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Linux Advisory Watch: May 13th 2005 Print E-mail
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Source: Contributors - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Linux Advisory Watch This week, advisories were released for squid, smail, XFree86, lapack, system-config-bind, gnutls, util-linux, libexif, ethereal, postgresql, gaim, pygtk, GnuTLS, gzip, TCPDump, libTIFF, HT, and openmotif. The distributors include Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, and Red Hat.

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.

Sarbanes Oxley - Section 404
By: Erica R. Thomas

The section titled 404 corresponds to the requirements for effective internal controls by corporations falling under the jurisdiction of The Act. According to Guardian Digital, "Under Section 404 management must institute a comprehensive internal control structure which includes appropriated procedures to ensure accurate and complete financial reporting." Management must conduct an annual assessment regarding the effectiveness of this structure and it must be supported by documented evidence and validation of management’s assessment by a registered public accounting firm. According to Robert Moeller in his book, "Sarbanes-Oxley and the New Internal Auditing Rules", a system or process has good internal controls if it accomplishes its stated mission, produces accurate and reliable data, complies with applicable laws and organization policies, provides for economical and efficient uses of resources, and provides for appropriate safeguarding of assets. The annual internal controls reports must state the responsibility of management for establishing and maintaining an adequate internal control structure and procedures for financial report and must contain an assessment of the effectiveness of the internal control structure for procedures of the company for financial reporting.

The Act affects every level of an organization, however much of the compliance issues will be dealt by the upper-level executives as well as finance and IT departments. Overall, The Act’s main concern is the security and integrity of financial information. As stated by Guardian Digital, "Given that almost all business information today is created, stored, and shared electronically, information technology, with special regard to information security, is a significant component of the effective internal controls mandated by SOX."

Any aspect of information technology controls which directly affects the processes or procedures involved in creating and preparing corporate data, including all hardware, software, and IT policies relevant to the preparation and retention of information would then be subject to compliance to the act.

According to SOX, all corporations must pass a set of rules for every division within a company that may be involved in the generation, manipulation, and reporting of corporate information. With regard to IT departments, however, these policies will be created to drive security and ensure the integrity of all information contained on the network. Documented policies and procedures set acceptable rules for employees and executives conduct alike and furthermore, provide blueprints on how certain situations should most effectively be handled eliminating guesswork and inadvertent transgressions. Setting information security policies, properly enforcing them and proactively evolving existing policies to adjust to corporate growth is the backbone for SOX compliance and is essential to achieve optimum performance and security on the system.

Although properly executed acceptable use policies are a good defense against many of the internal threats facing corporate infrastructure, they cannot protect the integrity of corporate data alone. A solid infrastructure incorporates numerous technologies including those that will protect corporate confidentiality, the continuity of secure network operations, and further assist in enforcing corporate network and Internet policies. These solutions should include firewalls for traffic monitoring, comprehensive auditing features to reveal user and system activity, strong encryption mechanisms to ensure data integrity when transferring pertinent information, user authentication mechanisms such as passwords and digital certification, and a system back-up module to provide critical recovery services. A cohesive collection of all these applications is a step in the right direction for SOX compliance as well as a chance for organizations to empower their IT infrastructure through technologically advanced applications. Such improvements not only provide governmental compliance and greater network protection but can also result in a dramatic performance increase. Feature Extras:

Getting to Know Linux Security: File Permissions - Welcome to the first tutorial in the 'Getting to Know Linux Security' series. The topic explored is Linux file permissions. It offers an easy to follow explanation of how to read permissions, and how to set them using chmod. This guide is intended for users new to Linux security, therefore very simple. If the feedback is good, I'll consider creating more complex guides for advanced users. Please let us know what you think and how these can be improved.

The Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection - To be honest, this was one of the best books that I've read on network security. Others books often dive so deeply into technical discussions, they fail to provide any relevance to network engineers/administrators working in a corporate environment. Budgets, deadlines, and flexibility are issues that we must all address. The Tao of Network Security Monitoring is presented in such a way that all of these are still relevant.

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).


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.

  Debian: New squid packages fix ACL bypass
  6th, May, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New smail packages fix arbitrary code execution
  9th, May, 2005

Updated package.
  Debian: New XFree86 packages fix arbitrary code execution
  9th, May, 2005

Updated Package.
  Fedora Core 3 Update: lapack-3.0-26.fc3
  5th, May, 2005

This update fixes problems in some lapack libraries (problems with compiler optimalization). This version contains all patches present in fc4 lapack version.
  Fedora Core 3 Update: system-config-bind-4.0.0-12
  5th, May, 2005

Updated package.
  Fedora Core 3 Update: gnutls-1.0.20-3.1.1
  5th, May, 2005

New gnutls version fixes CAN-2005-1431 problem (possible DOS attack)
  Fedora Core 3 Update: util-linux-2.12a-24.2
  6th, May, 2005

Updated package.
  Fedora Core 3 Update: libexif-0.5.12-6.fc3
  6th, May, 2005

Updated package.
  Fedora Core 3 Update: ethereal-0.10.11-1.FC3.1
  9th, May, 2005

Updated package.
  Fedora Core 3 Update: postgresql-7.4.8-1.FC3.1
  10th, May, 2005

This update includes several upstream security fixes and other bug fixes.
  Fedora Core 3 Update: gaim-1.3.0-1.fc3
  11th, May, 2005

Many bug fixes and two important security fixes.
  Fedora Core 3 Update: pygtk2-2.4.1-fc3.1
  11th, May, 2005

Updated package.
  Gentoo: Oops! Remote code execution
  5th, May, 2005

The Oops! proxy server contains a remotely exploitable format string vulnerability, which could potentially lead to the execution of arbitrary code.
  Gentoo: Ethereal Numerous vulnerabilities
  6th, May, 2005

Ethereal is vulnerable to numerous vulnerabilities potentially resulting in the execution of arbitrary code or abnormal termination.
  Gentoo: GnuTLS Denial of Service vulnerability
  9th, May, 2005

The GnuTLS library is vulnerable to Denial of Service attacks.
  Gentoo: gzip Multiple vulnerabilities
  9th, May, 2005

gzip contains multiple vulnerabilities potentially allowing an attacker to execute arbitrary commands.
  Gentoo: TCPDump Decoding routines Denial of Service vulnerability
  9th, May, 2005

A flaw in the decoding of network packets renders TCPDump vulnerable to a remote Denial of Service attack.
  Gentoo: libTIFF Buffer overflow
  10th, May, 2005

The libTIFF library is vulnerable to a buffer overflow, potentially resulting in the execution of arbitrary code.
  Gentoo: HT Editor Multiple buffer overflows
  10th, May, 2005

Two vulnerabilities have been discovered in HT Editor, potentially leading to the execution of arbitrary code.
  Gentoo: Gaim Denial of Service and buffer overflow vulnerabilties
  12th, May, 2005

Gaim contains two vulnerabilities, potentially resulting in the execution of arbitrary code or Denial of Service.
  RedHat: Moderate: tcpdump security update
  11th, May, 2005

Updated tcpdump packages that fix several security issues are now available.
  RedHat: Moderate: tcpdump security update
  11th, May, 2005

Updated tcpdump packages that fix several security issues are now available.
  RedHat: Critical: gaim security update
  11th, May, 2005

An updated gaim package that fixes two security issues is now available.
  RedHat: Critical: gaim security update
  11th, May, 2005

An updated gaim package that fixes security issues is now available for Red Hat.
  RedHat: Moderate: openmotif security update
  11th, May, 2005

Updated openmotif packages that fix a flaw in the Xpm image library are now available.

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