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Security Leftovers

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Security
  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Fedora (kernel, kernel-headers, and kernel-tools), openSUSE (glibc and qemu), Red Hat (chromium-browser, container-tools:1.0, container-tools:rhel8, firefox, ipmitool, kernel, kernel-rt, krb5-appl, ksh, nodejs:10, nss-softokn, python, qemu-kvm, qemu-kvm-ma, telnet, and virt:rhel), Scientific Linux (ipmitool and telnet), SUSE (ceph and firefox), and Ubuntu (haproxy, linux, linux-aws, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.3, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.3, linux-raspi2, linux-raspi2-5.3, linux, linux-aws, linux-kvm, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, and linux, linux-hwe).

  • Josh Bressers: Who are the experts

    These are certainly strange times we are living in. None of us will ever forget what’s happening and we will all retell stories for the rest of our days. Many of us asked “tell me about the depression grandma”, similar questions will be asked of us someday.

    The whirlwind of confusion and chaos got me thinking about advice and who we listen to. Most of us know a staggering number of people who are apparently experts in immunology. I have no intention of talking about the politics of the current times, goodness knows nobody in their right mind should care what I think. What all this does have me pondering is what are experts and how can we decide who we should listen to?

    So I’ve been thinking a lot about “experts” lately. Especially in the context of security. There have been a ton of expert opinions on how to work from home, and how to avoid getting scammed, which video conferencing software is the best (or worst). There are experts everywhere, but which ones should we listen to? I’m not an expert in anything, but there are some topics I know enough about to question some of these “experts”.

  • seL4 Microkernel Optimized for Security Gets Support of Linux Foundation

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host the seL4 Foundation, the nonprofit organization established by Data61, the digital specialist arm for Australia’s national science agency CSIRO. The seL4 microkernel is the world’s first operating system (OS) kernel that is proved secure; it is designed to ensure the security, safety and reliability of real-world critical computer systems.

    The new Foundation aims to accelerate the development of seL4 and related technologies, and under the Linux Foundation will provide a global, independent and neutral organization for funding and steering the future evolution of seL4. Founding members include Cog Systems, DornerWorks, Ghost Locomotion, HENSOLD Cyber and UNSW Sydney.

    The trustworthiness of embedded computing systems is vital to improving the security of critical systems around the world to safeguard them from cyber threats. This is particularly paramount in industries including avionics, autonomous vehicles, medical devices, critical infrastructure and defense. The seL4 microkernel is the world’s first operating system with a proof of implementation correctness and presents an unparalleled combination of assurance, generality and performance, making it an ideal base for building security- and safety-critical systems. The seL4 Foundation provides a forum for developers to collaborate on growing and integrating the seL4 ecosystem.

  • The Linux Foundation Throws Weight Behind Secure Microkernel

    Gernot Heiser, who will serve as chair of the new foundation, said the seL4 is unique in that it is mathematically proven to be secure, which provides a robust foundation on which a new generation of embedded systems can be built to drive, for example, internet of things (IoT) applications.

    Founding members of the seL4 Foundation include Data61, University of New South Wales in Sydney, HENSOLDT Cyber GmbH, Ghost Locomotion Inc., Cog Systems Inc. and DornerWorks Ltd.

    The hosting of the seL4 Foundation is sure to add more fuel to an increasingly fierce debate over the future of operating systems. Advocates of microkernels contend operating systems in terms of functions and size should be kept to an absolute minimum to both ensure security and maximize flexibility.

Linux Foundation backs security-oriented seL4

  • Linux Foundation backs security-oriented seL4 microkernel operating system

    However, SeL4 can be used, in theory, as a foundation for Linux and other Unix related operating systems. For example, it was briefly considered for use in Richard M. Stallman's still-born Gnu Hurd operating system. Now, with its latest edition and broader support, seL4 may be more broadly deployed.

    This kernel is a member of the L4 microkernel family. SeL4 is a mathematically proven correct, bug-free operating system kernel. It's designed to enforce strong security properties. Data61 claims it's the world's first operating system with such proof. It's also, they say, the only proven operating system featuring fine-grained, capability-based security and high performance. In the real world, it supports mixed criticality real-time systems.

Linux Foundation To Support seL4 Foundation

  • Linux Foundation To Support seL4 Foundation

    The Linux Foundation will be hosting seL4 Foundation, the nonprofit organization established by Data61 (the digital specialist arm for Australia’s national science agency CSIRO). The seL4 microkernel is designed to ensure the security, safety and reliability of real-world critical computer systems.

The seL4 microkernel: Optimized for security and endorsed...

  • The seL4 microkernel: Optimized for security and endorsed by the Linux foundation

    The Linux Foundation is a fundamental organization for the promotion of open source software and has officially endorsed the seL4 microkernel. To further boost seL4, the Linux Foundation will host seL4 Foundation, which is a non-profit organization, established by Data61.

    In order to understand seL4, we must first know what a microkernel is. A microkernel is the bare minimum of components needed to form an operating system. Usually, microkernels are comprised of...

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    The btrfs filesystem has taunted the Linux community for years, offering a stunning array of features and capability, but never earning universal acclaim. Btrfs is perhaps more deserving of patience, as its promised capabilities dwarf all peers, earning it vocal proponents with great influence. Still, none can argue that btrfs is unfinished, many features are very new, and stability concerns remain for common functions. Most of the intended goals of btrfs have been met. However, Red Hat famously cut continued btrfs support from their 7.4 release, and has allowed the code to stagnate in their backported kernel since that time. The Fedora project announced their intention to adopt btrfs as the default filesystem for variants of their distribution, in a seeming juxtaposition. SUSE has maintained btrfs support for their own distribution and the greater community for many years. For users, the most desirable features of btrfs are transparent compression and snapshots; these features are stable, and relatively easy to add as a veneer to stock CentOS (and its peers). Administrators are further compelled by adjustable checksums, scrubs, and the ability to enlarge as well as (surprisingly) shrink filesystem images, while some advanced btrfs topics (i.e. deduplication, RAID, ext4 conversion) aren't really germane for minimal loopback usage. The systemd init package also has dependencies upon btrfs, among them machinectl and systemd-nspawn. Despite these features, there are many usage patterns that are not directly appropriate for use with btrfs. It is hostile to most databases and many other programs with incompatible I/O, and should be approached with some care.

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