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Security

Samsung Nixes Knox: The Android Security Saga Continues

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Android
Security

Granted, Google has been updating handset issues at a quicker pace – particularly when it comes to security patches, via Play Services –and so far, the telcos have not played spoilers. But remember: Google has not initiated a move to push an entirely new OS directly to users except to those who own Google’s telco independent Nexus brand devices. Keep in mind that there’s a big difference between updating a feature or security patch and producing an entirely new OS. OS updates typically up the Kernel and the radios. It will be interesting (and historical) if the telcos continue to stay out of the way.

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[Fedora] Simple Patch Policy

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Red Hat
Security

Following the approval of the Simple Patch policy, all the necessary pieces are now in place.

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How Card.com Is Securing Itself and Its Users With Open Source

Filed under
OSS
Drupal
Security

"We're heavily involved in Drupal. I'm a member of the Drupal security team and the former lead of the team for over two years," Knaddison said. "So it's an area where we have a fair amount of expertise and depth, and we feel that our situation is best served by fixing vulnerabilities directly in the software itself."

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A Bundle of Tor

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OSS
Security
HowTos

NSA: Linux Journal is an "extremist forum" and its readers get flagged for extra surveillance

Filed under
Linux
Security

A new story published on the German site Tagesschau and followed up by BoingBoing and DasErste.de has uncovered some shocking details about who the NSA targets for surveillance including visitors to Linux Journal itself.

While it has been revealed before that the NSA captures just about all Internet traffic for a short time, the Tagesschau story provides new details about how the NSA's XKEYSCORE program decides which traffic to keep indefinitely. XKEYSCORE uses specific selectors to flag traffic, and the article reveals that Web searches for Tor and Tails--software I've covered here in Linux Journal that helps to protect a user's anonymity and privacy on the Internet--are among the selectors that will flag you as "extremist" and targeted for further surveillance. If you just consider how many Linux Journal readers have read our Tor and Tails coverage in the magazine, that alone would flag quite a few innocent people as extremist.

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Why You Shouldn’t Have To Buy The $630 Super-Secure Blackphone In Order To Protect Your Privacy

Filed under
Android
Security

Privacy focused Blackphone starts shipping

Filed under
Android
Security

Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone developed by Silent Circle, SGP Technologies and Geeksphone, is now shipping. The phone became a sensation during Mobile World Congress as it offered extreme privacy of communication. After the NSA revelations made by Edward Snowden, there is a huge demand for services or devices which offer privacy from NSA and other surveillance agencies. However even the Blackphone doesn’t offer any protection from NSA. Phil Zimmermann, one of the creators of the phone, said that Blackphone doesn’t make you NSA proof.

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Quality Software Costs Money - Heartbleed Was Free

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OSS
Security

About the only thing GNU Project founder Richard Stallman and I can agree on when it comes to software freedom is that it's "Free as in free speech, not free beer."

I really hope the Heartbleed vulnerability helps bring home the message to other communities that FOSS does not materialize out of empty space; it is written by people. We love what we do, which is why I'm sitting here, way past midnight on a Saturday evening, writing about it; but we are also real people with kids, cars, mortgages, leaky roofs, sick pets, infirm parents, and all kinds of other perfectly normal worries.

The only way to improve the quality of FOSS is to make it possible for these perfectly normal people to spend time on it. They need time to review patch submissions carefully, to write and run test cases, to respond to and fix bug reports, to code, and most of all, time just to think about the code and what should happen to it.

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5 Secure Alternatives to WhatsApp

Filed under
Software
Security

Ever since WhatsApp, a massively popular messaging app was acquired by Facebook, many of its users have started looking for alternatives to the service. Facebook, which itself, doesn't have a good track record when it comes to privacy, is the only reason users are on the lookout for good replacements to the service.

The landmark acquisition deal that happened several months ago shocked many people, especially those who used WhatsApp as a regular chatting tool. As part of the deal, Facebook offered WhatsApp a whopping $4 billion in cash and $12 billion worth of shares. Starting 2014 with a big bang, the deal is one of the biggest deals that have ever happened in the tech industry. Biggies like Google and Microsoft were keen on buying WhatsApp but finally Facebook managed to woo the emergent startup and make history. WhatsApp has over 450 million monthly users, 72% of whom use the app everyday.

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Exclusive: A review of the Blackphone, the Android for the paranoid

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Android
Reviews
Security

Based on some recent experience, I'm of the opinion that smartphones are about as private as a gas station bathroom. They're full of leaks, prone to surveillance, and what security they do have comes from using really awkward keys. While there are tools available to help improve the security and privacy of smartphones, they're generally intended for enterprise customers. No one has had a real one-stop solution: a smartphone pre-configured for privacy that anyone can use without being a cypherpunk.

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More in Tux Machines

Code for Germany project launches

Each OK Lab is a source of a great variety of projects, tackling different social issues and topics. For example, the OK Lab in Hamburg has a strong focus on urban development, and has created a map which shows the distribution of playgrounds in the city. An app from the OK Lab Heilbronn depicts the quality of tap water by region, and another from the OK Lab Cologne helps users find the closest defibrillator in their area. One more of our favorite developments is called “Kleiner Spatz”, which translates to “Little Sparrow,” and helps parents to find free child care in their city. Read more

Today in Techrights

Android Build Support Improved For Libdrm

Emil Velikov, the new Mesa release manager, just landed a large set of libdrm patches for improving the open-source graphics drivers for Android. Emil enabled Android build support within Mesa's DRM library (libdrm) for the Intel driver along with the Freedreno (reverse-engineered Qualcomm Adreno), Nouveau, and Radeon drivers. Up to now any Android support wasn't part of mainline libdrm and landed today in time for the next update, libdrm v2.4.57. At this time there's no Android updates to talk about for the Mesa/Gallium3D drivers themselves. The new Mesa release manager has also been working on some other Mesa build improvements recently like working on make dist support. Read more

THE AWESOMELY EPIC GUIDE TO KDE

Desktops on Linux. They’re a concept completely alien to users of other operating systems because they never having to think about them. Desktops must feel like the abstract idea of time to the Amondawa tribe, a thought that doesn’t have any use until you’re in a different environment. But here it is – on Linux you don’t have to use the graphical environment lurking beneath your mouse cursor. You can change it for something completely different. If you don’t like windows, switch to xmonad. If you like full-screen apps, try Gnome. And if you’re after the most powerful and configurable point-and-click desktop, there’s KDE. KDE is wonderful, as they all are in their own way. But in our opinion, KDE in particular suffers from poor default configuration and a rather allusive learning curve. This is doubly frustrating, firstly because it has been quietly growing more brilliant over the last couple of years, and secondly, because KDE should be the first choice for users unhappy with their old desktop – in particular, Windows 8 users pining for an interface that makes sense. But fear not. We’re going to use a decade’s worth of KDE firefighting to bring you the definitive guide to making KDE look good and function slightly more like how you might expect it to. We’re not going to look at KDE’s applications, other than perhaps Dolphin; we’re instead going to look at the functionality in the desktop environment itself. And while our guinea pig distribution is going to be Mageia, this guide will be equally applicable to any recent KDE desktop running from almost any distribution, so don’t let the default Mageia background put you off. Read more