Security

Data Privacy: Why It Matters and How to Protect Yourself

When it comes to privacy on the internet, the safest approach is to cut your Ethernet cable or power down your device. But, because you can't really do that and remain somewhat productive, you need other options. This article provides a general overview of the situation, steps you can take to mitigate risks and finishes with a tutorial on setting up a virtual private network.

The Fight for Control: Andrew Lee on Open-Sourcing PIA

When I learned that our new sister company, Private Internet Access (PIA), was opening its source code, I immediately wanted to know the backstory, especially since privacy is the theme of this month's Linux Journal. So I contacted Andrew Lee, who founded PIA, and an interview ensued. Here it is. DS: What made you start PIA in the first place? Did you have a particular population or use case—or set of use cases—in mind?

Generating Good Passwords, Part II

Passwords. They're the bane of computer users and a necessary evil, but they have risks and challenges associated with them. None of the choices are great. If it's up to your memory, you'll end up using the same password again and again. Use a password manager like 1Password, and you're reliant on its database security and portability. Two-factor? Um, can I borrow your phone for a minute?

Privacy Plugins

Protect yourself from privacy-defeating ad trackers and malicious JavaScript with these privacy-protecting plugins.

Generating Good Passwords, Part I

Dave starts a new method for generating secure passwords with the help of 1Password. A while back I shared a script concept that would let you enter a proposed password for an account and evaluate whether it was very good (well, maybe "secure" would be a better word to describe the set of tests to ensure that the proposed password included uppercase, lowercase, a digit and a punctuation symbol to make it more unguessable).

Review: the Librem 13v2

The Librem 13—"the first 13-inch ultraportable designed to protect your digital life"—ticks all the boxes, but is it as good in real life as it is on paper?

May 2018 Issue: Privacy

Most people simply are unaware of how much personal data they leak on a daily basis as they use their computers. Enter our latest issue with a deep dive into privacy. After working on this issue, a few of us on the Linux Journal team walked away implementing some new privacy practices--we suspect you may too after you give it a read. In This Issue:

Weekend Reading: Privacy

Most people simply are unaware of how much personal data they leak on a daily basis as they use their computers. Enter this weekend's reading topic: Privacy. The Wire by Shawn Powers

Simple Cloud Hardening

Apply a few basic hardening principles to secure your cloud environment. I've written about simple server-hardening techniques in the past. Those articles were inspired in part by the Linux Hardening in Hostile Networks book I was writing at the time, and the idea was to distill the many different hardening steps you might want to perform on a server into a few simple steps that everyone should do. In this article, I take the same approach only with a specific focus on hardening cloud infrastructure. I'm most familiar with AWS, so my hardening steps are geared toward that platform and use AWS terminology (such as Security Groups and VPC), but as I'm not a fan of vendor lock-in, I try to include steps that are general enough that you should be able to adapt them to other providers.

Oracle Patches Spectre for Red Hat

Red Hat's Spectre remediation currently requires new microcode for a complete fix, which leaves most x86 processors vulnerable as they lack this update. Oracle has released new retpoline kernels that completely remediate Meltdown and Spectre on all compatible CPUs, which I show how to install and test on CentOS here. The Red Hat community has patiently awaited a retpoline kernel implementation that remediates CVE-2017-5715 (Spectre v2) and closes all Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities that have captured headlines this year.

What's New in Qubes 4

Considering making the move to Qubes 4? This article describes a few of the big changes. In my recent article "The Refactor Factor", I talked about the new incarnation of Linux Journal in the context of a big software project doing a refactor:

diff -u: Adding Encryption to printk()

When is security not security? When it guards against the wrong people or against things that never happen. A useless security measure is just another batch of code that might contain an exploitable bug. So the Linux developers always want to make sure a security patch is genuinely useful before pulling it in.

For Open-Source Software, the Developers Are All of Us

"We are stronger together than on our own." This is a core principle that many people adhere to in their daily lives. Whether we are overcoming adversity, fighting the powers that be, protecting our livelihoods or advancing our business strategy, this mantra propels people and ideas to success.

Rapid, Secure Patching: Tools and Methods

Generate enterprise-grade SSH keys and load them into an agent for control of all kinds of Linux hosts. Script the agent with the Parallel Distributed Shell (pdsh) to effect rapid changes over your server farm.