Remotely Helpful | LAS 425

Remotely Helpful | LAS 425

This week we take a look at what Noah’s using at Altispeed to provide remote assistance to his clients. We ponder over what Microsoft might have planned for Skype on Linux, cover why Android’s full disk encryption might not be as secure as you think, Mycroft’s collaboration with Canonical, the picks, your feedback & more!

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Tim Hortons dougnut shop – RUNS LINUX!

Desktop App Pick

Ping Indicator is an app that shows the ping speed of various services or addresses.

The application “pings” a given set of hosts (with configurable ping interval) and monitors the response time with logarithmic scale, displaying the results in the indicator menu.

For each host, the app shows the response time as a graph in the AppIndicator icon. On packet losses, the graph turns red, as you can see in the screenshot above, for the latest entry, which doesn’t exist.

Ping Indicator is useful in many situations, including to track your latency in various areas (by adding hosts from certain areas), monitor your website latency, track when a website that went down goes back up and so on.

According to its developer, Ping Indicator still has some rough edges and unimplemented parts from the old Link Monitor Applet, and asks its users to star and watch the project on GitHub, to encourage further improvements.

Open Broadcaster Software

Open Broadcaster Software is free and open source software for video recording and live streaming.

OBS Studio (formerly known as OBS Multiplatform) is a complete rewrite of the original OBS from the ground up, with the main goals being multiplatform support, a more thorough feature set, and a much more powerful API. While still in its early stages, releases are currently available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

OBS Studio will eventually support many of the advanced requested features not present in the original OBS, such as multiple stream outputs and scene previewing, the latter of which is now available in the current release.

— NEWS —

Skype May Be Back on Linux

If you’re a GNU/Linux user, then you’ll be very aware at just how horrible Skype is on the platform. Not only has it not been updated since June 2014, but the Skype team at Microsoft – perhaps when they were bored – added extra hoops and complications as time went on.

Encryption on Android just got weaker

Privacy advocates take note: Android’s full-disk encryption just got dramatically easier to defeat on devices that use chips from semiconductor maker Qualcomm, thanks to new research that reveals several methods to extract crypto keys off of a locked handset. Those methods include publicly available attack code that works against an estimated 37 percent of enterprise users.

A blog post published Thursday revealed that in stark contrast to the iPhone’s iOS, Qualcomm-powered Android devices store the disk encryption keys in software. That leaves the keys vulnerable to a variety of attacks that can pull a key off a device. From there, the key can be loaded onto a server cluster, field-programmable gate array, or supercomputer that has been optimized for super-fast password cracking.

The independent researcher that published the post included exploit code that extracts the disk encryption keys by exploiting two vulnerabilities in TrustZone. TrustZone is a collection of security features within the ARM processors Qualcomm sells to handset manufacturers. By stitching together the exploits, the attack code is able to execute code within the TrustZone kernel, which is an enclave dedicated for sensitive operations such as managing cryptographic keys and protecting hardware.
A third of enterprise Android phones exploitable

Both Google and Qualcomm are quick to note that both of the vulnerabilities involved—indexed as CVE-2015-6639 and CVE-2016-2431—have since been patched. The first was patched in January while the second was patched in May. Google also pointed out that it paid the researcher for his work through the company’s bug bounty program.

But researchers from two-factor authentication service Duo Security told Ars that an estimated 37 percent of all the Android phones that use the Duo app remain susceptible to the attack because they have yet to receive the patches. The lack of updates is the result of restrictions imposed by manufacturers or carriers that prevent end users from installing updates released by Google.

Mycroft: The Open Source Answer to Natrual Language

We’re thrilled to be working with Mycroft, the open source answer to proprietary natural language platform. Mycroft has adopted Ubuntu Core and Snaps to deliver their software to Mycroft hardware, as well as Snaps to enable desktop users to install the software regardless of the Linux distribution they are using! CEO of Mycroft, Joshua Montgomery, explains more within his piece below.

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