Vigilante Malware

Vigilante. The word itself conjures up images of a man in a mask, leaping across rooftops as he chases wrongdoers, dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight. In films and on TV, the vigilante is usually the character we support. But would you welcome a vigilante into your home in real life? more>>

Debian Project Aims to Keep the CIA Off Our Computers

Debian Project Aims to Keep the CIA Off Our Computers

Lunar, one of the lead developers on the Debian ReproducibleBuilds project, has recently outlined a serious security hole that could impact all open-source software, including most Linux distributions. It potentially exposes users to unwanted scrutiny from third parties, including security agencies. His project is designed to close this hole.


Using tshark to Watch and Inspect Network Traffic

Most of you probably have heard of Wireshark, a very popular and capable network protocol analyzer. What you may not know is that there exists a console version of Wireshark called tshark. The two main advantages of tshark are that it can be used in scripts and on a remote computer through an SSH connection. more>>

A Project to Guarantee Better Security for Open-Source Projects

With many open-source projects built on top of others, a security weakness in a common piece of infrastructure can have far-reaching consequences. As OpenSSL's Heartbleed security hole demonstrated, these vulnerabilities can appear in even the most trusted packages. more>>

Firefox Security Exploit Targets Linux Users and Web Developers

Through the years, Firefox has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most secure Web browsers on any platform, and it's the default browser for many Linux distros. However, a security exploit appeared this week that has shown users they can't afford to be complacent about security. more>>

Secure Server Deployments in Hostile Territory, Part II

In my last article, I started a series on some of the challenges related to spawning secure servers on Amazon EC2. In that column, I discussed some of the overall challenges EC2 presents for security compared to a traditional infrastructure and elaborated on how I configure security groups and manage secrets. more>>

Hacking a Safe with Bash

Through the years, I have settled on maintaining my sensitive data in plain-text files that I then encrypt asymmetrically. Although I take care to harden my system and encrypt partitions with LUKS wherever possible, I want to secure my most important data using higher-level tools, thereby lessening dependence on the underlying system configuration. more>>

One Port to Rule Them All!

I was chatting with Fred Richards on IRC the other day (flrichar on freenode) about sneaking around hotel firewalls. Occasionally, hotels will block things like the SSH port, hoping people don't abuse their network. Although I can respect their rationale, blocking an SSH port for a Linux user is like taking a mouse away from a Windows user! more>>

Secure Server Deployments in Hostile Territory

Would you change what you said on the phone, if you knew someone malicious was listening? Whether or not you view the NSA as malicious, I imagine that after reading the NSA coverage on Linux Journal, some of you found yourselves modifying your behavior. The same thing happened to me when I started deploying servers into a public cloud (EC2 in my case). more>>

A Machine for Keeping Secrets?

[I can't begin to describe all the things Vinay Gupta does. Fortunately, he does, at more>>

Using Hiera with Puppet

With Hiera, you can externalize your systems' configuration data and easily understand how those values are assigned to your servers. With that data separated from your Puppet code, you then can encrypt sensitive values, such as passwords and keys. more>>

Urgent Kernel Patch for Ubuntu

Linux is engineered with security in mind. In fact, the most fundamental security mechanisms are built right in to the kernel itself, which makes it extremely hard for malicious code to bypass. more>>

Mumblehard--Let's End Its Five-Year Reign

Linux has a well deserved reputation as being one of the most secure platforms for individuals and businesses. This is largely due to the way security is integrated into the system, but there is a great risk in being too complacent. Recent events serve to remind us that there is no such thing as an uncrackable system. more>>

Drupageddon: SQL Injection, Database Abstraction and Hundreds of Thousands of Web Sites

Drupal is a very widely used open-source content management system. It initially was released in 2001, and recent statistics show Drupal as the third-most popular content management system, with just less than 800,000 Web sites utilizing Drupal as a content management system. more>>

Flexible Access Control with Squid Proxy

Large enterprises and nuclear laboratories aren't the only organizations that need an Internet access policy and a means of enforcing it. My household has an Internet access policy, and the technique I've used to enforce it is applicable to almost any organization. In our case, I'm not too concerned about outside security threats. more>>

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