chameleon avatar

chameleon

@chameleon@kbin.social

i'm lizard 🦎

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

I think they'll give it a genuine shot. These stalking services pop up like weeds and every time it gets some media attention they end up with significant problems not much later. dis.cool was the last well-known entry but there's been more.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

It's not what the buttons look like, it's what they do. In Krita, making an ellipse involves clicking the ellipse button and dragging it somewhere. You now have an ellipse, and you hold shift if you want to make it a circle instead.

In GIMP there is no direct ellipse tool, there's only an ellipse select tool, likewise you hold shift to make it a circle. Then you use a menu item to select the border of your selection, getting a popup to let you determine how much pixels you want. And then, you use the fill tool or fill menu item to fill it. That's a surprising amount of clicks to accomplish what's most likely the single most common task for anyone opening a screenshot in an image editor. I'm not aware of any easier/faster method to do it. Feels like it should exist, but this is also what you get if you search for how to draw a circle in GIMP, so if it exists everyone's missing it.

GIMP's method gives you more power, but you rarely ever need that power. But when you do, Krita also has ellipse select, border select and various fill tools that can be strung together in the same way.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

These things are always easy to say in hindsight, but I do believe that a closer review of the build system shenanigans used to install the backdoor would have at least raised some questions.

Nobody noticed it because nobody is reviewing autotools spaghetti and especially not autotools spaghetti that only exists as shipped in a tarball. Minor differences in those files are perfectly normal as the contents of them are copied in from the shared autoconf-archive project, but every distro ships a different version of that, so what any given thing looks like will depend on the maintainer's computer. And nearly nobody has a good understanding of what any given line in a .m4 file is going to ultimately lead to the execution of regardless, so why bother investigating any differences? The maintainer of Meson has a good take on this.

Shipping tarballs without any form of generated files and having a process to validate release tarballs against the repo would be a good step, but is much easier said than done for a variety of reasons. Same thing can be said for shipping without any form of binary files in the repo, there's quite high value in integration tests and xz's README for the test blobs has correctly included this paragraph for 16 years:

Many of the files have been created by hand with a hex editor, thus there is no better "source code" than the files themselves.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Test files often represent states that can't be represented in the library proper. Things like "a tree where node A is a child of B and node B is a child of A", "the previous instruction repeated x times" where x was never set or there was no previous instruction, or weird combinations of mutually exclusive effects. More often than not, you can't really generate those using the library itself, as libraries tend to be written to reject those kinds of invalid states (there's only so much you can do in C but in functional programming land, "make invalid states unrepresentable" is a straight up mantra).

Even if you did manage to do that, using the system under test to generate test data for the system under test is generally not very useful by itself; you'd need some kind of extra protections on top to make sure the actual test files continue to be identical between revisions (like hashing them). Otherwise, a major incompatibility could be easily overlooked. But that also makes it hard to make any kind of valid changes to the library at all. Worse yet, some libraries don't implement everything needed to generate the test files: even xz is missing pieces, for example there's an lzip decompressor but not a compressor.

There's some arguments to be made for separating the test system from the main distribution, but the end result will likely be that nobody runs the testsuite at all. It's difficult enough to get distros to do it in the first place.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

They already did before this. MS-hosted Office 365 is running the vast majority of worldwide corporate email and hosts a significant amount of corporate files on business OneDrive/SharePoint. I'll never understand why companies bought into 'the cloud' so easily.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

You're looking at the wrong line. NixOS pulled the compromised source tarball just like nearly every other distro, and the build ends up running the backdoor injection script.

It's just that much like Arch, Gentoo and a lot of other distros, it doesn't meet the gigantic list of preconditions for it to inject the sshd compromising backdoor. But if it went undetected for longer, it would have met the conditions for the "stage3"/"extension mechanism".

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

For any given tag, GitHub will always have an autogenerated "archive/" link, but the "release/" link is a set of maintainer-uploaded blobs. In this situation, those are the compromised ones. Any distro pulling from an "archive/" link would be unaffected, but I don't know of any doing that.

The problem with the "archive/" links is that GitHub reserves the right to change them. They're promising to give notice, but it's just not a good situation. The "release/" links are only going to change if the maintainer tries something funny, so the distro's usual mechanisms to check the hashes normally suffice.

NixOS 23.11 is indeed not affected.

Best article about XZ backdoor?

Hey, I’ve been hearing a LOT about the xz backdoor. Crazy story, but rather than reading 10 different articles about it from 3 days ago when the story was quite new, does anybody know a high quality write-up that has all the juicy details and facts? I really like in-depth guides that cover every aspect of the story....

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Sam Jones's FAQ is by far the best single source, links to other solid sources for more in-depth technical details and also lightly debunks a few things.

The main thing sources online disagree on are which distros are affected. That's because it's not a simple yes/no and some distros are taking a nuanced approach in their public communication, while others have chosen the sledgehammer in an attempt to get people to upgrade their systems but keep/kept the nuance in the back room where the audience understood not everything was known yet. Some distros are underselling how vulnerable they were, others are overselling it.

Will antivirus be more significant on Linux desktop after this xz-util backdoor?

I understand that no Operating System is 100% safe. Although this backdoor is likely only affects certain Linux desktop users, particularly those running unstable Debian or testing builds of Fedora (like versions 40 or 41), **Could this be a sign that antivirus software should be more widely used on Linux desktops? ** ( I know...

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Realistically, I think vendors will be trying to push their crap using this attack as leverage. They did it with Heartbleed, Shellshock and the Log4j issue. Their software won't/wouldn't accomplish anything, just like it didn't with those issues, but they're sure as hell gonna try to make it seem like it does.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Unfortunately, it's definitively an instance of intentional design. This whole consent dialog thing became a booming "consent management platform" industry. Many of them advertise better acceptance rates than the competition, or used to but have removed those claims in more recent times now that the big GDPR boom is over.

This particular dialog is TrustArc, who are infamous. At one point they defended it with a "well, we gotta retry if it fails to make sure your preference is expected, and we can't know if your adblocker is causing it to fail or if it's just a fluke", which is one of those things where they say something that's not totally wrong but you know they're lying through their teeth.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

This is a fun one we're gonna be hearing about for a while...

It's fortunate it was discovered before any major releases of non-rolling-release distros were cut, but damn.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Won't help here; this backdoor is entirely reproducible. That's one of the scary parts.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Reproducible builds generally work from the published source tarballs, as those tend to be easier to mirror and archive than a Git repository is. The GPG-signed source tarball includes all of the code to build the exploit.

The Git repository does not include the code to build the backdoor (though it does include the actual backdoor itself, the binary "test file", it's simply disused).

Verifying that the tarball and Git repository match would be neat, but is not a focus of any existing reproducible build project that I know of. It probably should be, but quite a number of projects have legitimate differences in their tarballs, often pre-compiling things like autotools-based configure scripts and man pages so that you can have a relaxed ./configure && make && make install build without having to hunt down all of the necessary generators.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

The base runtime pretty much every Flatpak uses includes xz/liblzma, but none of the affected versions are included. You can poke around in a base runtime shell with flatpak run --command=sh org.freedesktop.Platform//23.08 or similar, and check your installed runtimes with flatpak list --runtime.

23.08 is the current latest version used by most apps on Flathub and includes xz 5.4.6. 22.08 is an older version you might also still have installed and includes xz 5.2.12. They're both pre-backdoor.

It seems there's an issue open on the freedesktop-sdk repo to revert xz to an even earlier version predating the backdoorer's significant involvement in xz, which some other distros are also doing out of an abundance of caution.

So, as far as we know: nothing uses the backdoored version, even if it did use that version it wouldn't be compiled in (since org.freedesktop.Platform isn't built using Deb or RPM packaging and that's one of the conditions), even if it was compiled in it would to our current knowledge only affect sshd, the runtime doesn't include an sshd at all, and they're still being extra cautious anyway.

One caveat: There is an unstable version of the runtime that does have the backdoored version, but that's not used anywhere (I don't believe it's allowed on Flathub since it entirely defeats the point of it).

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Login isn't necessary, but there is no :latest tag published so you need to pull a version that exists. The current version is at codeberg.org/forgejo/forgejo:1.21.8-0 or at :1.21 if you want one that tracks patch updates (as found in the container registry).

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

My casual-browsing-only netbook is currently running on a RAID0 setup between the internal eMMC and the microSD card because I think it's funnier that way. Nothing useful's stored on there and it's one nixos-rebuild away from being reinstalled so I don't mind the inevitable breakage.

There is one uncleared level remaining in Super Mario Maker, with 18 days to go before the servers shut down (www.issmmbeatenyet.com)

UPDATE: Ahoyoo has confirmed that Trimming the Herbs was uploaded with TAS tools, meaning that The Last Dance was the final legitimate level all along! Congrats to kazeihinn on the Last First Clear! The journey continues in Super Mario Maker 2…...

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Someone hacked in a clear (in-game). First time it happened to this level, but not the first time it happened overall.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

sudo mv /etc/default/grub /root/old_etcdefaultgrub to get it out of the way, then sudo dnf reinstall /etc/default/grub to reinstall the package that provides it, giving you a fresh unmodified copy. Should work for practically any config file on Fedora.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Storj is blockchain stuff with the storage and bandwidth provided by individual node operators. They've kinda tried to bury the whole blockchain stuff and generally keep it removed from their main signup/pricing/usage flow; customers pay in USD and never have to see any of it. But it's still there in the background and it's still the main reward system for node operators.

There's some clickwrapped T&Cs for operators that set some minimum requirements, they've made sure one node leaving doesn't cause data loss, but I'd still be very wary of using them for anything irreplaceable. It only takes one crypto crash or the like for the whole thing to die out, and while they might end up suing some guys running an old NAS out of their garage, that's not gonna get your data back.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

Already been done, there's a data dump of every MM1 course on archive.org. The dump is dated but it came after level uploads for MM1 were shut down so it should be about as complete as it gets, minus courses deleted by Nintendo before that.

Actually playing anything seems to be quite complex but there's some instructions in the reviews, so it should be doable for someone to set up a replacement server in the future (Pretendo network already has the basics for custom Wii U online running).

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

DP is very much not free. VESA themselves is happy to tell you that DisplayPort is excluded from their list of free standards, and the leaked copies of old standards are stamped with a "distribution to non-members is prohibited" notice on every page.

I'm not sure where that misconception came from, but it really needs to stop at some point. The best thing to say about VESA is they're slightly less bad than the HDMI Forum. But only by so little.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

This is a shot in the dark, but since the permissions look fine to me, the only other thing that comes to mind is that the SELinux contexts might not have been copied. Fedora is one of the few distros that enables SELinux in enforcing mode right out of the box. That can be very complex to understand if it breaks.

There is a Fedora documentation page about SELinux. The /var/log/audit/audit.log log file should be full of errors relating to your /home if it broke. I believe that stat /home and stat /new_home should display the SELinux context if SELinux is active, and they should be identical.

Also possible I'm totally off the mark, though, it's just a possibility.

What games do you recommend for my girlfriend?

My girlfriend has never really gamed. But she’s now forced to move less than she would like to (health problem) and she’s getting bored. I was thinking of introducing her to a game or two that we could play together. She’s not the real action game type, and seeing as she has no experience with controller/mouse and keyboard...

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

I don't think Factorio is suitable for a first-time gamer. The way the inventory, hotbar and the map work aren't immediately obvious if you've never played a game. If you do try, at least turn biters off. The time pressure that's added by having to set up defense would be difficult enough to handle, but offensive combat is quite the struggle if you're still trying to learn basic gaming controls. You'd be dealing with things like swapping hotbars to one with grenades & stuff, control schemes changing the moment you get into a vehicle and weird targeting quirks. And by the time you get to trains or advanced oil cracking quite a lot of people tend to drop off the game in general.

I'd start with something like Minecraft on peaceful difficulty, then give easy or normal a try after a couple of hours if that goes well. Peaceful leaves time to learn all the basic controls and is fun enough to run around in by itself, and you're not going to get blasted by a creeper that fell behind you.

chameleon,
chameleon avatar

For the port thing, you can set the net.ipv4.ip_unprivileged_port_start sysctl to a lower value like 80 (may need to go lower if you also do email). It also applies to IPv6.

The default of 1024 is for security, but the actual security granted by it is not really that relevant nowadays. It stems from a time where ports < 1024 were used by machines to trust other machines using stuff like rsh & telnet, and before we considered man-in-the-middle attacks to be practical and relevant. Around the start of this millennium, we learned better. Nowadays we use SSH and everything is encrypted & authenticated.

The only particularly relevant risk is that if you lower it enough to also include SSH's default port 22, some rogue process at startup might make a fake SSH server. That would come along with the scary version of the "host key changed" banner so the risk is not that high. Not very relevant if you're following proper SSH security practices.

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