Fedora Down for Upgrade

The shell server, fedora.eskimo.com, is presently down for an upgrade from Fedora 21 to Fedora 22.  If you need a modern RedHat based shell server presently, please use either centos7.eskimo.com or scientific7.eskimo.com.

Freak Vulnerability

     Also tested for FREAK, not vulnerable to that attack as well.

     Both of these vulnerabilities exploit capabilities for browser to fall-back to less secure “export” encryption and are mostly an issue with old browsers.

    On this site, we don’t support these flawed encryption standards but you can protect yourself on other sites that do by upgrading your browser to the current version.  Those of you stuck with old versions of Explorer because Microsoft didn’t make newer versions available for older operating systems can either obtain a patch from Microsoft or use an alternative browser like Firefox.

Logjam Attack

We tested our server for vulnerability to the Logjam attack:

     Good News! This site uses strong (2048-bit or better) key exchange parameters and is safe from the Logjam attack.

Limited Hours Today

      I will be leaving around 4:30pm Pacific time to go see Baby Gramps perform at the Northwest Folklife FestivalIf you’ve never seen Baby Gramps perform or never been to the festival you should come.  It’s free, save for trying to find a place to park.

     I’ll probably be back around 7pm or so depending upon whether my son decides to stop and get food or not (hitchin’ a ride rather than trying to find parking myself).  I’ll answer the phones as long as I’m awake tonight so if you’re up past nine feel free to call later.

Venom Patched

     Even though we don’t have any guests with emulated floppies, I’ve applied the Venom patches to kvm, qemu, and xen, provided by Centos.  Just on the off chance we some day want to emulate a floppy.  That isn’t likely to happen unless they get Sparc emulation working on a distribution so we can emulate our old SS-10 and be done with the hardware.

Apache mod_session_crypto

     I’ve added the module “mod_session_crypto” for session encrypting to our Apache 2.4.12 web server.

     I added because I am working on some new features that will involve authenticating on the web against your existing Linux username and password, much as the current web mail does. I wanted this as an additional tool to secure sessions.  It is also available for your use in web applications.

     If there are other Apache features that you might need for an application, please e-mail support@eskimo.com.  If it is doable without compromising security, I will add them.

Venom Vulnerability

     If you’ve read about the venom vulnerability, you need not be concerned with respect to our virtual machines here as we do not use a floppy disk emulation in any of the virtual machines.  A floppy drive isn’t included in the default configuration of the virtual machines provided by any modern version of Linux that I am aware of.

     Beyond that, the network connections are provided by the virtual machine, if you were able to crash them you wouldn’t have a network connection to them any more.  And since it’s crashed, any changes you made won’t be written to the virtual disk.

     There aren’t many uses for floppy drives on physical hardware these days let alone a need to emulate one.  Since network connections are lost upon crashes it makes it not a real useful remote exploit.  I suspect these are the reasons there are no known cases of this particular vulnerability being exploited even though it has existed since 2004.

Co-Lo Provider Network Maintenance May 21st

     Our co-location provider, Isomedia, where our servers are located, will be performing network maintenance that may result in brief outages:

Schedule:
May 21, 2015 12:01am to 2:00am PDT

Description:
ISOMEDIA will be performing network maintenance on our core network. During
this maintenance event customers may expect multiple brief outages. We
apologize in advance for any inconvenience caused during this maintenance.

Please ensure that your Internet equipment is performing no critical
updates, backups, or other activities over your connection during this time
frame. All outage times are estimates based on expected outcomes of the work
being performed and previous experience performing the same or similar work.
There is always the possibility of some unforeseen bug, or problem, that
could extend the outage time.

Ubuntu 15.04

     Just a heads up to anyone contemplating an upgrade.  I would recommend not putting Ubuntu 15.04 on a server just yet, not sufficiently stable.  It has a few things like occasionally DNS doesn’t come up after a boot, audio doesn’t work if connecting via x2go, sometimes locks up when you attempt to shut it down, sometimes processes get stuck.  None of these things were an issue with 14.04 LTS.  Just getting a basic desktop up eats a bit more memory than 14.04.  Part of this is that it starts a lot of unnecessary junk.   With Mate desktop, it starts Abiword when you login for reasons nobody seems to be able to explain.

     A few pluses with 15.04, if you’ve got an Nvidia card, the nvidia drivers from the distribution work now.  No need to grab them directly from the Nvidia site and manually install, in fact that, on 15.04, now fails. There is a build for Blackberry.  No idea if it actually works since I don’t have one to flash and potentially brick to try. In general there are some new toys and more documentation than in 14.04 LTS or 14.10.