Older blog entries for Marcus (starting at number 130)

While you can now rip your private CDs to MP3 again with SUSE Linux 10.1 or SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (no additional RPMs required), I recommend ripping to OGG.

Why? Because the format is free. Advocate OGG today!

I hate Mozilla.

I hate Acrobat Reader.

Both are not maintainable on products that have lifetimes longer than 1 year. Because then is the time when upstream will be releasing new versions that are no longer working with the older products.

Did you know that we have products with lifetimes of 7 years now? Guess what is on them ... Acrobat Reader and Mozilla *.

The weather however continues fine.

Not much mentionable done over the last week.

We released the updated update stack for SUSE Linux 10.1, fixing most of the bugs present in the GA version. Run YaST Online Update to install it.

This has actually cost most of my time this week :/

Provided Wine 0.9.15 packages, but no gphoto news however.

People are not happy with 10.1 quality and asking why we shipped it...

If you know project management, well, at one point in time you have to ship or you will never ship it (because of they delay you could just add these other important features). What is worse?

And yes, I readily admit that 10.1 has definitely problems in package management and drivers. But a fatalist attitude as in "should not have shipped" is not good.

Picasa for Linux was released, WINE based. And yours truly got mentioned on slashdot even though I did not do that much compared to CodeWeavers.

25 May 2006 (updated 25 May 2006 at 16:32 UTC) »

Happy Towel Day!

Wine 0.9.14 is out and SUSE rpms got build by yours truly.

Week is over for me, since we have a public holiday here today (Christ ascension) and I took overtime comp off tomorrow.

Spent some time to help with testing the update for the packagemanagement framework for 10.1, hopefully out soon. Also helped releasing the kernel update, with ... some problems.

Sad weather for a public holiday. Why is it always sunny when one has to work?

Oh, and I am part of Summer of Code ... As Mentor ;)

New glibc security things: Pointer obfuscation

glibc 2.4 (in SUSE Linux 10.1) introduces pointer obfuscation. On program startup a random value is read from /dev/urandom, and several pointers are xor'ed with this value when storing them to data structure and when restoring them.

This goes for:

  • jmp_bufs (setjmp/longjmp) which could be used by Stack Overflows to execute code. If you could overwrite the stack pointer or instruction related register stored in jmp_buf (usually stored on the stack too), you could exploit stack overflows even without triggering canaries.
  • atexit() functions, in case the attacker overwrites heap and those function pointers
  • iconv / gconv related function pointers.
Another potential of changing code execution paths is gone.

New things in 10.1 from a security point of view.

Format string exploits got harder, thanks to FORTIFY_SOURCE and glibc 2.4.

glibc now checks if %n (the critical point in format string exploits) appear in writeable memory, and if yes, it will abort. Considers this example:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>

extern int f(char *f) { char *buf = malloc(strlen(f)+1);

strcpy(buf, f); printf(buf,"hello world"); } int main(int argc, char **argv) { f("%s\n%n%n%n"); }


$ gcc -O2 -o xx xx.c
$ ./xx
hello world
Segmentation fault
Exploit successful.


$ gcc -O2 -o xx xx.c -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2
$ ./xx
hello world
*** %n in writable segment detected ***
Exploit only successful in getting a controlled abort(), but no code execution.

This requires code compiled with the -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2 define, which all packages with RPM_OPT_FLAGS in SUSE Linux are, which are around 90% - 95%.

(Of course I know that almost all format string exploits have been fixed in the meantime. But there might still be some left.)

0.9.13 has been released!

Of WINE of course. ;) And SUSE RPMs are built and uploaded.

YUM repos for SL 9.3 - 10.1 are at:<code> ftp://ftp.suse.de/pub/people/meissner/wine/<distro>/ </code>

The new SUSE Linux 10.1 now shows updated WINE automatically as soon as they appear.

Hmm, to clarify the last diary entry ... Basically every one doing something for SUSE Linux is "openSUSE staff member". In _no_ order of importance:

  • The Novell/SUSE employees doing the packaging, integration etc. work
  • The countless number of Testers and Bugreporters
  • The folks helping on the mailinglists.
  • The folks that helped manning the openSUSE booth at LT (and upcoming fairs).
  • The folks fixing typos in the Wiki.
  • ... meaning every one :)

But anyway, back to my opensource stuff...

My TWAIN -> sane/gphoto2 split got applied to WINE cvs and will be in Wine 0.9.13. So you can import your pictures into Picasa now. Sadly via a JPEG -> Bitmap -> JPEG route currently.

Peeked at the MTP developer kit. Now I know what the missing PTP opcodes mean, the 0x91xx set is for the Janus DRM, the 0x9201 one is for some strange "Buy Now(tm)" technology. Both not really necessary to implement for your music playing experience right now.

Interesting read on Windows Media DRM too, especially the fact that they planned that it will be cracked. The commercial vendors are learning from the DVD desaster.

And I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 3 episodes. Evil Willow *rrrrrr* :)

I am a proud member of the openSUSE staff.

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