Desktop Linux under attack.

Posted: September 12, 2011. At: 11:24 PM. This was 6 years ago. Post ID: 1947

South park computer users.
South park computer users.

The recent attacks on Desktop Linux enacted by the cracking of the Kernel.org website and the more recent attacks against the Linux Foundation websites has cast a cloud over desktop Linux. The Kernel.org website is still down for maintenance and the security of the Linux kernel is in doubt. The story on Slashdot says that the SSH keys users have been implementing to access these websites have been compromised and to create new ones as soon as possible. It is not known who is behind these attacks, whether it is Apple, Microsoft or some rogue member of some rogue government. Linux can be a very secure operating system with NSA Selinux and a recent kernel version,but after this I will stick with 2.6.35.5 and wait this out until the whole Linux Foundation and Kernel.org websites are back up and they have implemented greater security measures to make sure this does not happen again.

Linux is a great alternative to Windows and is used in many developing nations like Brazil due to the freedom and reliability of the free operating system from Red hat and Canonical that create Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu respectively. The Red Hat Linux distribution led to the excellent and free Fedora distribution that has many great features like the aforementioned NSA Selinux security framework. Novell Apparmor is also a good thing as you can sandbox the Firefox web browser to ensure security, as even though you are running a very secure operating system, a malicious script or plugin could still steal your information. But the noscript extension is the internet users best friend for ensuring better peace of mind for you and your machine. I will wait and see what happens with this in the future, I would not want Linux to be permanently harmed by this, then I would have to move to FreeBSD or OpenBSD and use a UNIX operating system in future. The OpenBSD operating system is a very secure operating system with an extremely low number of remote exploits and other security holes.

Getting back to the Kernel.org cracking attack, where malicious attackers gained root access to a Kernel.org server and from there they gained access to a number of other servers. The serious thing about this compromising of Linux servers is that once an attacker has gained access and installed a rootkit, you can not easily find out what they have changed as they could have installed modified versions of tools like /bin/ls and /bin/ps so that when you are navigating the system you will only see what the attacker wants you to see. Then you will have to hope you had something like Tripwire that could may look at a database of Linux system files stored on a read-only CDROM and this can be compared to the files on the hard disk and therefore discover whether any files have been modified. Storing the tripwire binaries on the disc as well would be the best solution to ensure they are not compromised as well. This procedure is explained very well in this mailing list posting.

http:[email protected]/msg00046.html

I am sure that in future better security procedures will be followed,but I am afraid this looks like a plain and bold attack on software freedoms that will result in companies such as Apple and Microsoft dominating the software market with no competition from FOSS software at all, there is the Google Android OS but that is a malware infested mess, it maybe based on the Linux kernel, but it is a closed source version and it is not very fast either I have heard. I have an old Symbian based mobile telephone instead of a Google Android `phone. I did not want to be tied to the Android app-store, I wanted to use something older but the Nokia E72 I own now is a perfectly good mobile ‘phone and has a 5 megapixel camera and an office suite including a business card scanner and the simple versions of word and excel that are available for Symbian.

And there are many applications available for the Symbian OS that are free to download off the Internet as well as the ability to download books off Project Gutenberg and read them with a simple Java powered reader. I am reading Return of the native at the moment, an excellent story about a man who returns to his village and marries a woman who he gives a lift to on the way. Who turns out to be one of the loves of Damon Wildelve, a philandering publican.The wide expanse of Egdon Heath is described admirably by the author Thomas Hardy and the characters are very whole and very easy to engage with.Books have a magic that movies do not have, having to see the images described in the book in your minds eye instead of on a cinema screen in 3D is one of the reasons that I prefer to read books instead of watching too many modern movies.

4 responses to “Desktop Linux under attack.

I have used FreeBSD in the past, I might end up moving to that OS if the Linux desktop is under threat. But OpenBSD is the most secure version of desktop UNIX.

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