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Security

Explaining Security Lingo

Filed under
Red Hat
Security

This post is aimed to clarify certain terms often used in the security community. Let’s start with the easiest one: vulnerability. A vulnerability is a flaw in a selected system that allows an attacker to compromise the security of that particular system. The consequence of such a compromise can impact the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the attacked system (these three aspects are also the base metrics of the CVSS v2 scoring system that are used to rate vulnerabilities). ISO/IEC 27000, IETF RFC 2828, NIST, and others have very specific definitions of the term vulnerability, each differing slightly. A vulnerability’s attack vector is the actual method of using the discovered flaw to cause harm to the affected software; it can be thought of as the entry point to the system or application. A vulnerability without an attack vector is normally not assigned a CVE number.

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Proprietary OOXML document format makes you more vulnerable to attacks

Filed under
LibO
Security
OOo

Using the proprietary OOXML document format, i.e. docx, pptx and xlsx, makes you more vulnerable to phishing and other attacks. Earlier this month, the Japanese anti-virus company Trend Micro published a blog post describing how the attack group "Operation Pawn Storm" uses spear-phishing mail messages with malicious Office documents to target the military, governments, defense industries and the media.

Four years ago, Thomas Caspers and Oliver Zendel from the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) already presented research results stating that most spear-phishing attacks targeting specific persons or a small group of victims are using "launch actions" in Office and PDF documents to have their malicious code executed.

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The current state of Drupal security

Filed under
Interviews
Drupal
Security

Greg Knaddison has worked for big consulting firms, boutique software firms, startups, professional service firms, and former Drupal Security Team leader. He is currently the director of Engineering at CARD.com and a Drupal Association advisory board member.

Michael Hess works with the University of Michigan School of Information and the UM Medical Center teaching three courses on content management platforms and overseeing the functionality of hundreds of campus websites. He serves in a consulting and development role for many other university departments and is the current Drupal Security Team leader. He also consults with BlueCross on large-scale medical research projects. Hess is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Information with a master's degree in information.

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Tails 1.4 RC1 Anonymous Live CD Uses Tor Browser 4.5 and Debian 8 Jessie Sources

Filed under
Linux
Security

The Tails development team announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the first Release Candidate (RC) version of the upcoming Tails 1.4 amnesic incognito Live CD distribution that has been used by Edward Snowden to stay invisible online and browse websites anonymously.

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Security News

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security
  • Now available from GNU Press, the NeuG True Random Number Generator

    This week I had a chance to add a NeuG, a True Random Number Generator, to the Free Software Foundation network. The NeuG exclusively uses free software and was developed in Japan by NIIBE Yutaka. A random number generator (RNG) is a device used to generate random numbers for computers. Without getting into a philosophical argument, we humans tend to take the concept of entropy (randomness) for granted. If we wish to produce random data, we simply do so. Computers, on the other hand, do as we tell them to do. They follow a set of instructions provided by a programmer and follow each instruction precisely. So there is no way to ask a computer to give us a random number because we would have to tell the computer in advance what the number is. There are some ways around this. For example, we could use a system's current timestamp as a seed, or starting point, for producing random-seeming numbers by using an algorithm. This approach will create the illusion of entropy, but if someone else knows both the timestamp used for the seed and the algorithm used to generate the random numbers, the sequence of the random number generator can be calculated and predicted.

  • Apple, Linux devices to be decoded at new CBI lab

    The Central Bureau of Investigation has got a new specialized forensic lab to decipher and recover data from Apple devices seized from suspects during investigation of cases. The new lab, inaugurated at the CBI academy in Ghaziabad, will be fully equipped with latest workstations and software to decode the digital information stored in Apple devices, said sources.

Apache SpamAssassin 3.4.1 released

Filed under
Server
OSS
Security

On behalf of the project, I am pleased to announce the release of Apache SpamAssassin v3.4.1.

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Valve Releases New SteamOS Beta with Lots of Security Updates

Filed under
Security
Debian
Gaming

Valve has released a new Beta version of its SteamOS Linux operating system, and they have upgraded a number of packages, mostly to fix various small problems and security issues.

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Varnish: SSL revisited

Filed under
Security
BSD

our years ago, I wrote a rant about why Varnish has no SSL support (Why no SSL ?) and the upcoming 4.1 release is good excuse to revisit that issue.

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Old Ubuntu Bug Lets Malicious Users Gain Sudo Access

Filed under
Security
Ubuntu

It appears that there's a bug in Ubuntu distributions which lets malicious users locally exploit sudo and gain access to the user's account without knowing their password. The bug was submitted to Canonical's Launchpad back in September 2013 by user Mark Smith.

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Tor Browser 4.5 is released

Filed under
OSS
Security

The Tor Browser Team is proud to announce the first stable release in the 4.5 series. This release is available from the Tor Browser Project page and also from our distribution directory.
The 4.5 series provides significant usability, security, and privacy enhancements over the 4.0 series. Because these changes are significant, we will be delaying the automatic update of 4.0 users to the 4.5 series for one week.

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