crypt(3) algorithm used for these hashes is well known to be weak (and limited to at most 8 characters), I thought it would be an easy target to just crack these passwords for fun.

    Well known tools for this are john and hashcat.

    Quickly, I had cracked a fair deal of these passwords, many of which were very weak. (Curiously, bwk used /.,/.,, which is easy to type on a QWERTY keyboard.)

    However, kens password eluded my cracking endeavor. Even an exhaustive search over all lower-case letters and digits took several days (back in 2014) and yielded no result. Since the algorithm was developed by Ken Thompson and Robert Morris, I wondered what’s up there. I also realized, that, compared to other password hashing schemes (such as NTLM), crypt(3) turns out to be quite a bit slower to crack (and perhaps was also less optimized).

    Did he really use uppercase letters or even special chars? (A 7-bit exhaustive search would still take over 2 years on a modern GPU.)

    The topic came up again earlier this month on The Unix Heritage Society mailing list, and I shared my results and frustration of not being able to break kens password.

  • How my application ran away and called home from Redmond

    I recently found a surprising leak vector in Windows 10 installations. We were porting our Beacon Application to Windows and for easy deployment. The plan was to create just one .exe including everything. However we found out that End Point Protection (EPP) solutions didn’t like that at all and we had to go with the MSI installer option. This is a story what happened during the .exe testing.

    I used my personal malware analysis lab for testing the application. My lab is an isolated network environment which has a whitelist based firewall rules. Whitelist firewall is needed to carefully allow specific updates and downloads. The lab already has Beacon Virtual Machine running and it has found issues in the past. All of them are fixed. So this leak was something new!

    [...]

    I researched a bit more and made educated guesses about why this happened. I managed to narrow it down to Microsoft Defender and the “Automatic sample submission” feature.

    [...]

    Microsoft Windows 10 sends all new unique binaries for further analysis to Microsoft by default. They run the executable in an environment where network connectivity is available. This opens interesting data leak vector for attacker and also includes some privacy concerns. It is quite common that even in isolated environments, many of the Microsoft IP address ranges are whitelisted to make sure systems will stay up to date. This enables adversary to leak data via Microsoft services which is extremely juicy covert channel.

  • Enrico Zini: Fixed XSS issue on debtags.debian.org

    Thanks to Moritz Naumann who found the issues and wrote a very useful report, I fixed a number of Cross Site Scripting vulnerabilities on https://debtags.debian.org.

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated as his old password...

  • Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated as his old password has finally been cracked

    Back in 2014, developer Leah Neukirchen found an /etc/passwd file among a file dump from the BSD 3 source tree that included the passwords used by various computer science pioneers, including Dennis Ritchie, Ken Thompson, Brian Kernighan, Steve Bourne, and Bill Joy.

    As she explained in a blog post on Wednesday, she decided at the time to try cracking the password hashes, created using DES-based crypt(3), using various cracking tools like John the Ripper and hashcat.

    When the subject surfaced on the Unix Heritage Society mailing list last week, Neukirchen responded with 20 cracked passwords from the file that's she'd broken five years ago. Five hashed passwords, however, remained elusive, including Thompson's.

Computer historians crack passwords of Unix's early pioneers

  • Computer historians crack passwords of Unix's early pioneers

    Early versions of the free/open Unix variant BSD came with password files that included hashed passwords for such Unix luminaries as Dennis Ritchie, Stephen R. Bourne, Eric Schmidt, Brian W. Kernighan and Stuart Feldman.

    Leah Neukirchen recovered an BSD version 3 source tree and posted about it on the Unix Heritage Society mailing list, revealing that she was able to crack many of the weak passwords used by the equally weak hashing algorithm from those bygone days.

UNIX Co-Founder Ken Thompson's BSD Password Finally Cracked

  • UNIX Co-Founder Ken Thompson’s BSD Password Finally Cracked

    Ken Thompson, who co-created the popular operating system Unix along with Dennis Ritchie, remains a revered figure in the field of computer science. In 2014, famous open-source developer Leah Neukirchen got her hands on a /etc/password file from a BSD 3 source tree. It contained hashed passwords of some big names like Dennis Ritchie, Steve Bourne, Ken Thompson, Brian W. Kernighan in the computer science field.

    Neukirchen tried cracking the passwords out of curiosity as the passwords were sealed with a DES-based crypt(3) algorithm, which is now considered easy to crack.

UNIX Co-Founder Ken Thompson's BSD Password

  • UNIX Co-Founder Ken Thompson's BSD Password Has Finally Been Cracked

    A 39-year-old password of Ken Thompson, the co-creator of the UNIX operating system among, has finally been cracked that belongs to a BSD-based system, one of the original versions of UNIX, which was back then used by various computer science pioneers.
    In 2014, developer Leah Neukirchen spotted an interesting "/etc/passwd" file in a publicly available source tree of historian BSD version 3, which includes hashed passwords belonging to more than two dozens Unix luminaries who worked on UNIX development, including Dennis Ritchie, Stephen R. Bourne, Ken Thompson, Eric Schmidt, Stuart Feldman, and Brian W. Kernighan.
    Since all passwords in that list are protected using now-depreciated DES-based crypt(3) algorithm and limited to at most 8 characters, Neukirchen decided to brute-force them for fun and successfully cracked passwords (listed below) for almost everyone using password cracking tools like John the Ripper and hashcat.

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Polishing of KDE and Adding Git Support to Kate

  • This week in KDE: fixing all the things

    Plasma 5.17 was released this week to glowing reviews! As with most new releases, our loyal users wasted no time in finding all the bugs we missed! So you know what that means, right? We all burned the midnight oil fixing the problems you found, and Plasma 5.17.1 will be released in just a few days with everything we’ve knocked out so far (detailed below) so never fear!

  • KDE Continues Seeing A Lot Of Bug Fixes, Continued Tweaks Around System Settings

    KDE developers remain busy this autumn on addressing bugs in the recent KDE Plasma 5.17 release and tackling early feature work for Plasma 5.18. Plus work on KDE Frameworks 5 and KDE Applications is as busy as ever.

  • Working around the Wrong Cursor bug

    This is a long-known bug with countless Reddit/Forum/… posts with often the correct answer how to fix it.

  • RFC - Git Client Integration

    At this year’s KDE conference Akademy we discussed how to evolve Kate over the next years. One of the areas we want to improve is better git integration out of the box. Currently, Kate ships the Projects plugin, which automatically detects and loads your file structure from your git repository. If a project is loaded, then the Search & Replace plugin allows to search&replace in all project files. In addition, the Quick Open feature also supports opening files from the currently active project - all explained here. However, the Projects plugin does not provide any real git integration: You can neither pull nor push, commit, diff, etc. If at all, additional git functionality is available only via external tools like gitk or git-cola (e.g. available in the context menu). This is something we would like to change by having really nice git integration.

today's howtos

Games: Humble and Five-or-More Modernisation in GNOME

  • Humble Monthly will be changing to Humble Choice later this year

    If you're interested in getting a bunch of games each month, the Humble Monthly has at times been quite generous with the selection. Things are about to change, with it being renamed to Humble Choice with new options. Currently, you pay a set fee of $12 a month (or less for more months) and get at least one game to play early. Then at the end of each month, they give you a bunch more games ranging between 7-11. That's changing sometime later this year with Humble Choice. As the name suggests, it does seem to actually give you a little more control. Games are revealed upfront instead of being a mystery and you pick the ones you want from a larger list.

  • Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars content pack in addition to the big Livy update

    One piece of PDXCON news missed from yesterday: Imperator: Rome is getting a free Punic Wars Content Pack along with the upcoming Livy Update. Paradox Development Studio sure are busy. Not only are they working on multiple Stellaris expansions, Crusader Kings III and Hearts of Iron IV: La Résistance they're also trying to turn around the rough launch of Imperator: Rome. Another big free patch is coming out named Livy which will include: a new character experience system, a rework of the family system, a procedurally generated mission system, a map with greater details including showing war on the map with burning cities and more not yet announced. It's going to be big!

  • Five-or-More Modernisation: It's a Wrap

    As probably most of you already know, or recently found out, at the beginning of this week the GSoC coding period officially ended, and it is time for us, GSoC students, to submit our final evaluations and the results we achieved thus far. This blog post, as you can probably tell from the title, will be a summary of all of the work I put into modernising Five or More throughout the summer months. My main task was rewriting Five or More in Vala since this simple and fun game did not find its way to the list of those included in the Games Modernisation Initiative. This fun, strategy game consists of aligning, as often as possible, five or more objects of the same shape and color, to make them disappear and score points. Besides the Vala rewrite, there were also some other tasks included, such as migrating to Meson and dropping autotools, as well as keeping the view and logic separated and updating the UI to make this game more relatable for the public and more fresh-looking. However, after thoroughly discussing the details with my mentor, Robert Roth (IRC: evfool), more emphasis was placed upon rewriting the code to Vala, since the GSoC program is specifically designed for software development. However, slight UI modifications were integrated as to match the visual layout guidelines.

  • Five-or-More Modernisation: Now You Can Properly Play It

    As Google Summer of Code is officially drawing to an end, all of my attention was focused towards making the Five or More Vala version feature-complete. As you probably already know from my previous blog post, the game was somehow playable at that time, but it was missing some of the key features included in the old version. So what’s new this time? First and foremost, you can surely notice the game board now sports a grid, which wasn’t there until now. On the same note, there are also animations used for clicking a piece on the board, for an improved gaming experience. For further accessibility, some header bar hints are available at different stages in the game: at the start of any new game, at the end of each game, as well as whenever there is no clear path between the initial position and the cell indicated by the user for the current move.