Linux Advisory Watch: March 28th 2005
Source: Contributors - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Linux Advisory Watch This week, perhaps the most interesting articles include "Finding that Windows is superior to Linux is biased," "How to set up DNS for Linux VPNs," and "Writing an Incident Handling and Recovery Plan."
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, advisories were released for cyrus-imapd, curl, xloadimage, xli, PERL, slypheed, libgal2, libsoup, evolution, gimp, procps, lsof, lockdev, xloadimage, mailman, boost, kdelibs, firefox, thunderbird, mozilla, devhelp, epiphany, rxvt, LTris, MySQL, ethereal, ipsec-tools, and ImageMagick. The distributors include Conectiva, Debian, Fedora, Genotoo, Mandrake, Red Hat, and SuSE. 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.

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).


Bulletproof Virus Protection - Protect your network from costly security breaches with Guardian Digital’s multi-faceted security applications. More then just an email firewall, on demand and scheduled scanning detects and disinfects viruses found on the network. Click to find out more!

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.

  Schneier's fame drives Counterpane's success
  25th, March, 2005

Bruce Schneier, founder and chief technical officer of Counterpane Internet Security, might be as close as the computer security industry gets to its own celebrity. Although not as well known as Larry Ellison at Oracle or Bill Gates at Microsoft, Schneier is still the public face of his company, recognized by industry insiders as one of their gurus. Businesses hire Counterpane to guard their networks from hackers and viruses in the same way a nervous homeowner would pay a home-security provider like ADT to watch for fires or burglars.
  The CS2 Block Cipher
  25th, March, 2005

In this paper we describe our new CS2 block cipher which is an extension of the original CS-Cipher. Our new design inherits the efficiency of the original design while being upgraded to support a larger block size as well as use a slightly improved substitution box. We prove that our design is immune to differential and linear cryptanalysis as well as argue it resists several other known attacks.
  Network Security White Papers Written by Security Professionals
  22nd, March, 2005

Its getting hard not to notice the number of large websites advertising white papers. The catch is, most only contain a listing of vendor sponsored marketing brochures. This isn't very helpful if you're looking for detailed information about a technology.
  Finding that Windows is superior to Linux is biased, Critics Say
  25th, March, 2005

Two researchers surprised the audience at a computer-security convention last month with their finding that a version of Microsoft Windows was more secure than a competing Linux operating system. This week, the researchers released their finished report, and it included another surprise: Microsoft was funding the project all along.
  Linux riskier than Windows?
  23rd, March, 2005

Companies face greater risks if they run their Web sites on Linux rather than Windows, a Microsoft-funded study has concluded. Last year, Web servers based on Windows Server 2003 had fewer flaws to fix than those based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3 in a standard open-source configuration, researchers said in a paper released on Tuesday. Moreover, the study indicated that the Microsoft-based Web server had far fewer "days of risk"--a measure of the number of days that each vulnerability is known, but unpatched--than the open-source rival.
  Mobile IPv6 On Linux
  23rd, March, 2005

The woman who cut me off on the freeway because she was too busy talking on her cell phone might not have had a clue, but she probably had an IP address. Mobile devices, from cell phones to PDAs to the automobiles themselves, increasingly require always-on Internet connectivity. According to at least one report, the average U.S. home has over 250 devices that could benefit from Internet connectivity. While the number of IP addresses in the world is large -- IPv4's 32-bit addressing scheme enables 4 billion addresses -- it is not infinite. And the woman applying blue eyeshadow on the 101 freeway is using up one of them.
  How to set up DNS for Linux VPNs
  24th, March, 2005

One often-overlooked requirement of a functioning VPN is DNS. For any host-network or network-network VPN, you will be enabling access to machines that are not available on the Internet at large. Unless you want to access machines only by their IP address, you want to have DNS work cleanly.
  Open Source For Perimeter Security
  24th, March, 2005

There is a widespread and wholly inaccurate impression that open source development is somehow haphazard and undisciplined, a free-for-all among brilliant but uncoordinated individuals. In fact, most major open source projects are very tightly managed highly disciplined teams.
  The good and bad of Linux LiveCDs
  21st, March, 2005

If you're an IT manager, introducing Linux into your enterprise is a tough decision. Choosing to take the plunge at all is one thing, but facing the myriad choices is another. At last count, the database at racked some 345 actively maintained Linux and BSD distributions. Although most enterprises are likely to consider only a fraction of that catalog, the number of decision points it represents is potentially much larger.
  Secure your server with LIDS
  21st, March, 2005

The Linux Intrusion Detection System (LIDS) is a kernel patch for both 2.4 and 2.6 kernels that adds Mandatory Access Control (MAC) and other security enhancements to the Linux kernel. The main feature of LIDS is its ability to limit the power of the root account. LIDS uses Access Control Lists (ACLs) to control access to files, processes, and network resources. Once these permissions are set, they cannot be overridden, even if a user or process has root privileges. You may be wondering why anyone would choose LIDS over its more popular counterpart, SELinux. Both have their advantages. Both add MAC and the ability to limit the damage that can be done by the root account. There are two reasons why you may want to consider LIDS instead of SELinux.
  Linux touted as the solution to online-banking problems
  24th, March, 2005

Australian company Cybersource says it's currently talking to two banks in Australia about providing Linux-based bootable CDs to consumers to ensure Internet banking security. The company yesterday released information about its Online Banking Coastguard solution. Coastguard is based upon Knoppix, a Linux distribution which boots entirely from CD and is known for its automatic hardware detection features. Cybersource has included Mozilla Firefox as the sole browser for Internet banking.
  Mac OS X a hacker target
  21st, March, 2005

Security vendor Symantec is warning that Apple's OS X operating system is increasingly becoming a target for hackers and malware authors. In its seventh bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec said over the past year, security researchers had discovered at least 37 serious vulnerabilities in the Mac OS X system. According to Symantec, as Apple increases its market share - with new low cost products such as the Mac mini - its userbase is likely to come under increasing attack.
  Writing an Incident Handling and Recovery Plan
  22nd, March, 2005

While many websites and papers discuss incident handling and incident response plans, aside from RFC 2350 very few of these lay out exactly what an actual plan might look like. The following is an outline of a typical generalized incident handling and response plan for a small to mid-sized organization that doesn't have a dedicated incident response staff.
  Freedom From Security
  22nd, March, 2005

Enterprises are no longer restricted to the networked systems bounded by the building in which the company is housed. Modern enterprises span the globe and employees can easily access the corporate network from outside the office, opening many more productivity channels. The proliferation of broadband has enabled home working to become an economically viable option while the dramatic fall in the price of laptops allied with the explosion in WiFi technology has made mobile working the norm for many companies.
  Today's IT Solutions Need to Be "Open, Secure and Global," Says Novell's Messman
  23rd, March, 2005

Opening its annual BrainShare user conference, Novell CEO Jack Messman took the opportunity to remind the technology world that Novell has "a truly global ecosystem, unmatched by other Linux vendors" - with offices in 43 countries and over 5,000 technology, services and training partners delivering support for its customers worldwide. "We give our customers real choice," he added.
  Microsoft-sponsored report slams Linux security
  24th, March, 2005

An "independent" report that claims Linux security vulnerabilities are more numerous and severe than in Windows has been confirmed as having been funded by Microsoft. The Role Comparison Report report by Richard Ford of the Florida Institute of Technology's College of Engineering, and Herbert Thompson of security company Security Innovation, was originally previewed in draft form at the RSA conference in February, where it attracted inevitable criticism for its methodology and claimed bias.
  Senators Address Spyware, Spam
  23rd, March, 2005

Laws against theft don't end stealing, and laws against the ills of the Internet age aren't likely to stop the spread of computer spyware, the Legislature's Judiciary Committee was told Friday. But such laws are worth passing, said Alex Nicoll, associate director of technologies for the Nebraska University Consortium on Information Assurance. The spyware programs "are causing people grief. They are causing people loss. We should not just say we should give up," Nicoll said at a committee hearing.
  Brazilian cops net 'phishing kingpin'
  22nd, March, 2005

Brazilian police last week arrested the suspected kingpin of a gang which looted an estimated $37m from online banking accounts. Valdir Paulo de Almeida allegedly masterminded a scam to raid accounts using a Trojan horse sent by email to thousands of victims, mostly Brazilian.

Only registered users can write comments.
Please login or register.

Powered by AkoComment!