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Security

Security: NHS, Breaches, Ransom and More

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Security

  • NHS cyber unit welcomed with cautious optimism by privacy and security groups

    NHS Digital has started a £20 million procurement process for an internal security operations unit that will receive emergency support from the winning third party

  • Here's What I'm Telling US Congress about Data Breaches

    As I explained in that first blog post, I'm required to submit a written testimony 48 hours in advance of the event. That testimony is now publicly accessible and reproduced below.

  • Researchers dissect open-source ransomware programs Bugware and Vortex
  • How Can You Protect Your Computer?

    Virus threats are not new to the cyber community as it is one of those threatening factors that exist for decades now. Hackers are coming with all new malicious codes every then and now. You can find virus threats in the form of spyware, malware, Trojan horses, Worms, phishing scams, adware, ransomware and much more. The ideal solution to protect your system from virus threats is to keep your system up-to-date. Apart of it, some changes in online behavior can also help you deal with this menace. Let’s discuss ways to protect your computer from viruses and hackers.

  • What Apple, Google, Linux and a Huge Dirty COW have in common

    The Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team, aka ICS-CERT, was busy in November issuing alerts about medical device makers while tech stalwarts Apple and Google sent security vulnerabilities of their own. And you thought All Hallows’ Eve made October a frightful month? Here’s what happened in November.

System76 Shuts Off Intel Back Doors, But Will Continue to Pay Intel

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GNU
Linux
Hardware
Security
  • System76 Will Begin Disabling Intel ME In Their Linux Laptops

    Following the recent Intel Management Engine (ME) vulnerabilities combined with some engineering work the past few months on their end, System76 will begin disabling ME on their laptops.

  • Linux hardware vendor outlines Intel Management Engine firmware plan

    The Linux-equipped computer maker, System76, has detailed plans to update the Intel Management Engine (ME) firmware on its computers in line with Intel’s November 20th vulnerability announcement. In July, System76 began work on a project to automatically deliver firmware to System76 laptops which works in a similar fashion to how software is usually delivered through the operating system.

  • System76 to disable Intel Management Engine on its notebooks

    Intel has recently confirmed the earlier findings of third parties who revealed that its Management Engine firmware has some serious security issues. Since we talked about this recently, we should now move to System76's approach in handling this situation.

Want to switch from Apple macOS to Linux because of the 'root' security bug? Give deepin 15.5 a try!

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GNU
Linux
Mac
Security

Apple's macOS is a great operating system. Not only is it stable and beautifully designed, but it very secure too. Well, usually it is. Unless you live under a rock, you definitely heard about the macOS High Sierra security bug that made the news over the last couple of days. In case you somehow are unaware, the bug essentially made it so anyone could log into any Mac running the latest version of the operating system.

Luckily, Apple has already patched the bug, and some people -- like me -- have forgiven the company. Understandably, not everyone will be as forgiving as me. Undoubtedly, there are Mac users that are ready to jump ship as a result of the embarrassing bug. While that is probably an overreaction, if you are set on trying an alternative operating system, you should not go with Windows 10. Instead, you should embrace Linux. In fact, rather serendipitously, a Linux distribution with a UI reminiscent of macOS gets a new version today. Called "deepin," version 15.5 of the distro is now ready to download.

Read more

Also: deepin 15.5 Linux Distro Released — Get A Beautiful And Easy-to-use Linux Experience

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Will Soon Get an Important Unity Stack Update with 27 Bug Fixes

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Security
Ubuntu

When Mark Shuttleworth said Canonical wouldn't develop Unity anymore, there were rumors that Unity 7 will also no longer receive any maintenance work. But Canonical shattered those rumors and said it would continue to patch things in the Unity Stack for supported releases, such as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

Truth be told, we didn't actually see any signs of life support for Unity since that announcement, but it looks like the team responsible for keeping the desktop environment bug-free has done some great work lately and managed to squash no less than 27 bugs for the Unity Stack in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).

Read more

System76 will disable Intel Management engine on its Linux laptops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

System76 is one a handful of companies that sells computers that run Linux software out of the box. But like most PCs that have shipped with Intel’s Core processors in the past few years, System76 laptops include Intel’s Management Engine firmware.

Intel recently confirmed a major security vulnerability affecting those chips and it’s working with PC makers to patch that vulnerability.

But System76 is taking another approach: it’s going to roll out a firmware update for its recent laptops that disables the Intel Management Engine altogether.

Read more

Security: Uber, Amazon, Updates, Reproducible Builds, Mirai and Tizi

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Security

Security: WordPress, Apple, NSA, Microsoft and Uber

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Security

Security: KAISER, Coppersmith Attack, Updates, and Web Threats

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Security
  • KAISER: hiding the kernel from user space

    Since the beginning, Linux has mapped the kernel's memory into the address space of every running process. There are solid performance reasons for doing this, and the processor's memory-management unit can ordinarily be trusted to prevent user space from accessing that memory. More recently, though, some more subtle security issues related to this mapping have come to light, leading to the rapid development of a new patch set that ends this longstanding practice for the x86 architecture.

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • ROCA: Return Of the Coppersmith Attack

    On October 30, 2017, a group of Czech researchers from Masaryk University presented the ROCA paper at the ACM CCS Conference, which earned the Real-World Impact Award. We briefly mentioned ROCA when it was first reported but haven't dug into details of the vulnerability yet. Because of its far-ranging impact, it seems important to review the vulnerability in light of the new results published recently.

  • Some Websites Are Mining Cryptocurrency Using Your CPU Even When You Close Browser

    The advent of cryptocurrencies was bound to spark the interest of cybercriminals who are always looking to exploit some technology to steal some clicks or install malware. In the recent times, we’ve come across reports of a huge number of websites using your PCU power to mine cryptocurrency; the browser extensions and Android apps aren’t untouched by this epidemic. Developers have also come up with different options to ban this practice altogether.

    In the previous research work conducted by security firms, it was found that a miner could be run as long as the browser was running; close the browser and mining activity stops. However, as per the latest technique spotted by Malwarebytes, some dubious website owners can mine digital coins like Monero even after browser window is closed.

  • Top 10 Common Hacking Techniques You Should Know About

    Using simple hacks, a hacker can know about your personal unauthorized information which you might not want to reveal. Knowing about these common hacking techniques like phishing, DDoS, clickjacking etc., could come handy for your personal safety.

Security: SEC, Intel, Apple, Entropy, and Yahoo

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Security
  • SEC hack [sic] was preceded by years of warnings about lax cybersecurity

    After the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosed in September that its EDGAR corporate filing system had been hacked [sic] a year earlier, Chairman Jay Clayton declared cybersecurity one of his agency's top priorities.

  • Intel's "Management Engine"

    Concern about the ME goes back further. Sparked by a talk given at the Chaos Computer Conference by [Joanna Rutkowska] of the Qubes OS project, back in January 2016 Brian Benchoff at Hackaday wrote:

    Extremely little is known about the ME, except for some of its capabilities. The ME has complete access to all of a computer’s memory, its network connections, and every peripheral connected to a computer. It runs when the computer is hibernating, and can intercept TCP/IP traffic. Own the ME and you own the computer.

  • Here's How to Temporarily Fix the macOS High Sierra Bug That Gives Full Admin Access to Your Mac Sans Password

    A newly discovered bug in macOS High Sierra enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check, essentially giving anyone full access to your Mac.

    Apple is likely already working on a fix, but in the meantime, there's a temporary workaround -- enabling the root user with a password.

  • Anyone Can Hack [sic] MacOS High Sierra Just by Typing "Root"
  • Major Apple security flaw grants admin access on macOS High Sierra without password

    However, The Verge has been able to confirm the major security issue remains present as of MacOS 10.13.1, the current release of High Sierra. When the problem is exploited, the user is authenticated into a “System Administrator” account and is given full ability to view files and even reset or change passwords for pre-existing users on that machine. Apple ID email addresses tied to users on the Mac can be removed and altered, as well. There are likely many more ways that someone taking advantage of the issue could wreak havoc on a Mac desktop or laptop.

  • How Robust is the Randomness?
  • Hacker pleads guilty to huge Yahoo hack, admits helping Russia’s FSB

    A Canadian man has pleaded guilty to hacking charges related to a 2014 spear-phishing operation of Yahoo employees. The hack ultimately compromised 500 million Yahoo accounts.

    The operative, Karim Baratov, appeared in a San Francisco federal court on Tuesday afternoon. He also admitted that his role was to "hack webmail accounts of individuals of interest to the FSB," the Russian internal security service. Baratov then sent those passwords to his alleged co-conspirator, Dmitry Aleksandrovich Dokuchaev.

Security: NSA Leaks, Linux 'Distro' Accidentally Uploaded, and Magento Patches

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Security
  • Researcher discovers classified Army intel app, data on open public AWS bucket

    After uncovering a massive trove of social media-based intelligence left on multiple Amazon Web Services S3 storage buckets by a Defense Department contractor, the cloud security firm UpGuard has disclosed yet another major cloud storage breach of sensitive intelligence information. This time, the data exposed includes highly classified data and software associated with the Distributed Common Ground System-Army (DCGS-A), an intelligence distribution platform that DOD has spent billions to develop. Specifically, the breach involves software for a cloud-based component of DCGS-A called "Red Disk."

  • Latest NSA Leak Reveals Secret Army Intelligence Project

    The program, led by U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command, a division of the National Security Agency, was supposed to help the Pentagon get real-time information about what was happening on the ground in Afghanistan in 2013 by collecting data from U.S. computer systems on the ground, according to tech news site ZDNet. But the agency killed the initiative in 2014 because of technical problems that it described in the leaked documents as “a major hindrance to operations.”

  • Top secret Army, NSA data found on public internet due to misconfigured AWS server
  • New details of NSA's Ragtime program appear in leaked files

    A leaked document shines new light on a surveillance program developed by the National Security Agency.

    The program, known as Ragtime, collects the contents of communications, such as emails and text messages, of foreign nationals under the authority of several US surveillance laws.

  • Magento Releases Security Updates for Commerce and Open Source 1.x

    Magento Released two updates today to address some security concerns with Magento 1.x installations. While 2.x received some recent security updates, this is the first 1.x in some time.

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More in Tux Machines

Events: Video Conferences, Code.gov, and LibreOffice

  • How to video conference without people hating you
    What about an integrated headset and microphone? This totally depends on the type. I tend to prefer the full sound of a real microphone but the boom mics on some of these headsets are quite good. If you have awesome heaphones already you can add a modmic to turn them into headsets. I find that even the most budget dedicated headsets sound better than earbud microphones.
  • Learn about the open source efforts of Code.gov at this event
    The U.S. government has a department looking to spread open source projects, and members will be in Baltimore this week. Code.gov is looking to promote reuse of open source code within the government to cut down on duplicating development work, and spread use of the code throughout the country. On April 26 event at Spark Baltimore, team members from Code.gov, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Presidential Innovation Fellowship are among those invited to be at a meetup to share more. Held from 12-3 p.m., the event will feature talks from the invited guests about what they’re working on and Federal Source Code Policy, as well as how it can apply locally, said organizing team member Melanie Shimano.
  • LibreOffice Conference 2018 Takes Place in Tirana, Albania, for LibreOffice 6.1
    While working on the next major LibreOffice release, The Document Foundation is also prepping for this year's LibreOffice Conference, which will take place this fall in Albania. The LibreOffice Conference is the perfect opportunity for new and existing LibreOffice developers, users, supporters, and translators, as well as members of the Open Source community to meet up, share their knowledge, and plan the new features of the next major LibreOffice release, in this case LibreOffice 6.1, due in mid August 2018. A call for papers was announced over the weekend as The Document Foundation wants you to submit proposals for topics and tracks, along with a short description of yourself for the upcoming LibreOffice Conference 2018 event, which should be filed no later than June 30, 2018. More details can be found here.
  • LibreOffice Conference Call for Paper
    The Document Foundation invites all members and contributors to submit talks, lectures and workshops for this year’s conference in Tirana (Albania). The event is scheduled for late September, from Wednesday 26 to Friday 28. Whether you are a seasoned presenter or have never spoken in public before, if you have something interesting to share about LibreOffice or the Document Liberation Project, we want to hear from you!

GitLab Web IDE

  • GitLab Web IDE Goes GA and Open-Source in GitLab 10.7
    GitLab Web IDE, aimed to simplify the workflow of accepting merge requests, is generally available in GitLab 10.7, along with other features aimed to improve C++ and Go code security and improve Kubernets integration. The GitLab Web IDE was initially released as a beta in GitLab 10.4 Ultimate with the goal of streamlining the workflow to contribute small fixes and to resolve merge requests without requiring the developer to stash their changes and switch to a new branch locally, then back. This could be of particular interest to developers who have a significant number of PRs to review, as well as to developers starting their journey with Git.
  • GitLab open sources its Web IDE
    GitLab has announced its Web IDE is now generally available and open sourced as part of the GitLab 10.7 release. The Web IDE was first introduced in GitLab Ultimate 10.4. It is designed to enable developers to change multiple files, preview Markdown, review changes and commit directly within a browser. “At GitLab, we want everyone to be able to contribute, whether you are working on your first commit and getting familiar with git, or an experienced developer reviewing a stack of changes. Setting up a local development environment, or needing to stash changes and switch branches locally, can add friction to the development process,” Joshua Lambert, senior product manager of monitoring and distribution at GitLab, wrote in a post.

Record Terminal Activity For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Server

At times system administrators and developers need to use many, complex and lengthy commands in order to perform a critical task. Most of the users will copy those commands and output generated by those respective commands in a text file for review or future reference. Of course, “history” feature of the shell will help you in getting the list of commands used in the past but it won’t help in getting the output generated for those commands. Read
more

Linux Kernel Maintainer Statistics

As part of preparing my last two talks at LCA on the kernel community, “Burning Down the Castle” and “Maintainers Don’t Scale”, I have looked into how the Kernel’s maintainer structure can be measured. One very interesting approach is looking at the pull request flows, for example done in the LWN article “How 4.4’s patches got to the mainline”. Note that in the linux kernel process, pull requests are only used to submit development from entire subsystems, not individual contributions. What I’m trying to work out here isn’t so much the overall patch flow, but focusing on how maintainers work, and how that’s different in different subsystems. Read more