Torvalds Wants to See Hackers Doing Good for Linux Instead of Evil

Today’s topics include Linus Torvalds wanting hackers to join Linux before turning to the “dark side”; an Apache Struts vulnerability being the potential cause of the Equifax breach; ScanMyPhotos.com offering free photo digitizing to Texas and Florida residents; and Google’s appeal of its $2.9 billion EU antitrust fine.

At the Open Source Summit in Los Angeles on Sept. 11, Linux founder Linus Torvalds said one way to improve security is to get hackers to join Linux before they attack us. He also said the concept of absolute security in Linux doesn’t exist.

“Even if we do a perfect job … let’s be honest, there will always [be] bugs,”Torvalds said. There are a lot of security checks to help identify vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel. Therefore, as a technical person he is impressed by the ingenuity of the people who attack Linux code.

“There are smart people doing bad things. I wish they were on our side, and they could help us. Where I want us to go is to get as many smart people as we can before they turn to the dark side,” Torvalds said.

A Baird Equity Research report claims that a vulnerability in the open-source Apache Struts framework was the root cause of the Equifax data breach, which leaked personal information on 143 million Americans.

Equifax has neither publicly confirmed nor denied this claim, but did state that the root cause of the breach was a web application vulnerability.

The Apache Software Foundation, which oversees the development of Struts, has responded to claims that Struts may have been involved in the breach. “We are sorry to hear news that Equifax suffered from a security breach and information disclosure incident that was potentially carried out by exploiting a vulnerability in the Apache Struts Web Framework,” René Gielen, vice president of Apache Struts, wrote in a statement. “At this point in time it is not clear which Struts vulnerability would have been utilized, if any.”

With the natural events of the last three weeks hitting the south and southeast of the United States, numerous physical photo albums, videos and other irreplaceable memories were lost forever as flood waters and high winds tore communities and dwellings to pieces.

A little planning in advance can save these memories forever, and ScanMyPhotos.com is offering free photo scanning to the victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

For residents of Texas and Florida, ScanMyPhotos.com will digitize without charge up to 500 4×6 standard pictures per family or address.

As expected, Google has appealed the massive $2.9 billion antitrust fine that European Union regulators imposed on the company this June.

Google was fined on claims that it abused its Internet search dominance to promote the firm’s own comparative shopping service site over that of others. EU’s commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager said Google’s practice of playing up its own service denied rivals the chance to compete on innovation and merits as well as consumers’ freedom of choice and the full benefits of real online comparison-shopping.

Google disagreed with the EU’s decision and noted that its results for product-related searches are presented in a manner that makes most sense for users and that its practice of highlighting ads in shopping results gives online users a way to find products they are looking for more quickly.

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