Items tagged with Kernel

Accurate timers are critical to the function of the low-level parts of the underlying code that drives the user-facing software we actually use in our daily lives. Fortunately, x86-64 PCs include numerous timers. Actually selecting which of those timers to use in a given scenario, however, can be a headache due to bugs, design flaws or implementation issues. The preferred timer on most modern machines should be the High-Precision Event Timer, or HPET. Sadly, that's not always the case on recent Intel hardware. Back in 2019, Linux started disabling the HPET on Coffee Lake and Ice Lake-based Intel platforms, owing to problems with the timers' accuracy when the system enters the PC10 low-power... Read more...
In April, we first reported on Linux Kernel dev and maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman banned submissions from the University of Minnesota due to new concerning patches. It has also come to light that UMN has done questionable research on the Linux kernel team, and people were already wary. Now, the Linux Technical Advisory Board (TAB) has published its findings of the events and recommendations for the future. Over the rather lengthy audit of the situation, the TAB lays out a timeline of events from 2018 up through today detailing what has led to what we now face. Since that original date, UMN had submitted nearly 400 bug-fix patches centering around research papers. Two years later in August, UMN... Read more...
Last week, we reported on a Linux Kernel developer banned The University of Minnesota for some ethically questionable research. Since then, UMN issued an apology and started an investigation into how this all happened, but some people are having none of it. This week in the Linux Kernel security saga, Greg Kroah-Hartman announced that the Linux Foundation and its Technical Advisory Board sent a letter to UMN outlining what must be done to regain the trust of the Linux community, and no further discussion will be had. Earlier this year, three researchers from UMN published a paper that proved that vulnerabilities could be slipped past Linux Kernel maintainers. The team used three easily fixed... Read more...
Yesterday we reported on a Linux kernel developer "banning" the University of Minnesota from providing patches to the kernel. However, this did not come out of the blue as some faculty and students had performed questionable research that wasted Linux kernel maintainers’ time and effort. It appears staff at UMN are now looking into the issue and have taken it quite seriously. In the last few months, researchers out of the University of Minnesota have been conducting computer science research, leading to multiple papers being published. One of these papers was about the feasibility of introducing vulnerabilities into open-source software, such as the Linux kernel, by sneaking them by reviewers.... Read more...
When independent or academic research is carried out, ethics is a primary concern if you have anything to do with people outside the research group. With that in mind, the University of Minnesota has seemingly been performing ethically questionable research on the Linux kernel by submitting useless or vulnerable code. Now, one of the biggest developers of the Linux kernel has banned UMN from submitting patches after becoming fed up with the “research.” Earlier this year, two researchers from the University of Minnesota published a research paper around the premise of sneaking malicious code into open source software (OSS). The paper specifically targeted the Linux kernel, one of the... Read more...
All major Linux kernel releases carry a handful of special updates, but there are some that are still a lot more notable than others. Linux 4.12 is one of those kernels, with even Linus Torvalds stating that it's one of the "bigger releases historically". A big reason for that? Well, for starters, it include introductory AMD Radeon Vega support. This comes hot on the heels of AMD unleashing its Vega Frontier Edition to the world, and close to a month before the consumer variants launch at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles. AMD's Vega architecture is now supported in Linux - to some extent It's important to note that this is truly introductory Vega support. Phoronix's Michael Larabel notes that with... Read more...
Whether you use Linux at home or manage a Linux server, you'll want to waste no time in making sure your OS is completely up-to-date. An exploit called "Dirty COW" has now been revealed, and while it's not the most dangerous one ever released, the fact that it's been around for nine years is causing some serious alarm throughout the Linux community. If not for the fact that Linux developer Phil Oester was impacted by this exploit, we might still not even know about it. With his own servers, Oester has been capturing all incoming traffic so as to spot issues easier, this one included. While the binary found on his server was compiled in the summer of 2015, there's no reason to believe that this... Read more...
If you're a Linux fan, then you should know that this week is a very special one. On August 25, 1991 - 25 years ago - Linus Torvalds shot out a simple message to a Minix usergroup which stated that he was working on a Minix replacement. Within, he famously said that his creation wouldn't "be big and professional like GNU". Not even Linus Torvalds could have predicted what his OS - eventually called Linux - would become. While it might have taken a little while to get off the ground in a big way, Linux was a pet project that had no goals of world domination, but over time, that eventually happened anyway. To say that Linux is "everywhere" would be accurate. Android users are using a variant of... Read more...
One of the coolest aspects of Linux is its ability to support hardware long before other OSes - and even well before consumers can even get their hands on the hardware. Take USB 3.0, for example, which hit the kernel months before the first products hit the market, in September of 2009. And then there's the SSD command TRIM, which was first launched to the kernel in December of 2008 - six months before Windows 7 introduced the same thing as standard. Of course, supporting something and actually having people be able to use it are two entirely different things. In the case of TRIM, the file system tools had to catch up, and the same was probably true for USB 3.0. Overall, this is common, but what's... Read more...
When pimping Windows Vista prior to its release, Microsoft called it "the most secure OS ever." Of course, software is just software, and there are bugs in anything. And on Friday, security firm Phion AG announced they had discovered a TCP/IP stack buffer overflow. As researcher Thomas Unterleitner indicated: Since this buffer overflow overwrites kernel memory, it could be possible that members of the Network Configuration Operator group exploit this and take control over the operating system without any restriction. This buffer overflow could be exploited to inject code, hence compromising client security. It's a new vulnerability, meaning it is not reproducible on Windows XP. Microsoft was... Read more...
Well, if you can hold out for three years, maybe you can skip Windows Vista altogether. Windows 7 is due out in 2010 (snicker). Microsoft is working on a stripped down operating system kernel they're calling MinWin as part of it, aimed at being small enough to work on the exploding number of devices that can run an OS; but geez, not that OS."A lot of people think of Windows as this large, bloated operating system, and that's maybe a fair characterization, I have to admit," Traut said. "But at its core, the kernel, and the components that make up the very core of the operating system, is actually pretty streamlined." Traut showed a demonstration of MinWin, which lacks a graphical user interface.... Read more...