Article from Issue 222/2019

In the news: VMware rolls out essential PKS; Linux 5.0 is here; Kali Linux 2019.1 is available; Linux Foundation releases a new draft of OpenChain specification; hackers start exploiting a Drupal bug;  LibreOffice is vulnerable to a remote code execution flaw; and an early warning system for seismic events.

VMware Rolls Out Essential PKS

VMware is launching a new Kubernetes solution ( called VMware Essential PKS. Essential PKS includes an upstream Kubernetes version backed with commercial support by VMware. The new solution is designed to address the needs of users who want vendor support without the heavy customization and modification often associated with vendor-distributed Kubernetes alternatives. Essential PKS also comes with reference architectures to inform design decisions.

Why would someone want Essential PKS (with an upstream version of Kubernetes) rather than VMware's own fully managed Enterprise PKS? According to Scott Buchanan, senior director, product marketing at VMware, many potential customers have already invested in Kubernetes and would prefer to keep the open source, upstream version, but without the overhead of in-house maintenance.

Linux 5.0 Is Here

Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, has announced the release of Linux 5.0. Despite any excitement around the major release number, the fact is these numbers really don't mean much. Torvalds has often said that he chooses a new number when the version number becomes too long. He simply doesn't want a situation where "the numbers are big enough that you can't really distinguish them."

Announcing 5.0, Torvalds wrote, "I'd like to point out (yet again) that we don't do feature-based releases, and that '5.0' doesn't mean anything more than that the 4.x numbers started getting big enough that I ran out of fingers and toes."

That said, there are many new features in this release, including support for GPUs. Linux 5.0 comes with improvement for AMD FreeSync, NVidia RTX Turing, and Raspberry Pi Touch Display support. It also comes with Google's Adiantum storage encryption system.

As we reported earlier, 50 percent of the Linux 5.0 codebase consists of driver updates, 20 percent is architecture updates, 10 percent is tooling, and the remaining 20 percent is the rest of the stuff, including documentation, networking, filesystems, header file updates, and core kernel code.

Linux 5.0 also alleviates the performance hit that was caused by previous mitigations of Spectre and Meltdown bugs.

Kali Linux 2019.1 Available

Kali Linux is a distribution that shows up on Mr. Robot quite a bit. It's one of the best penetration testing and hacking tools out there. Ahead of the next season of Mr. Robot, the Kali Linux project has announced the first release of 2019, to package more tools for both Elliot and his sister Darlene.

Kali Linux 2019.1, updates the Linux kernel to version 4.19.13, fixes bugs, and includes many updated packages.

According to the project, "the big marquee update of this release is the update of Metasploit to version 5.0, which is their first major release since version 4.0 came out in 2011."

Metasploit 5.0 includes database and automation APIs, new evasion capabilities, and usability improvements throughout.

Kali Linux 2019.1 also includes updated packages for theHarvester and DBeaver. Kali now also supports ARM, which means you can use a single-board computing device as a swiss army knife that you can slip into your pocket.

"The 2019.1 Kali release for ARM includes the return of Banana Pi and Banana Pro, both of which are on the 4.19 kernel. Veyron has been moved to a 4.19 kernel and the Raspberry Pi images have been simplified so it is easier to figure out which one to use.

If you want to try Kali Linux, you can download the latest images from the Kali download page (

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