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    Linux Kernel security to be boosted by Google funding developers / GamingOnLinux · Yesterday - 13:26 · 1 minute

Linux is pretty secure right? Well, like everything else, there are and have been problems. Google is aware of this and they use Linux for a lot and now they're providing funding to help boost Linux security.

Announced by the Linux Foundation funding had been provided to prioritize two full-time maintainers, Gustavo Silva and Nathan Chancellor, who will focus solely on Linux Kernel security development to ensure "the world's most pervasive open source software project is sustainable for decades to come".

Chancellor will currently be working on "triaging and fixing all bugs found with Clang/LLVM compilers while working on establishing continuous integration systems to support this work ongoing", whereas Silva will be "dedicated to eliminating several classes of buffer overflows by transforming all instances of zero-length and one-element arrays into flexible-array members, which is the preferred and least error-prone mechanism to declare such variable-length types". Both of them will be doing other important work after that too.

Security is always going to be a concern for such a large project, and while people who work on the Linux Kernel always think of it, issues can and do slip through. It's impossible not to though, when you consider that tens of thousands of people work with the kernel (over 20,000 according to the Linux Foundation!).

In an interview with The Register , Google's open-source security team lead Dan Lorenc mentioned plenty more detail and how they had been finding bugs "way faster than we can fix them" so it sounds like this will help a lot.

This is important to all of us of course, since we want Linux as a desktop operating system to be as secure as possible to play our favourite games on.

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    Kali Linux 2021.1 Released With New Features: How To Download Or Upgrade / FossBytes · Yesterday - 06:25 · 1 minute

Kali Linux 2021.1 Released With Command-Not-Found Package

Kali Linux ended last year with the release of v2020.4 . Its maker Offensive Security has now announced a new version, Kali Linux 2021.1, as the first release this year.

The latest version 2021.1 comes with enhancements to existing features, new hacking tools, and an updated core packages.

New Features In Kali Linux 2021.1

Starting with core components, v2021.1 has upgraded the Linux kernel to its latest long-term support version 5.10 and desktop environments Xfce and KDE Plasma to version 4.16 and 5.20 , respectively.

Tweaked GTK3 theme on Xfce 4.16 Tweaked GTK3 theme on Xfce 4.16

One of the highlight features of Kali Linux 2021.1 is the addition of command-not-found package by default.

The Command-Not-Found not only suggests you install a package when it’s not already installed, but also points out the typo error with the correct word and gives the original message of “command not found” for an invalid command that doesn’t exist in Kali.

Command-Not-Found Command-Not-Found

As you may know, in the previous version 2020.4, Kali Linux partnered with CrackMapExec (CME) tool author byt3bl33d3r.

To further extend the partnership and support with more tool authors, Kali is now teaming up with BC Security for exclusive early access to “ Empire ” ( powershell-empire ) and “ StarKiller ” and Joohoi for its Fuzz Faster U Fool ( ffuf ) tool.

As usual, the latest Kali version has also added more new tools (to the network repositories), such as Airgeddon, Arjun, Chisel, GitLeaks, DumpsterDiver, and HTTProbe.

Among other key updates, this is what Kali Linux 2021.1 has included:

  • Workarounds for several terminals ( mate-terminal , terminator , tmux , konsole , and tilix )
  • Upgraded BusyBox and Rucky tool to version 1.32.0 and 2.1
  • New boot-animation for Kali NetHunter
  • Preliminary support of Kali ARM for Parallels on Apple Silicon and Raspberry Pi 400’s wireless card

How To Download Or Upgrade To Kali 2021.1?

If you want to get your hands on all of the above-mentioned features, you can download the new Kali 2021.1 images available for several platforms from here .

Or, if you’re already using Kali Linux, you can easily upgrade your system to the latest v2021.1 by running commands:

$ echo "deb kali-rolling main non-free contrib" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt -y full-upgrade

$ [ -f /var/run/reboot-required ] && sudo reboot -f

The post Kali Linux 2021.1 Released With New Features: How To Download Or Upgrade appeared first on Fossbytes .

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    Android users now have an easy way to check the security of their passwords / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 12:52

Android users now have an easy way to check the security of their passwords

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

Google is adding its password checkup feature to Android, making the mobile OS the latest company offering to give users an easy way to check if the passcodes they’re using have been compromised.

Password Checkup works by checking credentials entered into apps against a list of billions of credentials compromised in the innumerable website breaches that have occurred in recent years. In the event there’s a match, users receive an alert, along with a prompt that can take them to Google’s password manager page , which offers a way to review the security of all saved credentials.

Alerts look like this:

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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    Tor Explained: What is Tor? How Does It Work? Is It Illegal? / FossBytes · 3 days ago - 09:38 · 6 minutes

tor browser

What Is Tor?

The Onion Router or Tor is a network that enables a user to stay anonymous on the internet and get rid of any possible surveillance, user identification, or location tracking while using the internet. You can access the Tor network with the help of a modified Mozilla Firefox ESR web browser.

Tor allows a person to browse the web anonymously by veiling the actual identity of the user. It protects the user from any traffic analysis and network spying.

Tor is perhaps the most popular and secure option available for anonymous internet connectivity. To reduce the confusion, here we are talking about the Tor network, not the Tor web browser, which is used to access the same.

Who Created Tor?

Tor uses the principle of ‘Onion Routing,’ which was developed by Paul Syverson, Michael G. Reed, and David Goldschlag at the United States Naval Research Laboratory in 1990s. Further development was carried out under the financial roof of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Tor Project Inc. is a non-profit organization that currently maintains Tor and is responsible for its development. It has received funds from the US government primarily, and additional aid from the Swedish Government and different NGOs & individual sponsors.

How Does Tor Work?

Tor uses the concept of the ‘Onion Routing’ method in which the user data is first encrypted and then transferred through different relays present in the Tor network. Thus, it creates multi-layered encryption (layers like an onion) and a hard-to-follow path to keep the identity of the user safe. As a result, nobody can link your identity to any single point.

One encryption layer is decrypted at each successive Tor relay, and the remaining data is forwarded to any random relay until it reaches its destination server. For the destination server, the last Tor node/exit relay appears as the origin of the data. It is thus tough to trace the identity of the user or the server by any surveillance system acting as the middleman.

Other than providing anonymity to standalone users, Tor can also provide anonymity to websites and servers in the form of Tor Hidden Services. Also, P2P applications like BitTorrent can be configured to use the Tor network and download torrent files.

Also Read: How To Share Files Anonymously Using Tor’s Darknet And OnionShare?

Is using Tor illegal?

No. Tor browser and dark web aren’t illegal on their own. However, if you end up performing some illegal activity on the dark web using Tor, that’ll surely invite trouble. So, as always, we recommend that you use this technology to perform legal actions and enhance your privacy.

Tor And NSA Connection

The NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden used Tor to leak information about PRISM to The Guardian and The Washington Post.

However, the story is not all good-good. Tor faces criticism for the reason that it acts as a medium for different illegal activities like data breaching, drug dealing, gambling, being home to dark web sites. Tor is also used by criminal minds to communicate over the internet while keeping their identity hidden, which makes it difficult for the security agencies to trace them.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has called Tor “the King of high secure, low latency Internet anonymity.” And it has received similar comments by BusinessWeek magazine, “perhaps the most effective means of defeating the online surveillance efforts of intelligence agencies around the world.”

Another speculation made is that Tor takes its funding from the U.S. Government, which may lead to the assumption that NSA may have compromised the identities of individual Tor users. However, Tor’s former executive director Andrew Lewman disclaimed any confederations with NSA.

Is Tor Browser Safe?

Various claims have been made about compromising Tor’s anonymity and security from time to time. The most famous one was the Bad Apple Attack, in which the researchers claimed to have identified around 10k IP addresses of active BitTorrent users who were connected via Tor.

The Heartbleed bug was behind another major compromise in April 2014, which halted the Tor network for several days.

Traffic Fingerprinting is a method used to analyze web traffic by analyzing the patterns, responses, and packets in a particular direction. This technique can be used to attack the Tor network by making the attacker’s computer act as the guard.

The main vulnerability was found at its exit points, where the level of security is very low as compared to the rest of the Tor network.

Also Read: TOR Anonymity: Things Not To Do While Using TOR

What is Tor “Browser”?

Tor Project Inc. has released Tor Browser , which is a modification of an Extended Support Release (ESR) version of the Mozilla Firefox browser. The browser is portable so that it can be used from external media and also reduces the hassel of installation.

Tor Browser removes the browsing history and cookies after every use, thus reducing the risk of any cookie tracking. We can set-up SOCKS (Socket Secure) based applications to use the Tor network by configuring them with a loop-back address.

It’s also known as the dark web browser since it lets users browse the so-called dark web sites that accessible on the regular web.

The Tor browser is available for various desktop operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. You can visit this link to download Tor Browser latest version for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

Tor 10.0.6 Tor 10.0.6

How to download and use Tor browser?

How to install Tor Browser on Windows 10/7/8?

  1. Run the Tor Browser setup.
  2. Choose your desired language.
  3. On the next window, choose the destination folder. Using Tor would be easy if you choose the Desktop as the destination.
  4. Click Install.

The Tor setup will create a folder named Tor Browser on your Desktop. Open the folder, and run the shortcut file to use the Tor Browser.

For Linux, you’ll have to extract the downloaded file, either using the command line or a file extractor application.

Tor Browser for Android

Tor Browser – official Tor app for Android

Orbot – a free proxy app with Tor for Android devices.

Orfox – a mobile version of Tor Browser for Android devices. (Discontinued)

The Guardian Project, a global developer community founded by Nathan Freitas, is to be credited for the development of Orfox.

Tor Browser for iOS

A Tor browser app for iOS created by Tor Project core contributor Mike Tigas.

Tor Alternatives

I2P and Freenet are other anonymity networks which can act as Tor alternatives. Also, Tails and Subgraph OS are Linux-based distributions with built-in Tor support. In the past, Hornet was also an anonymity network that provided higher network speeds compared to Tor.

To know more about these alternatives, please visit this link .

Should I Use Tor?

Tor has proved to be an excellent medium for safe, secure, and anonymous web presence available to a user at no cost. The developers of Tor didn’t intend it to become a hotbed of illegal activities, but evil-minded people have leveraged Tor for their benefits such as selling unlawful stuff on the dark websites. The Tor project has led to an optimistic approach towards censorship and surveillance-free internet.

You can use Tor if you want to conceal your identity on the web or access some websites that blocked in your region. But refrain yourself from doing anything that’s above the law because nothing is fool-proof, and they can still catch you. Also, accessing your social media accounts over Tor can expose your identity.

The post Tor Explained: What is Tor? How Does It Work? Is It Illegal? appeared first on Fossbytes .

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    First Malware Infecting Apple M1 Chip Appears: Here’s What We Know / FossBytes · Thursday, 18 February - 15:12 · 2 minutes

Apple M1 first malware

Several people claim with evangelical fervor that Mac devices are safer than Windows and a recent report by Malwarebytes also corroborates the claims. However, today, the first malware targeting Apple’s latest M1 SoCs has been spotted by security researchers. This could be a turning point for Apple, and we might see a different report next year because of it.

Here’s what we know so far about the first malware that could bring down your M1-powered Macbook:

GoSearch22: The Malicious Extension Posing Threat To Apple’s New M1 Chip

When Apple shifted to its own silicon and parted ways with Intel, it also moved away from Intel x86 architecture that has been used by developers to create apps for Macs since 2005. This move also allowed developers to integrate security features right into the processor, which wasn’t possible earlier. In order to run apps natively on M1-powered Macs, they have to be recompiled using Rosetta emulator . Now, they can develop applications that can run ‘natively’ on M1 processors without translating x86_64 (Intel) instructions into native arm64 instructions.

It seems that hackers have also engineered a technique to tailor malware for M1 chips using the transition.

Popular Mac security researcher Patrick Wardle has published a report on his website detailing the incredibly easy process of adapting and recompiling malware to run natively on the M1 chipset. He spotted a malicious Safari extension named “GoSearch22”, originally made to run on Intel x86 architecture, which has been re-engineered to run on the M1 processor.

According to Patrick, GoSearch22 belongs to the infamous Pirrit Mac adware family. It is known for its evading techniques to avoid detection by security researchers.

GoSearch22 extension looks like a normal extension but in the background, it collects all user data and also floods users with ads and popups that could lead to other malicious websites.

Patrick found in his research that the extension was signed with an Apple developer ID on November 23, 2020, but Apple has already revoked the certificate of the extension.

A Red Canary intelligence analyst, Tony Lambert says, “ Watching malware make the transition from Intel to M1 rapidly is concerning because security tools aren’t ready to deal with it .”

As per Patrick, GoSearch22 isn’t the only malware that has been adapted to run on Apple M1 chips, there are many more to come, and the threat detection tools need to gear up for forthcoming Apple M1 malware.

Source: Wired

The post First Malware Infecting Apple M1 Chip Appears: Here’s What We Know appeared first on Fossbytes .

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    LastPass Free to force users to choose between mobile or desktop... Seriously, use open source BitWarden instead!

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Tuesday, 16 February - 17:39

The Free service is changing dramatically on March 16th, 2021, when LastPass will restrict free accounts to either a 'Computer' or 'Mobile' device platform simultaneously. For example, LastPass Free users will be able to use the service on their Android and iOS mobile devices simultaneously but not on computers or vice-versa.

Even the premium version of BitWarden is half the price of LastPass' Premium offering, and it does all it needs to do including generating of 2FA codes all built in. I exported my 900+ passwords from LastPass into BitWarden two years ago, and have never looked back.


#technology #security #passwords #lastpass #bitwarden

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    This is What The Orange Dot on Your iPhone Means / LifehackerAustralia · Sunday, 14 February - 23:25 · 2 minutes

iOS 14 may have brought a whole new suite of design changes, but to this day we’re still learning things about our iPhones. A question that many have oft wondered is “what does that orange dot mean on my screen?”

Well, reader, that dot is there for a very important reason.

The orange dot

At the top of your iPhone screen, you’ll see a number of symbols. Depending on how your phone is set up you’ll have the time, your WiFi and reception signal strength and your battery level. Occasionally, however, you might notice an orange dot up there too.

The orange dot, in the simplest of terms, is an indication of whether your phone’s microphone is being used by an app. According to Apple Support , this may also appear as an orange square if the ‘Differentiate without Color’ setting is active.

You’ll probably see this dot when you’re making a call or on a video conference such as FaceTime or Zoom. Some other apps that may use your iPhone’s mic include Shazam, Snapchat and Uber.

The green dot

While we’re here, I may as well explain what the green dot means.

The green indicator means that your iPhone’s camera, or camera and microphone, are being used by an app. This could simply be the in-built camera app or it might appear if you’re on a video call.

These indicators serve as a privacy feature from Apple to help users be more aware of an app that is actively using recording features on their phone. The same goes for the iPad.

How to figure out which apps are using your camera and microphone

If you notice the orange or green indicators and have no idea why they’re operating a quick way to shut this down should be to force close all the apps on your iPhone.

You can also check which apps have access to your phone’s camera and audio settings and manually switch off their access.

To do this go to Settings > Privacy then select either Camera or Microphone and you can review and toggle each app.

The post This is What The Orange Dot on Your iPhone Means appeared first on Lifehacker Australia .

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    Your Browser’s Favicons Could Be Used To Track You Online: Here’s How / FossBytes · Friday, 12 February - 07:12 · 2 minutes

Browser favicon tracking

Hiding digital footprints and protecting your information from hackers has become a challenge these days, and now there is a new trick up their sleeve that could be used to track you across the internet. Software designer Jonas Strehle has discovered that browser favicons could be the new means to track users online and collect information, including credit card number, name, address, and phone number.

What makes this dangerous is that it can bypass commonly deployed security measures on the internet, such as VPNs, incognito tabs, deleting browser/website cache, etc. Here’s what we know about this new security flaw that could be exploited by hackers to gather information about you.

What are favicons?

Pronounced as fave-icons, these are small icons that represent the branding of a website. For example, Wikipedia has “W” as its favicon, Youtube has its logo as its favicon, and we have our logo as Fossbytes’ favicon. The main purpose of a favicon is to serve as a visual marker and help users navigate to the desired tab when multiple tabs are open.

How can hackers use favicons to track you on internet?

According to Strehle, the method to spy on users online is called a Supercookie. A Supercookie is a cookie type that could be inserted into an HTTP header in most popular browsers to gather information about user’s online movement.

To make it easy for browsers to access the favicons, they are stored in a separate local database on the system, called the favicon cache (F-Cache). This F-cache also stores other information about users, including the websites visited by the user (subdomain, domain, route, URL parameter), the favicon ID, and the time to live (TTL).

When a user visits a URL, the browser checks the F-cache to get the favicon. In case the favicon is not available there, the browser makes a GET request to load the site’s favicon. This request allows the webserver to gather additional information about the user and assign a unique identification number.

So when the browser requests a web page, if the favicon is not in the local F-cache, another request for the favicon is made. If the icon already exists in the F-Cache, no further request is sent. By combining the state of delivered and not delivered favicons for specific URL paths for a browser, a unique pattern (identification number) can be assigned to the client ,” writes Strehle on Github .

Strehle says that all top browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge are vulnerable to the Supercookie attack. In fact, mobile browsers could be also be targeted under this threat model.

He has written in detail about how this attack works on his own website. It is important to know that this is a proof-of-concept and not a vulnerability spotted in the wild by Strehle. He started learning more about it after reading a research paper titled  “Tales of F A V I C O N S and Caches: Persistent Tracking in Modern Browsers”.(Unfortunately, the link to the research paper wasn’t working at the time of writing)

How to protect yourself from favicon supercookie attack?

Sadly, there is no method available to avoid this attack right now. Strehle mentions that the only possible way to evade this attack is to deploy changes to browsers’ favicon caching behavior, and only browser vendors can do this. He has shared the details of the threat model with the popular browser vendors.

The post Your Browser’s Favicons Could Be Used To Track You Online: Here’s How appeared first on Fossbytes .