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Friday, 24 Feb 17 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Quick Roundup

The pendulum has swung in the open source debate

Filed under
OSS

Matt Asay: Once upon a time, the term "open source" was coined to save the free-software world from itself. Or, rather, from the free-software zealots. Today, I can't help but feel that the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, where we're so self-satisfied with the money we're making off open source that we have neglected the essential freedoms that make open-source profit possible.

Desktop Backgrounds For Minimalist Window Managers Revisited

Filed under
HowTos

Caitlyn Martin: Back in February I wrote about using xli to add a desktop background of your choice to a minimalist window manager. It turns out that many distros include something a bit newer and perhaps better than xli. Esetroot can also be used to change the contents of the root window in X.

apt-listbugs: Lists critical bugs before each apt installation

Filed under
Software

DPotD: apt-listbugs is a tool designed to warn the user about critical bugs of packages that are about to be installed or upgraded. Once installed, each time you use aptitude or apt-get it will be run, and if it detects any critical bugs will stop to ask the user what to do.

New LyX document processor released, now with unicode!

Filed under
Software

arstechnica: The LyX graphical document processor is an open source program that users to focus on content rather than formatting (akin to how HTML is written when your formatting is taken care of in the CSS files).

OpenOffice.org Calc: Pivot tables by another name

Filed under
OOo

LinuxJournal: DataPilots are OpenOffice.org Calc's equivalent of what MS Excel and other spreadsheets call pivot tables. Under any name, they are a tool for extracting and summarizing the information contained in spreadsheet cells in a more convenient form. Using a DataPilot, you can immediately see relationships between different pieces of data.

Some KDE news: Decibel 0.5, Plasma Applet Browser and Kicker and Plasma

Filed under
KDE

/home/liquidat: Decibel was released as version 0.5. At the same time a Plasma Applet Browser was introduced by Ivan Čukić. Also, it was once again made clear that we will see a kicker replacement for KDE 4.0 in time.

KDE4 is very attractive for software service companies

Filed under
KDE

kdedevelopers.org: The next version of KDE4 will run natively on Mac OS X and Windows XP and Vista. This means that it is a very attractive platform for software development. No other cross-platform toolkit looks as good as Qt and has an equally appealing API.

Ubuntu Documentation Mentoring

Filed under
Ubuntu

Matthew East: The mentoring project for Ubuntu documentation is going really well - the mailing list has sprung back to life after several slow months and a number of new aspiring contributors with ideas and enthusiasm have come on the scene.

One Month On, GPLv3 Adoption Going Very Smoothly

Filed under
OSS

FSM: I recently read the discussion on the GCC development mailing list related to GCC's transition to GPLv3. Despite generating 172 emails, the transition was quite smooth actually.

Linux: Distributed Storage Subsystem

Filed under
Linux

kernelTRAP: Evgeniy Polyakov, listed as the ufs filesystem and w1 subsystem maintainer, announced the first release of his distributed storage subsystem, "which allows [you] to form storage on top of remote and local nodes, which in turn can be exported to another storage as a node to form tree-like storages."

Do we need an open hardware license?

Filed under
Hardware

linux.com: Nokia researcher Jamey Hicks recently proposed a Open Source Hardware License (OSHL) for approval by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). Is there a need for a hardware-specific license? If so, what makes hardware different from software?

Windows vs. Linux vs. OS X: CIO John Halamka Tests Ubuntu

Filed under
OS

cio.com: Last summer, CareGroup CIO John Halamka began looking for a viable alternative to the Microsoft Windows desktop operating system. Last July, he quit Windows cold turkey and used a MacBook running OS X as his sole computing machine to see how it stacked up against Windows. In August, he worked with two Linux distributions.

Launch Apps Automagically in Gnome

Filed under
Software

MaximumPC: Over the last couple of months, a lot of new Linux users have written in to ask how they can get apps to launch automatically in GNOME like they can in Windows. So rather than continue to answer everyone individually, here's an easy tutorial for everyone.

IDC: Patents Inhibit Open Source Adoption

Filed under
OSS

internetnews: "The potential for copyright and patent infringement is the No. 1 inhibitor right now for organizations in adopting more open source software in their organization," Lawton said in the afternoon conference call. "Close behind that is the availability of support."

Adult OLPC OS: Red Hat Global Desktop or Ubuntu Mobile?

Filed under
OLPC

OLPC News: Thinking about One Laptop Per Child commercial sales, specifically who would buy a "$100 laptop" when the XO retail price is more like $325 and the Sugar UI is designed for children, I wonder what adult operating system OLPC might bundle with the XO.

Turn your computer into a media center PC with GeeXBoX 1.1

Filed under
Software

linux.com: GeeXBoX, a small media center Linux live CD distribution, can run from any small device, such as a USB disk or a wallet CD-R, and can play both disk-based media like DVDs and online media like Icecast streams.

Tellico: manage your collection of CDs, coins and… wines

Filed under
Software

polishlinux: I don’t know a person that hasn’t collected anything in their life (particularly in childhood). Some people didn’t age out of this habit and their collections of books, CDs or coins have grown so much that they have problems managing these collections using only a sheet of paper and a pencil.

Rich-Client application Performance, Part 1

Filed under
News

In this first installment, you'll learn how to measure the performance of Eclipse-based Rich Client Platform (RCP) applications, determine if slowdowns are caused by CPU or I/O bottlenecks, and keep the UI thread idle to maintain responsiveness. Part 2 will address memory problems.

rPath™ Reaches One Million Appliance Downloads

Filed under
News

rPath’s Billy Marshall and Erik Troan to Speak at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo

Filed under
Linux
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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: BSD

Security Leftovers

  • Stop using SHA1 encryption: It’s now completely unsafe, Google proves
    Security researchers have achieved the first real-world collision attack against the SHA-1 hash function, producing two different PDF files with the same SHA-1 signature. This shows that the algorithm's use for security-sensitive functions should be discontinued as soon as possible. SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) dates back to 1995 and has been known to be vulnerable to theoretical attacks since 2005. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has banned the use of SHA-1 by U.S. federal agencies since 2010, and digital certificate authorities have not been allowed to issue SHA-1-signed certificates since Jan. 1, 2016, although some exemptions have been made. However, despite these efforts to phase out the use of SHA-1 in some areas, the algorithm is still fairly widely used to validate credit card transactions, electronic documents, email PGP/GPG signatures, open-source software repositories, backups and software updates.
  • on pgp
    First and foremost I have to pay respect to PGP, it was an important weapon in the first cryptowar. It has helped many whistleblowers and dissidents. It is software with quite interesting history, if all the cryptograms could tell... PGP is also deeply misunderstood, it is a highly successful political tool. It was essential in getting crypto out to the people. In my view PGP is not dead, it's just old and misunderstood and needs to be retired in honor. However the world has changed from the internet happy times of the '90s, from a passive adversary to many active ones - with cheap commercially available malware as turn-key-solutions, intrusive apps, malware, NSLs, gag orders, etc.
  • Cloudflare’s Cloudbleed is the worst privacy leak in recent Internet history
    Cloudflare revealed today that, for months, all of its protected websites were potentially leaking private information across the Internet. Specifically, Cloudflare’s reverse proxies were dumping uninitialized memory; that is to say, bleeding private data. The issue, termed Cloudbleed by some (but not its discoverer Tavis Ormandy of Google Project Zero), is the greatest privacy leak of 2017 and the year has just started. For months, since 2016-09-22 by their own admission, CloudFlare has been leaking private information through Cloudbleed. Basically, random data from random sites (again, it’s worth mentioning that every site that used CloudFlare in the last half year should be considered to having fallen victim to this) would be randomly distributed across the open Internet, and then indefinitely cached along the way.
  • Serious Cloudflare bug exposed a potpourri of secret customer data
    Cloudflare, a service that helps optimize the security and performance of more than 5.5 million websites, warned customers today that a recently fixed software bug exposed a range of sensitive information that could have included passwords and cookies and tokens used to authenticate users. A combination of factors made the bug particularly severe. First, the leakage may have been active since September 22, nearly five months before it was discovered, although the greatest period of impact was from February 13 and February 18. Second, some of the highly sensitive data that was leaked was cached by Google and other search engines. The result was that for the entire time the bug was active, hackers had the ability to access the data in real-time by making Web requests to affected websites and to access some of the leaked data later by crafting queries on search engines. "The bug was serious because the leaked memory could contain private information and because it had been cached by search engines," Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming wrote in a blog post published Thursday. "We are disclosing this problem now as we are satisfied that search engine caches have now been cleared of sensitive information. We have also not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits of the bug or other reports of its existence."

Security Leftovers

  • Change all the passwords (again)
    Looks like it is time to change all the passwords again. There’s a tiny little flaw in a CDN used … everywhere, it seems.
  • Today's leading causes of DDoS attacks [Ed: The so-called 'Internet of things' (crappy devices with identical passwords) is a mess; programmers to blame, not Linux]
    Of the most recent mega 100Gbps attacks in the last quarter, most of them were directly attributed to the Mirai botnet. The Mirai botnet works by exploiting the weak security on many Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The program finds its victims by constantly scanning the internet for IoT devices, which use factory default or hard-coded usernames and passwords.
  • How to Set Up An SSL Certificate on Your Website [via "Steps To Secure Your Website With An SSL Certificate"]
  • SHA-1 is dead, long live SHA-1!
    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you heard that some researchers managed to create a SHA-1 collision. The short story as to why this matters is the whole purpose of a hashing algorithm is to make it impossible to generate collisions on purpose. Unfortunately though impossible things are usually also impossible so in reality we just make sure it’s really really hard to generate a collision. Thanks to Moore’s Law, hard things don’t stay hard forever. This is why MD5 had to go live on a farm out in the country, and we’re not allowed to see it anymore … because it’s having too much fun. SHA-1 will get to join it soon.
  • SHA1 collision via ASCII art
    Happy SHA1 collision day everybody! If you extract the differences between the good.pdf and bad.pdf attached to the paper, you'll find it all comes down to a small ~128 byte chunk of random-looking binary data that varies between the files.
  • PayThink Knowledge is power in fighting new Android attack bot
    Android users and apps have become a major part of payments and financial services, carrying an increased risk for web crime. It is estimated that there are 107.7 million Android Smartphone users in the U.S. who have downloaded more than 65 million apps from the Google App Store, and each one of them represents a smorgasbord of opportunity for hackers to steal user credentials and other information.
  • Red Hat: 'use after free' vulnerability found in Linux kernel's DCCP protocol IPV6 implementation
    Red Hat Product Security has published details of an "important" security vulnerability in the Linux kernel. The IPv6 implementation of the DCCP protocol means that it is possible for a local, unprivileged user to alter kernel memory and escalate their privileges. Known as the "use-after-free" flaw, CVE-2017-6074 affects a number of Red Hat products including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and Red Hat Openshift Online v2. Mitigating factors include the requirement for a potential attacker to have access to a local account on a machine, and for IPV6 to be enabled, but it is still something that will be of concern to Linux users. Describing the vulnerability, Red Hat says: "This flaw allows an attacker with an account on the local system to potentially elevate privileges. This class of flaw is commonly referred to as UAF (Use After Free.) Flaws of this nature are generally exploited by exercising a code path that accesses memory via a pointer that no longer references an in use allocation due to an earlier free() operation. In this specific issue, the flaw exists in the DCCP networking code and can be reached by a malicious actor with sufficient access to initiate a DCCP network connection on any local interface. Successful exploitation may result in crashing of the host kernel, potential execution of code in the context of the host kernel or other escalation of privilege by modifying kernel memory structures."

Android Leftovers