May 13, 2005

Linux Advisory Watch - May 13, 2005

Author: Benjamin D. Thomas

This week, advisories were released for squid, smail, XFree86, lapack, system-config-bind,
gnutls, util-linux, libexif, ethereal, postgresql, gaim, pygtk, GnuTLS, gzip,
TCPDump, libTIFF, HT, and openmotif. The distributors include Debian, Fedora,
Gentoo, and Red Hat.Sarbanes Oxley - Section 404
By: Erica R. Thomas

The section titled 404 corresponds to the requirements for effective internal
controls by corporations falling under the jurisdiction of The Act. According
to the Guardian Digital SOX Whitepaper, "Under Section 404 management must institute
a comprehensive internal control structure which includes appropriated procedures
to ensure accurate and complete financial reporting." Management must conduct
an annual assessment regarding the effectiveness of this structure and it must
be supported by documented evidence and validation of managements assessment
by a registered public accounting firm. According to Robert Moeller in his book,
"Sarbanes-Oxley and the New Internal Auditing Rules", a system or process has
good internal controls if it accomplishes its stated mission, produces accurate
and reliable data, complies with applicable laws and organization policies,
provides for economical and efficient uses of resources, and provides for appropriate
safeguarding of assets. The annual internal controls reports must state the
responsibility of management for establishing and maintaining an adequate internal
control structure and procedures for financial report and must contain an assessment
of the effectiveness of the internal control structure for procedures of the
company for financial reporting.

The Act affects every level of an organization, however much of the
compliance issues will be dealt by the upper-level executives as
well as finance and IT departments. Overall, The Acts main concern
is the security and integrity of financial information. As stated by
Guardian Digital, "Given that almost all business information today
is created, stored, and shared electronically, information technology,
with special regard to information security, is a significant
component of the effective internal controls mandated by SOX."

Any aspect of information technology controls which directly affects
the processes or procedures involved in creating and preparing
corporate data, including all hardware, software, and IT policies
relevant to the preparation and retention of information would then
be subject to compliance to the act.

According to SOX, all corporations must pass a set of rules for
every division within a company that may be involved in the generation,
manipulation, and reporting of corporate information. With regard to
IT departments, however, these policies will be created to drive
security and ensure the integrity of all information contained on
the network. Documented policies and procedures set acceptable rules
for employees and executives conduct alike and furthermore, provide
blueprints on how certain situations should most effectively be handled
eliminating guesswork and inadvertent transgressions. Setting
information security policies, properly enforcing them and proactively
evolving existing policies to adjust to corporate growth is the
backbone for SOX compliance and is essential to achieve optimum
performance and security on the system.

Although properly executed acceptable use policies are a good defense against
many of the internal threats facing corporate infrastructure, they cannot protect
the integrity of corporate data alone. A solid infrastructure incorporates numerous
technologies including those that will protect corporate confidentiality, the
continuity of secure network operations, and further assist in enforcing corporate
network and Internet policies. These solutions should include firewalls for
traffic monitoring, comprehensive auditing features to reveal user and system
activity, strong encryption mechanisms to ensure data integrity when transferring
pertinent information, user authentication mechanisms such as passwords and
digital certification, and a system back-up module to provide critical recovery
services. A cohesive collection of all these applications is a step in the right
direction for SOX compliance as well as a chance for organizations to empower
their IT infrastructure through technologically advanced applications. Such
improvements not only provide governmental compliance and greater network protection
but can also result in a dramatic performance increase.
Feature Extras:

to Know Linux Security: File Permissions
- Welcome to the first
tutorial in the 'Getting to Know Linux Security' series. The topic explored
is Linux file permissions. It offers an easy to follow explanation of how
to read permissions, and how to set them using chmod. This guide is intended
for users new to Linux security, therefore very simple. If the feedback is
good, I'll consider creating more complex guides for advanced users. Please
let us know what you think and how these can be improved.

Tao of Network Security Monitoring: Beyond Intrusion Detection

- To be honest, this was one of the best books that I've read on network security.
Others books often dive so deeply into technical discussions, they fail to
provide any relevance to network engineers/administrators working in a corporate
environment. Budgets, deadlines, and flexibility are issues that we must all
address. The Tao of Network Security Monitoring is presented in such a way
that all of these are still relevant.

Shell Scripts
- Do you have scripts that contain sensitive information
like passwords and you pretty much depend on file permissions to keep it secure?
If so, then that type of security is good provided you keep your system secure
and some user doesn't have a "ps -ef" loop running in an attempt to capture
that sensitive info (though some applications mask passwords in "ps" output).


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Thank you for reading the
weekly security newsletter. The purpose of this document is to provide our readers
with a quick summary of each week's most relevant Linux security headline

  Debian: New squid packages fix ACL bypass
  6th, May, 2005

Updated package.

  Debian: New smail packages fix arbitrary code execution
  9th, May, 2005

Updated package.

  Debian: New XFree86 packages fix arbitrary code execution
  9th, May, 2005

Updated Package.

  Fedora Core 3 Update: lapack-3.0-26.fc3
  5th, May, 2005

This update fixes problems in some lapack libraries (problems with compiler optimalization). This version contains all patches present in fc4 lapack version.

  Fedora Core 3 Update: system-config-bind-4.0.0-12
  5th, May, 2005

Updated package.

  Fedora Core 3 Update: gnutls-1.0.20-3.1.1
  5th, May, 2005

New gnutls version fixes CAN-2005-1431 problem (possible DOS attack)

  Fedora Core 3 Update: util-linux-2.12a-24.2
  6th, May, 2005

Updated package.

  Fedora Core 3 Update: libexif-0.5.12-6.fc3
  6th, May, 2005

Updated package.

  Fedora Core 3 Update: ethereal-0.10.11-1.FC3.1
  9th, May, 2005

Updated package.

  Fedora Core 3 Update: postgresql-7.4.8-1.FC3.1
  10th, May, 2005

This update includes several upstream security fixes and other bug

  Fedora Core 3 Update: gaim-1.3.0-1.fc3
  11th, May, 2005

Many bug fixes and two important security fixes.

  Fedora Core 3 Update: pygtk2-2.4.1-fc3.1
  11th, May, 2005

Updated package.

  Gentoo: Oops! Remote code execution
  5th, May, 2005

The Oops! proxy server contains a remotely exploitable format string
vulnerability, which could potentially lead to the execution of
arbitrary code.

  Gentoo: Ethereal Numerous vulnerabilities
  6th, May, 2005

Ethereal is vulnerable to numerous vulnerabilities potentially
resulting in the execution of arbitrary code or abnormal termination.

  Gentoo: GnuTLS Denial of Service vulnerability
  9th, May, 2005

The GnuTLS library is vulnerable to Denial of Service attacks.

  Gentoo: gzip Multiple vulnerabilities
  9th, May, 2005

gzip contains multiple vulnerabilities potentially allowing an attacker
to execute arbitrary commands.

  Gentoo: TCPDump Decoding routines Denial of Service vulnerability
  9th, May, 2005

A flaw in the decoding of network packets renders TCPDump vulnerable to
a remote Denial of Service attack.

  Gentoo: libTIFF Buffer overflow
  10th, May, 2005

The libTIFF library is vulnerable to a buffer overflow, potentially
resulting in the execution of arbitrary code.

  Gentoo: HT Editor Multiple buffer overflows
  10th, May, 2005

Two vulnerabilities have been discovered in HT Editor, potentially
leading to the execution of arbitrary code.

  Gentoo: Gaim Denial of Service and buffer overflow vulnerabilties
  12th, May, 2005

Gaim contains two vulnerabilities, potentially resulting in the
execution of arbitrary code or Denial of Service.

  RedHat: Moderate: tcpdump security update
  11th, May, 2005

Updated tcpdump packages that fix several security issues are now available.

  RedHat: Moderate: tcpdump security update
  11th, May, 2005

Updated tcpdump packages that fix several security issues are now available.

  RedHat: Critical: gaim security update
  11th, May, 2005

An updated gaim package that fixes two security issues is now available.

  RedHat: Critical: gaim security update
  11th, May, 2005

An updated gaim package that fixes security issues is now available for Red Hat.

  RedHat: Moderate: openmotif security update
  11th, May, 2005

Updated openmotif packages that fix a flaw in the Xpm image library are now

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