Article from Issue 201/2017

Updates on technologies, trends, and tools

Trojan Turns Raspberry Pi into a Cryptocurrency Mining Device

The Russian security firm Doctor Web has discovered two Trojan programs that target Linux machines. One turns Raspberry Pi machines into a cryptocurrency mining device, and the other runs a proxy server on Linux systems.

The Trojan named Linux.MulDrop.14 targets Raspberry Pi devices, changing the password on the devices it infects, then unpacking and launching a miner, which, in an infinite loop, starts searching for network nodes with an open port 22 to replicate itself.

According to Doctor Web, "The Trojan is a script that contains a compressed and encrypted application designed to mine cryptocurrency."

The second Trojan, dubbed Linux.ProxyM, uses a special range of methods to detect honeypots – special decoy servers used by digital security specialists to examine malicious software.

"Once launched, it connects to its command and control server and, after getting confirmation from it, runs a SOCKS proxy server on the infected device. Cybercriminals can use this Trojan to ensure that they remain anonymous online," noted Doctor Web.

Fedora 26 Beta Comes with New Features

The Fedora project has announced the beta of Fedora 26, the latest version of Fedora OS. Three editions of Fedora target three different markets: Fedora 26 Workstation Beta, Fedora 26 Server, and Fedora 26 Atomic.

As the name implies, Workstation targets desktop users, the Server edition is aimed at sysadmins running servers, and Atomic targets DevOps, for managing cloud- and container-centric infrastructures.

Although each edition targets a different market segment, they all share the same fundamental Fedora technologies, and the only differences are in what comes packaged with each edition.

All three versions share these new components: updated compilers and languages, including GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 7; Go 1.8; Python 3.6 and Ruby 2.4; DNF 2.0 with backward compatibility with Yum; a new storage configuration screen for the Anaconda installation program, enabling "bottom-up" configuration from devices and partitions; and updates to Fedora Media Writer that enable users to create bootable SD cards with Fedora for ARM-based devices, like Raspberry Pi.

New in the desktop edition is Gnome 3.24, which offers many new features, including batch rename of files and night mode. Some highlights of this release include many improvements to Builder – to support a number of application build systems, including Flatpak, CMake, Meson, and Rust – in addition to integration with Valgrind for project profiling.

As containers become more and more important, Fedora Atomic offers a great platform for running container-based workloads in the cloud or on bare metal. One of the most notable features of Fedora Atomic Host is containerized Kubernetes to run different versions of the container orchestration engine.

All three editions are available for download and testing.

Raspberry Pi Foundation Merges with CoderDojo Foundation

Two open source organizations, the Raspberry Pi Foundation and CoderDojo Foundation, are joining forces. Whereas the Raspberry Pi Foundation is known for their innovative credit-card-sized single-board computers, CoderDojo focuses on exposing young people to computer programming.

According to Philip Colligan, CEO of Raspberry Pi Foundation, "Bringing together Raspberry Pi, Code Club, and CoderDojo will create the largest global effort to get young people involved in computing and digital making."

It's not a simple merger. The Raspberry Pi Foundation will become a corporate member of the CoderDojo Foundation, and Colligan will join the CoderDojo board as a director. In return, co-founders of CoderDojo, Bill Liao and James Whelton, will become members of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

Both organizations plan to continue to operate independently. Giustina Mizzoni, Executive Director of CoderDoJo, said that it would remain an independent charity based in Ireland. "In practical terms, this merger will see our two organizations working closely together to advance our shared goals," said Mizzoni. "It will enable us to leverage assets and capabilities ultimately driving further value for the CoderDojo Community."

The Raspberry Pi Foundation will provide practical, financial, and back office support to the CoderDojo Foundation.

"With this extra support we will be able to reach and benefit even more young people globally by investing more time in resource development, community support and growth strategies to make it easier for our volunteers to start and keep running a Dojo in their community," said Mizzoni.

The merger doesn't imply that Raspberry Pi will become the exclusive platform for CoderDojo. As always, CoderDojo will remain software and hardware neutral.

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