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Fosdem: A Festival of Free

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OSS

The Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (Fosdem) in Brussels, Belgium, attracts about 3,000 people every year, and last month marked its eighth edition.

With all the hype surrounding free and open source tools the operating system Linux, the Web server software Apache, the Web browser Mozilla Firefox, it is easy to forget the men (and, occasionally, women) who develop them. It is their shared passion for software that works the way they want it to that keeps this movement going, bringing innovation to computing and the Web at a pace that proprietary software developers can only dream of.

Freed to Run, Examine, Share
The basic freedoms that define free software are thus: the freedom to run a program for any purpose; the freedom to examine that program, to pick it apart and to put it back together again in a way that suits you; and the freedom to share those changes. What this means is that code is not squirreled away for commercial profit. Instead, it is shared across geographical boundaries, among communities, open to anyone who feels they have a useful contribution to make, be they in Marseilles, France, or Macclesfield, UK.

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  • Security updates for Thursday
  • OpenSSL patches two high-severity flaws
    OpenSSL has released versions 1.0.2h and 1.0.1t of its open source cryptographic library, fixing multiple security vulnerabilities that can lead to traffic being decrypted, denial-of-service attacks, and arbitrary code execution. One of the high-severity vulnerabilities is actually a hybrid of two low-risk bugs and can cause OpenSSL to crash.
  • Linux Foundation Advances Security Efforts via Badging Program
    The Linux Foundation Core Infrastructure Initiative's badging program matures, as the first projects to achieve security badges are announced.
  • Linux Foundation tackles open source security with new badge program
  • WordPress Plugin ‘Ninja Forms’ Security Vulnerability
    FOSS Force has just learned from Wordfence, a security company that focuses on the open source WordPress content management platform, that a popular plugin used by over 500,000 sites, Ninja Forms, contains serious security vulnerabilities.
  • Preparing Your Network for the IoT Revolution
    While there is no denying that IP-based connectivity continues to become more and more pervasive, this is not a fundamentally new thing. What is new is the target audience is changing and connectivity is becoming much more personal. It’s no longer limited to high end technology consumers (watches and drones) but rather, it is showing up in nearly everything from children’s toys to kitchen appliances (yes again) and media devices. The purchasers of these new technology-enabled products are far from security experts, or even security aware. Their primary purchasing requirements are ease of use.
  • regarding embargoes
    Yesterday I jumped the gun committing some patches to LibreSSL. We receive advance copies of the advisory and patches so that when the new OpenSSL ships, we’re ready to ship as well. Between the time we receive advance notice and the public release, we’re supposed to keep this information confidential. This is the embargo. During the embargo time we get patches lined up and a source tree for each cvs branch in a precommit state. Then we wait with our fingers on the trigger. What happened yesterday was I woke up to a couple OpenBSD developers talking about the EBCDIC CVE. Oh, it’s public already? Check the OpenSSL git repo and sure enough, there are a bunch of commits for embargoed issues. Pull the trigger! Pull the trigger! Launch the missiles! Alas, we didn’t look closely enough at the exact issues fixed and had missed the fact that only low severity issues had been made public. The high severity issues were still secret. We were too hasty.
  • Medical Equipment Crashes During Heart Procedure Because of Antivirus Scan [Ed: Windows]
    A critical medical equipment crashed during a heart procedure due to a timely scan triggered by the antivirus software installed on the PC to which the said device was sending data for logging and monitoring.
  • Hotel sector faces cybercrime surge as data breaches start to bite
    Since 2014, things have become a lot more serious with a cross section of mostly US hotels suffering major breaches during Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals. Panda Security lists a string of attacks on big brands including on Trump Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt, Starwood, Rosen Hotels & Resorts as well two separate attacks on hotel management outfit White Lodging and another on non-US hotel Mandarin Oriental.

Android Leftovers