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Security Leftovers

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  • First Linux ransomware program cracked, for now

    Administrators of Web servers that were infected with a recently released ransomware program for Linux are in luck: There's now a free tool that can decrypt their files.

    The tool was created by malware researchers from antivirus firm Bitdefender, who found a major flaw in how the Linux.Encoder.1 ransomware uses encryption.

  • Gone in a Flash: Top 10 Vulnerabilities Used by Exploit Kits

    Recorded Future threat intelligence analysis of over 100 exploit kits (EKs) and known vulnerabilities identified Adobe Flash Player as the most frequently exploited product. While the role of Adobe Flash vulnerabilities as a regular in-road for criminals and malware should come as no surprise to information security professionals, the scale is significant.

  • Security updates for Monday

Fedora 23 Improves Security, Desktop and Cloud

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Red Hat

The Fedora Linux 23 was officially released on Nov. 3, providing the second major update for Red Hat's community Linux distribution in 2015. The release of two Fedora distributions in the same year puts the project back on track, after only a single release in 2014, when the Fedora Project reorganized under the Fedora Next banner, with specific products for Workstation, Server and Cloud use cases. One of the big new features in Fedora 23 is a capability that can enable an organization to bring a cloud image back down into a server image, with the cloudtoserver tool. The basic premise behind the tool is that cloud images are often ephemeral and not long-lived, while servers are more cared for and applications run for long periods of time. The common analogy used is that of pets versus cattle, where servers are treated as well cared for pets, while cloud images are slaughtered and killed as needed. On the workstation side, Fedora 23 includes the new GNOME 3.18 open-source desktop. GNOME 3.18 offers enhanced features such as an improved calendar, software updating and file management capabilities. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at the highlights of the Fedora 23 Linux release.

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Let me tell you about Wireshark 2.0

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We’re getting ready to release Wireshark 2.0, which includes a major user interface update. As a comparison, here’s a picture of Wireshark 1.12.8, which is the current stable release:

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Linux security: circling the wagons

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People who belong to the free and open source software community have one trait in common: they are extremely sensitive to criticism of any kind of the software that belongs to this genre.

Nothing else can account for the reaction that has been forthcoming after the Washington Post published an article on Linux a few days back, a fairly long and detailed account that in the main cast doubts on the security afforded by the kernel.

The article is the fifth in a series looking at the security of the internet broadly, and the first article was published back in May. The five pieces are being sold as an e-book for US$2.99. Yet many FOSS people did not even bother to note this and assumed the worst.

Leading the way was Jonathan Corbet, editor of a website called Linux Weekly News, that advertises itself as "a reader-supported news site dedicated to producing the best coverage from within the Linux and free software development communities"

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Security Leftovers

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  • Friday's security updates
  • ProtonMail Pays Crooks $6,000 In Bitcoin To Cease DDoS Bombardment

    ProtonMail is getting its first taste of life as an entity known to criminals looking for a quick, easy payday.

    Throughout most of yesterday and through to this morning, the encrypted email service, set up by CERN scientists in Geneva last year to fight snooping by the likes of the NSA, was offline. The company had to use a WordPress blog to disclose what was happening to customers.

    Its datacenter was effectively shut down by waves of traffic thanks to two separate Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. One of the groups responsible for flooding the servers demanded ProtonMail cough up 15 Bitcoin (currently worth around $6,000), or the attack would continue.

  • Ransomware Found Targeting Linux Servers and Coding Repositories

    A newly discovered ransomware is attacking Linux Web servers, taking aim at Web development environments used to host websites or code repositories.

  • Linux Ransomware Is Now Attacking Webmasters

    A new bit of ransomware is now attacking Linux-based machines, specifically the folders associated with serving web pages. Called Linux.Encoder.1 the ransomware will encrypt your MySQL, Apache, and home/root folders. The system then asks for a single bitcoin to decrypt the files.

  • Auto-Hacking Class Action Likely to Die

    A federal judge Tuesday indicated he will dismiss with leave to amend a class action claiming Ford, Toyota and General Motors made their cars vulnerable to hackers.

  • Volkswagen and the Real Insider Threat

    Over the last several weeks, reporting has revealed a coordinated insider effort at Volkswagen to insert a malicious piece of software—a defeat device—into the car’s electronic control module. The device was able to sense when emission tests were being conducted by monitoring things like “speed, engine operation, air pressure and even the position of the steering wheel,” and triggered changes to the car’s operations to reduce emissions during the testing process so that those cars would pass the tests. When the malicious software remained dormant, the emission controls were disabled and the cars spewed up to 40 times the EPA-mandated emissions limits. Through the defeat device, Volkswagen was able to sell more than half a million diesel-fueled cars in the U.S. in violation of U.S. environmental laws.

  • Encrypted resistance: from digital security to dual power

    Digital technology is often seen as a curiosity in revolutionary politics, perhaps as a specialized skill set that is peripheral to the hard work of organizing. But the growing trend of “cyber-resistance” might hold more potential than we have given it credit for. Specifically, the popularized use of encryption gives us the ability to form a type of liberated space within the shifting maze of cables and servers that make up the Internet. The “web” is bound by the laws of math and physics before the laws of states, and in that cyberspace we may be able to birth a new revolutionary consciousness.

pfSense 2.2.5-RELEASE Now Available!

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pfSense® software version 2.2.5 is now available. This release includes a number of bug fixes and some security updates.

Today is also the 11 year birthday of the project. While work started in late summer 2004, the domains were registered and the project made public on November 5, 2004. Thanks to everyone that has helped make the project a great success for 11 years. Things just keep getting better, and the best is yet to come.

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Also: OpenBGPd and route filters

Security Leftovers

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Security Leftovers

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  • The sorry state of certificate revocation
  • FreeIPA PKI: current plans and a future vision

    FreeIPA’s X.509 PKI features (based on Dogtag Certificate System) continue to be an area of interest for users and customers. In this post I summarise recently-added PKI features in FreeIPA, work in progress, and what we plan to do in future releases. Then I will outline my personal vision for what the future of PKI in FreeIPA should look like, noting how it will address pain points and limitations of the existing architecture.

  • CVE-2015-5602 and SELinux?

    That is one of the most common questions that we get when a new CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures) appears. We explain SELinux as a technology for process isolation to mitigate attacks via privilege escalation.

  • Risk report update: April to October 2015

    In April 2015 we took a look at a years worth of branded vulnerabilities, separating out those that mattered from those that didn’t. Six months have passed so let’s take this opportunity to update the report with the new vulnerabilities that mattered across all Red Hat products.

Security Leftovers

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  • The Rise of Political Doxing

    Last week, CIA director John O. Brennan became the latest victim of what's become a popular way to embarrass and harass people on the Internet. A hacker allegedly broke into his AOL account and published e-mails and documents found inside, many of them personal and sensitive.

    It's called doxing­ -- sometimes doxxing­ -- from the word "documents." It emerged in the 1990s as a hacker revenge tactic, and has since been as a tool to harass and intimidate people on the Internet. Someone would threaten a woman with physical harm, or try to incite others to harm her, and publish her personal information as a way of saying "I know a lot about you­ -- like where you live and work." Victims of doxing talk about the fear that this tactic instills. It's very effective, by which I mean that it's horrible.

  • TalkTalk hack: Third suspect bailed as extent of the hack is outlined

    A THIRD SUSPECT in the TalkTalk hack has been released on police bail, as the telco provides more information about the scale of the attack, claiming that it was smaller than first thought.

    A 27-year-old man was arrested and released in Staffordshire under the Computer Misuse Act, as officers from several forces continue to close the net on the cyber criminals responsible.

  • Online Vigilantes: Hacking Sony for a Cause?

    And yeah, Heartbleed and Shellshock turned out to be much less of a threat than the tech world predicted. However, in various forums and other places where tech folks choose to hang out, Windows folks had a field day with all variants of “told-ya-so.” I pictured server admins running in circles with their hands flailing in the air, shouting that Armageddon was indeed here.


    Fortunately, that rootkit was discovered fairly soon by Mark Russinovich, co-founder of Winternals. After the disclosure, Microsoft didn’t waste any time moving toward the acquisition of Russinovich’s company, although for complete disclosure, Russinovich had been offered a job by Microsoft years before. It is suggested in some circles that Microsoft purchased the company so quickly in order to quell the entire Microsoft/Sony duplicity rumors, as some believe that Microsoft would have to know about the rootkit, given how deeply it burrowed into Redmond’s proprietary code.

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today's leftovers

Leftovers: Kernel

  • Linus Torvalds Announces Linux Kernel 4.4 Release Candidate 3, Everything Is Normal
    Just a few moments ago, Linus Torvalds announced the release and immediate availability for download and testing of the third RC (Release Candidate) build of the upcoming Linux 4.4 kernel.
  • A look at the kernel bisection scripts
    I've been hacking on the bisection scripts for quite some time now. Things got stalled for a bit in October/November. I introduced several bugs which caused me to lose multiple days of testing verification so I took a break and worked on other things to relieve my frustrations. They are now at the point where they could use some testing besides my own. Here's a walk through of what I have
  • Unconscious biases
    Matthew Garrett’s recent very good response to Eric Raymond’s recent post opposing inclusiveness efforts in free software reminded me of something I’ve been noticing more and more often: a very substantial proportion of the female developers I encounter working on the kernel are from non-European cultures where I (and I expect most people from western cultures) lack familiarity with the gender associations of all but the most common and familiar names.
  • Mesa 11.1.0 3D Graphics Library Release Candidate 2 Has over 60 Bugfixes
    Today, November 30, 2015, Collabora's Emil Velikov has announced the release and immediate availability for download of the second RC (Release Candidate) build of the upcoming Mesa 11.1.0 open source 3D graphics library software.

Leftovers: Software

  • Laptop Mode Tools Review - Increase the Battery Life of Your Laptop
    I tested Laptop Mode Tools in Ubuntu 15.10, and it’s available in the official repos. You can use the Ubuntu Software Center to install it, and in this case, it’s quite useful because it also provides the option to install a couple more packages, one for Ethernet devices settings and the other one for Advanced Power Management (APD).
  • 5 Best Online Image Editor Free For Websites, Blogs And Social Media
    Images are everywhere, from a small blog post to social media. One of the best ways to attract customers to your content is through a unique and attractive graphic that describes what the whole content is all about. There are numerous software that let you design images for blogs and social media, but that needs to start from scratch. What if we have tools that get us going right from we open the tools for the first time. That’s what we are going to talk about. We’re going to mention 5 best online image editor free & premium tools to create illustrative images for your websites, blogs and social media etc. without any hard work. So let’s do it.
  • Popcorn Time App Is Back, Now Made by Developers from Around the World
    The famous Popcorn Time app that allows people to stream movies and TV shows directly from torrents is back after the development was suspended for a few weeks.
  • APT 1.1 released
    After 1.5 years of work we released APT 1.1 this week! I’m very excited about this milestone.
  • Build Your Own Linux Cloud Alternative
    Lately it seems like cloud computing is all the rage. Unfortunately, the cloud computing bandwagon has completely forgotten about users with limited connectivity. This article will dive head first into solutions that allow folks to enjoy the advantages of running their own personal cloud without relying on off-site servers.
  • MKV Extractor Qt Review - A Simple Tool for Your MKV Needs
    MKV Extractor Qt is yet another tool that helps users manage MKV video files, and it has this function and this function only. The MKV container is becoming a lot more prominent in the industry, which is causing some problems to the community. This is only a container, and in theory, it should work on any systems and in any conditions, but that’s not happening. Sometimes users need to unpack the MKV file for various purposes.
  • KShutdown Review - Scheduled Shutdown, Restarts, and Other Actions on Linux
    KShutdown is an application that allows users to customize the shutdown procedure for Linux and Windows OS, with features like time delay or proper notifications.