Lead Machine Pink 160x1200

Lead Machine Pink 160x1200

iTWire TV 705x108notfunny

Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018 10:46

Uh, oh! Linux confuses Bleeping Computer again

By

The tech website Bleeping Computer, which carries news about security and malware, has once again demonstrated that when it comes to Linux, its understanding of security is somewhat lacking.

What makes the current case surprising is the fact that the so-called security issue which the website chose to write about had already been ripped to pieces by senior tech writer Stephen Vaughan-Nicholls four days earlier.

Called Chaos, the vulnerability was touted by a firm known as GoSecure as one that would allow a backdoor into Linux servers through SSH.

In a withering critique, Vaughan-Nicholls pointed out that it was just another case of trying to guess SSH credentials through brute force and hence had everything to do with weak passwords and little or nothing to do with either Linux or SSH.

He also demolished all the other claims made by GoSecure, pointing out that the port which was claimed to be opened by Chaos was TCP port 8338. But to open a raw TCP socket as GoSecure claimed, Vaughan-Nicholls pointed out that one needed root access.

Which called for using two weak passwords on a single system, meaning that the admin would have to be an A-grade n00b.

Yet, four days later Bleeping Computer's Catalin Cimpanu wrote a piece titled "Improperly Secured Linux Servers Targeted with Chaos Backdoor."

Amazingly, he acknowledged Vaughan-Nicholls article – and then proceeded to treat the claims about Chaos with all the seriousness they did not deserve!

What should have given the whole game away was the fact that GoSecure's Sebastian Feldmann, who wrote about Chaos, said that he had been unable to find any documentation about the technical details of "this backdoor". Perhaps this was because any serious researcher would have realised that there was no threat posed by Chaos, except to servers run by n00bs.

GoSecure itself pointed out that though the Chaos code in question had been around for five years, less than 150 servers had been compromised through its use.

Why write about it then? One can only theorise that the combination of Linux and backdoors/malware/ransomware in a headline serves as clickbait. Bleeping Computer has form in this regard, as iTWire pointed out in September 2016.

As Vaughan-Nicholls wrote: "...the real moral of the story isn't that there's a bad new Linux security problem. There's not. It's that, for the millionth time, if you lock your systems down with good passwords, you can avoid a lot of really stupid security problems."

Read 3661 times

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here
BACK TO LATEST NEWS here

GET READY FOR XCONF AUSTRALIA 2022

Thoughtworks presents XConf Australia, back in-person in three cities, bringing together people who care deeply about software and its impact on the world.

In its fifth year, XConf is our annual technology event created by technologists for technologists.

Participate in a robust agenda of talks as local thought leaders and Thoughtworks technologists share first-hand experiences and exchange new ways to empower teams, deliver quality software and drive innovation for responsible tech.

Explore how at Thoughtworks, we are making tech better, together.

Tickets are now available and all proceeds will be donated to Indigitek, a not-for-profit organisation that aims to create technology employment pathways for First Nations Peoples.


Click the button below to register and get your ticket for the Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane event

GET YOUR TICKET!

PROMOTE YOUR WEBINAR ON ITWIRE

It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site itwire.com and prominent Newsletter promotion https://itwire.com/itwire-update.html and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV https://www.youtube.com/c/iTWireTV/videos which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinars and campaigns and assistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.

MORE INFO HERE!

BACK TO HOME PAGE
Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments