New Linux Malware Called EvilGnome Discovered; First Preview of Fedora CoreOS Now Available; Germany Bans Schools from Using Microsoft, Google and Apple; VirtualBox 6.0.10 Released; and Sparky 5.8 Has New Live/Install Media for Download

News briefs for July 18, 2019.

New Linux malware has been discovered that masquerades as a GNOME shell extension and spies on users. Bleeping Computer reports that Intezer Labs' researchers made the discovery earlier this month, and they say that "EvilGnome's functionalities include desktop screenshots, file stealing, allowing capturing audio recording from the user's microphone and the ability to download and execute further modules. The implant contains an unfinished keylogger functionality, comments, symbol names and compilation metadata which typically do not appear in production versions." See Intezer's blog for more on EvilGnome.

Fedora recently announced the first preview release of Fedora CoreOS. From the announcement: "Fedora CoreOS is built to be the secure and reliable host for your compute clusters. It's designed specifically for running containerized workloads without regular maintenance, automatically updating itself with the latest OS improvements, bug fixes, and security updates. The initial preview release of Fedora CoreOS runs on bare metal, QEMU, VMware, and AWS, on x86_64 only." Go here to download and get started with Fedora CoreOS.

Germany has banned its schools from using cloud-based productivity suites from Microsoft, Google, and Apple, because the companies weren't meeting the country's privacy requirements. Naked Security reports, that the statement from the Hessische Beauftragte für Datenschutz und Informationsfreiheit (Hesse Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, or HBDI) said, "The digital sovereignty of state data processing must be guaranteed. With the use of the Windows 10 operating system, a wealth of telemetry data is transmitted to Microsoft, whose content has not been finally clarified despite repeated inquiries to Microsoft. Such data is also transmitted when using Office 365." The HBDI also stressed that "What is true for Microsoft is also true for the Google and Apple cloud solutions. The cloud solutions of these providers have so far not been transparent and comprehensible set out. Therefore, it is also true that for schools, privacy-compliant use is currently not possible."

VirtualBox 6.0.10 was released this week. According to Linux Uprising, it's a maintenance release with mostly bug fixes, but it does have one main new addition: "support for UEFI secure boot driver signing on Ubuntu and Debian 10+ hosts". See the full Changelog for more details.

Sparky 5.8 "Nibiru" has new live/install media available to download. This is the first release of the stable line based on Debian 10 "Buster". Changes include Linux kernel 4.19.37-5 (i686 and amd64) and 4.19.57-v7 (ARMHF), Calamares installer updated to 3.2.11, old third party repositories have been removed and much more. Go here to download the Sparky stable edition.