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KDE Linux Desktops Could Get Hacked Without Even Opening Malicious Files

KDE Linux Desktops Could Get Hacked Without Even Opening Malicious Files
August 07, 2019Wang Wei
If you are running a KDE desktop environment on your Linux operating system, you need to be extra careful and avoid downloading any ".desktop" or ".directory" file for a while. A cybersecurity researcher has disclosed an unpatched zero-day vulnerability in the KDE software framework that could allow maliciously crafted .desktop and .directory files to silently run arbitrary code on a user's computer—without even requiring the victim to actually open it. KDE Plasma is one of the most popular open-source widget-based desktop environment for Linux users and comes as a default desktop environment on many Linux distributions, such as Manjaro, openSUSE, Kubuntu, and PCLinuxOS. Security researcher Dominik Penner who discovered the vulnerability contacted The Hacker News, informing that there's a command injection vulnerability in KDE 4/5 Plasma desktop due to the way KDE handles .desktop and .directory files. "When a .desktop or .directory file is

A New 'Arbitrary File Copy' Flaw Affects ProFTPD Powered FTP Servers

A New 'Arbitrary File Copy' Flaw Affects ProFTPD Powered FTP Servers
July 23, 2019Swati Khandelwal
A German security researcher has publicly disclosed details of a serious vulnerability in one of the most popular FTP server applications, which is currently being used by more than one million servers worldwide. The vulnerable software in question is ProFTPD , an open source FTP server used by a large number of popular businesses and websites including SourceForge, Samba and Slackware, and comes pre-installed with many Linux and Unix distributions, like Debian. Discovered by Tobias Mädel , the vulnerability resides in the mod_copy module of the ProFTPD application, a component that allows users to copy files/directories from one place to another on a server without having to transfer the data to the client and back. According to Mädel, an incorrect access control issue in the mod_copy module could be exploited by an authenticated user to unauthorizedly copy any file on a specific location of the vulnerable FTP server where the user is otherwise not allowed to write a file.

Microsoft Windows 10 will get a full built-in Linux Kernel for WSL 2

Microsoft Windows 10 will get a full built-in Linux Kernel for WSL 2
May 07, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Yes, you heard me right. Microsoft is taking another step forward to show its love for Linux and open source community by shipping a full Linux kernel in Windows 10 this summer. No, that doesn't mean Microsoft is making its Windows 10 a Linux distro, but the company will begin to ship an in-house custom built Linux kernel later this year starting with the Windows 10 Insider builds. Microsoft announced the move in a blog post while unveiling Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2.0 (or WSL 2 ) that will feature "dramatic file system performance increases" and support more Linux apps like Docker. So, to support this entirely new architecture for the WSL 2, Windows 10 will have its own Linux kernel. Although this is not the first time Microsoft has shipped a Linux kernel as the company has already shipped its own custom Linux kernel on Azure Sphere  last year, this is the first time a Linux kernel is shipped with Windows. Unlike Windows Subsystem for Linux version

Kali Linux 2019.1 Released — Operating System For Hackers

Kali Linux 2019.1 Released — Operating System For Hackers
February 18, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Wohooo! Great news for hackers and penetration testers. Offensive Security has just released Kali Linux 2019.1, the first 2019 version of its Swiss army knife for cybersecurity professionals. The latest version of Kali Linux operating system includes kernel up to version 4.19.13 and patches for numerous bugs, along with many updated software, like Metasploit, theHarvester, DBeaver, and more. Kali Linux 2019.1 comes with the latest version of Metasploit (version 5.0) penetration testing tool, which "includes database and automation APIs, new evasion capabilities, and usability improvements throughout," making it more efficient platform for penetration testers. Metasploit version 5.0 is the software's first major release since version 4.0 which came out in 2011. Talking about ARM images, Kali Linux 2019.1 has now once again added support for Banana Pi and Banana Pro that are on kernel version 4.19. "Veyron has been moved to a 4.19 kernel, and the Raspbe

Snapd Flaw Lets Attackers Gain Root Access On Linux Systems

Snapd Flaw Lets Attackers Gain Root Access On Linux Systems
February 13, 2019Mohit Kumar
Ubuntu and some other Linux distributions suffer from a severe privilege escalation vulnerability that could allow a local attacker or a malicious program to obtain root privileges and total control over the targeted system. Dubbed " Dirty_Sock " and identified as CVE-2019-7304 , the vulnerability was discovered by security researcher Chris Moberly, who privately disclosed it to Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu, late last month. The vulnerability resides in the REST API for snapd service , a universal Linux packaging system that makes an application compatible for various Linux distributions without requiring any modification. Built by Canonical, snapd comes by default installed on all versions of Ubuntu and also used by other Linux distributions, including Debian, OpenSUSE, Arch Linux, Solus, and Fedora. Snap packages are basically applications compressed together with their dependencies that also includes instructions on how to run and interact with other software o

RunC Flaw Lets Attackers Escape Linux Containers to Gain Root on Hosts

RunC Flaw Lets Attackers Escape Linux Containers to Gain Root on Hosts
February 12, 2019Mohit Kumar
A serious security vulnerability has been discovered in the core runC container code that affects several open-source container management systems, potentially allowing attackers to escape Linux container and obtain unauthorized, root-level access to the host operating system. The vulnerability, identified as  CVE-2019-5736 , was discovered by open source security researchers Adam Iwaniuk and Borys Popławski and publicly disclosed by Aleksa Sarai, a senior software engineer and runC maintainer at SUSE Linux GmbH on Monday. The flaw resides in runC—a lightweight low-level command-line tool for spawning and running containers, an operating-system-level virtualization method for running multiple isolated systems on a host using a single kernel. Originally created by Docker, runC is the default container run-time for Docker, Kubernetes, ContainerD, CRI-O, and other container-dependent programs, and is widely being used by major cloud hosting and server providers. runC Containe

Critical RCE Flaw in Linux APT Allows Remote Attackers to Hack Systems

Critical RCE Flaw in Linux APT Allows Remote Attackers to Hack Systems
January 22, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Just in time… Some cybersecurity experts this week arguing over Twitter in favor of not using HTTPS and suggesting software developers to only rely on signature-based package verification, just because APT on Linux also does the same. Ironically, a security researcher just today revealed details of a new critical remote code execution flaw in the apt-get utility that can be exploited by a remote, man-in-the middle attacker to compromise Linux machines. The flaw, apparently, once again demonstrates that if the software download ecosystem uses HTTPS to communicate safely, such attacks can easily be mitigated at the first place. Discovered by Max Justicz, the vulnerability (CVE-2019-3462) resides in the APT package manager, a widely used utility that handles installation, update and removal of software on Debian, Ubuntu, and other Linux distributions. According to a blog post published by Justicz and details shared with The Hacker News, the APT utility doesn't properly

36-Year-Old SCP Clients' Implementation Flaws Discovered

36-Year-Old SCP Clients' Implementation Flaws Discovered
January 15, 2019Mohit Kumar
A set of 36-year-old vulnerabilities has been uncovered in the Secure Copy Protocol (SCP) implementation of many client applications that can be exploited by malicious servers to overwrite arbitrary files in the SCP client target directory unauthorizedly. Session Control Protocol (SCP), also known as secure copy, is a network protocol that allows users to securely transfer files between a local host and a remote host using RCP (Remote Copy Protocol) and SSH protocol. In other terms, SCP, which dates back to 1983, is a secure version of RCP that uses authentication and encryption of SSH protocol to transfer files between a server and a client. Discovered by Harry Sintonen, one of F-Secure's Senior Security Consultants, the vulnerabilities exist due to poor validations performed by the SCP clients, which can be abused by malicious servers or man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attackers to drop or overwrite arbitrary files on the client's system. "Many scp clients fail to ver

New Systemd Privilege Escalation Flaws Affect Most Linux Distributions

New Systemd Privilege Escalation Flaws Affect Most Linux Distributions
January 10, 2019Wang Wei
Security researchers have discovered three vulnerabilities in Systemd, a popular init system and service manager for most Linux operating systems, that could allow unprivileged local attackers or malicious programs to gain root access on the targeted systems. The vulnerabilities, assigned as CVE-2018-16864, CVE-2018-16865, and CVE-2018-16866, actually resides in the "systemd-journald" service that collects information from different sources and creates event logs by logging information in the journal. The vulnerabilities, which were discovered and reported by security researchers at Qualys, affect all systemd-based Linux distributions, including Redhat and Debian , according to the researchers. However, some Linux distros such as SUSE Linux Enterprise 15, openSUSE Leap 15.0, and Fedora 28 and 29 are not affected, as "their userspace [code] is compiled with GCC's -fstack-clash-protection ." The first two flaws are memory corruptions issues, while the

Warning! Unprivileged Linux Users With UID > INT_MAX Can Execute Any Command

Warning! Unprivileged Linux Users With UID > INT_MAX Can Execute Any Command
December 06, 2018Mohit Kumar
Hold tight, this may blow your mind… A low-privileged user account on most Linux operating systems with UID value anything greater than 2147483647 can execute any systemctl command unauthorizedly—thanks to a newly discovered vulnerability. The reported vulnerability actually resides in PolicyKit (also known as polkit)—an application-level toolkit for Unix-like operating systems that defines policies, handles system-wide privileges and provides a way for non-privileged processes to communicate with privileged ones, such as "sudo," that does not grant root permission to an entire process. The issue, tracked as CVE-2018-19788 , impacts PolicyKit version 0.115 which comes pre-installed on most popular Linux distributions, including Red Hat , Debian ,  Ubuntu , and CentOS. The vulnerability exists due to PolicyKit's improper validation of permission requests for any low-privileged user with UID greater than INT_MAX. Where, INT_MAX is a constant in computer progra

IBM Buys "Red Hat" Open-Source Software Company for $34 Billion

IBM Buys "Red Hat" Open-Source Software Company for $34 Billion
October 29, 2018Swati Khandelwal
It's been quite a year for the open source platforms. Earlier this year, Microsoft acquired popular code repository hosting service GitHub for $7.5 billion , and now IBM has just announced the biggest open-source business deal ever. IBM today confirmed that it would be acquiring open source Linux firm Red Hat for $190 per share in cash, working out to a total value of approximately $34 billion. Red Hat, known for its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system, is a leading software company that offers open-source software products to the enterprise community. Even Oracle uses Red Hat’s source code for its Oracle Linux product. Red Hat's last year revenue was $2.4 billion, and this year the company has earned $2.9 billion. But if Red Hat products are open source and updates are free, you might be wondering how does the company earn. Red Hat was one of the first companies who found a successful way to make money from free open-source software. It offers consul

Google Hacker Discloses New Linux Kernel Vulnerability and PoC Exploit

Google Hacker Discloses New Linux Kernel Vulnerability and PoC Exploit
September 28, 2018Mohit Kumar
A cybersecurity researcher with Google Project Zero has released the details, and a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit for a high severity vulnerability that exists in Linux kernel since kernel version 3.16 through 4.18.8. Discovered by white hat hacker Jann Horn, the kernel vulnerability (CVE-2018-17182) is a cache invalidation bug in the Linux memory management subsystem that leads to use-after-free vulnerability, which if exploited, could allow an attacker to gain root privileges on the targeted system. The use-after-free (UAF) vulnerabilities are a class of memory corruption bug that can be exploited by unprivileged users to corrupt or alter data in memory, enabling them to cause a denial of service (system crash) or escalate privileges to gain administrative access on a system. Linux Kernel Exploit Takes an Hour to Gain Root Access However, Horn says his PoC Linux kernel exploit made available to the public "takes about an hour to run before popping a root shell."

Linus Torvalds Apologizes For His Rude Behavior—Takes Time Off

Linus Torvalds Apologizes For His Rude Behavior—Takes Time Off
September 18, 2018Wang Wei
What just happened would definitely gonna surprise you. Linus Torvalds—father of the Linux open-source operating system—finally admitted his behavior towards other developers in the Linux community was hurting people and Linux. In a surprising move this weekend, Torvalds apologized for insulting and abusing other developers for almost three decades and took a break from the open-source software to work on his behavior. In an email to the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) on Sunday, Torvalds said that he was confronted by people of the Linux community this week about his lifetime of not understanding emotions, and apologized for his personal behavior that has hurt people and possibly has driven some of them away from working in kernel development altogether. Torvalds wrote, "I need to change some of my behavior, and I want to apologize to the people that my personal behavior hurt and possibly drove away from kernel development entirely." "I am going to take

Microsoft Releases PowerShell Core for Linux as a Snap Package

Microsoft Releases PowerShell Core for Linux as a Snap Package
July 20, 2018Mohit Kumar
Microsoft's love for Linux continues… Microsoft has released its command-line shell and scripting language PowerShell Core for Linux operating system as a Snap package, making it easier for Linux users to install Microsoft PowerShell on their system. Yes, you heard me right. Microsoft has made PowerShell Core available to the Ubuntu Snap Store as a Snap application. PowerShell Core is a cross-platform version of Windows PowerShell that is already available for Windows, macOS, and Linux OS and has been designed for sysadmins who manage assets in hybrid clouds and heterogeneous environments. Snap is a universal Linux packaging system, built by Canonical for the Ubuntu operating system, which makes an application compatible for all major Linux distributions without requiring any modification. A Snap package is basically an application compressed together with its dependencies and also includes instructions on how to run and interact with other software on various Linu

Password-Guessing Was Used to Hack Gentoo Linux Github Account

Password-Guessing Was Used to Hack Gentoo Linux Github Account
July 05, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Maintainers of the Gentoo Linux distribution have now revealed the impact and "root cause" of the attack that saw unknown hackers taking control of its GitHub account last week and modifying the content of its repositories and pages. The hackers not only managed to change the content in compromised repositories but also locked out Gentoo developers from their GitHub organisation. As a result of the incident, the developers were unable to use GitHub for five days. What Went Wrong? Gentoo developers have revealed that the attackers were able to gain administrative privileges for its Github account, after guessing the account password. The organisation could have been saved if it was using a two-factor authentication, which requires an additional passcode besides the password in order to gain access to the account. "The attacker gained access to a password of an organization administrator. Evidence collected suggests a password scheme where disclosure on on

SUSE Linux Has Been Sold For $2.5 Billion

SUSE Linux Has Been Sold For $2.5 Billion
July 03, 2018Mohit Kumar
SUSE, the open source software company owned by British firm Micro Focus International, has been sold to a Swedish private equity firm. Yes, SUSE Linux and its associated software business has finally been acquired by EQT Partners for $2.535 billion, lifting its shares 6 percent. SUSE is one of the oldest open source companies and perhaps the first to provide enterprise-grade Linux software service to banks, universities and government agencies around the world. Since its foundation in 1992, SUSE has changed ownership multiple times. US-based software company Novell acquired SUSE for $120 million in November 2003 to compete with Microsoft in the operating system market. However, things did not work as the company thought and Novell in turn itself was acquired by another US-based company The Attachmate Group for $2.2 billion in 2011. Three years later, Micro Focus International acquired Attachmate for $2.35 billion in 2014. Since then SUSE Linux has been part of Micro Focus

Github Account of Gentoo Linux Hacked, Code Replaced With Malware

Github Account of Gentoo Linux Hacked, Code Replaced With Malware
June 29, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Downloaded anything from Gentoo's GitHub account yesterday? Consider those files compromised and dump them now—as an unknown group of hackers or an individual managed to gain access to the GitHub account of the Gentoo Linux distribution on Thursday and replaced the original source code with a malicious one. Gentoo is a free open source Linux or FreeBSD-based distribution built using the Portage package management system that makes it more flexible, easier to maintain, and portable compared to other operating systems. In a security alert released on its website yesterday, developers of the Gentoo Linux distribution warned users not to use code from its GitHub account, as some "unknown individuals" had gained its control on 28 June at 20:20 UTC and "modified the content of repositories as well as pages there." According to Gentoo developer Francisco Blas Izquierdo Riera, after gaining control of the Gentoo Github organization, the attackers "repla

Nintendo Switches Hacked to Run Linux—Unpatchable Exploit Released

Nintendo Switches Hacked to Run Linux—Unpatchable Exploit Released
April 24, 2018Mohit Kumar
Two separate teams of security researchers have published working proof-of-concept exploits for an unpatchable vulnerability in Nvidia's Tegra line of embedded processors that comes on all currently available Nintendo Switch consoles. Dubbed Fusée Gelée and ShofEL2 , the exploits lead to a coldboot execution hack that can be leveraged by device owners to install Linux, run unofficial games, custom firmware, and other unsigned code on Nintendo Switch consoles, which is typically not possible. Both exploits take advantage of a buffer overflow vulnerability in the USB software stack of read-only boot instruction ROM (IROM/bootROM), allowing unauthenticated arbitrary code execution on the game console before any lock-out operations (that protect the chip's bootROM) take effect. The buffer overflow vulnerability occurs when a device owner sends an "excessive length" argument to an incorrectly coded USB control procedure, which overflows a crucial direct memory a

Microsoft built its own custom Linux OS to secure IoT devices

Microsoft built its own custom Linux OS to secure IoT devices
April 17, 2018Swati Khandelwal
Finally, it's happening. Microsoft has built its own custom Linux kernel to power " Azure Sphere ," a newly launched technology that aims to better secure billions of " Internet of things " devices by combining the custom Linux kernel with new chip design, and its cloud security service. Project Azure Sphere focuses on protecting microcontroller-based IoT devices, including smart appliances, connected toys, and other smart gadgets, Microsoft announced during the security-focused RSA Conference in San Francisco Monday. It is basically a security package consists of three main components: Azure Sphere-certified microcontrollers (MCUs) Azure Sphere OS Azure Sphere Security Service "Azure Sphere provides security that starts in the hardware and extends to the cloud, delivering holistic security that protects, detects, and responds to threats—so they're always prepared," Microsoft said. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are 'ridicu

Update Samba Servers Immediately to Patch Password Reset and DoS Vulnerabilities

Update Samba Servers Immediately to Patch Password Reset and DoS Vulnerabilities
March 13, 2018Mohit Kumar
Samba maintainers have just released new versions of their networking software to patch two critical vulnerabilities that could allow unprivileged remote attackers to launch DoS attacks against servers and change any other users' passwords, including admin's. Samba is open-source software (re-implementation of SMB networking protocol) that runs on the majority of operating systems available today, including Windows, Linux, UNIX, IBM System 390, and OpenVMS. Samba allows non-Windows operating systems, like GNU/Linux or Mac OS X, to share network shared folders, files, and printers with Windows operating system. The denial of service vulnerability, assigned CVE-2018-1050 , affects all versions of Samba from 4.0.0 onwards and could be exploited "when the RPC spoolss service is configured to be run as an external daemon." "Missing input sanitization checks on some of the input parameters to spoolss RPC calls could cause the print spooler service to crash.
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