mr Edward Snowden, facebook and open/free code directed to linux users

This is going to be short, it is me not providing information but asking for it from the community.

Snowden has come out and spoken loudly on facebook, google, and other social media, of being up to no good against people using their free services.  I can’t find any reference on how exactly those mega corporations deal and cooperate with state agencies, or even whether state agencies relate to the foundation of such corporations.  If, and whether, some were founded specifically for the purpose of what they are accused of doing, by Snowden and many others who are less well known. Continue reading

New blood, new linux distributions without systemd

LogoTwo new distributions (Sulinox and Split Linux) to keep an eye on were added on our 2 lists of systemd without systemd.  The early first list of all systems we know without systemd (including BSD varieties) and our more detailed list of 66 linux distributions without systemd.

SulinosThe first is called Sulinox, an independent linux distribution, built on glibc with OpenRC as init, a base software available on repositories with a few varieties of desktops, and elogind present, available for X86_64 architectures.  The distribution is aimed at expert users who know and like to build packages from source.  To do so in a more organized way and maintain system integrity Sulinox has developed their own package manager called inary.  For those of you who like to keep an eye on the source repository of a distribution and follow development in detail we warn you that comments are in Turkish, although the rest of the documentation for the distro and the package manager is written in English. Continue reading

Which browser to choose for privacy and anonymity and which “free” email?

Cynwulf1 in a comment about waterfox left an advise to not trust so much a “popular browser fork” just because it has become popular “saying” it is safer and more private than the original.  After some discussion with friends and associates a couple of links came up as appearing to be telling some truth about why some are really bad, some are equally bad, some not so bad, but all with rational arguments and explanations on how they draw those moral conclusions.

As all things published on the internet, by a variety of portrayed experts, should ultimately be taken under a critical eye, “who is publishing this and why do they want me convinced”,  these two links below may answer a common question:  What browser is “safer” to use, what email provider respects my privacy and anonymity?

Continue reading

Is OpenBSD the most secure OS? In what way?

This is an open call to any willing to contribute a summary or even an extensive analysis of the ways that OpenBSD is superior in terms of security to Linux and other systems.  The motivation stems from two comments that have appeared here recently by cynwulf (1,2).  To clarify the motivation for this is not to counter such a presentation to defend linux but to learn ourselves, as we simply don’t know.  Between the marketing rhetoric of various systems it is hard to really tell what claim really stands up and what is unsupported.  From the long list of open and sometimes free operating systems you will hardly find one that doesn’t claim it is secure.  So here we go revisiting the terms security, privacy, anonymity, to conceptualize what in general data-security means and whether one needs to be concerned, or not – so concerned. Continue reading

Foreshadow, the new Intel security threat

After Spectre and Meltdown, and the wishful patching of Intel’s security holes, now there is “Foreshadow”

Intel has been notified by various researchers that yet another security gap has been found in their processors.  The vulnerability affects its chip security technology called Software Guard Extensions (SGX).  This technology has been used in Intel processors since  2015 (2nd generation i3,i5,i7,xeon 3400+, X99 and X299 and later/above.  1st gen i* and Core2Duo or earlier are safe.  Continue reading

Meltdown and Spectre, the new security threats

Those two recent discoveries of a system vulnerability is due to hardware design and kernel development.  One of the two has been partially addressed and fixed if you have updated your linux kernel to a patched one.  The remaining seem pretty hard to be dealt with.  In summary there is a way for memory handling to be leaked to the network revealing any sensitive information that may be temporarily retained as RAM or graphical memory.   It is best not to read on rumors and interpretations but read the originals and monitor the status of fixing.  At least temporarily you may change some habits and constantly wipe your memory to minimize the risk.  Below find a set of links that official information originates and judge for yourself. Continue reading