Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Debian struggling with security

Filed under
Security

Debian is facing difficulties getting timely security updates to users of its Linux distribution due to lack of manpower and software problems.

The issues recently surfaced when Debian released the latest version of its Linux distribution early in June, according to Martin Schulze, a member of the organisation's security team.

That release, Schulze wrote on his blog, caused configuration problems on the server which was responsible for distributing security updates -- and it hasn't been functioning properly since. "Several security updates aren't built on all architectures as they should be," the developer wrote only yesterday. "Currently, it's totally unreliable."

Lack of manpower also appears to be adding to Debian's security woes. Michael Stone, another member of Debian's security team, expressed his frustration to the organisation's security e-mail mailing list in mid-June, saying there was no effective tracking of security problems.

The problems have seen Debian fall behind competitors like Red Hat in releasing updates to widely-used programs. For example, although spam-filtering package SpamAssassin was updated by its creator to fix a remote denial-of-service vulnerability on 6 June, Debian provided the update on 1 July, while Novell's SuSE got the fix a week earlier on 23 June, Gentoo Linux on the 21st and Red Hat's Fedora still earlier on the 16th.

A similar situation occurred when the 'sudo' package needed an update in mid-June. In addition a number of security-related bugs are listed on Schulze's Web site as being unfixed, although the site also notes the data may be inaccurate as it is automatically generated.

Although Debian's infrastructure problems have not been as prominently discussed as the manpower issues on the project's mailing lists, giving some developers more authority is one idea that has been discussed as a way of speeding up the release of security updates.

As one developer put it: "The problem we're currently seeing isn't that the job is hard, but that only a very small number of people have the authority/ability to push the update out."

Another agreed, calling for the size of the security team to be increased from seven to 21.

Source.

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

  • 1B Android phones shipped in 2014, but they don’t all help Google
    When Android first arrived in 2007, it was (and still is) a key part of the OHA, or Open-Handset Alliance. OHA partners — which include Samsung, LG, Dell, HTC, Huawei and ZTE, to name a few — all loosely work together to help improve Android, while competing against one another by using Android on their respective hardware products. Android is the commonality between all of the OHA partners. And then there’s Google.
  • Android beats iOS for app downloads, but revenues are still a different story
    There are plenty of caveats to this line of reasoning, though. First, Google Play is not the only Android app store – Amazon and Samsung run their own stores, while in countries like China there are dozens of stores offering Android apps.
  • HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop Update: What U.S. Owners Can Expect
    When Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop back in October many smartphone owners like those with the HTC One or HTC One M8 instantly started waiting for details regarding the Android 5.0 Lollipop update. It has arrived for a few devices already, including the HTC One and HTC One M8 Google Play Edition handsets, but below we’ll go over what regular HTC One owners need to know about the Android 5.0 update.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Updated To The Android Lollipop 5.0 OS
    The Android Lollipop 5.0 update is finally available for the Samsung S4. The operating system is also available for the Samsung Galaxy S5, Note 4, Note 3, and Note Edge. Samsung Galaxy and Note users will be happy to hear that the long waited update is coming in the near future. But should Galaxy S4 users take advantage of the Android Lollipop update?
  • Don’t wait for Android 5.0, this app makes your phone look like Lollipop for free
    Android 5.0 Lollipop is a huge upgrade for Google’s mobile operating system. The only problem with it, of course, is that it’s only available for a handful of devices. Most Android smartphone users still have plenty more waiting to do before Lollipop is finally available for their handset, but now there’s a terrific app that will make your older version of Android look just like Lollipop — and it’s free!
  • Is this Apple’s secret weapon that could force Android users to buy an iPhone?
    There are many reasons why Android users switch to iPhone, and vice-versa, but Apple may have a secret (or not-so-secret) weapon that could pressure some Android fans to considering a move to the other side. No, it’s not Apple Pay, an exclusive iPhone 6 feature that’s heavily marketed by various banks in the U.S., further helping Apple market its 2014 iPhones. It’s actually a stock iOS app that has been hiding in plain sight for years.
  • Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Problems Frustrating Nexus Users
    Google rolled out its Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update to fix Nexus Lollipop problems. And while it did fix some of the bigger issues, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop problems continue to frustrate Nexus users.

Libreboot X200 laptop now FSF-certified to respect your freedom

This is the second Libreboot laptop from Gluglug (a project of Minifree, Ltd.) to achieve RYF certification, the first being the Libreboot X60 in December 2013. The Libreboot X200 offers many improvements over the Libreboot X60, including a faster CPU, faster graphics, 64-bit GNU/Linux support (on all models), support for more RAM, higher screen resolution, and more. The Libreboot X200 can be purchased from Gluglug at http://shop.gluglug.org.uk/product/libreboot-x200/. Read more

Ubuntu 15.04 Now Based on Linux Kernel 3.18.4, Devs Are Tracking the 3.19 Branch

A new Linux kernel has been made available for Ubuntu 15.04 (Vivid Vervet) and the developers are also tracking the current 3.19 branch of the kernel, which will eventually be adopted after it reaches a stable state. Read more

Ubuntu Users See Private, Hybrid Cloud Expansion

Canonical, the company behind the open source cross-platform operating system Ubuntu, released its annual cloud and server survey this week that seeks to cast more light on the makeup of cloud infrastructure, how it is managed, and what is driving cloud adoption. Canonical said it surveyed 3,100 customers, most of whom are Ubuntu server and cloud users, about the makeup of their cloud infrastructure and how it is being used. Read more