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Security

Canonical Outs Linux Kernel Security Update for Ubuntu 19.04 to Patch 9 Flaws

Filed under
Linux
Security
Ubuntu

The new security update for Ubuntu 19.04 is here to patch a total of seven security flaws affecting the Linux 5.0 kernel used by the operating system, including an issue (CVE-2019-15902) discovered by Brad Spengler which could allow a local attacker to expose sensitive information as a Spectre mitigation was improperly implemented in the ptrace susbsystem.

It also fixes several flaws (CVE-2019-14814, CVE-2019-14815, CVE-2019-14816) discovered by Wen Huang in the Marvell Wi-Fi device driver, which could allow local attacker to cause a denial of service or execute arbitrary code, as well as a flaw (CVE-2019-15504) discovered by Hui Peng and Mathias Payer in the 91x Wi-Fi driver, allowing a physically proximate attacker to crash the system.

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Purism Partners with Halo Privacy to Bring Extra Security to Its Linux Devices

Filed under
Linux
Security

Purism is already known for providing top notch security and privacy for its Linux laptops and phones, but with the new partnership with Halo Privacy, the company wants to bring strong cryptography and custom managed attribution techniques to secure communications from direct attacks.

These new, unique security stack provided by Halo Privacy works together with Purism's state-of-the-art security implementations for its Linux devices, including the Librem Key USB security token with tamper detection and PureBoot secure UEFI replacement, to cryptographically guarantee signing of the lowest level of firmware and user's privacy.

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Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Wednesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (apache2 and unbound), Fedora (opendmarc, runc, and sudo), openSUSE (epiphany, GraphicsMagick, and libopenmpt), Oracle (kernel and sudo), Red Hat (java-1.8.0-openjdk, jss, kernel, kernel-rt, and kpatch-patch), SUSE (crowbar-core, crowbar-openstack, grafana, novnc, openstack-keystone, openstack-neutron, openstack-neutron-lbaas, openstack-nova, openstack-tempest, python-pysaml2, python-urllib3, rubygem-chef, rubygem-easy_diff, sleshammer, libpcap, sudo, and tcpdump), and Ubuntu (aspell and libsdl1.2).

  • Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Increasing our self-awareness so we can improve security

    October has been National Cybersecurity Awareness Month since 2004. According to staysafeonline.org, this initiative was started by the National Cybersecurity Alliance and the US Department of Homeland Security to help all Americans stay safe and secure when online. This month is usually marked with a significant uptick in cybersecurity outreach and training. It’s also the one month of the year when you can get a significant amount of cybersecurity swag such as webcam covers, mugs, and pens. This event has an outward focus to raise awareness of security globally,

    Many other events have come into existence along with this. For example, there are numerous electronics recycling events that now occur in October where people can securely dispose of their old computers. Some municipalities have extended this to include safe disposal of old prescription medications, paints, and other hazardous materials.

    Recent events in the greater technology community, specifically the resignation of Richard Stallman from both MIT and the Free Software Foundation, have become character foils that show us that while we have come a long way, we still have a long way ahead of us to improve.

  • Michael Tremer/IPFire: On quadrupling throughput of our Quality of Service

    There have been improvements to our Quality of Service (or QoS) which have made me very excited.

    Our QoS sometimes was a bottleneck. Enabling it could cut your bandwidth in half if you were unlucky. That normally was not a problem for larger users of IPFire, because if you are running a 1 Gigabit/s connection, you would not need any QoS in the first place, or your hardware was fast enough to handle the extra load.

    For the smaller users this was, however, becoming more and more of a problem. Smaller systems like the IPFire Mini Appliance are designed to be small (the clue is in the name) and to be very energy-efficient. And they are. They are popular with users with a standard DSL connection of up to 100 Megabit/s which is very common in Germany. You have nothing to worry about here. But if you are lucky to have a faster Internet connection, then this hardware and others that we have sold before might be running out of steam. There is only so much you can get out of them.

  • The City Of Baltimore Blew Off A $76,000 Ransomware Demand Only To Find Out A Bunch Of Its Data Had Never Been Backed Up [Ed: Windows]

    The City of Baltimore was hit with a ransomware attack in May of this year. Criminals using remodeled and rebranded NSA exploits (EternalBlue) knocked out a "majority" of the city's servers and crippled many of its applications. More details didn't surface until September when the city's government began reshuffling the budget to cover the expenses of recovering from the attack.

Google: Replacing Google Chrome, AMP and Titan Security Keys

Filed under
Google
Security
Web
  • The top 5 alternatives to Google Chrome

    Google Chrome is the most popular web browser on the market. It provides a user-friendly, easy-to-use interface, with a simple appearance featuring a combined address and search bar with a small space for extensions.

    Chrome also offers excellent interconnectivity on different devices and easy syncing that means that once a user installs the browser on different devices, all their settings, bookmarks and search history come along with it. Virtually all a user does on Google chrome is backed up to Google Cloud.

    Chrome also offers easy connectivity to other Google products, such as Docs, Drive, and YouTube via an “Apps” menu on the bookmarks bar, located just below the address/search bar. Google Translate, one of the best translation applications currently available on the internet, is also included.

  • Google unplugs AMP, hooks it into OpenJS Foundation after critics turn up the volume [Ed: Microsoft Tim on Google passing a bunch of EEE to a foundation headed by a Microsoft ‘mole’, 'open'JS ]

    AMP – which originally stood for Accelerated Mobile Pages though not any more – was launched in 2015, ostensibly to speed up page loading on smartphones. The technology includes AMP HTML, which is a set of performance-optimized web components, and the AMP Cache, which serves validated AMP pages. Most AMP pages are served by Google’s AMP Cache.

  • Google USB-C Titan Security Keys Begin Shipping Tomorrow

    Google announced their new USB-C Titan Security Key will begin shipping tomorrow for offering two-factor authentication support with not only Android devices but all the major operating systems as well.

    The USB-C Titan Security Key is being manufactured by well known 2FA key provider Yubico. This new security key is using the same chip and firmware currently used by Google's existing USB-A/NFC and Bluetooth/NFC/USB Titan Security Key models.

Improved Security and Privacy Indicators in Firefox 70

Filed under
Moz/FF
Security
Web

The upcoming Firefox 70 release will update the security and privacy indicators in the URL bar.

In recent years we have seen a great increase in the number of websites that are delivered securely via HTTPS. At the same time, privacy threats have become more prevalent on the web and Firefox has shipped new technologies to protect our users against tracking.

To better reflect this new environment, the updated UI takes a step towards treating secure HTTPS as the default method of transport for websites, instead of a way to identify website security. It also puts greater emphasis on user privacy.

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Proprietary Software Security and FOSS Patches

Filed under
Security
  • Compromised AWS API Key Allowed Access to Imperva Customer Data

    Imperva has shared more information on how [attackers] managed to obtain information on Cloud Web Application Firewall (WAF) customers, and revealed that the incident involved a compromised administrative API key.

  • Oil Refiner Reports Major IT Incident in Finland

    It’s not yet clear whether the cause is a malfunction or a cyber attack, according to spokeswoman Susanna Sieppi. The issue is under investigation, and it’s too early to estimate when the systems will be fixed, she said by phone.

  • WordPress 5.2.4 Security Release

    WordPress 5.2.4 is now available! This security release fixes 6 security issues.

    WordPress versions 5.2.3 and earlier are affected by these bugs, which are fixed in version 5.2.4. Updated versions of WordPress 5.1 and earlier are also available for any users who have not yet updated to 5.2.

  • Ubuntu Releases Patch for Major ‘sudo’ Security Exploit

    Canonical has issued an urgent security fix to the ‘sudo’ package in the Ubuntu archives following the discovery of a major security flaw.

    A critical fix has rolled out to all users of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, 18.04 LTS, 19.04 and 19.10 (and one assumes Ubuntu 14.04 ESR too) — just run a sudo apt upgrade to install it.

    But what about the flaw inquisition? Well, if you’re yet to hear about it I appreciate meditative disconnect from social media. The oft toxic waste pools of chatter were with wet with alarm — some manufactured, the rest well weighted — over CVE-2019-14287 when it was announced yesterday, October 14.

  • Security updates for Tuesday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (sudo and xtrlock), openSUSE (sudo), Red Hat (Single Sign-On), Slackware (sudo), SUSE (binutils, dhcp, ffmpeg, kernel, kubernetes-salt, sudo, and tcpdump), and Ubuntu (sudo).

Linux security hole: Much sudo about nothing

Filed under
Linux
Security

There's a lot of hubbub out there now about a security hole in the Unix/Linux family's sudo command. Sudo is the command, which enables normal users to run commands as if they were the root user, aka the system administrator. While this sudo security vulnerability is a real problem and needs patching, it's not nearly as bad as some people make it out to be.

At first glance the problem looks like a bad one. With it, a user who is allowed to use sudo to run commands as any other user, except root, can still use it to run root commands. For this to happen, several things must be set up just wrong.

First the sudo user group must give a user the right to use sudo but doesn't give the privilege of using it to run root commands. That can happen when you want a user to have the right to run specific commands that they wouldn't normally be able to use. Next, sudo must be configured to allow a user to run commands as an arbitrary user via the ALL keyword in a Runas specification.

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Debian and Ubuntu Patch Critical Sudo Security Vulnerability, Update Now

Filed under
Security
Debian
Ubuntu

Discovered by Joe Vennix, the security vulnerability (CVE-2019-14287) could be exploited by an attacker to execute arbitrary commands as the root user (system administrator) because sudo incorrectly handled certain user IDs when it was configured to allow users to run commands as an arbitrary user through the ALL keyword in a Runas specification.

"Joe Vennix discovered that sudo, a program designed to provide limited super user privileges to specific users, when configured to allow a user to run commands as an arbitrary user via the ALL keyword in a Runas specification, allows to run commands as root by specifying the user ID- -1 or 4294967295," reads Debian's security advisory.

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Security: XML External Entity (XXE) Example and the Latest Patches

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Security
  • XML External Entity (XXE) Example

    According to OWASP, an XML External Entity attack is a type of attack against an application that parses XML input. This attack occurs when XML input containing a reference to an external entity is processed by a weakly configured XML parser. This attack may lead to the disclosure of confidential data, denial of service, server side request forgery, port scanning from the perspective of the machine where the parser is located, and other system impacts.

    If a parser accepts unsanitized XML, we can take advantage of that and send our own crafted external XML payload to exploit our target. This post won’t be long so let’s get into it.

  • Security updates for Monday

    Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (chromium, sdl, and unbound), Debian (clamav, libdatetime-timezone-perl, openssl, tcpdump, and tzdata), Fedora (cutter-re, jackson-annotations, jackson-bom, jackson-core, jackson-databind, jackson-parent, libapreq2, ming, opendmarc, radare2, and thunderbird), openSUSE (chromium), Oracle (kernel), and SUSE (axis, jakarta-commons-fileupload, kernel, sles12sp3-docker-image, sles12sp4-image, system-user-root, and webkit2gtk3).

Security Leftovers

Filed under
Security
  • Use sshuttle to build a poor man’s VPN

    Nowadays, business networks often use a VPN (virtual private network) for secure communications with workers. However, the protocols used can sometimes make performance slow. If you can reach reach a host on the remote network with SSH, you could set up port forwarding. But this can be painful, especially if you need to work with many hosts on that network. Enter sshuttle — which lets you set up a quick and dirty VPN with just SSH access. Read on for more information on how to use it.

    The sshuttle application was designed for exactly the kind of scenario described above. The only requirement on the remote side is that the host must have Python available. This is because sshuttle constructs and runs some Python source code to help transmit data.

    [...]

    Depending on the capabilities of your system and the remote system, you can use sshuttle for an IPv6 based VPN. You can also set up configuration files and integrate it with your system startup if desired. If you want to read even more about sshuttle and how it works, check out the official documentation.

  • Hardening Firefox against Injection Attacks

    Firefox not only renders web pages on the internet but also ships with a variety of built-in pages, commonly referred to as about:pages. Such about: pages provide an interface to reveal internal state of the browser. Most prominently, about:config, which exposes an API to inspect and update preferences and settings which allows Firefox users to tailor their Firefox instance to their specific needs.

    Since such about: pages are also implemented using HTML and JavaScript they are subject to the same security model as regular web pages and therefore not immune against code injection attacks. More figuratively, if an attacker manages to inject code into such an about: page, it potentially allows an attacker to execute the injected script code in the security context of the browser itself, hence allowing the attacker to perform arbitrary actions on the behalf of the user.

    To better protect our users and to add an additional layer of security to Firefox, we rewrote all inline event handlers and moved all inline JavaScript code to packaged files for all 45 about: pages. This allowed us to apply a strong Content Security Policy (CSP) such as ‘default-src chrome:’ which ensures that injected JavaScript code does not execute. Instead JavaScript code only executes when loaded from a packaged resource using the internal chrome: protocol. Not allowing any inline script in any of the about: pages limits the attack surface of arbitrary code execution and hence provides a strong first line of defense against code injection attacks.

  • IPFire on AWS: Update to IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 136

    Today, we have updated IPFire on AWS to IPFire 2.23 - Core Update 136 - the latest official release of IPFire.

    This update includes security fixes for OpenSSL and the Linux kernel, an updated Perl, and of course many other fixes throughout the whole system.

  • Pros and cons of event-driven security

    Great news, everyone! Forrester Research says that 95% of all recorded breaches in 2016 came from only three industries: government, technology, and retail. Everyone else is safe... ish, right?

    Hold on for a moment. Tech? Retail? What kind of industry diversification is this? We are, after all, living in 2019, where every business is a tech business. And all of us are continuously selling something, whether it’s an innovative product or an amazing service.

    So what the report should have said is that 95% of all recorded breaches came from attacks on 95% of all businesses both online and offline. And some of the attackers went for the .gov.

    More on the matter, 43% of attackers target small businesses—and that’s a lot considering that, on average, a hack attempt takes place every 39 seconds.

    To top things off, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 is expected to exceed $150 million. These stats sound a bit more terrifying out of context, but the threat is still very much real. Ouch.

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