Articles about Kernel

Dirty COW explained: Get a moooo-ve on and patch Linux root hole

Code dive Patch your Linux-powered systems, phones and gadgets as soon as possible, if you can, to kill off a kernel-level flaw affecting nearly every distro of the open-source operating system. Dubbed Dirty COW, the privilege-escalation vulnerability potentially allows any installed application, or malicious code smuggled onto a box, …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Oct 2016

Boffins exploit Intel CPU weakness to run rings around code defenses

US researchers have pinpointed a vulnerability in Intel chips – and possibly other processor families – that clears the way for circumventing a popular operating-system-level security control. ASLR (address space layout randomization) is widely used as a defense against attempts by hackers to exploit software vulnerabilities …
John Leyden, 20 Oct 2016
Tape over mouth, image via Shutterstock

Yahoo! begs! US! spymaster! Clapper!: Spill! the! beans! on! secret! email! snooping!

Yahoo! has asked the US government to break its silence on the secret court order that forced the Purple Palace to scan its webmail users' messages for specific keywords. In a letter [PDF] to US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Yahoo! general counsel Ron Bell says that national security laws prevent the online …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Oct 2016

Ubuntu 16.10: Yakkety Yak... Unity 8's not wack

Canonical's Ubuntu 16.10, codenamed "Yakkety Yak", is nowhere near as chunky an update as 16.04 LTS was earlier this year. But that doesn't mean there's nothing new. In fact, the firm's second release of the year has quite a few fresh features to hold users over until the bright and shiny future of Unity 8 and Mir arrive some …

Bits of Google's dead Project Ara modular mobe live on in Linux 4.9

Google may have killed off its modular smartphone Project Ara idea, but some of the code that would have made it happen looks like coming to the Linux Kernel. So says none other than Linus Torvalds himself, in his Linux Kernel Mailing List post announcing the first release candidate of Linux 4.9. Torvalds tossed in a barb …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2016

Intel: New x86 AI instructions

Intel is adding new x86 instructions ideal for machine-learning applications to its upcoming Intel Xeon and Xeon Phi processors. The instructions are part of the AVX-512 family: they are described by Chipzilla as "vector instructions for deep learning" with enhanced word-variable precision and single precision floating-point …
Chris Williams, 15 Oct 2016
Photo by JStone / Shutterstock

Hey! spies! Get! in! here! and! explain! this! Yahoo! email-scanning! 'kernel! module!'

Four dozen members of US Congress have signed a letter requesting a full briefing on the Yahoo! email scandal. In the letter, addressed to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and US director of national intelligence James Clapper, the bipartisan group of representatives asks that they be provided with more information on the …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Oct 2016
VSI OpenVMS x86 boot screen

VMS will be ready to run on x86 in 2019!

VMS Software Inc (VSI), which became the custodian of the venerable OpenVMS in 2014, is getting close to its Holy Grail of running the OS on x86. HP had decided that the operating system it inherited from DEC was end-of-life back in 2013, but in 2014 signed over an exclusive licence to VSI. At that time, the company's CEO …
Windows Server 2016, now with Windows 10 desktop

First look at Windows Server 2016: 'Cloud for the masses'? We'll be the judge of that

Review Microsoft has released Windows Server 2016, complete with container support and a brand new Nano Server edition. What is the essence of Windows Server 2016? First, a quick look at the context. Server 2016 follows the same pattern as previous releases, in that it follows a new release of the Windows desktop operating system, in …
Tim Anderson, 12 Oct 2016
Credit: Richard Reininger / Next Thing Co

Pocket C.H.I.P. makers go Pro with cloud-linked ARM-flexing module for IoT gizmo builders

Pics The team behind the popular $9 C.H.I.P. single-board-computer has come up with a version for engineers, startups, and larger organizations to embed in their products. Essentially, if you're an aspiring gadget maker and you want to stick a small Linux-flavored computer into your thing and sell it, the C.H.I.P. Pro aims to be …
Chris Williams, 11 Oct 2016
Spoon feeding

Like it or not, here are ALL your October Microsoft patches

Microsoft is kicking off a controversial new security program this month by packaging all of its security updates into a single payload. The October security release introduces Redmond's new policy of bundling all security bulletins as one download. While more convenient for end users, who now get just one bundle, the move …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Oct 2016
LInux nutella

Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel

Linus Torvalds believes ARM has little chance of usurping x86, because the latter has built an open hardware ecosystem that the former just doesn't look like replicating. Torvalds voiced his opinions in a fireside chat with David Rusling, chief technology officer of ARM tools vendor Linaro, at the end of September. Rusling …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Oct 2016
Ferrari 488GB

Zeta Systems: NVMe over Fabrics speed is real... and here's why

Analysis How does local NVMe drive access compare to accessing the same drive over an NVMe over Fabrics link? Zeta Storage Systems has compared the two access methods and found... not a lot of difference at all. Zeta’s Lee Chisnall, its CNO (Chief Nobody Officer – think storage product management and marketing) says: “I think that is …
Chris Mellor, 05 Oct 2016

Google melts 78 Android security holes, two of which were critical

Google has crushed 78 Android security flaws in its October bug blitzkrieg, repairing critical core Android services along the way. The patch parade sees the tech giant return to a high-double-digit patch run after issuing only 47 fixes last month and a whopping 103 in August. The updates are split into essential Android …
Darren Pauli, 05 Oct 2016

Docker emits InfraKit to wrangle containers on competing clouds

LinuxCon Docker is removing some of the hurdles to running its poster-child technology on various cloud platforms. On Tuesday at LinuxCon Europe, Docker founder and chief technology officer Solomon Hykes released under the Apache 2.0 license InfraKit, a set of software tools for managing containers on cloud services. “It's the magical …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Oct 2016

Linus Torvalds admits 'buggy crap' made it into Linux 4.8

Linus Torvalds gave the world Linux 4.8 earlier this week, but now appears to wish he didn't after spotting some code he says can “kill the kernel.” When Torvalds announced Linux 4.8 on Sunday he said the final version added “a few stragging fixes since rc8.” But by Tuesday he was back on the Linux Kernel Mailing list …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Oct 2016
Andromeda: "Google Android" bot taking off with Chrome power backpack. Image mashup of two SHutterstock stock images.

‘Andromeda’ will be Google’s Windows NT

If you were to design a client operating system with the goal of being used by two billion people, what would it look like? We might soon find out what Alphabet’s looks like. Today’s announcement’s from Alphabet’s Google is expected to reveal "Andromeda", the merged Android/Chrome OS. Executives have been hyping today’s event …
Andrew Orlowski, 04 Oct 2016

Fresh-faced startup promises bigger, faster non-volatile DIMMs

Early-stage startup Xitore says it is developing bigger and faster non-volatile flash DIMMs to give servers a performance boost so they could run more VMs and containers and run them faster by sidestepping high latency storage IOS. It is taking up the baton brought onto the field by Netlist and Diablo Technologies and …
Chris Mellor, 28 Sep 2016
Harry Potter

Microsoft preps defence against the dark arts for enterprise customers

Microsoft is developing a technology for Windows 10 designed to combat the threat of malware served up from web pages penetrating corporate defences and slurping sensitive data. Known as Windows Defender Application Guard, the feature is set to become a part of Windows 10 Enterprise edition next year, and uses virtualisation …
Dan Robinson, 28 Sep 2016
Cat and mouse

Oh, ALL RIGHT, says Facebook, we'll let Windows admins run osquery

Two years after it first arrives for Linux and OS X, Facebook's "osquery" developer kit is now available for Windows. Osquery is designed to let sysadmins check out system and process information by issuing SQL queries, rather than (for example) having to watch syslogs. An example (drawn from the GitHub repo) is the kind of …
Microsoft's Mark Russinovich with customer Daryll Fogal and Docker COO Scott Johnston

Microsoft releases Server 2016, complete with commercial Docker engine

Ignite Microsoft announced the release of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 at its Ignite event in Atlanta. The commercially supported edition of the Docker engine is included at no extra cost. Server 2016 and System Center 2016 are available for download this week and will be on sale from October 1 2016. A key feature of …
Tim Anderson, 26 Sep 2016
Baby penguins, image via Shutterstock

Linux 4.8 gets rc8

Chill, penguin-fanciers: Linux lord Linus Torvalds is sitting on the egg that is Linux 4.8 for another week. As Torvalds indicated last week, this version of the kernel still needs work and therefore earned itself an eighth release candidate. He's pretty sure 4.8 will hatch next week, writing that "I didn't get the feeling …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Sep 2016
Office Space

Windows printer bug fixed

Microsoft has this week quietly admitted on its website that one of its security updates broke printing on pre-Windows 10 PCs. The MS16-098 patch, issued in August, fixes privilege escalation bugs in kernel-level drivers on Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2 Service …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016

Double KO! Capcom's Street Fighter V installs hidden rootkit on PCs

A fresh update for Capcom's Street Fighter V for PCs includes a knock-out move: a secret rootkit that gives any installed application kernel-level privileges. This means any malicious software on the system can poke a dodgy driver installed by SFV to completely take over the Windows machine. Capcom claims it uses the driver to …
Chris Williams, 23 Sep 2016

Zombie Moore's Law shows hardware is eating software

After being pronounced dead this past February - in Nature, no less - Moore’s Law seems to be having a very weird afterlife. Within the space of the last thirty days we've seen: Intel announce some next-generation CPUs that aren’t very much faster than the last generation of CPUs; Intel delay, again, the release of some of …
Mark Pesce, 22 Sep 2016

Lenovo denies claims it plotted with Microsoft to block Linux installs

Lenovo has denied locking its Signature Edition PCs exclusively to Windows 10 under orders from Microsoft. A Reddit thread this morning accuses Microsoft and Lenovo of conspiring to prevent the installation of non-Windows operating systems on the Chinese goliath's PCs at the firmware level. Linux fans vented on the message …
VMware project goldilocks model

VMware's secret security plan revealed

VMware has shown off a working prototype of “Project Goldilocks”, its long-hinted-at plan to develop a new approach to security. The new idea is inspired by the NSX network virtualisation product's ability to create network “microsegments”, isolated virtual networks walled off from the rest of the network in a “least privilege …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2016
Penguins in Antarctica

Linux 4.8 probably needs rc8

Linus Torvalds has decreed that Linux 4.8 probably needs an eighth release candidate. Each new release of the Linux kernel usually involves seven release candidates, but Torvalds says “there was just more noise than I'd like” in rc7. “Things did't calm down as much as I would have liked, there are still a few discussions …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Sep 2016

Using a thing made by Microsoft, Apple or Adobe? It probably needs a patch today

Mega Patch Tuesday Microsoft is wrapping up the summer with a dump of 14 bulletins for various security vulnerabilities in its products, while Apple and Adobe are following up with fixes of their own. The September edition of Patch Update Tuesday sees fixes released for critical issues in Windows, Windows Server, Internet Explorer, Edge, Flash …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Sep 2016

Bug of the month: Cache flow problem crashes Samsung phone apps

It's not been a good summer for Samsung. It packed its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones with detonating batteries, sparking a global recall. And its whizzy Exynos 8890 processor, which powers the Note 7 and the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, is tripping up apps with seemingly bizarre crashes – from null pointers to illegal instruction …
Chris Williams, 13 Sep 2016
Command line icon

End of life for Linux 3.14

Version 3.14 of the Linux kernel is no longer being supported. Kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman took to the Linux Kernel Mailing List with the following: NOTE - the 3.14.y kernel series is now end-of-life. It will not be receiving any more updates and should no longer be used at all. Please use 4.4 if you want a LTS …
Simon Travaglia, 12 Sep 2016
Linux on multiple devices

Linus Torvalds won't apply 'sh*t-for-brains stupid patch'

Add another Linus Torvalds swearing incident to his long list of linguistic indiscretions. The Linux lord has unloaded on proposed new code in typically robust language. “I call BS”, Torvalds' post opens. “Let me be very clear. I'm not applying that shit-for-brains stupid patch, and will not be pulling it unless somebody …
Team Register, 07 Sep 2016
Android Nougat

Google emits three sets of Android patches to fend off evil texts, files

It's a smaller-than-usual Android patch bundle from Google – just 47 patches for 57 flaws. These software bugs can be exploited by installed apps or malicious code smuggled in multimedia messages and files to gain total control of vulnerable phones, tablets, internet-connected fridges and other Android gadgets – allowing …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2016
Android 6 Marshmallow Logo

Nougat for x86 lands

Developer-level code to run Android Nougat on x86 machines has landed. It's still a little don't-try-this-at-home affair, but the RemixOS devs needed a few days of Nougat (Android 7.0) for to get their branch ready. Nougat features like multi-window mode and split screen are supported, but the Nougat file manage is still …

Debian plugs Linux 'TCP snoop' bug

Debian's maintainers have moved to plug the TCP snooping flaw that emerged in August 2016. The bug, CVE-2016-5696, was spotted by University of California Riverside's Zhiyun Qian and his collaborators and published in August. It enabled an attack against Linux (and Android) implementations of RFC 5961, which used challenge …

Bloke accused of Linux hack nabbed during traffic stop

A man who allegedly hacked the Linux Kernel Organization's and the Linux Foundation's servers has been collared by cops. Donald Ryan Austin, 27, of El Portal, Florida, will appear in court in San Francisco later this month. He is accused of four counts of "intentional transmission causing damage to a protected …
Iain Thomson, 02 Sep 2016
 French bulldog puppy wears plastic devil horns and cute expression. Photo by Shutterstock

OpenBSD 6.0 lands

OpenBSD developers might be keen on the 1980s in their artwork, but not in their operating system: Version 6.0 has just landed, and the maintainers have killed off VAX support. Apart from a logo that pays homage to the cover art for the iconic album The Wall, there's a fair amount of new stuff landing in OpenBSD 6.0. W^X – …

Patch now: Apple emits fix for Pegasus spyware bugs in OS X, Safari

Those vulnerabilities last week that let government snoops monitor iPhones, iPads and iPods? Turns out they're present in desktop Safari and OS X, too – and Apple has quietly pushed out patches for them. This isn't a big surprise because iOS and OS X, and mobile and desktop Safari, share big chunks of code, so flaws in Apple …
Mr Freeze

Ice to see you! Windows 10 fix for freezing PCs finally flung at folks

Microsoft has finally patched its Windows 10 Anniversary Edition to hopefully stop it from freezing some PCs. A bunch of unlucky folks hit the rocks as soon as they installed the anniversary upgrade, and duly lit up Microsoft's support boards. It appears if you have multiple logical drives with app data stored on one of them, …
Iain Thomson, 01 Sep 2016
pic from imperial colllege study

Here's the relevant bits from VMworld, sliced and diced just for you

VMworld Here's part one of our three-part round-up of what's hot and what's not from VMworld 2016. Axcient announced v 1.5 of Fusion, its consolidated secondary storage in the cloud offering, with new cloud orchestration and workflow automation capabilities. The company claims it provides complete IT resilience and agility from the …
Chris Mellor, 30 Aug 2016

Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

Coding curmudgeon Linus Torvalds has gone off on yet another rant: this time against open-source-defending lawyers and free software activist Bradley Kuhn. On a mailing list about an upcoming Linux conference, a discussion about whether to include a session on the GPL that protects the open source operating system quickly …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Aug 2016
LInux nutella

Linux turns 25, with corporate contributors now key to its future

On August 25, 1991, an unknown Finnish developer posted the following to the comp.os.minix newsgroup: Hello everybody out there using minix - I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2016

Update your iPhones, iPads right now – govt spy tools exploit vulns

Apple has pushed out an emergency security update for iPhones, iPads and iPods after super sophisticated spyware was found exploiting three iOS vulnerabilities. The iOS 9.3.5 upgrade plugs three holes that, according to researchers, are being used right now by the Pegasus surveillance kit – a powerful commercial malware …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Aug 2016

Kindle Paperwhites turn Windows 10 PCs into paperweights: Plugging one in 'triggers a BSOD'

Plugging a Kindle Paperwhite into a PC running Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update installed sparks a full system meltdown, it is claimed. Connecting the Amazon e-reader to a fully up-to-date W10 machine via USB triggers an immediate Blue Screen of Death, according to complaints on Microsoft's support forum. All the trouble …
Chris Williams, 25 Aug 2016

Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

You'd be forgiven for thinking Microsoft is actively trying to stop people using Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. A patch this week broke one of the key features of the OS: PowerShell. KB 3176934, released on Tuesday as an automatic update, addresses a good number of bugs and other oddities in the operating system, including …
Iain Thomson, 25 Aug 2016
Handsome man has fuchsia-painted skin. Photo by Shutterstock

Google Fuchsia OS eyes non-Linux things

Google’s latest operating system project, Fuchsia, may be largely a mystery, but it reinforces a truth that platform vendors are having, grudgingly, to acknowledge: one operating system does not fit all. For a company which has put so much effort into making Android an OS for all purposes, Google has a remarkable number of …
Wireless Watch, 24 Aug 2016
St Petersburg Russia

Kaspersky launches its own OS on Russian routers

Kaspersky Labs has finished building its eponymous operating system after four years of quiet development. Little information about the OS has made it onto the English-speaking side of the internet. Kaspersky Labs Russia told Vulture South to wait a few weeks for the English press release for information. What we do know is …
Darren Pauli, 23 Aug 2016

Fujitsu: Why we chose 64-bit ARM over SPARC for our exascale super

Hot Chips Fujitsu chose 64-bit ARM CPU cores for its upcoming exascale supercomputer for two reasons: Linux and the ability to customize its own processors. It was a bit of a surprise when the Japanese IT giant picked ARMv8-A over SPARC64 and x86 for its Post-K beast, which will be used by Japanese boffins to carry out climate-change …
Chris Williams, 23 Aug 2016
Android Nougat

Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout

Google is starting its rollout of Android 7, codenamed Nougat, but you're only going to get it if you're running one of the newer models of the firm's Nexus devices. From Monday, the system update will be sent out to Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus 9, Nexus Player, Pixel C, and Android One users, with Google saying it'll …
Iain Thomson, 22 Aug 2016
Smart TV privacy issues

Four in five Android devices inherit Linux snooping flaw

A previously identified Linux flaw, which allows anyone to hijack internet traffic, also affects 80 per cent of Android devices. The original vulnerability, which was reported this spring, involves a critical exploit in TCP that lets hackers obtain unencrypted traffic and degrade encrypted traffic to spy on victims. The …
John Leyden, 22 Aug 2016