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Security Advisories

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Security

Less critical

Ubuntu has issued updates for the kernel. These fixes two vulnerabilities, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to cause a DoS (Denial of Service) or gain escalated privileges.

Solution:

Apply updated packages. Links to updates

Highly critical

SUSE has issued updates for multiple packages. These fix various vulnerabilities, which can be exploited by malicious, local users to escalate their privileges and by malicious people to compromise a vulnerable system.

Solution:

Apply updated packages.

Updated packages are available using YaST Online Update or the SUSE FTP site. Full description.

Less critical

Noam Rathaus has discovered a vulnerability in KMail, which can be exploited by malicious people to conduct spoofing attacks.

The vulnerability is caused due to an error where HTML code can overlay part of the user interface. This can e.g. be exploited to trick a user into believing a specially crafted mail is signed and coming from a trusted source.

Successful exploitation requires that the option "Prefer HTML to plain text" is enabled (not default setting).

The vulnerability has been confirmed in KMail 1.7.1 on KDE 3.3.1. KDE 3.3.2 is reportedly also affected. Other versions may also be affected.

Solution:

Disable the "Prefer HTML to plain text" setting. Link.

Serious
Red Hat Inc. is warning enterprise Linux users to update their installations of XFree86 to fix a number of serious security bugs, some of which could allow attackers to take over a system. Affected operating systems include Enterprise Linux AS 3, Enterprise Linux ES 3 and Enterprise Linux WS 3, Red Hat said in an advisory. XFree86 is an implementation of the X Window System that provides low-level graphics functionality for graphical user interface systems such as KDE and Gnome. The most serious flaw is an integer overflow in the libXpm library, used by some applications in opening XPixMap images, Red Hat said. An attacker could use a malicious XPixMap file to execute code on a user's system. Source for this one.

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Software Politics

  • It's 2015 And Congress Is Now, Finally, Allowed To Use Open Source Technologies
    First, the good news: members of the House of Representatives in the US Congress are now allowed to use open source technology in their offices, rather than the very limited list of proprietary offerings they were given in the past. Second, the bad news: how the hell is it 2015 and this is only becoming an option now? I guess we can't change the past, and so let's celebrate the House of Reps finally getting to this point -- which just happens to coincide with the upcoming launch of the House Open Source Caucus (led by Reps. Blake Farenthold and Jared Polis).
  • The House opens up to open source
    Traditionally, members of the House of Representatives have been presented with a limited plate of options when choosing technology to run their offices and manage their web presences. Members that wanted to take advantage of open source solutions — which are restriction-free, reusable and frequently more cost-effective — faced significant uncertainty and were pushed towards a small selection of proprietary options.
  • Extremadura schoolboard’s software deal protested
    Advocates of free software are protesting a tender by the school board of the Spanish region of Extremadura requesting proprietary software licences. The advocacy group, Extremadura Focus Initiative, is supported by the new, incoming government of the region and by several of Extremadura’s school teachers.

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