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Linux Security Week: January 31st 2005 Print E-mail
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Source: Contributors - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Linux Security Week This week, perhaps the most interesting articles include "Introduction to Troubleshooting Linux Firewalls," "Common Criteria - Salvation For Email Security," and "Do 'irresponsible' security researchers help or hinder?"

Internet Productivity Suite: Open Source Security - Trust Internet Productivity Suite's open source architecture to give you the best security and productivity applications available. Collaborating with thousands of developers, Guardian Digital security engineers implement the most technologically advanced ideas and methods into their design. Click to find out more!

Linux Advisory Watch - This week, articles were released for libtiff, ethereal, xpdf, squid, xtrlock, sword, unarj, enscript, zhcon, vdr, xine-lib, libpam-radius, kdebase, f2c, cups, alsa-lib, grep, kernel-utils, hal, im-sdk, gphoto, apr, tetex, koffice, kdegraphics, kdelibs, gaim, procps, mailman, mysql, awstats, less, kernel, and xpdf. The distributors include Conectiva, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, Mandrake, Red Hat, SuSE, and TurboLinux. Feature Extras:

The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection - The Tao of Network Security Monitoring is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date sources available on the subject. It gives an excellent introduction to information security and the importance of network security monitoring, offers hands-on examples of almost 30 open source network security tools, and includes information relevant to security managers through case studies, best practices, and recommendations on how to establish training programs for network security staff.

Encrypting Shell Scripts - Do you have scripts that contain sensitive information like passwords and you pretty much depend on file permissions to keep it secure? If so, then that type of security is good provided you keep your system secure and some user doesn't have a "ps -ef" loop running in an attempt to capture that sensitive info (though some applications mask passwords in "ps" output).

A 2005 Linux Security Resolution - Year 2000, the coming of the new millennium, brought us great joy and celebration, but also brought great fear. Some believed it would result in full-scale computer meltdown, leaving Earth as a nuclear wasteland. Others predicted minor glitches leading only to inconvenience. The following years (2001-2004) have been tainted with the threat of terrorism worldwide.


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Take advantage of our Linux Security discussion list! This mailing list is for general security-related questions and comments. To subscribe send an e-mail to with "subscribe" as the subject.

Thank you for reading the weekly security newsletter. The purpose of this document is to provide our readers with a quick summary of each week's most relevant Linux security headline.

  The encryption factor
  27th, January, 2005

Quantum computing is set to revolutionise the way we work. Trouble is, it could crack any of today's security codes in a fraction of a second, says Charles Arthur.When bankers and spies begin to worry about advances in computing, the rest of us would do well to take notice. What makes them edgy are the advances being made in "quantum computing", which is, as might be expected from the name, as entangled and confusing a field to understand as the branch of physics on which it is based - quantum mechanics.
  Introduction to Troubleshooting Linux Firewalls
  25th, January, 2005

Oh no you sayÑnot more management speak! Please, I get enough of that already! Fear not; we promise that we won't waste your time with YAUM (Yet Another Useless Methodology). We want you to find your problem and fix it quickly. So you can call this a process, a method, a way, or if you like, call it a methodologyÑwhatever works for you. What we don't want to do is fill your head with some useless babble. This methodology is hard won from years of solving problems.
  Patching up problems
  28th, January, 2005

The race to plug network holes before attackers use them is running system managers ragged--so they're throwing up more barriers to stop intruders. In recent years, the common wisdom has been that keeping up-to-date on software patches is key to safeguarding a company's networks against viruses, worms and other pests. But with dozens of flaws being discovered each week, that approach has turned out to be a Herculean task.
  SELinux: Playing with fire
  26th, January, 2005

One of the much-talked-about features in Fedora Core 3 (FC3) is Security-Enhanced Linux, which some people believe will make Linux a truly military-grade secure operating system. But SELinux is available to secure many other distributions as well.
  Common Criteria ? Salvation For Email Security
  26th, January, 2005

With the increasing threat of far more sophisticated attacks than just spam and viruses, email security is taking a leap forward. But in implementing new solutions, organisations open up the risk to additional vulnerabilities, because the products they have chosen may not provide an adequate level of security.
  The Role Of Email Security In Meeting Regulatory Requirements
  27th, January, 2005

Corporate governance and regulation were one of the dominant themes of 2004 and look set to continue to be so throughout 2005. Corporate governance relates to how an organisation is run, and has repercussions for almost every department ? particularly Finance, HR, Auditing, Procurement and IT. Due to the nature of the potential content of email, ranging from a simple customer query to financial projections, the use of this application demands particular attention to ensure that its management helps to secure regulatory compliance.
  Hackers targeted by high-level system
  25th, January, 2005

Running on Windows, Linux or Sun, Defiance TMS was made up of four elements. Defiance Monitor acted as the intrusion detection system (IDS), which would let IT staff monitor for threats. Defiance Gateway was the core IPS protection element, backed up by A Defiance Management Server to store logs and other security data, and the Defiance Security Console for system unified administration.
  Coyotos, A New Security-focused OS & Language
  25th, January, 2005

For those who haven't been following the EROS project, it has now migrated to the Coyotos project. EROS, the Extremely Reliable Operating System, was a project to create an operating system whose security relied on capabilities rather than the traditional Unix model of root or non-root.
  Open and safe?
  25th, January, 2005

TRUE or false? Open source software like Linux is more secure than Microsoft Windows, a proprietary operating system because there seem to be more virus attacks against it. True? Wrong. This is only a popular perception. Open source software isn't always more secure than its proprietary counterparts, say IT experts.
  No end to security sector growth
  27th, January, 2005

The South African IT security industry, worth R1.082Êbillion, is still growing, according to research firm BMI-TechKnowledge. According to the firm's latest findings on the local security market, the industry grew by about 16% in 2003, with that level of growth expected to continue throughout the forecast period 2003 to 2008.
  Do 'irresponsible' security researchers help or hinder?
  27th, January, 2005

To many software makers and security consultants, flaw finder David Aitel is irresponsible. The 20-something founder of vulnerability assessment company Immunity hunts down security problems in widely used software products. But unlike an increasing number of researchers, he does not share his findings with the makers of the programs he examines.
  Run information security like you run your busines
  28th, January, 2005

Do your CSO, CIO, information security professionals and software developers have measurable quotas and compensation for meeting or exceeding their information security numbers? Chances are, your firm is not running information security like a business unit with a tightly focussed strategy on customers, market and competitors. Without well-defined, standard, vendor-neutral threat models and performance metrics. there cannot be improvement; and improvement is what our customers want.
  US to tighten nuclear cyber security
  26th, January, 2005

Federal regulators are proposing to add computer security standards to their criteria for installing new computerized safety systems in nuclear power plants. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) quietly launched a public comment period late last month on a proposed 15-page update to its regulatory guide "Criteria for Use of Computers in Safety Systems of Nuclear Power Plants." The current version, written in 1996, is three pages long and makes no mention of security.
  Developer Raps Linux Security Developer Raps Linux Security
  26th, January, 2005

Brad Spengler of grsecurity characterized the Linux Security Model, or LSM, as merely a way to allow the National Security Agency's SELinux to be used as a module. "The framework is unfit for any security system that does anything remotely innovative, such as grsecurity and RSBAC [Rule Set-Based Access Control]," he declared.
  'Evil twin' could pose Wi-Fi threat
  26th, January, 2005

Researchers at Cranfield University are warning that "evil twin" hot spots, networks set up by hackers to resemble legitimate Wi-Fi hot spots, present the latest security threat to Web users. Attackers interfere with a connection to the legitimate network by sending a stronger signal from a base station close to the wireless client, turning the fake access point into a so-called evil twin.

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