EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.29.14

The Latest FOSS FUD Revolves Around Fakes and Bogus Arguments

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Security at 2:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: How Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) gets discredited over “security”, based on something which has nothing to do with FOSS and more to with human error or social engineering

THE reports from IDG make it sound as though FileZilla is a security threat [1,2] when it fact it is fakes that are a threat, as Sean pointed out to counter these allegations [3].

Yesterday we took note of the trend and two days ago we gave some examples of security-flavoured FUD against Android, of which there is plenty these days (and even today). Some of it is correctly being characterised as platform-agnostic [4]. This sometimes requires user intervention [5] or social engineering [6], so there’s a lot more to be taken into account. When the OpenSSL project got compromised some weeks ago it was actually the fault of a weak password [7,8], but some of the media spread FUD about OpenSSL itself. Weak passwords are a common human error [9] and those who don’t encrypt E-mails that contain passwords (they should!) only have themselves to blame [10,11]. To get an example of real vulnerability, consider Apple’s Safari storing passwords in plain text [12]!!! GNU/Linux, by contrast, facilitates strong encryption and has protection against all sorts of attacks [13-14].

Blaming FOSS for issues that relate to social engineering is a common FUD pattern these days (like blaming Android for users installing malware they download outside repositories), but the real security issues are back doors like Microsoft’s, security flukes like Apple’s, and data leakage through so-called ‘clouds’ (which are typically promoted by proprietary software players, tightly connected to the crack-leaning NSA).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. FileZilla warns of large malware campaign
  2. FileZilla warns of large malware campaign
  3. FileZilla, Other Open-Source Software From ‘Right’ Sources Is Safe

    A basic tenant of open-source software security has long been the idea that since the code is open, anyone can look inside to see if there is something that shouldn’t be there.

  4. Java-based malware driving DDoS botnet infects Windows, Mac, Linux devices

    The cross-platform HEUR:Backdoor.Java.Agent.a, as reported in a blog post published Tuesday by Kaspersky Lab, takes hold of computers by exploiting CVE-2013-2465, a critical Java vulnerability that Oracle patched in June. The security bug is present on Java 7 u21 and earlier. Once the bot has infected a computer, it copies itself to the autostart directory of its respective platform to ensure it runs whenever the machine is turned on. Compromised computers then report to an Internet relay chat channel that acts as a command and control server.

  5. Yahoo users exposed to malware attack

    Users clicking on some ads are redirected to sites armed with code that exploits vulnerabilities in Java and installs a variety of different malware.

  6. Password Security Requires Multiple Layers of Protection

    The gist of the story is that “123456″ is now the most commonly used weak password—surpassing the use of the word “password.”

  7. No hypervisor vulnerability exploited in OpenSSL site breach

    The OpenSSL Project confirmed that weak passwords used on the hosting infrastructure led to the compromise of its website, dispelling concerns…

  8. OpenSSL site defacement involving hypervisor hack rattles nerves (updated)

    Code repositories remained untouched in the December 29 hack, and the only outward sign of a breach was a defacement left on the OpenSSL.org home page. The compromise is nonetheless rattling some nerves. In a brief advisory last updated on New Year’s Day, officials said “the attack was made via hypervisor through the hosting provider and not via any vulnerability in the OS configuration.” The lack of additional details raised the question of whether the same weakness may have been exploited to target other sites that use the same service. After all, saying a compromise was achieved through a hypervisor vulnerability in the Web host of one of the Internet’s most important sites isn’t necessarily comforting news if the service or hypervisor platform is widely used by others.

  9. 7 sneak attacks used by today’s most devious hackers
  10. 10,000 Top Passwords

    Back when I wrote Perfect Passwords, I generated a list of the top 500 worst (aka most common) passwords which seems to have propagated quite a bit across the internet, including being mentioned on Gizomodo, Boing Boing, Symantec, Laughing Squid and many other sites. Since then I have collected a large number of new passwords bringing my current list to about 6,000,000 unique username/password combos, including many of those that have been recently made public*.

  11. All Your Internet Are Belong To Iceland*

    All that being said, and given that the Luddite solution of forsaking the Internet may not be terribly practical, this is another reason to encrypt technical data that you are sending by email even if the recipient is a U.S. person firmly planted on U.S. soil. No, the encryption isn’t a defense to the violation, but it is at least a mitigating factor. Remember, as I posted last May, that the U.S. military thinks it can put ITAR-controlled technical data on a Chinese satellite if it’s encrypted; so if you don’t have anything else to say in your defense when an email with export controlled data accidentally wanders through Lithuania, you will at least have that. And maybe one day in the distant future, BIS and DDTC will admit that the Internet exists and that encryption works.

  12. Older Versions of Safari Store Login Info in Plain Text

    Older versions of Safari for Mac store unencrypted user login credentials in a plain text file, according to security firm Kaspersky (via ZDNet). Safari saves the information in order to restore a previous browsing session, reopening all sites, even those that require authentication using the browser’s “Reopen All Windows from Last Session” functionality.

  13. Quantum crypto pitches for data centre links
  14. Linux Is the Only Way to Protect Against Potential Sound-Transmitted Malware
Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  2. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  3. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  4. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  5. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  6. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  7. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  8. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  9. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  10. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  11. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  12. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  13. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  14. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  15. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  16. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  18. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  19. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  20. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  21. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  23. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  24. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism



  25. The EPO's Fight to Bring Software Patents Into Europe is One Step Closer to a 'Victory' (for Multinationals)

    Opposition to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being crushed and Italy is one of the latest actors to have fallen in the battle



  26. Microsoft's 'Former' Staff Continues With His Anti-Google Rhetoric at CBS

    A Microsoft intern, who has moved on to journalism, is still showing his affinity for Microsoft with apologetics and spin



  27. More of Microsoft's False Claims About Cost of Vista 10 and More Layoffs

    Vista 10 is still being marketed using lies and Microsoft may be going down the same route as Nokia



  28. Microsoft Remotely Bricks -- Intentionally -- Xbox One

    Microsoft is showing off its kill switches, kills consoles of people whom it doesn't like



  29. IRC Proceedings: May 3rd - May 16th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  30. Links 17/5/2015: NuTyX Saravane 15.05, Panasonic and Firefox OS

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts