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A New CentOS

CentOS release manager, Karanbir Singh announced the release of CentOS Linux 7 1804, which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.5.

CentOS is a community-maintained clone of RHEL, and it is targeted at users who want the functionality of RHEL without the need for Red Hat support. As a result, CentOS is extremely popular among web hosting providers that need thousands of virtual machines to run websites.

As CentOS emerged as a serious threat to RHEL, Red Hat moved swiftly to acquire the project. Many CentOS maintainers joined Red Hat. Since then, CentOS has maintained a measure of independence and continues to be available free of cost.

Although CentOS is seen as downstream of RHEL, in some cases it also works as an upstream source. "Developers and end users looking at inspecting and contributing patches to the CentOS Linux distro will find the code hosted at git.centos.org far simpler to work against," wrote Singh.

Users are urged to upgrade to the latest version of CentOS. "This release supersedes all previously released content for CentOS Linux 7, and therefore we highly encourage all users to upgrade their machines. Information on different upgrade strategies and how to handle stale content is included in the Release Notes," said Singh.

The system upgrade can be performed with these commands:

$ sudo yum clean all

$ sudo yum upgrade

$ sudo systemctl reboot

Download CentOS at the official download page.

Sonic and Ultrasonic Signals Can Crash Your Hard Drive

Imagine an episode of Mr. Robot where Elliot could crash the target hard drive remotely using ultrasonic signals. This story is closer to reality than it seems.

Security researchers from the University of Michigan and Zhejiang University in China have published a paper that demonstrates that the latest hard drives can be crashed using sonic and ultrasonic signals.

Attackers can exploit the vulnerability to destroy hard drives of targets. "Adversaries without special-purpose equipment can cause errors in the hard disk drive using either audible or ultrasonic acoustic waves. Audible waves vibrate the read/write head and platters; ultrasonic waves alter the output of the HDD's shock sensor, intentionally causing the head to park," said researchers.

You don't need specialized devices to produce these signals. The sound can be created by the laptop's own speakers.

"Our tests have measured a Dell XPS 15 9550 laptop's output to be as high as 103dB SPL from 1cm away from the laptop. We have observed write blocking using signals as low as 95.6dB SPL. This demonstrates the possibility of using the laptop's own speakers to attack its own hard disk drive," said the researchers.

So, pay attention to sounds in your surroundings.

Microsoft Acquires GitHub

Microsoft has acquired GitHub for $7.5 billion. The acquisition brings financial stability and leadership to GitHub. In addition, Microsoft gets access to 28 million developers who use the platform.

Nat Friedman, the cofounder of Gnome will become the CEO of GitHub. GitHub's current CEO, Chris Wanstrath, will become a Microsoft technical fellow, reporting to executive vice president Scott Guthrie, to work on strategic software initiatives.

"Microsoft is a developer-first company, and by joining forces with GitHub, we strengthen our commitment to developer freedom, openness, and innovation," said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. "We recognize the community responsibility we take on with this agreement and will do our best work to empower every developer to build, innovate, and solve the world's most pressing challenges."

Microsoft says GitHub will retain its developer-first ethos and will operate independently to provide an open platform for developers in all industries.

According to the press release, developers will be able to use the programming language, tools, and operating system of their choice for their projects – and will still be able to deploy their code to any operating system or cloud platform.

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