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Security

5 Best Linux Distros for Security

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Linux
Security

Security is nothing new to Linux distributions. Linux distros have always emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. So it is hardly surprising that security conscious distributions are common place. For instance, Distrowatch lists sixteen distros that specialize in firewalls, and four for privacy.

Most of these specialty security distributions, however, share the same drawback: they are tools for experts, not average users. Only recently have security distributions tried to make security features generally accessible for desktop users.

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Security News

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Security
  • New FairWare Ransomware targeting Linux Computers [Ed: probably just a side effect of keeping servers unpatched]

    A new attack called FaireWare Ransomware is targeting Linux users where the attackers hack a Linux server, delete the web folder, and then demand a ransom payment of two bitcoins to get their files back. In this attack, the attackers most likely do not encrypt the files, and if they do retain the files, probably just upload it to a server under their control.

  • How do we explain email to an "expert"?

    This has been a pretty wild week, more wild than usual I think we can all agree. The topic I found the most interesting wasn't about one of the countless 0day flaws, it was a story from Slate titled: In Praise of the Private Email Server

    The TL;DR says running your own email server is a great idea. Almost everyone came out proclaiming it a terrible idea. I agree it's a terrible idea, but this also got me thinking. How do you explain this to someone who doesn't really understand what's going on?

    There are three primary groups of people.

    1) People who know they know nothing
    2) People who think they're experts
    3) People who are actually experts

  • Why the term “zero day” needs to be in your brand’s cybersecurity vocabulary

    Linux is “open source” which means anyone can look at the code and point out flaws. In that sense, I’d say Linus Torvalds doesn’t have to be as omniscient as Tim Cook. Linux source code isn’t hidden behind closed doors. My understanding is, all the Linux code is out there for anyone to see, naked for anyone to scrutinize, which is why certain countries feel safer using it–there’s no hidden agenda or secret “back door” lurking in the shadows. Does that mean Android phones are safer? That’s up for debate.

Security News

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Security

  • Hacking the American College Application Process

    In recent years, foreign students have streamed into American universities, their numbers nearly doubling in the last decade. About half of all international students are coming from Asian countries, many of which have been subject to heavy recruitment from American colleges.

    Taking advantage of the popularity of an American education, a new industry has sprung up in East Asia, focused on guiding students through the U.S. college application process with SAT preparation courses, English tutors and college essay advisors.

    But not all college prep companies are playing by the rules. In their investigative series for Reuters, a team of reporters found that foreign companies are increasingly helping students game the U.S. college application process. Some companies have leaked questions from college entrance exams to their students before they take the test. Others have gone so far as to ghostwrite entire college applications and complete coursework for students when they arrive on campus. We spoke with Steve Stecklow, one of the reporters on the team, about what they uncovered.

  • illusive networks' Deceptions Everywhere

    illusive networks' bread and butter is its deception cybersecurity technology called Deceptions Everywhere whose approach is to neutralize targeted attacks and Advanced Persistent Threats by creating a deceptive layer across the entire network. By providing an endless source of false information, illusive networks disrupts and detects attacks with real-time forensics and without disruption to business.

  • Mozila Offers Free Security Scanning Service: Observatory

    With an eye toward helpiing administrators protect their websites and user communities, Mozilla has developed an online scanner that can check if web servers have optimal security settings in place.

    It's called Observatory and was initially built for in-house use, but it may very well be a difference maker for you.

    "Observatory by Mozilla is a project designed to help developers, system administrators, and security professionals configure their sites safely and securely," the company reports.

Opera Data Breach, Security of Personal Data

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Security
  • Opera User? Your Stored Passwords May Have Been Stolen

    Barely a week passes without another well-known web company suffering a data breach or hack of some kind. This week it is Opera’s turn. Opera Software, the company behind the web-browser and recently sold to a Chinese consortium for $600 million, reported a ‘server breach incident’ on its blog this weekend.

  • When it comes to protecting personal data, security gurus make their own rules

    Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of a company devoted to protecting people from hackers, has safeguarded his Twitter account with a 14-character password and by turning on two-factor authentication, an extra precaution in case that password is cracked.

    But Cooper Quintin, a security researcher and chief technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, doesn’t bother running an anti-virus program on his computer.

    And Bruce Schneier? The prominent cryptography expert and chief technology officer of IBM-owned security company Resilient Systems, won’t even risk talking about what he does to secure his devices and data.

Security News

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Security
  • OpenSSL 1.1.0 Series Release Notes
  • Linux.PNScan Malware Brute-Forces Linux-Based Routers
  • St. Jude stock shorted on heart device hacking fears; shares drop

    The stock of pacemaker manufacturer St. Jude Medical Inc (STJ.N) fell sharply on Thursday after short-selling firm Muddy Waters said it had placed a bet that the shares would fall, claiming its implanted heart devices were vulnerable to cyber attacks.

    St. Jude, which agreed in April to sell itself for $25 billion to Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), said the allegations were false. St Jude shares closed down 4.96 percent, the biggest one-day fall in 7 months and at a 7.4 percent discount to Abbott's takeover offer.

    Muddy Waters head Carson Block said the firm's position was motivated by research from a cyber security firm, MedSec Holdings Inc, which has a financial arrangement with Muddy Waters. MedSec asserted that St. Jude's heart devices were vulnerable to cyber attack and were a risk to patients.

  • BlackArch Linux ISO now comes with over 1,500 hacking tools

    On a move to counter distros like Kali Linux and BackBox, BlackArch has got a new ISO image that includes more than 1,500 hacking tools. The update also brings several security and software tweaks to deliver an enhanced platform for various penetration testing and security assessment activities.

    The new BlackArch Linux ISO includes an all new Linux installer and more than 100 new penetration testing and hacking tools. There is also Linux 4.7.1 to fix the bugs and compatibility issues of the previous kernel. Additionally, the BlackArch team has updated all its in-house tools and system packages as well as updated menu entries for the Openbox, Fluxbox and Awesome windows managers.

Security News

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Security
  • OpenSSL 1.1.0 released
  • Security advisories for Friday
  • Openwall 3.1-20160824 is out

    New Openwall GNU/*/Linux ISO images and OpenVZ container templates are out.

  • Scorpene Leak Could Be Part Of 'Economic War,' Says French Maker: 10 Facts

    The leak, was first reported in The Australian newspaper. Ship maker DCNS has a nearly 38 billion dollar contract with Australia, but the leak has no mention of the 12 vessels being designed for Australia.

  • Homeland Security has 'open investigation' into Leslie Jones hacking

    The Department of Homeland Security is investigating the cyberattack against Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones one day after her personal information and explicit images were leaked online.

    In a short statement on Thursday, a spokesperson for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said that the Homeland Security investigations unit in New York “has an open investigation into this matter”.

    “As a matter of agency policy and in order to protect the integrity of an ongoing investigation, we will not disclose any details,” the statement said.

    “As a matter of agency policy, we are unable to disclose any information related to an active investigation,” a spokeswoman said.

Security News

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Security
  • Thursday's security updates
  • Priorities in security
  • How Core Infrastructure Initiative Aims to Secure the Internet

    In the aftermath of the Heartbleed vulnerability's emergence in 2014, the Linux Foundation created the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII)to help prevent that type of issue from recurring. Two years later, the Linux Foundation has tasked its newly minted CTO, Nicko van Someren, to help lead the effort and push it forward.

    CII has multiple efforts under way already to help improve open-source security. Those efforts include directly funding developers to work on security, a badging program that promotes security practices and an audit of code to help identify vulnerable code bases that might need help. In a video interview with eWEEKat the LinuxCon conference here, Van Someren detailed why he joined the Linux Foundation and what he hopes to achieve.

  • Certificate Authority Gave Out Certs For GitHub To Someone Who Just Had A GitHub Account

    For many years now, we've talked about the many different problems today's web security system has based on the model of security certificates issued by Certificate Authorities. All you need is a bad Certificate Authority be trusted and a lot of bad stuff can happen. And it appears we've got yet another example.

    A message on Mozilla's security policy mailing list notes that a free certificate authority named WoSign appeared to be doing some pretty bad stuff, including handing out certificates for a base domain if someone merely had control over a subdomain. This was discovered by accident, but then tested on GitHub... and it worked.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 Beta Adds NVDIMM Support, Improves Security

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Red Hat
Security

Today, August 25, 2016, Red Hat announced that version 7.3 of its powerful Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system is now in development, and a Beta build is available for download and testing.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 Beta brings lots of improvements and innovations, support for new hardware devices, and improves the overall security of the Linux kernel-based operating system used by some of the biggest enterprises and organizations around the globe. Among some of the major new features implemented in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 release, we can mention important networking improvements, and support for Non-Volatile Dual In-line Memory Modules (NVDIMMs).

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Also: CentOS 6 Linux OS Receives Important Kernel Security Update from Red Hat

Release of Red Hat Virtualization 4 Offers New Functionality for Workloads

Security News

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Security
  • Jay Beale: Linux Security and Remembering Bastille Linux

    Security expert and co-creator of the Linux-hardening (and now Unix-hardening) project Bastille Linux. That’s Jay Beale. He’s been working with Linux, and specifically on security, since the late 1980s. The greatest threat to Linux these days? According to Beale, the thing you really need to watch out for is your Android phone, which your handset manufacturer and wireless carrier may or may not be good about updating with the latest security patches. Even worse? Applications you get outside of the controlled Google Play and Amazon environments, where who-knows-what malware may lurk.

    On your regular desktop or laptop Linux installation, Beale says the best security precaution you can take is encrypting your hard drive — which isn’t at all hard to do. He and I also talked a bit, toward the end, about how “the Linux community” was so tiny, once upon a time, that it wasn’t hard to know most of its major players. He also has some words of encouragement for those of you who are new to Linux and possibly a bit confused now and then. We were all new and confused once upon a time, and got less confused as we learned. Guess what? You can learn, too, and you never know where that knowledge can take you.

  • Automotive security: How safe is a next-generation car?

    The vehicles we drive are becoming increasingly connected through a variety of technologies. Features such as keyless entry and self-diagnostics are becoming commonplace. Unfortunately, they can also introduce IT security issues.

  • Let's Encrypt: Every Server on the Internet Should Have a Certificate

    The web is not secure. As of August 2016, only 45.5 percent of Firefox page loads are HTTPS, according to Josh Aas, co-founder and executive director of Internet Security Research Group. This number should be 100 percent, he said in his talk called “Let’s Encrypt: A Free, Automated, and Open Certificate Authority” at LinuxCon North America.

    Why is HTTPS so important? Because without security, users are not in control of their data and unencrypted traffic can be modified. The web is wonderfully complex and, Aas said, it’s a fool’s errand to try to protect this certain thing or that. Instead, we need to protect everything. That’s why, in the summer of 2012, Aas and his friend and co-worker Eric Rescorla decided to address the problem and began working on what would become the Let’s Encrypt project.

  • OpenSSL 1.1 Released With Many Changes

    OpenSSL 1.1.0 was released today as a major update to this free software cryptography and SSL/TLS toolkit.

    In addition to OpenSSL 1.1 rolling out a new build system and new security levels and support for pipelining and a new threading API, security additions to OpenSSL 1.1 include adding the AFALG engine, support for ChaChao20 in libcrypto/libssl, scrypto algorithm support, and support for X25519, among many other additions.

  • Is Windows ​10’s ‘Hidden Administrator Account’ a security risk? [Ed: Damage control from Microsoft Jack (Jack Schofield) because Microsoft Windows is vulnerable by design]

Security News

Filed under
Security
  • Wednesday's security updates
  • This Android botnet relies on Twitter for its commands
  • Android Security Flaw Exposes 1.4B Devices [Ed: Alternative headline is, "Android is very popular, it has billions of users. And yes, security ain’t perfect." When did the press ever publish a headline like, "Windows flaw leaves 2 billion PCs susceptible for remote takeover?" (happens a lot)]
  • Wildfire ransomware code cracked: Victims can now unlock encrypted files for free

    Victims of the Wildfire ransomware can get their encrypted files back without paying hackers for the privilege, after the No More Ransom initiative released a free decryption tool.

    No More Ransom runs a web portal that provides keys for unlocking files encrypted by various strains of ransomware, including Shade, Coinvault, Rannoh, Rakhn and, most recently, Wildfire.

    Aimed at helping ransomware victims retrieve their data, No More Ransom is a collaborative project between Europol, the Dutch National Police, Intel Security, and Kaspersky Lab.

    Wildfire victims are served with a ransom note demanding payment of 1.5 Bitcoins -- the cryptocurrency favored by cybercriminals -- in exchange for unlocking the encrypted files. However, cybersecurity researchers from McAfee Labs, part of Intel Security, point out that the hackers behind Wildfire are open to negotiation, often accepting 0.5 Bitcoins as a payment.

    Most victims of the ransomware are located in the Netherlands and Belgium, with the malicious software spread through phishing emails aimed at Dutch speakers. The email claims to be from a transport company and suggests that the target has missed a parcel delivery -- encouraging them to fill in a form to rearrange delivery for another date. It's this form which drops Wildfire ransomware onto the victim's system and locks it down.

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Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS Delayed Until February 2, Will Bring Linux 4.8, Newer Mesa

If you've been waiting to upgrade your Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system to the 16.04.2 point release, which should have hit the streets a couple of days ago, you'll have to wait until February 2. We hate to give you guys bad news, but Canonical's engineers are still working hard these days to port all the goodies from the Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) repositories to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which is a long-term supported version, until 2019. These include the Linux 4.8 kernel packages and an updated graphics stack based on a newer X.Org Server version and Mesa 3D Graphics Library. Read more