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Happy Birthday Linux Today, OpenSSH, and Google

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The first story wasn't even about Linux; it was about the release of Apache 1.3.2. Dave Whitinger posted that story at this time in the early morning of September 28, 1998 (Eastern time).

77,029 stories later, here we are. The most-widely read Linux and open source news digest in the world. Just about 80,000 visitors stop by on a daily basis to catch up on events and news in the Linux world, from all across the planet.
Whenever we hit this anniversary date, it is amazing to me how much LT means to so many people. There are days when it seems impossible to keep up with the feedback, good and bad.

It seems such a simple concept: gather a bunch of links together that point to stories that interest Linux users and observers. Post them at regular intervals throughout the day and night. Give people a place to discuss their thoughts and reactions to these stories.

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Also:

Today marks the 8th birthday of OpenSSH. Eight years ago today, Theo de Raadt made the first code commit to the OpenBSD repository for a new open source implementation of SSH client and server software. In the years since, OpenSSH has arguably become the single most used secure remote access software on the planet, deployed across pretty much every major operating system platform you can get. You can get a look at the growth of OpenSSH usage among SSH implementations across the Internet for yourself.

Happy Birthday, OpenSSH

And:

Google.com, a PageRank 10 homepage, turns 9 years old today, according to the special logo put up for the occasion (though many different days can be defined as Google’s birthday, and you may even consider Google to be as old as 12 years, depending where you put the “start” flag). To wrap up the history: Google started as a search engine, and it’s still a search engine today. Of course, it’s also trying to be much more today, in particular, an office suite processing information. But I’m sure we’ll see some more birthday logos before that turns to the kind of mainstream in which today’s market leaders are positioned. And we might see even more birthday logos pass by until Google truly understands information, but according to one of its co-founders, that’s where it’s headed.

Google Turns 9

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Security Leftovers

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  • Open-source developers targeted in sophisticated malware attack
    For the past few months, developers who publish their code on GitHub have been targeted in an attack campaign that uses a little-known but potent cyberespionage malware. The attacks started in January and consisted of malicious emails specifically crafted to attract the attention of developers, such as requests for help with development projects and offers of payment for custom programming jobs. The emails had .gz attachments that contained Word documents with malicious macro code attached. If allowed to execute, the macro code executed a PowerShell script that reached out to a remote server and downloaded a malware program known as Dimnie.
  • A scramble at Cisco exposes uncomfortable truths about U.S. cyber defense
    When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disclosed earlier this month that his anti-secrecy group had obtained CIA tools for hacking into technology products made by U.S. companies, security engineers at Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) swung into action. The Wikileaks documents described how the Central Intelligence Agency had learned more than a year ago how to exploit flaws in Cisco's widely used Internet switches, which direct electronic traffic, to enable eavesdropping. Senior Cisco managers immediately reassigned staff from other projects to figure out how the CIA hacking tricks worked, so they could help customers patch their systems and prevent criminal hackers or spies from using the same methods, three employees told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
  • NTPsec: a Secure, Hardened NTP Implementation
    Network time synchronization—aligning your computer's clock to the same Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) that everyone else is using—is both necessary and a hard problem. Many internet protocols rely on being able to exchange UTC timestamps accurate to small tolerances, but the clock crystal in your computer drifts (its frequency varies by temperature), so it needs occasional adjustments. That's where life gets complicated. Sure, you can get another computer to tell you what time it thinks it is, but if you don't know how long that packet took to get to you, the report isn't very useful. On top of that, its clock might be broken—or lying. To get anywhere, you need to exchange packets with several computers that allow you to compare your notion of UTC with theirs, estimate network delays, apply statistical cluster analysis to the resulting inputs to get a plausible approximation of real UTC, and then adjust your local clock to it. Generally speaking, you can get sustained accuracy to on the close order of 10 milliseconds this way, although asymmetrical routing delays can make it much worse if you're in a bad neighborhood of the internet.
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    I assume that every permutation of scams will eventually be tried; it is interesting that the initial ones preyed on people's avarice and dishonesty: "I will transfer millions to your bank account, then you share with me" - with subsequent scams appealing to another demographic: "I want to donate a large sum to your religious charity" - to perhaps capture a more virtuous but still credulous lot. Where will it end ?

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