Saturday, December 12, 2009

Malware Discovered In Screensaver For Ubuntu And Gnome

We all thought it was perfectly safe to run Linux but this story on Linux Magazine proves otherwise. While it is true this particular Malware wasn't targeting the end user, it does demonstrate how easy it is to get unwanted applications and scripts installed. I heartily agree with the article's author, Kristian Kissling, to either check the source code fully or stick to the approved repositories for software. This easily could have been much worse than a script attacking a server. Linux by default is pretty secure but when the user gives the okay to install, all bets are off. This particular malware was hidden in a screensaver, a method of deploying rogue software that has been very popular and I assume effective for a long time. This should serve as a warning to fellow Linux users to be careful and never think your system is 100% safe. If you have been victimized by this waterfall screensaver from Gnome-Look.Org, they have removed the screensaver, the article linked above has the removal command and here is a link to the Ubuntu forums currently discussing this exploit.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Restart X In Karmic Koala Explained

I have seen numerous posts about restarting xserver in Ubuntu and nearly all point to Ctrl+Alt+Backspace. This command no longer works in Ubuntu since v9.04. The command has been replaced by RtAlt+SysReq+K. On my laptop the SysReq key is shared with print screen and if done in a different order produced a print screen dialog. This of course may be different for your equipment. I have also seen one post about adding the dontzap package to re-enable this function. When I ran the command sudo apt-get install dontzap I received package not found error as seen in the screenshot below. If anyone knows how to re-enable this please post in the comments.