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    US uncovers “Swiss Army knife” for hacking industrial control systems / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 14 April - 20:52

US uncovers “Swiss Army knife” for hacking industrial control systems

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Malware designed to target industrial control systems like power grids, factories, water utilities, and oil refineries represents a rare species of digital badness. So when the United States government warns of a piece of code built to target not just one of those industries, but potentially all of them, critical infrastructure owners worldwide should take notice.

On Wednesday, the Department of Energy, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the NSA, and the FBI jointly released an advisory about a new hacker toolset potentially capable of meddling with a wide range of industrial control system equipment. More than any previous industrial control system hacking toolkit, the malware contains an array of components designed to disrupt or take control of the functioning of devices, including programmable logic controllers (PLCs) that are sold by Schneider Electric and OMRON and are designed to serve as the interface between traditional computers and the actuators and sensors in industrial environments. Another component of the malware is designed to target Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture (OPC UA) servers—the computers that communicate with those controllers.

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    How to use screen command to improve your productivity on Linux terminal, for example to maintain work between dropped SSH sessions

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Wednesday, 10 March, 2021 - 11:24

How to use screen command to improve your productivity on Linux terminal

Similar to many tools utilized by system administrators, the Linux screen command is another great tool that helps with productivity. screen can be seen as an alternative to Tmux, but it has many other useful options outside of just saving screen space. screen allows you to create multiple sessions of terminals/interactive shells.

The tutorial below helps explains a bit more how this works.


#technology #opensource #utilities #linux #sysadmin

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    Hackers tied to Russia’s GRU targeted the US grid for years / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 27 February, 2021 - 11:50 · 1 minute

Hackers tied to Russia’s GRU targeted the US grid for years

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For all the nation-state hacker groups that have targeted the United States power grid —and even successfully breached American electric utilities —only the Russian military intelligence group known as Sandworm has been brazen enough to trigger actual blackouts, shutting the lights off in Ukraine in 2015 and 2016 . Now one grid-focused security firm is warning that a group with ties to Sandworm’s uniquely dangerous hackers has also been actively targeting the US energy system for years.

On Wednesday, industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos published its annual report on the state of industrial control systems security, which names four new foreign hacker groups focused on those critical infrastructure systems. Three of those newly named groups have targeted industrial control systems in the US, according to Dragos. But most noteworthy, perhaps, is a group that Dragos calls Kamacite, which the security firm describes as having worked in cooperation with the GRU's Sandworm. Kamacite has in the past served as Sandworm's "access" team, the Dragos researchers write, focused on gaining a foothold in a target network before handing off that access to a different group of Sandworm hackers, who have then sometimes carried out disruptive effects. Dragos says Kamacite has repeatedly targeted US electric utilities, oil and gas, and other industrial firms since as early as 2017.

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    How to use KWrite KDE Plasma text editor... But Kate is still the more powerful big sibling

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · Sunday, 20 December, 2020 - 09:52

Although I've used KDE for many years now I usually default to using Kate as my GUI editor and nano for command line editing, but now I heard about KWrite so took a look at it.

It is based on the same upstream code as Kate but seems to be slightly slimmed down. Kate does offer a lot more plug-in support for a vast amount of additional features and I realised again I'm only using the basics. Kate can even edit SQL files. I like that both have a mouse-over zoomed thumbnail view.

But the real lesson is, apart from always looking at alternatives, it's worth getting to know the editor you currently use, so you can enable some of those really useful tweaks to make your life easier, like highlighting matching brackets of variable types.


#technology #opensource #utilities #editors #linux