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A Letter from Linuxland -- Part 1

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Linux

There are a million reasons to install Linux, and as many not to bother. The days when I actually enjoyed making a computer work through sheer force of will have gone: there's too much to do with the things these days to worry about making it happen. If you play a lot of games, then Linux isn't an option, but if you spend your days whooping through the Internet like a gibbon in the rainforest canopy, then open source will keep you happy. If like me you do a little of a lot of things, then going free is an intriguing idea that may be more trouble than its worth. You know where you are with Windows, even if it's not exactly where you want to be today. It's good enough.

Until now. I don't know exactly what bit of Microsoft corporate madness finally provoked the allergic reaction that swelled my anger gland. It could have been Windows Media Player offering to 'protect' my content with a smarmy message that smelled as bad as 'Crusher' Nobbs offering to 'protect' a pub. It might have been Windows Genuine Advantage slithering its way into my PC and lobbing my personal information back to Microsoft's HQ without telling me. It might have been waiting two minutes for my computer to start while a large and massively stupid lump of antivirus software declared itself the most important being in my world. Or it might have been another stonkingly arrogant statement from Steve Ballmer -- you know, the man who's proud that he bans his kids from owning iPods and using Google. There are many, many candidates for the last straw in the bale on this camel's back.

Whatever it was, it was suddenly too much.

Full Story.

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Leftovers: OSS

Security Leftovers

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  • 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

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