Third try is no charm for failed Linux ransomware creators

By Lucian Constantin

Getting cryptographic implementations right is difficult. A group of malware creators is currently experiencing that hard truth, to the amusement of security researchers.

For the past several months, a group of cybercriminals have been infecting Linux systems — primarily Web servers — with a file-encrypting ransomware program that the security industry has dubbed Linux.Encoder.

This development is worrying, because Web server infections don’t require user interaction as on desktop computers where getting users to open rogue email attachments or visit malicious websites are common attack vectors. Instead, the hackers use automated scanners to find servers that host vulnerable applications or have weak SSH passwords they can guess using brute-force methods.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: Network World

The Endless Mini $79 desktop PC stores as much of the Internet as it can

By Mark Hachman

Call it “One Desktop per Child.” The Endless Mini is a $79 desktop PC designed to bring the knowledge of the Internet to the billions of people who might not be able to access it.

The Endless Mini is a small sphere of a machine, slightly larger than a grapefruit, with three USB ports (two USB 2.0, one USB 3.0) and an HDMI output. Inside of it is an AMLogic Cortex-A ARM chip, 1 GB of RAM, Linux, and a suite of Endless-designed apps, all with the goal of minimizing the resources needed to allow Endless customers access to the Internet—even if there is no Internet access.

The Mini ships in two versions: one with 24 GB of storage space, and a second version with 32 GB. (The price of the 32-GB model, which also has 2 GB of RAM, has not been disclosed.) Most of that capacity is full of cached information: stored Wikipedia files, open-source music, even games. The idea is that users will have access to Internet content even if an Internet connection is unavailable.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: Network World

Review: 7 data recovery tools for every data disaster

By Serdar Yegulalp

Storage media is more reliable than it’s ever been. But while drive failures are fewer and further between, technology improvements do nothing to protect you from the No. 1 cause of data loss: human error. It’s devastating to lose the only copy you have of any file — that important document or irreplaceable photo — all because you mistakenly formatted the wrong drive or hit Delete too quickly. It’s even more infuriating when you have only yourself to blame.

The single biggest limitation of Recuva is that file signatures appear to be hard-wired into the program. If you want to look for a custom format or another file not in Recuva’s list, you’ll need to use PhotoRec or an application that allows custom file signatures. What’s more, it was difficult to figure out exactly which file types are supported by the application in the first place. Piriform’s website doesn’t seem to list which files Recuva recognizes, although I found a note in the product forum that provided a way to discover supported file types in advanced mode.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

(Insider Story)

From: Network World

Review: Google’s Pixel C tablet is perfect…expect for one thing (and it’s not the software)

By Bryan Lunduke

The Google Pixel C is absolutely fan-freaking-tastic.

Except for one earth-shattering problem – and the software, despite what every other review on the Internet is saying, is not it. But we’ll talk about that later. First, let’s talk about all the amazing things about this tablet.

Well. It’s not really a tablet. I mean, it sort of is. It’s also a big netbook.

The screen is gloriously sexy. 2560×1800 resolution jammed into a 10.2-inch screen – continuing the Google Pixel tradition of amazing-looking, super high-resolution screens. No light bleed around the edges, crisp and clear. Just fantastic.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: Network World

As 2015 ends, Ubuntu Linux misses its 200 million user goal

By Jared Newman

With the end of 2015 imminent, Ubuntu appears to have fallen far short of the 200 million user goal it set back in 2011.

“[Our] goal is 200 million users of Ubuntu in four years,” Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth said at a developer summit in May 2011. “We’re not playing a game for developers’ hearts and minds—we’re playing a game for the world’s hearts and minds, and to achieve that we’re going to have to play by a new set of rules.”

As Linux site Phoronix points out, reports on Ubuntu server and desktop installations have yet to even pass 100 million. Ubuntu’s own website says the desktop operating system has more than 40 million users. Linux as a whole accounted for 1.61 percent of desktops accessing the Internet last month, according to NetApplications. By comparison, Windows 10 hit 9 percent of that market in November, the same month that Microsoft announced 110 million users of its latest OS.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: Network World

8 Linux predictions for 2016

By Bryan Lunduke

Linux predictions 2016
Lunduke looks ahead for Linux

As 2015 comes to a close, the time has arrived to make predictions for what will happen in the Linux (and broader Free and Open Source Software) world in the year ahead. Will all of my predictions actually come true in 2016? Who knows? But I’m making them anyway!

We still won’t be using Wayland.
wayland linux predictions 2016

That’s right. I’m going on the record and saying that, when 2016 ends, we still won’t be using Wayland. Oh, sure. Maybe the odd Linux distribution here or there might be shipping with Wayland enabled. But the big distros? Xorg, baby!

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: Network World

Vulnerability in popular bootloader puts locked-down Linux computers at risk

By Lucian Constantin

Pressing the backspace key 28 times can bypass the Grub2 bootloader’s password protection and allow a hacker to install malware on a locked-down Linux system.

GRUB, which stands for the Grand Unified Bootloader, is used by most Linux distributions to initialize the operating system when the computer starts. It has a password feature that can restrict access to boot entries, for example on computers with multiple operating systems installed.

This protection is particularly important within organizations, where it is also common to disable CD-ROM, USB and network boot options and to set a password for the BIOS/UEFI firmware in order to secure computers from attackers who might gain physical access to the machines.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: Network World

Linux smartphones took a serious step back in 2015

By Bryan Lunduke

2015 was such a hopeful year for Linux on smartphones. At the beginning of the year, there was so much hope for what could be.

The promise of Ubuntu Touch being available on shipping devices was alluring. FirefoxOS phones were already shipping… and the future was looking bright. And Jolla was gearing up for a new iteration of their Linux-powered OS, along with a shiny new tablet to go with it.

Then – at the #mozlando conference on Tuesday, December 8th – Mozilla announced that they would no longer be working with carriers to ship Firefox OS phones. Mozilla issued the following statement, via TechCrunch:

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: Network World

Microsoft to offer a Linux-based cert for Azure admins

By Jon Gold

Microsoft’s newfound embrace of open-source software continues with the news today that the company will now offer a Linux on Azure certificate through its Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate program.

Those who pass both Microsoft’s 70-533 exam and the Linux Foundation’s Certified System Administrator exam will receive the Linux on Azure cert from the MCSA program. The cert is available as of today, according to a joint announcement.

+ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: 11 top IaaS cloud computing certifications + Are people abandoning Windows 10?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: Network World