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Debian-Based GParted Live 0.28.1-1 Released with Linux 4.9.6 and GParted 0.28.1

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OS
Debian

A day after announcing the release of GParted 0.28.1, which re-enabled the ability for users to resize or move primary disk partitions, Curtis Gedak is today releasing the GParted Live 0.28.1-1 distro.

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Also: GParted 0.28.1 Restores Ability to Resize or Move Primary Partitions, Fixes Bugs

This Custom Compiled Chromium OS Is Designed for Desktop and Laptop Computers

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OS

GNU/Linux developer Arne Exton informs us about the availability of the second build of his custom compiled Chromium OS distribution, ChromX, an open-source alternative to Google's Chrome OS for Chromebooks.

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ToaruOS 1.0 Released, Hobby OS/Kernel Written From Scratch Over 6+ Years

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OS

In the past on Phoronix we have mentioned ToaruOS a few times. It's a "hobby" kernel and operating system written mostly from scratch yet supports Mesa, GCC, Python, and more. It's been in development since 2011 while now the operating system's 1.0 release finally took place.

The ToaruOS developer wrote in about the Toaru 1.0 release that took place at the end of January. He wrote, "After six years of development, I am very happy to finally announce the 1.0 release of ToaruOS. While I would not consider this "complete" - there is still much work to be done - it is time to refocus my development, and with that comes the time to declare a stable release. ToaruOS 1.0 has been the result of over half a decade of effort, with contributions from a dozen people besides myself."

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Sailfish OS 2.1.0 now available to early access for Jolla devices

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OS

This is our biggest release in a while after Aurajoki. It marks thousands of bug fixes with fundamental improvements to the operating system and is now available for early access across Jolla devices.

2.1.0 is named after Finland’s Iijoki, located in Northern Ostrobothnia, which flows 370 kilometers into the gulf of Bothnia.

Iijoki brings major architectural changes to Sailfish OS by introducing Qt 5.6 UI framework, BlueZ 5 Bluetooth stack and basic implementations of 64-bit architecture. It also brings improvements to the camera software with faster shutter speeds, initial support for Virtual Private Networks (VPN), option to enlarge UI fonts to different levels and last but not least, a large number of bug and error fixes mostly reported by our community.

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Also: 2.1.0/Iijoki

Tizen Apps

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OS
Linux
Software
  • Smartphone App: Walkie Talkie app added to Tizen Store

    Last week, we have had a new Walkie Talkie app added to the Tizen Store, something a little different and a little fun, created by developer SomyaC. A walkie-talkie (more formally known as a Handheld Transceiver, or HT) is a hand- held, portable, two-way radio transceiver that lets you communicate directly between both handsets.

  • Smartphone App: Speed Test for Samsung Z1, Z2, Z3 is available in Tizen Store

    Do you know what is your internet speed on your Tizen smartphone? Do you know your internet connection download or upload speed? Anything about ping? Have you never test it? No problem! Developer Srabani S S Patra added a new app last week named Speed Test.

Jolla Releases Sailfish OS 2.1, Adds Copy & Paste To The Browser

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OS

Ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC17) happening later this month, Jolla has released Sailfish OS 2.1.

Sailfish OS 2.1 is now the latest release of this Finnish mobile phone operating system powered by Linux. It does add some new features, but nothing considered extraordinary by comparison to Android and iOS.

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Also: Sailfish OS 2.1.0 now available to early access for Jolla devices

Hands-On: Solus Linux and the Budgie desktop

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OS
Linux

I have heard from a number of people recently suggesting that I take a look at Solus Linux. Since I have not tried a completely new distribution in a while, and I don't want to get bored or stale, I decided this would be a good time to give it a try.

A quick perusal of the Solus web page seems promising. I like the fact that Solus is built from scratch, not just another Ubuntu (or whatever) derivative. I am also impressed by the fact that the Solaris team has developed the Budgie Desktop to suit their own needs and preferences. I think that says a lot about their competence and ambition.

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Letter from Jolla CEO: a strong Sailfish year ahead of us!

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OS

Ahoy all Jolla & Sailfish OS developers, fans, and followers,

A new year has again started, and moved fast to the second month. This is my first post as Jolla CEO, and I’d like to give all of you a proper update on last years’ events and what we expect for 2017. Here we go!

As a summary, the year 2016 was a good one for Sailfish OS and full of deliveries. We launched the Aqua Fish device together with Intex Technologies in India, brought the Jolla C along with the Community Device Program for our dear community, got a major deal and partner in Russia (more about it below), and started shipping with Turing Robotics. Sailfish OS 2.0 is now fully out there and making a mark to the world.

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Also: Jolla Still Working On Open-Sourcing More Of Sailfish OS, Including UI/Apps

SalentOS Switchers Will Have No Regrets

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OS
Reviews

SalentOS is a Linux distro that easily can put a smile on your face. It is a flexible and accommodating desktop platform that balances demands on system resources with efficient performance.

SalentOS is not well known, but it has much to offer. This distro makes it easy to leave behind whatever other computing choice you currently use.

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Solus Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.9.7, Uses Applications from GNOME 3.22 Stack

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OS

Today we have some great news for those of you who use the Solus operating system on your personal computers, as a bunch of new updates pushed recently into the stable software repositories brought some of the latest Open Source technologies.

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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