Linux Weekly News
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The LWN.net Weekly Edition for August 11, 2016 is available.
Side-channel attacks against various kinds of protocols (typically networking or cryptographic) are both dangerous and often hard for developers and reviewers to spot. They are generally passive attacks, which makes them hard to detect as well. A recent paper [PDF] describes in detail one such attack against the kernel's TCP networking stack; the bug (CVE-2016-5696) has existed since Linux 3.6, which was released in 2012. Ironically, the bug was introduced because Linux has implemented a countermeasure against another type of attack.
The 4.6.6, 4.4.17, and 3.14.75 stable kernel updates have been released. Each contains the usual set of fixes and updates.
The KDE project has announced the first public release of the Kirigami interface framework. "Now, with KDE’s focus expanding beyond desktop and laptop computers into the mobile and embedded sector, our QWidgets-based components alone are not sufficient anymore. In order to allow developers to easily create Qt-based applications that run on any major mobile or desktop operating system (including our very own existing Plasma Desktop and upcoming Plasma Mobile, of course), we have created a framework that extends Qt Quick Controls: Welcome Kirigami!"
CentOS has updated qemu-kvm (C6: denial of service).
Oracle has updated qemu-kvm (OL6: multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated qemu-kvm (RHEL6: denial of service).
SUSE has updated java-1_7_0-openjdk (SLE12-SP1: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1_8_0-openjdk (SLE12-SP1: multiple vulnerabilities), php53 (SLE11-SP4: multiple vulnerabilities), squid3 (SLE11-SP4: multiple vulnerabilities), and kernel (SLE11-SP4: three vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated kernel (16.04; 14.04; 12.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-trusty (12.04: two vulnerabilities), linux-lts-vivid (14.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-lts-xenial (14.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-raspi2 (16.04: multiple vulnerabilities), linux-snapdragon (16.04: multiple vulnerabilities), and linux-ti-omap4 (12.04: multiple vulnerabilities).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has announced the winners of the 2016 Pioneer Awards: "Malkia Cyril of the Center for Media Justice, data protection activist Max Schrems, the authors of the “Keys Under Doormats” report that counters calls to break encryption, and the lawmakers behind CalECPA—a groundbreaking computer privacy law for Californians."
UCR Today reports that researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified a weakness in the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) in Linux that enables attackers to hijack users’ internet communications remotely. "The UCR researchers didn’t rely on chance, though. Instead, they identified a subtle flaw (in the form of ‘side channels’) in the Linux software that enables attackers to infer the TCP sequence numbers associated with a particular connection with no more information than the IP address of the communicating parties. This means that given any two arbitrary machines on the internet, a remote blind attacker, without being able to eavesdrop on the communication, can track users’ online activity, terminate connections with others and inject false material into their communications."
US Chief Information Officer Tony Scott introduces the Federal Source Code Policy, on the White House blog. "By making source code available for sharing and re-use across Federal agencies, we can avoid duplicative custom software purchases and promote innovation and collaboration across Federal agencies. By opening more of our code to the brightest minds inside and outside of government, we can enable them to work together to ensure that the code is reliable and effective in furthering our national objectives. And we can do all of this while remaining consistent with the Federal Government’s long-standing policy of technology neutrality, through which we seek to ensure that Federal investments in IT are merit-based, improve the performance of our government, and create value for the American people." (Thanks to David A. Wheeler)
Arch Linux has updated curl (three vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated bind99 (F23: denial of service), ca-certificates (F23: certificate update), dhcp (F23: denial of service), dnsmasq (F23: denial of service), flex (F24: buffer overflow), fontconfig (F24: privilege escalation), kernel (F24; F23: two vulnerabilities), libidn (F23: multiple vulnerabilities), libreswan (F23: unspecified), nodejs-tough-cookie (F24: denial of service), pdns (F24: denial of service), perl-CGI-Emulate-PSGI (F24; F23: HTTP redirect), perl-Module-Load-Conditional (F24; F23: privilege escalation), v8 (F24; F23: denial of service), and xen (F23: multiple vulnerabilities).
Red Hat has updated chromium-browser (RHEL6: multiple vulnerabilities), kernel (RHEL6.4: privilege escalation), nodejs010-nodejs-minimatch (RHSCL: denial of service), and rh-nodejs4-nodejs-minimatch (RHSCL: denial of service).
SUSE has updated kernel (SLE11-SP4: multiple vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated curl (three vulnerabilities).
The GPL-infringement case brought against VMware by Christoph Hellwig in Germany has been dismissed by the court; the ruling is available in German and English. The decision seems to be based entirely on uncertainty over where his copyrights actually lie and not on the infringement claims. "Nonetheless, these questions (on which the legal interest of the parties and their counsel presumably focus) can and must remain unanswered. This is because the very first requirement for conducting an examination, namely that code possibly protected for the Plaintiff as a holder of adapter’s copyright has been used in the Defendant’s product, cannot be established. " The ruling will be appealed.
Jeff Fortin Tam reports on the state of the GNOME Foundation. "Generally speaking, this year was a bit less intense than the one before it (we didn’t have to worry about a legal battle with a giant corporation this time around!) although we did end up touching a fair amount of legal matters, such as trademark agreements. One big item we got cleared was the Ubuntu GNOME trademark agreement. We also welcomed businesses that wanted to sell GNOME-related merchandise, you can find them listed here—supporting them by purchasing GNOME-related items also supports the Foundation with a small percentage shared as royalties." (Thanks to Paul Wise)
Version 1.0.0 of the Lumina Desktop Environment has been released. "After roughly four years of development, I am pleased to announce the first official release of the Lumina desktop environment! This release is an incredible realization of the initial idea of Lumina – a simple and unobtrusive desktop environment meant for users to configure to match their individual needs." Lumina is a from-scratch, BSD-licensed desktop system.
Mageia has updated ruby-eventmachine (denial of service).
openSUSE has updated bsdiff (Leap42.1, 13.2: denial of service), Chromium (Leap42.1, 13.2; SPH for SLE12: multiple vulnerabilities), java-1_8_0-openjdk (13.2: multiple vulnerabilities), libvirt (Leap42.1: authentication bypass), redis (Leap42.1, 13.2; SPH for SLE12: information leak), and wireshark (Leap42.1, 13.2: multiple vulnerabilities).
Check Point has discovered four local-root vulnerabilities in Qualcomm-based Android devices and is hyping the result as "QuadRooter". "QuadRooter is a set of four vulnerabilities affecting Android devices built using Qualcomm chipsets. Qualcomm is the world’s leading designer of LTE chipsets with a 65% share of the LTE modem baseband market. If any one of the four vulnerabilities is exploited, an attacker can trigger privilege escalations for the purpose of gaining root access to a device." Actually getting the report requires registration. All four vulnerabilities are in Android-specific code; three of them are in out-of-tree modules (kgsl and ipc_router); the fourth is in the "ashmem" code in the staging tree.
Linus has released the 4.8-rc1 prepatch and closed the merge window for this development cycle — sort of. "I actually still have a few pull requests pending in my inbox that I just wanted to take another look at before merging, but the large bulk of the merge window material has been merged, and I wanted to make sure there aren't any new ones coming in." A total of 11,618 non-merge changesets were pulled during the merge window.
The Let's Encrypt project, which provides a free SSL/TLS certificate authority (CA), has announced that Mozilla has accepted the project's root key into the Mozilla root program and will be trusted by default as of Firefox 50. This is a step forward from Let's Encrypt's earlier status. "In order to start issuing widely trusted certificates as soon as possible, we partnered with another CA, IdenTrust, which has a number of existing trusted roots. As part of that partnership, an IdenTrust root 'vouches for' the certificates that we issue, thus making our certificates trusted. We’re incredibly grateful to IdenTrust for helping us to start carrying out our mission as soon as possible. However, our plan has always been to operate as an independently trusted CA. Having our root trusted directly by the Mozilla root program represents significant progress towards that independence." The project has also applied for inclusion the CA trust roots maintained by Apple, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, and Blackberry. News on those programs is still pending.
Debian has updated openjdk-7 (multiple vulnerabilities).
Fedora has updated collectd (F23; F24: code execution), dietlibc (F23; F24: insecure default PATH), perl (F24: privilege escalation), perl-DBD-MySQL (F24: code execution), and python-autobahn (F24: insecure origin validation).
openSUSE has updated MozillaFirefox, mozilla-nss (13.2, Leap 42.1: multiple vulnerabilities).
Scientific Linux has updated squid (SL6: code execution).
SUSE has updated kernel (SLE12-LP: multiple vulnerabilities).
Ubuntu has updated firefox (12.04, 14.04, 16.04: multiple vulnerabilities), libreoffice (12.04: code execution), oxide-qt (14.04, 16.04: multiple vulnerabilities), and qemu, qemu-kvm (12.04, 14.04, 16.04: multiple vulnerabilities).
The 2.24 version of the GNU C Library (glibc) has been released. It comes with lots of bug fixes, including five for security vulnerabilities (four stack overflows and a memory leak). Some deprecated features have been removed, as well as deprecating the readdir_r() and readdir64_r() functions in favor of readdir() and readdir64(). There are also additions to the math library (nextup*() and nextdown*()) to return the next representable value toward either positive or negative infinity.
The Tor Blog looks at using Pluggable Transports to avoid country-level Tor blocking. There are some new easy-to-follow graphical directions for using the transports. "Many repressive governments and authorities benefit from blocking their users from having free and open access to the internet. They can simply get the list of Tor relays and block them. This bars millions of people from access to free information, often including those who need it most. We at Tor care about freedom of access to information and strongly oppose censorship. This is why we've developed methods to connect to the network and bypass censorship. These methods are called Pluggable Transports (PTs). Pluggable Transports are a type of bridge to the Tor network. They take advantage of various transports and make encrypted traffic to Tor look like not-interesting or garbage traffic. Unlike normal relays, bridge information is kept secret and distributed between users via BridgeDB."
Red Hat has updated squid (RHEL6: code execution).
Scientific Linux has updated firefox (multiple vulnerabilities), golang (SL7: denial of service), kernel (SL7: three vulnerabilities, one from 2015), and libtiff (SL7: multiple vulnerabilities, including some from 2014 and 2015).
SUSE has updated hawk2 (SLE12: clickjacking prevention).
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