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Linux Security Week: August 22nd 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 "New Cryptanalytic Results Against SHA-1," "Storage Security Basics: Confidentiality and Integrity," and "Linux Security, Audit and Control Guidance Featured In New Book from ISACA."

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LINUX ADVISORY WATCH - This week, advisories were released for amd64, fetchmail, Mozilla, heartbeat, clamav, lam, vim, evolution, audit, evolution, mc, kdeaddons, kdeadmin, kdebase, kdedu, kdegames, kdegraphics, kdemultimedia, kdenetwork, kdepim, kdesdk, kdetoys, kdeutils, kdevelop, kdewebdev, koffice, xpdf, arts, kdepim, epiphany, kdbg, doxygen, ncpfs, gaim, pcre, tar, vnc, metacity, cups, pygtk, shadow-utils, and netpbm. The distributors include Debian, Fedora, Gentoo, an Red Hat. Feature Extras:

Linux File & Directory Permissions Mistakes - One common mistake Linux administrators make is having file and directory permissions that are far too liberal and allow access beyond that which is needed for proper system operations. A full explanation of unix file permissions is beyond the scope of this article, so I'll assume you are familiar with the usage of such tools as chmod, chown, and chgrp. If you'd like a refresher, one is available right here on

Introduction: Buffer Overflow Vulnerabilities - Buffer overflows are a leading type of security vulnerability. This paper explains what a buffer overflow is, how it can be exploited, and what countermeasures can be taken to prevent the use of buffer overflow vulnerabilities.

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.

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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.

  (IN)SECURE Magazine Issue 3
  16th, August, 2005

The third issue of (IN)SECURE, a free digital security magazine published in PDF format, has been released:
  New Cryptanalytic Results Against SHA-1
  17th, August, 2005

Wang, Yu, and Yin, the team of Chinese cryptographers that successfully broke SHA-0 and SHA-1, announced new results against SHA-1 yesterday at Crypto's rump session. (Actually, Adi Shamir announced the results in their name, since she and her student did not receiveU.S. visas in time to attend the conference.)
  Chip-Based Security Finds New IT Niches
  15th, August, 2005

Once purely a business desktop feature, Trusted Platform Modules are on the verge of a population explosion which will see them proliferate inside consumer PCs, servers and possibly even cell phones over the next few years.
  Host Integrity Monitoring Using Osiris and Samhain
  22nd, August, 2005

Host integrity monitoring is the process by which system and network administrators validate and enforce the security of their systems. This can be a complex suite of approaches, tools, and methodologies, and it can be as simple as looking at loggin output. In the past, tools like Tripwire were used to check the configurations on hosts. The freeware version of this tool was limited in its manageability, which was available mainly in the commercial version.
  Bot Attacks U.S. Media Giants
  17th, August, 2005

CNN reported late Tuesday that a worm had hit computers in its newsroom, those at rivals ABC and the New York Times, some on Capitol Hill, and machines in Europe and Asia. Experts assumed that it was the Zotob bot worm, or one of the other bots that exploit last week's Plug and Play vulnerability on Windows 2000 machines.
  Storage Security Basics: Confidentiality and Integrity
  15th, August, 2005

In the first part of our Storage Security Basics series, we looked at authentication, authorization, accountability and access control. In this installment, we examine confidentiality and integrity. If you manage a storage network, one of your primary goals is to ensure that the data is secure. As the administrator, the confidentiality and integrity of information is your responsibility. (Data confidentiality refers to the process of encrypting information to prevent it from being read by users who weren't intended to have access to it. Data integrity means that information has not been changed or modified during transit.)
  IIS vs. Apache: Which is the right security choice?
  16th, August, 2005

Not long ago, Web administrators didn't have a great deal of input into their organization's Web server platform. If they worked in a Windows shop, they ran Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS), while those in Linux/Unix shops were tied to Apache, and never the twain did meet. However, times have changed and the Apache HTTP Server Project has broken down the walls by releasing a Windows distribution of the Web server that traces its historic roots to the original NCSA httpd server. There are now two "big kids on the block" and Windows administrators, at least, have some flexibility. (Don't expect Microsoft to release IIS for Linux anytime soon!)
  Database Security Explained
  18th, August, 2005

The most popular open source database for Linux, is MySQL. It's easy to install and configure, runs light, and is quite fast. You'll commonly see it harnessed to Apache serving up site content and authenticating users and offering a tempting target to those with more time than sense or conscience.
  Trustix Enterprise Firewall
  17th, August, 2005

Comodo owned Trustix, developers of the world’s most secure Linux and inventors of the world’s first WYSIWYG firewall, today announced that the latest version of Trustix Enterprise Firewall will be available at no charge. The decision enables administrators to protect their networks for free with a firewall developed and maintained by Trustix’s highly skilled firewall developers
  Adobe warns of Reader, Acrobat bug
  18th, August, 2005

A security flaw in Adobe Systems' popular Acrobat and Reader applications could be used to shut down or hijack vulnerable PCs. By crafting a malicious PDF file, a remote attacker could cause the applications to crash or possibly commandeer the target computer, Adobe said in a security advisory published on Tuesday. The San Jose, Calif.-based software maker has updates available to fix the problem.
  Best practices for the Linux home office, part 1
  18th, August, 2005

As millions of users already know, Linux is a great choice for home office use because it's fast, secure, reliable, and cost-effective. If you use a computer for a home-based business, it's important to expand your Linux administration efforts beyond installing the right applications. You'll also want to choose the right hardware and Linux distribution, set up a backup and disaster recovery plan, pay attention to system security, and select the right ISP, so your home office will remain profitable, especially in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe.
  Hacker found guilty in massive data theft case
  17th, August, 2005

A Florida man was found guilty of stealing data from customer information management company Acxiom Corp. Friday. The prosecution estimates that Scott Levine and his defunct bulk e-mail marketing firm Inc. stole more than 1.6 billion customer records by hacking into an Acxiom server.
  Linux Security, Audit and Control Guidance Featured In New Book from ISACA
  19th, August, 2005

More than 10 years after its debut, Linux has matured from a student hobby to a highly respected platform used by major organizations worldwide. Because of this growing popularity and increased legislation requiring tight controls over IT, the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) has issued a new publication with detailed guidance on security, audit and control of Linux.

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