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.

Testing the Waters: How to Perform Internal Phishing Campaigns

Phishing is one of the most dangerous threats to modern computing. Phishing attacks have evolved from sloppily written mass email blasts to targeted attacks designed to fool even the most cautious users. No defense is bulletproof, and most experts agree education and common sense are the best tools to combat the problem.

The Wire

In the US, there has been recent concern over ISPs turning over logs to the government. During the past few years, the idea of people snooping on our private data (by governments and others) really has made encryption more popular than ever before. One of the problems with encryption, however, is that it's generally not user-friendly to add its protection to your conversations.

iStorage diskAshur Storage Drives

With software-free setup and operation, the new iStorage diskAshur group of ultra-secure storage drives works across all operating systems, including Linux, macOS, Android, Chrome, thin and zero clients, MS Windows and embedded systems.

Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT

The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers.