Security

3D-Printed Firearms Are Blowing Up

What's the practical risk with 3D-printed firearms today? In this opinion piece, Kyle explores the current state of the art. If you follow 3D printing at all, and even if you don't, you've likely seen some of the recent controversy surrounding Defense Distributed and its 3D-printed firearm designs.

Encrypting NFSv4 with Stunnel TLS

NFS clients and servers push file traffic over clear-text connections in the default configuration, which is incompatible with sensitive data. TLS can wrap this traffic, finally bringing protocol security. Before you use your cloud provider's NFS tools, review all of your NFS usage and secure it where necessary.

Extending Landlocked Processes

Mickaël Salaün posted a patch to improve communication between landlocked processes. Landlock is a security module that creates an isolated "sandbox" where a process is prevented from interacting with the rest of the system, even if that process itself is compromised by a hostile attacker. The ultimate goal is to allow regular user processes to isolate themselves in this way, reducing the likelihood that they could be an entry point for an attack against the system.

At Rest Encryption

Learn why at rest encryption doesn't mean encryption when your laptop is asleep. There are many steps you can take to harden a computer, and a common recommendation you'll see in hardening guides is to enable disk encryption. Disk encryption also often is referred to as "at rest encryption", especially in security compliance guides, and many compliance regimes, such as PCI, mandate the use of at rest encryption. This term refers to the fact that data is encrypted "at rest" or when the disk is unmounted and not in use. At rest encryption can be an important part of system-hardening, yet many administrators who enable it, whether on workstations or servers, may end up with a false sense of security if they don't understand not only what disk encryption protects you from, but also, and more important, what it doesn't.

The LJ Password Generator Tool

Mnemonic passwords generally stink. A random sequence of letters, digits and punctuation is more secure—just don't write down your passwords, like the knucklehead antagonist does in Ready Player One!

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: