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Gentoo

Security Issues at Gentoo Narrowed Down to Crappy Password

Filed under
Gentoo
Security
  • Linux experts are crap at passwords!

    Fortunately, Gentoo’s GitHub respository wasn’t the primary source for Gentoo code, and few, if any, Gentoo users were relying on it for software updates.

  • Gentoo publishes detailed report after its GitHub was compromised

    You may have seen the news towards the end of June that Gentoo, a fairly advanced Linux distribution, had its GitHub repository compromised after an attacker managed to gain access to one of the connected accounts. Now, Gentoo has published a comprehensive report about the incident and it turns out that the gaff was due to not following rudimentary security tips.

  • Weak Admin Password Caused Compromise of Gentoo GitHub repository

    Gentoo have finished their investigation of the hack that affected their project last week on GitHub. The point of vulnerability has turned out to be a weak Administrator password. upon compromise the hackers added the Linux killer command “rm -rf /” so when users cloned the project to their computers all their data will be erased.

Microsoft, the NSA, and GitHub

Filed under
Gentoo
Microsoft
Security
  • Gentoo hacker's code changes unlikely to have worked

    Linux distribution Gentoo's maintainers say attempts by attackers last week to sabotage code stored on Github is unlikely to have worked.

    Gentoo's Github account was compromised in late June.

    The attacker was able to gain administrative privileges for Gentoo's Github account, after guessing the password for it.

    Gentoo's maintainers were alerted to the attack early thanks to the attacker removing all developers from the Github account, causing them to be emailed.

  • NSA Exploit "DoublePulsar" Patched to Work on Windows IoT Systems

    An infosec researcher who uses the online pseudonym of Capt. Meelo has modified an NSA hacking tool known as DoublePulsar to work on the Windows IoT operating system (formerly known as Windows Embedded).

    The original DoublePulsar is a hacking tool that was developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA), and was stolen and then leaked online by a hacking group known as The Shadow Brokers.

    At its core, DoublePulsar is a Ring-0 kernel mode payload that acts like a backdoor into compromised systems. DoublePulsar is not meant to be used on its own, but together with other NSA tools.

  • Predictable password blamed for Gentoo GitHub organisation takeover [Ed: when Microsoft takes over the NSA gets all these passwords. (NSA PRISM)]

    Gentoo has laid out the cause and impact of an attack that saw the Linux distribution locked out of its GitHub organisation.

    The attack took place on June 28, and saw Gentoo unable to use GitHub for approximately five days.

    Due a lack of two-factor authentication, once the attacker guessed an admin's password, the organisation was in trouble.

Security: Open Source Security Podcast and Inaccurate Gentoo Coverage

Filed under
Gentoo
Security
  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 103 - The Seven Properties of Highly Secure Devices

    We take a real world view into how to secure our devices. What works, what doesn't work, and why this list is actually really good.

  • Github code repository for Gentoo Linux hacked [Ed: Lots of inaccuracies here]

    The Gentoo Linux distribution's Github repository was hacked last June 28, with the attackers modifying the code there.

    Github is a repository for all sorts of source code projects in a variety of programming languages. Gentoo Linux is one such project, stored in Github.

    Gentoo Linux administrators updated users as soon as the issue was found out.

  • Gentoo warning after GitHub hack [Ed: Crack, not "hack"]

    A key Gentoo Linux source code repository should be considered compromised after “unknown individuals” gained access to Gentoo’s Github organisation.

    In an email to the Gentoo announcement list, developer Alec Warner said that the individuals had seized control of the GitHub Gentoo organisation “and modified the content of repositories as well as pages there”.

Gentoo Needs to Delete GitHub

Filed under
Gentoo
Security
  • Gentoo GitHub mirror hacked and considered compromised

    Linux distribution Gentoo has had its GitHub mirror broken into and taken over, with GitHub pages changed and ebuilds replaced.

    In an alert, Gentoo said the attacker gained control of the Github Gentoo organisation at June 28, 20:20 UTC.

    "All Gentoo code hosted on github should for the moment be considered compromised," the alert said.

  • Et tu, Gentoo? Horrible gits meddle with Linux distro's GitHub code

    If you have fetched anything from Gentoo's GitHub-hosted repositories today, dump those files – because hackers have meddled with the open-source project's data.

    The Linux distro's officials sounded the alarm on Thursday, revealing someone managed to break into its GitHub organization account to modify software and webpages.

    Basically, if you downloaded and installed materials from Gentoo via GitHub, you might be compromised by bringing in malicious code. And until the all clear is given, you should avoid fetching anything from the project's 'hub org account.

    "Today, 28 June, at approximately 20:20 UTC unknown individuals have gained control of the Github Gentoo organization, and modified the content of repositories as well as pages there," Gentoo dev Alec Warner said in a bulletin.

  • Gentoo Linux GitHub organisation hacked, content modified

    The GitHub organisation of the Gentoo Linux distribution has been compromised and the project behind Gentoo is warning users not to use code from this source.

    In a statement, the Gentoo leadership said some unknown individuals had gained control of the GitHub Gentoo organisation on 28 June at 20.20 UTC and modified the content and pages.

    Gentoo is a Linux distribution meant for advanced users. The source is compiled locally depending on user preferences and is often optimised for specific hardware.

Gentoo-Based Porteus Kiosk 4.7 Brings More Mitigations Against Spectre Flaws

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Gentoo

Powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.14.50 kernel, Porteus Kiosk 4.7.0 is the second release of the operating system in 2018 and comes five months after version 4.6 to introduce more mitigations against the Spectre security vulnerabilities, though the next-gen Spectre flaws require microcode firmware updates for Intel CPUs.

"Newly discovered "Spectre Next Generation" vulnerabilities require updated microcode from Intel which is not available yet. Please consider enabling automatic updates service for your kiosks to receive latest fixes and patches as soon as they become available," reads today's announcement.

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The story of Gentoo management

Filed under
Gentoo

I have recently made a tabular summary of (probably) all Council members and Trustees in the history of Gentoo. I think that this table provides a very succinct way of expressing the changes within management of Gentoo. While it can’t express the complete history of Gentoo, it can serve as a useful tool of reference.

What questions can it answer? For example, it provides an easy way to see how many terms individuals have served, or how long Trustee terms were. You can clearly see who served both on the Council and on the Board and when those two bodies had common members. Most notably, it collects a fair amount of hard-to-find data in a single table.

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A short history of Gentoo copyright

Filed under
Gentoo
Legal

As part of the recent effort into forming a new copyright policy for Gentoo, a research into the historical status has been conducted. We've tried to establish all the key events regarding the topic, as well as the reasoning behind the existing policy. I would like to shortly note the history based on the evidence discovered by Robin H. Johnson, Ulrich Müller and myself.

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Encryption in Gentoo and GNOME

Filed under
Gentoo
GNOME
  • On OpenPGP (GnuPG) key management

    Over the time, a number of developers have had problems following the Gentoo OpenPGP key policy (GLEP 63. In particular, the key expiration requirements have resulted in many developers wanting to replace their key unnecessarily. I’ve been asked to write some instructions on managing your OpenPGP key, and I’ve decided to go for a full blog post with some less-known tips. I won’t be getting into detailed explanations how to use GnuPG though — you may still need to read the documentation after all.

    [...]

    Signing keys are used to sign data, i.e. to prove its authenticity. Using multiple signing subkeys is rather trivial — you can explicitly specify the key to use while creating a signature (note that you need to append ! to key-id to force non-default subkey), and GnuPG will automatically use the correct subkey when verifying the signature. To reduce the wear of your main signing subkey, you can create a separate signing subkey for Gentoo commits. Or you can go ever further, and have a separate signing subkey for each machine you’re using (and keep only the appropriate key on each machine).

  • Fractal Hackfest, Strasbourg (day 2)

    The encryption is a needed feature but encryption is hard to do in rooms. Matrix uses public-key cryptography, for rooms they are using Megolm, that's a protocol to exchange encrypted messages with more than one and share that message keys in a one-to-one secure communication.

    I don't know a lot about this E2E because for me it's more important to have the client working with a basic functionality before the encryption. So you should read the official doc because maybe this that I'm writing here is completely wrong.

    To do all this E2E key sharing, client side encryption and communication, Riot has three different implementations of the same lib, so they have this code in the JavaScript SDK, the same ported to iOS version in ObjectiveC and the same ported to Android in Java. Below this lib there's the libolm that does the real encryption.

Copyright 101 for Gentoo contributors

Filed under
Gentoo
Legal

While the work on new Gentoo copyright policy is still in progress, I think it would be reasonable to write a short article on copyright in general, for the benefit of Gentoo developers and contributors (proxied maintainers, in particular). There are some common misconceptions regarding copyright, and I would like to specifically focus on correcting them. Hopefully, this will reduce the risk of users submitting ebuilds and other files in violation of copyrights of other parties.

First of all, I’d like to point out that IANAL. The following information is based on what I’ve gathered from various sources over the years. Some or all of it may be incorrect. I take no responsibility for that. When in doubt, please contact a lawyer.

Secondly, the copyright laws vary from country to country. In particular, I have no clue how they work across two countries with incompatible laws. I attempt to provide a baseline that should work both for US and EU, i.e. ‘stay on the safe side’. However, there is no guarantee that it will work everywhere.

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Redcore Linux Makes Gentoo Easy

Filed under
Linux
Gentoo

Raise your hand if you’ve always wanted to try Gentoo Linux but never did because you didn’t have either the time or the skills to invest in such a challenging installation. I’m sure there are plenty of Linux users out there not willing to admit this, but it’s okay, really; installing Gentoo is a challenge, and it can be very time consuming. In the end, however, installing Gentoo will result in a very personalized Linux desktop that offers the fulfillment of saying, “I did it!”

So, what’s a curious Linux user to do, when they want to experience this elite distribution? One option is to turn to the likes of Redcore Linux. Redcore does what many have tried (and few have succeeded in doing) in bringing Gentoo to the masses. In fact, Sabayon Linux is the only other distro I can think of that’s truly succeeded in bringing a level of simplicity to Gentoo Linux that many users can enjoy. And while Sabayon is still very much in active development, it’s good to know there are others attempting what might have once been deemed impossible.

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Red Hat's "DevOps" Hype Again and Analysis of last Night's Financial Results

OSS Leftovers

  • Deutsche Telekom and Aricent Create Open Source Edge Software Framework
    Deutsche Telekom and Aricent today announced the creation of an Open Source, Low Latency Edge Compute Platform available to operators, to enable them to develop and launch 5G mobile applications and services faster. The cost-effective Edge platform is built for software-defined data centers (SDDC) and is decentralized, to accelerate the deployment of ultra-low latency applications. The joint solution will include a software framework with key capabilities for developers, delivered as a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and will incorporate cloud-native Multi-access edge computing (MEC) technologies.
  • A Deeper Look at Sigma Prime's Lighthouse: An Open-Source Ethereum 2.0 Client
  • Notable moments in Firefox for Android UA string history
  • Dweb: Creating Decentralized Organizations with Aragon
    With Aragon, developers can create new apps, such as voting mechanisms, that use smart contracts to leverage decentralized governance and allow peers to control resources like funds, membership, and code repos. Aragon is built on Ethereum, which is a blockchain for smart contracts. Smart contracts are software that is executed in a trust-less and transparent way, without having to rely on a third-party server or any single point of failure. Aragon is at the intersection of social, app platform, and blockchain.
  • LLVM 7.0.0 released
  • Parabola GNU/Linux-libre: Boot problems with Linux-libre 4.18 on older CPUs
    Due to a known bug in upstream Linux 4.18, users with older multi-core x86 CPUs (Core 2 Duo and earlier?) may not correctly boot up with linux-libre 4.18 when using the default clocksource.
  • Visual Schematic Diffs in KiCAD Help Find Changes
    In the high(er)-end world of EDA tools like OrCAD and Altium there is a tight integration between the version control system and the design tools, with the VCS is sold as a product to improve the design workflow. But KiCAD doesn’t try to force a version control system on the user so it doesn’t really make sense to bake VCS related tools in directly. You can manage changes in KiCAD projects with git but as [jean-noël] notes reading Git’s textual description of changed X/Y coordinates and paths to library files is much more useful for a computer than for a human. It basically sucks to use. What you really need is a diff tool that can show the user what changed between two versions instead of describe it. And that’s what plotgitsch provides.

LWN's Latest (Today Outside Paywall) Articles About the Kernel, Linux

  • Toward better handling of hardware vulnerabilities
    From the kernel development community's point of view, hardware vulnerabilities are not much different from the software variety: either way, there is a bug that must be fixed in software. But hardware vendors tend to take a different view of things. This divergence has been reflected in the response to vulnerabilities like Meltdown and Spectre which was seen by many as being severely mismanaged. A recent discussion on the Kernel Summit discussion list has shed some more light on how things went wrong, and what the development community would like to see happen when the next hardware vulnerability comes around. The definitive story of the response to Meltdown and Spectre has not yet been written, but a fair amount of information has shown up in bits and pieces. Intel was first notified of the problem in July 2017, but didn't get around to telling anybody in the the Linux community about it until the end of October. When that disclosure happened, Intel did not allow the community to work together to fix it; instead each distributor (or other vendor) was mostly left on its own and not allowed to talk to the others. Only at the end of December, right before the disclosure (and the year-end holidays), were members of the community allowed to talk to each other. The results of this approach were many, and few were good. The developers charged with responding to these problems were isolated and under heavy stress for two months; they still have not been adequately thanked for the effort they put in. Many important stakeholders, including distributions like Debian and the "tier-two" cloud providers, were not informed at all prior to the general disclosure and found themselves scrambling. Different distributors shipped different fixes, many of which had to be massively revised before entry into the mainline kernel. When the dust settled, there was a lot of anger left simmering in its wake.
  • Writing network flow dissectors in BPF
    Network packet headers contain a great deal of information, but the kernel often only needs a subset of that information to be able to perform filtering or associate any given packet with a flow. The piece of code that follows the different layers of packet encapsulation to find the important data is called a flow dissector. In current Linux kernels, the flow dissector is written in C. A patch set has been proposed recently to implement it in BPF with the clear goal of improving security, flexibility, and maybe even performance.
  • Coscheduling: simultaneous scheduling in control groups
    The kernel's CPU scheduler must, as its primary task, determine which process should be executing in each of a system's processors at any given time. Making an optimal decision involves juggling a number of factors, including the priority (and scheduling classes) of the runnable processes, NUMA locality, cache locality, latency minimization, control-group policies, power management, overall fairness, and more. One might think that throwing another variable into the mix — and a complex one at that — would not be something anybody would want to attempt. The recent coscheduling patch set from Jan Schönherr does exactly that, though, by introducing the concept of processes that should be run simultaneously. The core idea behind coscheduling is the marking of one or more control groups as containing processes that should be run together. If one process in a coscheduled group is running on a specific set of CPUs (more on that below), only processes from that group will be allowed to run on those CPUs. This rule holds even to the point of forcing some of the CPUs to go idle if the given control group lacks runnable processes, regardless of whether processes outside the group are runnable. Why might one want to do such a thing? Schönherr lists four motivations for this work, the first of which is virtualization. That may indeed be the primary motivation, given that Schönherr is posting from an Amazon address, and Amazon is rumored to be running a virtualized workload or two. A virtual machine usually contains multiple processes that interact with each other; these machines will run more efficiently (and with lower latencies) if those processes can run simultaneously. Coscheduling would ensure that all of a virtual machine's processes are run together, maximizing locality and minimizing the latencies of the interactions between them.
  • Machine learning and stable kernels
    There are ways to get fixes into the stable kernel trees, but they require humans to identify which patches should go there. Sasha Levin and Julia Lawall have taken a different approach: use machine learning to distinguish patches that fix bugs from others. That way, all bug-fix patches could potentially make their way into the stable kernels. Levin and Lawall gave a talk describing their work at the 2018 Open Source Summit North America in Vancouver, Canada. Levin began with a quick introduction to the stable tree and how patches get into it. When a developer fixes a bug in a patch they can add a "stable tag" to the commit or send a mail to the stable mailing list; Greg Kroah-Hartman will then pick up the fix, evaluate it, and add it to the stable tree. But that means that the stable tree is only getting the fixes that are pointed out to the stable maintainers. No one has time to check all of the commits to the kernel for bug fixes but, in an ideal world, all of the bug fixes would go into the stable kernels. Missing out on some fixes means that the stable trees will have more security vulnerabilities because the fixes often close those holes—even if the fixer doesn't realize it.
  • Trying to get STACKLEAK into the kernel
    The STACKLEAK kernel security feature has been in the works for quite some time now, but has not, as yet, made its way into the mainline. That is not for lack of trying, as Alexander Popov has posted 15 separate versions of the patch set since May 2017. He described STACKLEAK and its tortuous path toward the mainline in a talk [YouTube video] at the 2018 Linux Security Summit. STACKLEAK is "an awesome security feature" that was originally developed by The PaX Team as part of the PaX/grsecurity patches. The last public version of the patch set was released in April 2017 for the 4.9 kernel. Popov set himself on the goal of getting STACKLEAK into the kernel shortly after that; he thanked both his employer (Positive Technologies) and his family for giving him working and free time to push STACKLEAK. The first step was to extract STACKLEAK from the more than 200K lines of code in the grsecurity/PaX patch set. He then "carefully learned" about the patch and what it does "bit by bit". He followed the usual path: post the patch, get feedback, update the patch based on the feedback, and then post it again. He has posted 15 versions and "it is still in progress", he said.

PostgreSQL 11: something for everyone

PostgreSQL 11 had its third beta release on August 9; a fourth beta (or possibly a release candidate) is scheduled for mid-September. While the final release of the relational database-management system (currently slated for late September) will have something new for many users, its development cycle was notable for being a period when the community hit its stride in two strategic areas: partitioning and parallelism. Partitioning and parallelism are touchstones for major relational database systems. Proprietary database vendors manage to extract a premium from a minority of users by upselling features in these areas. While PostgreSQL has had some of these "high-tier" items for many years (e.g., CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY, advanced replication functionality), the upcoming release expands the number considerably. I may be biased as a PostgreSQL major contributor and committer, but it seems to me that the belief that community-run database system projects are not competitive with their proprietary cousins when it comes to scaling enterprise workloads has become just about untenable. Read more