Sep
28th

DrBill.TV #354 – Video – “The Scary Malware for Linux Edition!”

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The Shellshock bug, Security Experts expect the ‘Shellshock’ software bug in BASH to be bad! Open Source Project Marilyn aims to create an anti-cancer drug, Geek Software of the Week: Linux Edition: phpMyAdmin, is Earth’s water older than our Sun?

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

phpMyAdmin


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Sep
28th

DrBill.TV #354 – Audio – “The Scary Malware for Linux Edition!”

The Shellshock bug, Security Experts expect the ‘Shellshock’ software bug in BASH to be bad! Open Source Project Marilyn aims to create an anti-cancer drug, Geek Software of the Week: Linux Edition: phpMyAdmin, is Earth’s water older than our Sun?

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

phpMyAdmin


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
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Sep
28th

Is the Water We Use Older Than the Sun?

WaterSome scientists are saying so!

Earth’s Water Is Older Than The Sun

Popular Science – By Sarah Fecht – “Since water is one of the vital ingredients for life on Earth, scientists want to know how it got here. One theory is that the water in our solar system was created in the chemical afterbirth of the Sun. If that were the case, it would suggest that water might only be common around certain stars that form in certain ways. But a new study, published today in Science, suggests that at least some of Earth’s water actually existed before the Sun was born — and that it came from interstellar space.

That’s certainly something to ponder the next time you drink a glass of water. But the discovery is also cool because it means water — and maybe life — may be ubiquitous throughout the galaxy.

“If water in the early Solar System was primarily inherited as ice from interstellar space, then it is likely that similar ices, along with the prebiotic organic matter that they contain, are abundant in most or all protoplanetary disks around forming stars,” study author Conel Alexander explained in a press release.

The researchers concluded that a significant portion of Earth’s water came from interstellar space by looking at the relative abundance of hydrogen and deuterium.

Deuterium is like hydrogen’s heavier brother. Both atoms have one proton in their nuclei, but deuterium contains an extra neutron, and it mostly forms under special conditions. In interstellar space, for example, water ice contains lots of deuterium, thanks to the freezing cold temperatures and ionizing radiation. Earthly water contains some deuterium, too, but in low quantities — up to 30 times less than interstellar water.

Looking at a water sample’s ratio of hydrogen to deuterium can tell you about what conditions were like when the water formed. But until now, scientists weren’t sure whether Earth’s deuterium came from space, or whether it was cooked up in the birth of the Sun.

To find out, researchers used mathematical models to virtually recreate the young solar system’s protoplanetary disk — the cloud around the newborn Sun. They found that, based on the temperature and radiation conditions that would have existed back then, it wasn’t possible for the young solar system to create the ratios of hydrogen and deuterium that scientists observe in Earth’s oceans and on comets. Because of that, the researchers estimate that anywhere between 7 and 50 percent of Earth’s water had to have come from the interstellar medium in which the solar system was born.

And since other solar systems would have formed in the same interstellar medium, the findings suggest that the origins of water on Earth were not unique, and that the thirst-quenching, life-supporting substance may be common on exoplanets throughout the galaxy.”

Sep
28th

Geek Software of the Week for Linux: phpMyAdmin

This is a super useful utility!

phpMyAdmin

phpMyAdmin is a free software tool written in PHP, intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Web. phpMyAdmin supports a wide range of operations on MySQL, MariaDB and Drizzle. Frequently used operations (managing databases, tables, columns, relations, indexes, users, permissions, etc) can be performed via the user interface, while you still have the ability to directly execute any SQL statement.

phpMyAdmin comes with a wide range of documentation and users are welcome to update our wiki pages to share ideas and howtos for various operations. The phpMyAdmin team will try to help you if you face any problem; you can use a variety of support channels to get help.

phpMyAdmin is also very deeply documented in a book written by one of the developers – Mastering phpMyAdmin for Effective MySQL Management, which is available in English and Spanish.

To ease usage to a wide range of people, phpMyAdmin is being translated into 72 languages and supports both LTR and RTL languages.

phpMyAdmin has won several awards. Among others, it was chosen as the best PHP application in various awards and has won every year the SourceForge.net Community Choice Awards as “Best Tool or Utility for SysAdmins”.

phpMyAdmin is a sixteen-year-old project with a stable and flexible code base; you can find out more about the project and its history. When the project turned 15, we published a celebration page.

Features

  • Intuitive web interface
  • Support for most MySQL features:
  • – browse and drop databases, tables, views, fields and indexes
    – create, copy, drop, rename and alter databases, tables, fields and indexes
    – maintenance server, databases and tables, with proposals on server configuration
    – execute, edit and bookmark any SQL-statement, even batch-queries
    – manage MySQL users and privileges
    – manage stored procedures and triggers

  • Import data from CSV and SQL
  • Export data to various formats: CSV, SQL, XML, PDF, ISO/IEC 26300 – OpenDocument Text and Spreadsheet, Word, LATEX and others
  • Administering multiple servers
  • Creating PDF graphics of your database layout
  • Creating complex queries using Query-by-example (QBE)
  • Searching globally in a database or a subset of it
  • Transforming stored data into any format using a set of predefined functions, like displaying BLOB-data as image or download-link
  • And much more…
Sep
28th

Project Marilyn: An Open Source Cure for Cancer?


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Project Marilyn aims to create an open-source anti-cancer drug

Geek – By: By Graham Templeton – “A crowdfunded anti-cancer research effort called Project Marilyn is, to say the least, interesting. It has tinges of the potential of crowdfunding, of open source development, of anti-patent law, of cancer research, and of good or bad science. Its implications could reach further than any one single anti-cancer drug, as it hopes to lead by example and help the whole research sector to a better future. Project Marilyn is just the pilot project of a much longer series, called IndySci, but neither will come to anything if Marilyn doesn’t manage to reach its funding goal — as of this writing, Project Marilyn has about $13,700 of its $50,000 goal, and just 20 days left to raise the difference.

The drug being developed here is referred to as 9DS, or 9-deoxysibiromycin, and it’s not what we would call fundamentally new; like many anti-cancer drugs of the past, it works by inhibiting cell proliferation, taking essentially the chemotherapy approach and betting on the fact that relatively high-turnover cancer cells will die more quickly in such a situation than healthy ones. The 9DS molecule literally holds the double-helix closed, slowing cell replication by preventing those cells from peeling their genomes apart to duplicate them. 9DS has shown real promise for treating kidney, breast, and skin cancers, but (so goes the narrative) that promise was scuttled by raw financial greed; 9DS was not patented, and as a result drug companies saw little potential profit in taking the drug through the expensive process of clinical trials.

Yet, because it’s not patented, the drug is essentially open source. This means that while large companies are less likely to invest, large companies are also not the only ones who can invest. That investment, which can be as little as $1 in volume thanks to IndySci, will go directly and entirely toward research expenses. That means that, quite literally, this is the most direct cancer research donation you are likely to find anywhere in the world — cancer research, more than just about any other disease, has an enormous and often intimidating bureaucracy behind it. IndieSci, or some version of the same idea, could potentially make the funder-fundee relationship in science much, much closer.

But there’s an issue (not a problem, an issue) with 9DS itself: maybe it’s bunk. This is ultimately the most likely stumbling block for any crowdfunded science project, that while science thrives on a steady diet of failures and null results, public opinion absolutely does not. A scientist might go out for celebratory beers after usefully falsifying his or her own hypothesis, and that’s a mentality most people just don’t understand. For all its nefarious tendencies, the corporate world has always been able to see far enough to keep funding such a stuttering and anti-climactic way of doing things. The crowd, however? Someone whose donation eventually became a viable drug would be far more likely to donate again in the future than someone whose donation had gone to proving that a particular drug is useless.

That natural emotional response fundamentally breaks the research sector – the last time we relied on the public’s high-minded commitment to quality over populism, we all watched passively as the nation’s newspapers tanked. This has not been a winning strategy in the past, but perhaps the immediate personal impact of cancer will be enough to galvanize the public behind this cause. Perhaps it will also be enough to motivate a higher percentage of researchers to exaggerate or falsify results to please backers. Dr. Isaac Yonemoto, a lead researcher on Project Marilyn and the prime mover behind IndieSci, showed up in the comments over at Hacker News to answer some questions — he certainly seems to understand the difficulties of crowdfunding every step of a process of trial and error.

Another issue with crowdfunding science is that, very often, you’ll be asking people to fund projects they do not understand. It’s still unclear how a thriving IndieSci of the future would help potential backers sift the doomed or less promising studies from the truly solid science. The expertise needed to really understand science lends itself naturally to the introduction of learned gatekeepers — but that’s what got us here in the first place.

If it reaches its $50,000 goal, Project Marilyn will begin with what’s known as a xenograft experiment, which test the drug’s effectiveness in mice. This is work which could lead to human trials, though the amount of money needed at that stage would be much, much higher than $50 grand. More interesting will be the funders’ reaction if this work comes to nothing more than a better understanding of cancer — will they be disappointed, or sophisticated enough to be satisfied anyway?”

Sep
28th

BASH Exploit “Opportunity” May Have Been Programmed In Long Ago!

Like I said, this may be the “Big One!”

An unpaid programmer wrote BASH as a very useful tool, now it is being exploited to harm 1000s of computers.

Security Experts Expect ‘Shellshock’ Software Bug in Bash to Be Significant

The New York Times – By: Nicole Perlroth – “Long before the commercial success of the Internet, Brian J. Fox invented one of its most widely used tools.

In 1987, Mr. Fox, then a young programmer, wrote Bash, short for Bourne-Again Shell, a free piece of software that is now built into more than 70 percent of the machines that connect to the Internet. That includes servers, computers, routers, some mobile phones and even everyday items like refrigerators and cameras.

On Thursday, security experts warned that Bash contained a particularly alarming software bug that could be used to take control of hundreds of millions of machines around the world, potentially including Macintosh computers and smartphones that use the Android operating system.

The bug, named ‘Shellshock,’ drew comparisons to the Heartbleed bug that was discovered in a crucial piece of software last spring.

But Shellshock could be a bigger threat. While Heartbleed could be used to do things like steal passwords from a server, Shellshock can be used to take over the entire machine. And Heartbleed went unnoticed for two years and affected an estimated 500,000 machines, but Shellshock was not discovered for 22 years.

That a flawed piece of code could go unnoticed for more than two decades could be surprising to many. But not to programmers.

Many of the commercial tools that individual users and large corporations depend upon are built on top of programs that are written and maintained by a few unpaid volunteers in what is called the open-source community. That community, along with big companies like Google, adjusts and builds new things on top of older work. The Macintosh operating system, for example, is routinely updated, but it is built on top of older programs like Unix.

Sometimes there are flaws in that code. And over the years, the flaw becomes part of all sorts of products.

Mr. Fox maintained Bash – which serves as a sort of software interpreter for different commands from a user – for five years before handing over the reins to Chet Ramey, a 49-year-old programmer who, for the last 22 years, has maintained the software as an unpaid hobby. That is, when he is not working at his day job as a senior technology architect at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.

Mr. Ramey said in an interview on Thursday that he believed he inadvertently introduced Shellshock in a new Bash feature in 1992, though he could not be sure because back then he was not keeping comprehensive logs. Through the years, he maintained Bash by himself and occasionally bug reports would arrive in his email inbox.

On Sept. 12, he was contacted by Stephane Chazelas, another open-source enthusiast, about a potentially dangerous bug.

Mr. Chazelas discovered the flaw after finding a similar issue in another system a few months back. He tested the bug – which he called ‘Bashdoor’- against his own servers and looked for ways to detect and fix it.

Working with Mr. Ramey and people who work on open-source security, Mr. Chazelas had a patch within hours. Then they contacted major software makers while trying to avoid tipping off hackers.

An official alert from the National Institute of Standards and Technology warned that the vulnerability was a 10 out of 10, in terms of its severity, impact and exploitability, but low in terms of its complexity, meaning that it could be easily used by hackers.

Security researchers say that as soon as the bug was reported they detected widespread Internet scanning by so-called white hat hackers – most likely security researchers – as well as people thought to be cybercriminals. The worry is that it is only a matter of time before somebody writes a program that will use Shellshock to take them over.

Researchers noted that it would be much easier for this to happen with Internet-connected servers than with a personal Macintosh laptop, because individuals would have to connect their laptops to a public network that hackers knew they were connected to in order to exploit the vulnerability.

Apple did not return a request seeking comment.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team, US-CERT, advised users and technology administrators to refer to their Linux or Unix-based operating systems suppliers for an appropriate patch. For users at home, security experts advised them to stay abreast of software updates and check manufacturer websites, particularly for hardware like routers.

Even as some question the open-source community, its biggest advocates say the bug’s discovery – even after 22 years – at least proves that programmers never stop trying to get things right.

In an interview Thursday, Mr. Fox, the Bash inventor, joked that his first reaction to the Shellshock discovery was, ‘Aha, my plan worked.’

After the Heartbleed bug was discovered last spring, the nonprofit Linux Foundation worked with major technology companies like Amazon, Apple and Google on the Core Infrastructure Initiative, an effort to identify and fund core pieces of open-source infrastructure. Contacted Thursday, Jim Zemlin, the executive director of the Linux Foundation, said the initiative was contacting Mr. Ramey to see how it could help.

‘I don’t think this is an open-source problem,’ Mr. Zemlin said. ‘Software is eating the world. The bad news is software is hard and complex.’

The mantra of open source was perhaps best articulated by Eric S. Raymond, one of the elders of the open-source movement, who wrote in 1997 that ‘given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.’ But, in this case, Steven M. Bellovin, a computer science professor at Columbia University, said, those eyeballs are more consumed with new features than quality. ‘Quality takes work, design, review and testing and those are not nearly as much fun as coding,’ Mr. Bellovin said. ‘If the open-source community does not develop those skills, it’s going to fall further behind in the quality race.'”

Sep
28th

Shellshock is a Threat to Any OS that has BASH

This is a big malware threat to all UNIX, Linux and Mac computers!

Shellshock bug: First malware to exploit security flaw spotted in the wild

Mirror – By: Mikey Smith – “The first malware apparently designed to exploit the devastating Shellshock vulnerability has been discovered online, and experts think it’s the tip of the iceberg.

Shellshock is a 25-year-old, but newly discovered flaw in software run on many Linux and Apple Mac computers.

The US government has rated the security flaw 10/10 for severity, and given it a complexity rating of ‘low’ – meaning it’s very easy to exploit.

The bug affects Bash, a program that runs on Apple Mac and Linux computers – and can run in the background without a user’s knowledge. The vulnerability lets hackers piggyback malicious code on otherwise benign commands.

The new exploit, known as a ‘bot’, infiltrates a vulnerable machine via the Shellshock bug, before setting up a series of malicious code.

One part of the code seems to enable a remote user to perform a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack – where a network of hijacked computers can flood a server with information in an attempt to make it shut down.

Another part looks for other routers on the network, and tries commonly used administrator logins to try and hijack them too.

A third section connects to a remote server in what appears to be a ‘Command and Control’ function, allowing the remotely control the hijacked machine at a later date.

Updates have been issued for Linux versions of Bash, but Apple has yet to announce a downloadable patch. Some fear the issue may go beyond servers and desktop computers, and allow internet c

Sep
21st

DrBill.TV #353 – Video – “The Tech Weirdness Edition!”

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Android L devices will be ‘NSA-Proof,’ at least we hope so, the Hamster Wheel Standing Desk kit, Comic Book TV shows are coming, GSotW: Partition Manager 2014 Free Edition, a video of an Apple fan that buys an iPhone 6, and then promptly drops it!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Partition Manager 2014 Free Edition


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Sep
21st

DrBill.TV #353 – Audio – “The Tech Weirdness Edition!”

Android L devices will be ‘NSA-Proof,’ at least we hope so, the Hamster Wheel Standing Desk kit, Comic Book TV shows are coming, GSotW: Partition Manager 2014 Free Edition, a video of an Apple fan that buys an iPhone 6, and then promptly drops it!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Partition Manager 2014 Free Edition


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

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Sep
20th

Oops! I Dropped my New iPhone 6!


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Apple fan buys iPhone 6, promptly drops it

cNet – By: Don Reisinger – “For Apple fans who wait in line for hours, if not days, to buy a new iPhone, there’s no greater fear than dropping the prized possession they waited so long for. But that’s exactly what happened to one man in Australia.

Early on Friday, Jack Cooksey was first in line at an Apple store in Perth, Western Australia. After the doors opened and he purchased an iPhone 6, he ecstatically showed it off to a local news channel. During the interview, Cooksey appeared to have some trouble opening the iPhone 6 box. As he popped off the top — perhaps getting a little too excited to see Apple’s latest iPhone — the brand new iPhone 6 fell to the pavement below.

For a moment, there was a gasp (and laughter) in the crowd surrounding Cooksey. Quick on his feet, he bent down, picked up the handset and discovered, much to his relief, that it survived the scary fall.

The entire event, which was caught on live television, was likely one of the first iPhone 6 drops in the world. Thanks to Australia’s time zone, Apple fans in the country are some of the first in the world able to get their hands on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The comedic drop was set against the backdrop of what could be one of the biggest iPhone launches in Apple’s history. Apple announced the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus at an event on September 9. Last Friday, the company kicked off preorders of the two iPhones and sold 4 million units in the first 24 hours, setting a new preorder record.

Apple stores opened at 8 a.m. local time around the world on Friday. Other retailers and carrier stores are also carrying the devices. It’s expected that stock will be tight.”


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