Kali Linux 2018.1 Released For Ethical Hackers

In 2016, Offensive Security–the developer of Kali Linux ethical hacking distro–decided to switch to a rolling release model. However, from time to time, they keep releasing the Kali snapshots with all the latest patches, fixes, and updates. Following the same tradition, the developers have pushed the first snapshot for 2018.

Aptly named Kali Linux 2018.1, this release contains all the fixes and updates released since last November’s Kali 2017.3. The team faced challenges like Spectre and Meltdown exploits, whose patches can be found in Linux 4.15 kernel.

This release is powered by the new Linux 4.14.12 kernel, which brings support for newer hardware and improved performance. This will enable the ethical hackers and penetration testers to use Kali in a more efficient manner to safeguard the security.

Notable Kali 2018.1 features

2018.1 comes with the support for AMD Secure Memory Encryption. It’s a new feature of AMD processors that allows automatic DRAM encryption/decryption. This will, theoretically, prevent the machines from cold-boot attacks.

Kali 2018.1 also supports the increased memory limits. With kernel 4.14, the new CPUs will be able to support 128PB of virtual memory and 4PB of physical memory.

In case you’re running Hyper-V to run Kali VM images, there’s some more good news. In the new release, Hyper-V integration services are included, which support Network Monitoring, Replication, and Dynamic Memory.

Kali Linux 2018.1 update and download

It goes without saying that a number of packages have been updated. This list of updated tools includes reaver, dbeaver, seclist, zaproxy, burpsuite, etc.

In case you’re already running Kali, run this command to get all the updates:

The brand new torrent and ISO files for Kali Linux 2018.1 can be found on this download page. The links for a pre-made ARM and VM images are also provided there.

Red Hat has updated their Red Hat Development Suite to version 2.0, including updates to Red Hat JBoss Development Suite and Red Hat Container Development Kit.

“The general theme of this release is expanded usability, product integration, expanded support for Middleware products in Development Suite,” senior product manager of Developer Tools at Red Hat, Bob Davis said in the blog post announcing the updates.

The Red Hat Development Suite installer is available for Windows, macOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and it will automatically download, install and configure selected tools such as EAP, Fuse and the Kompose 1.0 technical preview, a new addition to the suite.

Kompose is a tool that can be used to convert Docker Compose files to Kubernetes or Red Hat OpenShift artifacts. Kompose was conceived as an onboarding tool for Kubernetes users by Skippbox (since acquired by Bitnami) and it received contributions from Google and Red Hat early in development. It’s now a part of the Kubernetes Community Project as of version 1.0.0.

Kompose can be installed via YUM through another new addition, the Red Hat DevTools channel.

Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has acquired the assets and technology of Permabit Technology Corporation, a provider of software for data deduplication, compression and thin provisioning. With the addition of Permabit’s data deduplication and compression capabilities to the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat will be able to better enable enterprise digital transformation through more efficient storage options.

“With the addition of Permabit’s data deduplication and compression tools to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat will be ready to support these organizations as they seek to derive a more efficient storage footprint to power business innovation,” said Jim Totton, vice president and general manager of Red Hat.

As more enterprises move towards adopting the efficiencies offered by digital technologies like Linux containers and cloud computing, being able to run these services and store the resulting data requires new storage needs outside of what is offered by traditional storage technologies. Storage efficiency is a key piece in addressing these needs, particularly with the emergence of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) which blends storage and compute onto a single x86 server. Enterprise-class, open source solutions can help to address the storage challenges posed by these digitally transformative technologies by using software to increase the amount of storage available to applications without increasing the amount of physical storage.

With Permabit’s technology, Red Hat can now bring powerful data deduplication and compression features into Red Hat Enterprise Linux itself, which will also enhance capabilities across Red Hat’s hybrid cloud and storage technologies, including Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat Storage. Consistent with its commitment to delivering fully open source solutions and upstream-first innovation, Red Hat plans to open source Permabit’s technology. This will enable customers to use a single, supported and fully-open platform to drive storage efficiency, without having to rely on heterogeneous tools or customized and poorly-supported operating systems.

The transaction is expected to have no material impact to Red Hat’s guidance for its second fiscal quarter ending Aug. 31, 2017, or fiscal year ending Feb. 28, 2018.

Linus Torvalds took the wraps off the first Linux 4.13 kernel release candidate on Saturday, a day ahead of its expected release.

The new release candidate (RC) comes a fortnight after the stable release of Linux 4.12, which was one of the biggest updates in the kernel’s 25 year history. That kernel also got its first update to 4.12.1 last week.

“This looks like a fairly regular release, and as always, rc1 is much too large to post even the shortlog for,” wrote Torvalds.

“Once again, the diffstat is absolutely dominated by some AMD gpu header files, but if you ignore that, things look pretty regular, with about two thirds drivers and one third “rest” (architecture, core kernel, core networking, tooling).”

The Linux 4.13 merge window has been open for the past two weeks ago for kernel developers to send in pull requests.

As noted by Phoronix, Linux 4.13 includes work on the Direct Rendering Manager support for Intel’s new Cannonlake and Cofeelake processors, as well as AMDGPU driver fixes for Raven Ridge and Vega 10.

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Linux 4.12 released

There’s also additional support for various ARM-based chips, including the Rockchip 1108 SoC and a host of singles board computers, such as the LeMaker Guitar Board, BeagleBone Blue, and Allwinnner-based boards such as the Orange Pi Win and Nano Pi NEO 2.

The kernel also brings additional support for Microsoft’s Windows Management Instrumentation and carries a “major update” to Ubuntu maker Canonical’s AppArmor kernel security system.

Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 4.12 this week. According to Torvalds, this is one of the biggest releases historically.

“Things were quite calm this week, so I really didn’t have any real reason to delay the 4.12 release,” Torvalds wrote in an email. “There’s also nothing particularly odd going on in the tree – it’s all just normal development, just more of it that usual.”

In addition to the development, Linux 4.12 adds the bulk of new header files for the AMD Vega support. “That’s almost exactly half the bulk of the patch, in fact, and partly as a result of that the driver side dominates everything else at 85+% of the release patch (it’s not all the AMD Vega headers – the Intel IPU driver in staging is big too, for example),” Torvalds wrote.

Other key features include: support for GeForce GTX 100 series 3D, Intel’s DRM driver, two new I/O schedules, initial Radeon RX Vega support, power management improvements, and additional ARM device support.

“As mentioned over the various rc announcements, 4.12 is one of the bigger releases historically, and I think only 4.9 ends up having had more commits. And 4.9 was big at least partly because Greg announced it was an LTS kernel. But 4.12 is just plain big,” Torvalds wrote.

In addition, the merge window for Linux 4.12 is now open.

While using a computer system, often one faces the need to carry out certain repetitive jobs on a schedule. Instead of manually executing the requisite commands each and every single time, you can make things easier for yourself by using the Linux Cron utility and the Crontab command. Wondering how to schedule jobs in Linux using these commands? Let’s find out.

Quite like the TaskScheduler utility of Windows, one can utilize the Cron utility to schedule jobs in Linux to run periodically at fixed intervals of time. Used typically for automating system maintenance or administration jobs like backing up data, updating packages and much more, any Linux sysadmin would vouch for its importance.

Job scheduling in Linux: Basic Guide

What is Cron?

The Cron service is a time-based job scheduling service that is typically started when the system boots. It checks every minute for any scheduled jobs and runs them if they exist.

What is Crontab?

In order to manipulate the job schedules, we use the Crontab program in Linux. Crontab, short for ‘cron table,‘ is a configuration file. Each line of the Crontab represents a job and contains information on what to run and when to run. The following is the format for the Linux Crontab:

Schedule Jobs In Linux Crontab Format

The command gets executed whenever all the time specification fields match the current date and time. More often than not, we use the asterisk (*) symbol in the time specification field to match any value in that field.

Opening and Editing Crontab

Now, let us learn how to open and edit the Crontab file, which is an important step in Linux job scheduling. In order to do so, we use the following command:

After executing this command, you might be prompted to choose an editor. If you are a beginner, I would advise you to select Nano, otherwise feel free to go with any editor that you are comfortable with.

After you are done selecting the editor, a file similar to the one shown in the screenshot below will open up:

Schedule Jobs In Linux Editor Crontab File

Note: The Hash (#) Symbol is used to denote comments. These comments will be ignored by Cron.

Scheduling Jobs

Now in order to schedule jobs in Linux, all you need to do is enter all the necessary details while following the format mentioned above. Here is an example: Suppose I want to run the command usr/bin/backup at 2:30 AM on the first day of every month, then I will add the following line to the Crontab:

30 : 30th Minute
02 : 2 AM
1   : 1st Day
   : Every Month
   : Every Day of the Week

Specifying Multiple Value and Ranges

It is also possible to schedule jobs in Linux to occur at multiple times. Just use a comma (,) to separate the required values. As an example, lets again consider the previous example. Now if i wish to execute the command at 2:30 PM as well, all i need to do is this:

30      : 30th Minute
02,14 : 2 AM and 2 PM
1        : 1st Day
        : Every Month
        : Every Day of the Week

Note: We have specified 2 PM by 14 , as Crontab utilizes the 24-hour time format

What’s more, its even possible to specify a range of time within Crontab in Linux job scheduling. Just insert the values separated by a dash (). Here, we will again consider our initial example for showing how it’s done. This time, suppose we wish to execute the command at every hour between 2 AM and 2 PM on the first day of every month. We will do this in the following fashion:

00       : 0th Minute
02-14 : 2AM, 3AM, 4AM, 5AM, 6AM, 7AM, 8AM, 9AM, 10AM, 11AM, 12AM, 1PM, 2PM
1        : 1st Day
        : Every Month
        : Every Day of the Week

Crontab Shortcuts

As a bonus in this article on how to schedule jobs in Linux, consider the following shortcuts and keywords of the Crontab format which might come in handy to schedule jobs in Linux:

@yearly       : run once a year at midnight on the morning of January 1
@annually   : same as @yearly
@monthly   : run once a month at midnight on the morning of the first day of the month
@weekly     : run once a week at midnight on the morning of Sunday
@daily         : run everyday at midnight
@midnight  : same as @daily
@hourly      : run once a hour at the beginning of the hour

For example: Consider that I have to run the /usr/bin/backup command every month. The Crontab format for it will be:

Once you save the changes to the Crontab and exit, you shall see the following message indicating that you carried out the process successfully.

Happy learning.

 

The Linux community can get their hands on the latest release of the popular Ubuntu-based OS, Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya. The release features the Cinnamon 3.4 desktop, LightDM, and changes to various applications. The ISOs for Cinnamon, KDE, MATE, and Xfce editions are now available for download.

While we were chilling out on Sunday, Clement Lefebvre announced the release of the Cinnamon, KDE, Xfce, and MATE editions of Linux Mint 18.2 Sonya. It has been five months since Linux Mint 18.1 Serena which came out in the last week of January.

As we already know, Linux Mint 18.2 is an LTS release with support until 2021. It uses Ubuntu 16.04 as its base system and has Linux Kernel 4.8 and Linux Firmware 1.157.10. The development team says Ubuntu 16.04 would remain the base system until 2018.

The original edition of the open source distro comes with Cinnamon 3.4 desktop environment. Cinnamon 3.4 was first released in May this year. In the past, the development team has already told us about the new features coming to Linux Mint 18.2. These include changes to Xed, Xreader, Xviewer, XPlayer, Blueberry, Pix, Update Manager, Software Sources, LightDM as display manager, etc.

Linux Mint 18.2 Desktop

Now, when you turn on your Linux Mint 18.2 machine, you’ll be welcomed by a new dark themed greeter called Slick. Linux Mint 18.2 also features a fresh set of community sourced eye-catchy artworks and wallpapers.

Linux Mint 18.2 Backgrounds

The KDE edition of Linux Mint features Plasma 5.8 desktop environment while the MATE edition includes MATE 1.18 desktop environment.

Talking about Linux Mint’s Xfce edition, it includes Xfce 4.12 environment. The window manager xfwm4 has been updated to version 4.13 and now includes support for Vsync and scaled cursor during zoom along with bug fixes. The application launcher Whisker is updated to version 1.7.2.

Download

 

Linux machine vendor System76 has launched their own operating system named Pop!_OS. Based on Ubuntu GNOME, this new Linux distro’s Alpha version is right now available for download. The first final release of Pop!_OS will be shipped on October 19, 2017. System76 has described it as an operating system built for creators.

System76 is known for its Linux machines that come loaded with Ubuntu as default operating system. Now the company has released their own Linux distro called Pop!_OS.

Pop!_OS is based on Ubuntu GNOME 17.04 and it’s first release will be made available on October 19, 2017. However, you can download Pop!_OS Alpha right now.

Shedding more light on Pop!_OS, their website writes that it’s designed for the creators and aims to serve the complicated and professional needs of the users. “The Pop user interface stays out of the way while offering extensive customization to perfect your workflow. Built on Ubuntu, you have access to vast repositories of open source software and development tools,” the website adds.

From the first look, Pop!_OS looks like a clean and modern-looking operating system, which borrows a lot from GNOME shell.

Wondering about the release cycle of Pop!_OS? Well, they are looking to rebase their releases on each Ubuntu release. However, it might be more like a rolling release, reports Phoronix.

Coming back to System76’s relationship with Ubuntu, after Canonical announced that Ubuntu is making a shift to GNOME and ditch Unity, System76 was bound to get affected. The company’s business depended a lot on Ubuntu, and it had to take some concrete decision to make sure that the fans weren’t looking for some other alternative.

You can find more details about Pop!_OS on their website. The Alpha Release is also available for download, so go ahead and give it a try. After the stable release in October, users will get Pop!_OS preinstalled on new System76 devices.

Did you find the new Pop!_OS Linux distro interesting? Don’t forget to share your views with us.

Debian developer and the team lead of “debian-cd” Steve McIntyre announced on the project’s mailing list that he and his team worked hard during the past 72 hours or so to rebuild all the live images of the new Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” release.

Launched this past weekend, Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” is now the most stable and advanced release of the acclaimed Linux-based operating system, shipping with tons of new features and updated technologies. The OS has been in development for the past two years.

Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” is distributed with the usual installation images for all supported architectures, as well as live ISOs pre-loaded with select desktop environments, such as GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, Xfce, LXDE, and MATE, only for 64- and 32-bit computers, which weren’t bug-free as the developers would have hoped.

“We found multiple issues in the live images released at the weekend. Since then, I’ve been working on fixes for the worst problems. I’ve just published a new set of images as 9.0.1,” says Steve McIntyre in the mailing list announcement, where the developer list the issues fixed so in the 9.0.1 point release.

The KDE Live ISOs continue to be unstable on some hardware

Some of the issues fixed included display problems with the isolinux menu when booting in BIOS mode, use of very restrictive permissions (i.e. drwx——) for the root directory, use of an incorrect Volume ID, and installation failure when trying to install the operating system from the live image boot menu.

But it looks like not everything was resolved, as the KDE Live ISOs continue to be unstable on certain hardware, specifically Intel ones (possible workaround: switch to VT1 and wait for the desktop to start), and the UTF-8 console is not configuring correctly (quick workaround: “dpkg-reconfigure console-setup” and select “UTF-8”).

These two problems should be fixed by the next update, which is currently planned for July. Until then, we recommend re-downloading the Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” Live ISOs right now from our website or via the Debian Project’s official mirrors if you want to test drive a certain desktop environment, otherwise it’s safe to use the install-only images for installing the OS.

Debian developer Henrique de Moraes Holschuh is warning users of the popular GNU/Linux distribution about a new security flaw that affects Intel’s 6th and 7th generation Skylake and Kaby Lake processors supporting HyperThreading.

Affecting all operating systems types, the issue has a huge impact on all of the Intel CPUs from the 6th and 7th generation, including desktop, mobile, embedded, and HEDT (High-End Desktop), as well as related server processors from the Xeon 5 and Xeon 6 series and select Intel Pentium processor models.

Debian Project appears to be the first to issue a warning for its users using the Debian GNU/Linux operating system on their computers powered by Intel Skylake or Kaby Lake processors with HyperThreading enabled, urging them to immediately disable the feature from the BIOS or UEFI settings or update the processor microcode.

“This defect can, when triggered, cause unpredictable system behavior: it could cause spurious errors, such as application and system misbehavior, data corruption, and data loss,” reads the mailing list announcement. “Disable HyperThreading immediately in BIOS/UEFI to work around the problem.”

Updated intel-microcode packages are available for Debian 9 and 8

Debian devs already released updated intel-microcode package for both Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” and Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series, urging Intel Skylake and Kaby Lake users to update as soon as these are approved and available in the “non-free” or “jessie-backports” repositories.

If you don’t know if your computer has either an Intel Skylake or Kaby Lake processor with HyperThreading, check out the advisory to see how you can find out the model name of your CPU. In any case, it’s best that you immediately disable HyperThreading and do not enable it again until you’ve update the BIOS/UEFI to fix the issue.