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Facebook Messenger backdoor demand, bail in Bitcoin, and lots more

Roundup It's time for another rapid roundup of computer security news beyond what we've already reported. US prosecutors want Facebook Messenger crypto cracked Uncle Sam is demanding Facebook alter its Messenger software so that American g-men can easily snoop on suspected criminals, it is claimed. The social network is said to be …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Aug 2018
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Distro inferno: Debian's still rocking at 25

Hot on the heels of Slackware's quarter century comes the 25th anniversary of the announcement that Debian was incoming. Unlike Slackware, however, the Debian flavour of Linux remains hugely popular and the platform can usually be found troubling the top five rankings on open source OS tracker DistroWatch.com. Announced by …
Richard Speed, 16 Aug 2018
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HPE flies low-energy Eagle into National Renewable Energy Lab's data centre

HPE has been named as supplier of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's new low-energy supercomputer, Eagle, which will power up in January 2019. Eagle is planned to be 3.5 more powerful than the lab's 2.26 petaflop Peregrine system, and will spend its time simulating complex processes, systems and phenomena for energy …
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Dropbox plans to drop encrypted Linux filesystems in November

Updated Linux users are calling on Dropbox to reverse a decision to trim its filesystem support to unencrypted EXT4 only. The company's supported file system list, here, is missing some formats – including various encrypted Linux filesystems. Until that list was revised, Dropbox said it supported NTFS, HFS, EXT4, and APFS on Linux; …

Batten down the ports: Linux networking bug SegmentSmack could remotely crash systems

A networking flaw has been discovered in the Linux kernel that could trigger a remote denial-of-service attack. Versions 4.9 and up are "vulnerable to denial-of-service conditions with low rates of specially crafted packets", according to a US-CERT advisory this week. The bug is being tracked as SegmentSmack (CVE-2018-5390). …
John Leyden, 7 Aug 2018
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TSMC chip fab tools hit by virus, payment biz BGP hijacked, CCleaner gets weird – and more

Roundup This week we took a close look at Google security keys, bid adieu to Facebook's head security honcho, and had a few email credentials overshared by Atlassian. Here's everything else that happened in infosec land this week beyond what we've already reported. TSMC chip assembly line computers infected Chipmaker TSMC – which …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Aug 2018
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Drink this potion, Linux kernel, and tomorrow you'll wake up with a WireGuard VPN driver

The developer of WireGuard has laid the groundwork for plugging his open-source privacy tool directly into the Linux kernel in hope of making secure communications easier to deploy and manage. Jason Donenfeld, creator of WireGuard and the founder of Edge Security, on Tuesday submitted a proposed set of patches to the Linux …
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Linux kernel 4.18 delayed: Bug ate my rc7, says Linus Torvalds

Linux kernel supremo Linus Torvalds has taken the rare step of reverting a kernel release candidate – after it went sour. All looked sunny enough on Sunday evening, when he set Linux 4.18-rc7 free to roam: “Unless something odd happens, this should be the last rc for 4.18,” the chief penguinista wrote. Something odd did, …
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Another German state plans switch back from Linux to Windows

The German state of Lower Saxony plans to follow Munich's example, and migrate a reported 13,000 users from Linux back to Windows. Apparently undaunted by the cost of the Munich switch (which we reported in January could be as much as €100m), Lower Saxony is considering making the change in its tax office. The state seems to …
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Quantum, Linux and Dynamics: That's the week at Microsoft, not a '70s prog rock band

Roundup It has been a good week for Microsoft. While beancounters counted their cloudy cash, the rest of the Redmond kept itself busy. A Quantum of coders Though uptake of Windows 10 continues to hover around the 700 million mark (quite some way behind the billion promised at the operating system's launch back in 2015), the Microsoft …
Richard Speed, 24 Jul 2018
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Big bad Bluetooth blunder bug battered – check for security fixes

With a bunch of security fixes released and more on the way, details have been made public of a Bluetooth bug that potentially allows miscreants to commandeer nearby devices. This Carnegie-Mellon CERT vulnerability advisory on Monday laid out the cryptographic flaw: firmware or operating system drivers skip a vital check …

Oracle wants to improve Linux load balancing and failover

Oracle reckons Linux remote direct memory access (RDMA) implementations need features like high availability and load balancing, and hopes to sling code into the kernel to do exactly that. The problem, as Oracle Linux kernel developer Sudhakar Dindukurti explained in this post, is that performance and security considerations …
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A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

Though it may not have managed to bring Linux to the desktop in any meaningful sense, 4 July marks 25 years since the first stable release of not-a-Windows-emulator, Wine. Created in 1993 as a way of inflicting Windows 3.1 applications on the then positively pristine Linux world (mastermind Linus Torvalds had only just emitted …
Richard Speed, 4 Jul 2018
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Micro Focus offloads Linux-wrangler SUSE for a cool $2.5bn

SUSE, a 25-year veteran of the Linux world, has been acquired by private equity outfit EQT after less than four years in the hands of former owner Micro Focus. The deal, announced today, puts a price tag of $2.535bn on the enterprise open-sorcerers, should it be approved by Micro Focus shareholders and the relevant authorities …
Richard Speed, 2 Jul 2018
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Pi-lovers? There are two fresh OSes for your tiny computers to gobble

Owners of dimunitive Raspberry Pi computers rejoice! Alpine has emitted version 3.8.0 of its super light Linux distribution, with some special attention given to the latest iteration of the hardware. While it has been possible to get Alpine on the Pi for some time – Raspberry Pi 2 owners have been able to get it working since …
Richard Speed, 2 Jul 2018
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Et tu, Gentoo? Horrible gits meddle with Linux distro's GitHub code

If you have fetched anything from Gentoo's GitHub-hosted repositories today, dump those files – because hackers have meddled with the open-source project's data. The Linux distro's officials sounded the alarm on Thursday, revealing someone managed to break into its GitHub organization account to modify software and webpages …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2018
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A slick phone Linux for your pocket PDA? Ooh, don't mind if I do, sir

Sailfish has become the fourth OS to be officially supported on Planet Computing's pocket computer, the Gemini PDA, and eager beavers can download an image from Planet today. Planet has also released an official Debian distro for download. The keyboard-toting device boots into Android, while support for the Ubuntu flavour of …
Andrew Orlowski, 26 Jun 2018
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SUSE Linux Enterprise turns 15: Look, Ma! A common code base

SUSE today announced the impending release of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15, featuring a boatload of new toys and a leap in version numbering. The new release, which is based on version 4.12 of the Linux kernel and allows the use of a wider variety of hardware (such as new AMD and Intel chipsets, Arm SOCs, NVDIMM, crypto cards and …
Richard Speed, 25 Jun 2018

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