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07.31.09

Security FUD Against GNU/Linux

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 1:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Sightings of security FUD against GNU/Linux in the news

MICROSOFT WINDOWS never had the reputation of a secure platform. In fact, just a short while ago a new kernel vulnerability was found in Windows. To give the gist of the issue:

A local user can invoke NtUserConsoleControl() in ‘win32k.sys’ to execute arbitrary code on the target system with elevated privileges.

There is also this new report from Heise and many more that we shared over the past few days (the last one came yesterday morning).

Microsoft has issued updates for Internet Explorer and Visual Studio “out of band”, between the regular monthly patch days, to mend the ActiveX support of Internet Explorer. Additionally, these updates plug another three critical security vulnerabilities in the browser. All versions, including Internet Explorer 8, are affected.

This brings us to the following new article from Forbes, which states:

Virtual machines, which perform like physical machines but are simulated with software, have fewer sources of entropy: Linux-based virtual machines, for instance, gather random numbers only from the exact millisecond time on their internal clocks. And that source isn’t enough to generate strong keys for encryption, Stamos argues. “Normally there’s enough variation that after a while your operating system can gather up the entropy it needs to provide you with secure random numbers,” he says. “The fundamental issue is that with virtualized hardware, many of those random variations don’t exist.”

[...]

If a malicious hacker were to set up his or her own Linux virtual machine in Amazon’s EC2 cloud service, for example, he or she could use that machine’s entropy pool to better guess at the entropy pools of other recently created Linux-based virtual servers in Amazon’s cloud, Stamos posits.

What does that have to do with GNU/Linux? Why does Forbes conveniently assume that only “Linux” can suffer from this co-allocation issue? If it is not intended to daemonise GNU/Linux, then it might be worth correcting.

Carla has just found another new example that she wrote about in length. She addresses the whole “obscurity” argument, noting that:

Linux permeates every possible segment of tech– routers and networking devices, home and business automation, security and surveillance systems, phones, netbooks and other consumer mobile devices, desktops, vehicles, media servers and settop boxes; it’s already a major player in the datacenter, server room, mainframes, clusters, and supercomputing. Linux runs on multiple CPU architectures. So a Windows-type Trojan horse or worm on Linux should have a much more catastrophic effect because of Linux’ much greater reach.

According to Roughly Drafted Magazine, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox is taking shots at Mac OS X as well.

Fox News reports new Mac virus that is neither Mac nor viral nor new

A report published by Fox News says that “online criminals are apparently so impressed with its scorching sales they are sending Macintosh computers an attack typically aimed at” Windows PCs. The story then falls apart in series of inept contradictions.

The press loves pretending that Windows is never the culprit, despite compelling evidence that these very same outlets/publications are most certainly aware of the culprit.

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

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