Hit Backspace 28 Times or Upgrade Tonight

by Ostatic Staff - Dec. 17, 2015

Another Linux security vulnerability has been discovered and making the news for a couple of days. Researchers discovered that hitting backspace 28 times allows bypassing of security measures. In other news, Microsoft is increasing pressure on loyal users to upgrade to Windows 10 and Adriaan de Groot said Plasma 5 on FreeBSD when it's stable. Dedoimedo was disappointed in another distro and Bruce Byfield listed nine reasons to use Open Source.

Plasma Desktop is not performing real well according to most accounts. Even KDE's *BSD guy, Adriaan de Groot, said it'd be put on FreeBSD "when it's stable and usable." So, it's not now? Dedoimedo just spent two weeks proving it and he's not the only one. We've been monitoring reviews for months now as distributions move on from KDE 4 to Plasma 5. Today Dedoimedo found several issues in openSUSE 42.1 Leap saying, "It would seem that Plasma has decided to transform from my favorite desktop into the biggest failure of the year." Several routine functions didn't work and some only after fiddling. He concluded that on paper openSUSE 42.1 should be "a dream come true, the Linux Nirvana." But "in reality, it is nothing of the sort. openSUSE 42.1 is hardly usable as a day-to-day distro." He's noticed a terrible trend in Linux lately - a big suck factor.

Speaking of sucking, another Linux vulnerability is being hyped to the heavens. Popular Mechanics called it, "A hack so ingenious it seems fake." If you hit backspace 28 times, you can bypass GRUB's password check and be dropped to a shell. Then emergency recovery functions can be used to disable the security checks which will allow a malicious person with physical access to boot other live systems and access files and operations they shouldn't. Cue the headless chickens. Distributions are fixing this now with Ubuntu, Red Hat, Gentoo, and Debian confirmed as patched.

Several sites have covered the new more aggressive tactics employed by Microsoft to get spyware Windows 10 onto their loyal customers machines. The Register reports, "The latest pop-up screen doesn't even give you a choice." It's either "Upgrade now" or "Upgrade tonight." Users can click the X to close the Window and temporarily kill the process, "but less savvy computer users (part of Redmond's core market segments) might not figure that out." Their punchline reads, "The latest pop-up screen is yet another tactic by Microsoft to increase updates, but you have to wonder where the line is between helpful prodding and infuriating nagging." Geez.

In other news:

* Ubuntu 16.04 LTS won't send local searches over the web by default

* Nine Reasons for Using Open Source Software

* Ahead Of Red Hat's Q3 Results

* AppStream/DEP-11 fully supported in Debian now!

* openSUSE Leap 42.1 DVD and Toshiba NB520, Notes on installing