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BIOS/UEFI Leftovers

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Linux
Security
  • BIOS Update Dell Latitude E6440 on Linux

    My BIOS was 4 years out of date. I thought it was time to update it. I went to the Dell Support page and noticed that they only had *.exe files available. I sighed and was initially frustrated because my initial supposition was that I was going to have to have a working copy of Windows to do the update. My last Dell Latitude, a D630, the BIOS updates required a lot of fiddling on my part. At the time, I would burn a special FreeDOS CD with the BIOS update EXE on it. I figured I would have to do the same with this computer. The good news is, that is not the case and it could be I am the last person to know this bit of information.

    [...]

    Due to my laziness and inhibition to use Windows caused me to avoid pursuing updating my BIOS. Dell, on newer systems (~2015 and later), have built in a service to perform these updates outside of the operating system and has removed or eliminated your excuses for keeping your system up to date and more secure.

    I am glad I took the time today to figure this out and do the proper thing in keeping my system updated.

  • Boothole GRUB2 bug breaks Secure Boot on Linux and Windows
  • Linux GRUB2 bootloader flaw breaks Secure Boot on most computers and servers

    Operating system maintainers, computer manufacturers, security and virtualization software vendors have worked together over the past few months to coordinate a unified response to a vulnerability that allows attackers to bypass boot process integrity verification, one of the key security features of modern computers. The flaw is located in the GRUB2 Linux bootloader, but because of how Secure Boot is implemented, it can be used to compromise the booting process of Windows and other systems as well.

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More in Tux Machines

today's howtos

Python Programming

  • Tweet from Django application using Tweepy

    In this tutorial, we will learn how to post a tweet from Django application using Tweepy.

  • What are Dependencies in Programming

    This article is going to be a very informative read no matter what kind of programmer you are. In fact, even if you aren’t a programmer you will find this article useful. After all, dependencies is not just a programming concept. It’s a general term that has meaning even outside of Computer Science. [...] Dependency is a broad software engineering term used to refer when a piece of software relies on another one. Simply put, if Program A requires Program B to be able to run, Program A is dependent on Program B. This makes Program B a dependency of Program A. You may ask, why would Program A even need Program B, or any other program for that matter? This will be further elaborated in the “Why we use dependencies” section in this article, but a short version is that Program A requires a special service or feature which Program B has. It doesn’t really matter what it is, if your program needs to run correctly, it’s a dependency. Common examples of dependencies are programming libraries, Online services, programming scripts etc.

  • How to rename columns in Pandas Dataframe

    In this tutorial, we will cover various methods to rename columns in pandas dataframe in Python. Renaming or changing the names of columns is one of the most common data wrangling task. If you are not from programming background and worked only in Excel Spreadsheets in the past you might feel it not so easy doing this in Python as you can easily rename columns in MS Excel by just typing in the cell what you want to have. If you are from database background it is similar to ALIAS in SQL. In Python there is a popular data manipulation package called pandas which simplifies doing these kind of data operations. [...] First step is to install pandas package if it is not already installed. You can check if the package is installed on your machine by running !pip show pandas statement in Ipython console. If it is not installed, you can install it by using the command !pip install pandas.

  • Create the function which converts a given string into an md5 hash and return the value in the hexadecimal format

    When you sign up for an account somewhere, some websites do not actually store your password in their databases. Instead, they will transform your password into something else using a cryptographic hashing algorithm. After the password is transformed, it is then called a password hash. Whenever you try to login, the website will transform the password you tried using the same hashing algorithm and simply see if the password hashes are the same. Create the python function that converts a given string into an md5 hash. The return value should be encoded in hexadecimal.

  • How to rename columns in pandas dataframe

    In this tutorial, we will cover various methods to rename columns in pandas dataframe in Python. Renaming or changing the names of columns is one of the most common data wrangling task. If you are not from programming background and worked only in Excel Spreadsheets in the past you might feel it not so easy doing this in Python as you can easily rename columns in MS Excel by just typing in the cell what you want to have. If you are from database background it is similar to ALIAS in SQL. In Python there is a popular data manipulation package called pandas which simplifies doing these kind of data operations.

  • Unravelling unary arithmetic operators

    In this entire blog series on Python's syntactic sugar, this might end up being the most boring post. We will cover the unary arithmetic operators: -, +, and ~ (inversion if you don't happen to be familiar with that last operator). Due to the fact that there is only a single object being involved, it's probably the most straightforward syntax to explain in Python. [...] That is literally all of the documentation for unary arithmetic operators in Python's data model. Now is that an over-simplification, or is it actually as simple as it sounds?

Today in Techrights

Malicious Bots

Choking on bots, cannot cope

TUX MACHINES may seem to have become rather slow if not unreachable at times. Over the past few months we've had issues with bots that request as many as 10,000 files per minute from the site's server, which is obviously unable to cope with the load/bandwidth and actually deliver what's requested. Sometimes it even resets Apache in order to regain order. At the moment we lack a permanent solution, but we have some mitigations in place.

More than 5 years ago we had to stop new account sign-ups due to spammers setting up loads of dummy accounts (hundreds per day), then directing these to vandalise the site. This inevitably led to tighter control from an editorial perspective and it reduced the number of comments. Running a site is no picnic; it's a 24/7 responsibility. We do the best we can to maintain a reliable service whilst at the same time also pursuing the latest news stories of interest. This takes a huge amount of time and dedication. If it is difficult to reach the site or if the site feels very slow, it's almost definitely due to those bots. The server's uptime is now 160 days.