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Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

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Security
  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit

    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all!

    Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.

  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT

    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today.

    Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.

  • APNIC-sponsored proposal could vastly improve DNS resilience against DDoS

Wikileaks Releases Spy Files Russia, CCleaner Infected, Equifax Has a Dirty Little Secret

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Security
  • Spy Files Russia

    This publication continues WikiLeaks' Spy Files series with releases about surveillance contractors in Russia.

    While the surveillance of communication traffic is a global phenomena, the legal and technological framework of its operation is different for each country. Russia's laws - especially the new Yarovaya Law - make literally no distinction between Lawful Interception and mass surveillance by state intelligence authorities (SIAs) without court orders. Russian communication providers are required by Russian law to install the so-called SORM ( Система Оперативно-Розыскных Мероприятий) components for surveillance provided by the FSB at their own expense. The SORM infrastructure is developed and deployed in Russia with close cooperation between the FSB, the Interior Ministry of Russia and Russian surveillance contractors.

  • Malware-Infected CCleaner Installer Distributed to Users Via Official Servers for a Month

    Hackers have managed to embed malware into the installer of CCleaner, a popular Windows system optimization tool with over 2 billion downloads to date. The rogue package was distributed through official channels for almost a month.

    CCleaner is a utilities program that is used to delete temporary internet files such as cookies, empty the Recycling Bin, correct problems with the Windows Registry, among other tasks. First released in 2003, it has become hugely popular; up to 20 million people download it per month.

    Users who downloaded and installed CCleaner or CCleaner Cloud between Aug. 15 and Sept. 12 should scan their computers for malware and update their apps. The 32-bit versions of CCleaner v5.33.6162 and CCleaner Cloud v1.07.3191 were affected.

  • Equifax Suffered a Hack [sic] Almost Five Months Earlier Than the Date It Disclosed
  • This is why you shouldn’t use texts for two-factor authentication

    For a long time, security experts have warned that text messages are vulnerable to hijacking — and this morning, they showed what it looks like in practice.

Security: Updates, CCleaner, and Equifax Blame

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Security
  • Security updates for Monday
  • Here’s an Open Source Alternative to CCleaner
  • Software Has a Serious Supply-Chain Security Problem

    The warnings consumers hear from information security pros tend to focus on trust: Don't click web links or attachments from an untrusted sender. Only install applications from a trusted source or from a trusted app store. But lately, devious hackers have been targeting their attacks further up the software supply chain, sneaking malware into downloads from even trusted vendors, long before you ever click to install.

    On Monday, Cisco's Talos security research division revealed that hackers sabotaged the ultra-popular, free computer-cleanup tool CCleaner for at least the last month, inserting a backdoor into updates to the application that landed in millions of personal computers. That attack betrayed basic consumer trust in CCleaner-developer Avast, and software firms more broadly, by lacing a legitimate program with malware—one distributed by a security company, no less.

  • CCleaner Compromised to Distribute Malware for Almost a Month

    Version 5.33 of the CCleaner app offered for download between August 15 and September 12 was modified to include the Floxif malware, according to a report published by Cisco Talos a few minutes ago.

    Floxif is a malware downloader that gathers information about infected systems and sends it back to its C&C server. The malware also had the ability to download and run other binaries, but at the time of writing, there is no evidence that Floxif downloaded additional second-stage payloads on infected hosts.

  • From equanimity to Equifax [Ed: It's NOT "about open-source software quality" but about Equifax not patching its software for >2 months]

Security: Failure to Patch, Failure to Set up Database Correctly, Failure to Check 'Apps'

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Security
  • Don't blame open-source software for poor security practices

    The Equifax breach is a good reminder of why organizations need to remain vigilant about properly maintaining and updating their software, especially when security vulnerabilities have been disclosed. In an ideal world, software would update itself the moment a security patch is released. WordPress, for example, offers automatic updates in an effort to promote better security, and to streamline the update experience overall. It would be interesting to consider automatic security updates for Drupal (just for patch releases, not for minor or major releases).

    In absence of automatic updates, I would encourage users to work with PaaS companies that keep not only your infrastructure secure, but also your Drupal application code. Too many organizations underestimate the effort and expertise it takes to do it themselves.

    At Acquia, we provide customers with automatic security patching of both the infrastructure and Drupal code. We monitor our customers' sites for intrusion attempts, DDoS attacks, and other suspicious activity. If you prefer to do the security patching yourself, we offer continuous integration or continuous delivery tools that enable you to get security patches into production in minutes rather than weeks or months. We take pride in assisting our customers to keep their sites current with the latest patches and upgrades; it's good for our customers and helps dispel the myth that open-source software is more susceptible to security breaches.

  • Northern Exposure: Data on 600K Alaskan Voters is Leaked

    Researchers have discovered the personal details of over half a million US voters exposed to the public internet, once again thanks to a misconfigured database.

  • Google purges malicious Android apps with millions of downloads

BlackArch Linux A Pentesting Linux Distribution

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GNU
Linux
Security

​When it comes to penetration testing, the best way to go is Linux. Distros like Kali and Parrot are quite popular. Today we're going to look at another awesome penetration testing distro known as Blackarch. Blackarch Linux is an Arch Linux-based penetration testing distribution for penetration testers and security researchers. The Blackarch comes with a tools repository that contains over 1800 tools with new ones being added quite frequently. Let us take a brief look at this Linux distro.

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Security: Eugene Kaspersky, IT security in the EU, CouchDB, Telcos, D-Link, Bluetooth, and Fitbit

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Security

Security: Windows Zeo-Day, Cryptography, Updates, Reproducible Builds, Vendor Bans, AT& and More

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Security

Equifax Failed to Patch, Now Fails as a Company

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Security

​Check Point's bogus Windows Subsystem for Linux attack

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Security

Security companies, desperate for attention and headlines, love to come up with flashy, dangerous-sounding security hole names. The latest is Check Point's Bashware. This one, Check Point claims, can render 400 million Windows 10 PCs open to malware using Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to launch Windows malware from a WSL Linux instance, thus bypassing most Windows security products in the process.

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Security: Devices, Open Source Secure, Cybrary, and Kaspersky Lab

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Security
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