Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th Dec 2009 21:38 UTC, submitted by whorider
Privacy, Security, Encryption This news is already a week old, but it only got submitted to us today, and I didn't notice it all. As it turns out, two malicious software packages had been uploaded to, masquerading as valid .deb packages (a GNOME screensaver and theme, respectively).
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Audit packages
by 3rdalbum on Thu 17th Dec 2009 01:01 UTC
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Ubuntu has a tool for installing offline packages, called gDebi. gDebi has always been able to show you the names and locations of files that will be installed in the package; well the latest version actually allows you to look at the contents of the files before you install. You can even look at the Debian control scripts and the contents of gzipped files.

It would be a good idea to have a quick look at this information (the "Included Files" tab) before installing a package.

Of course, on Windows it's nearly impossible to audit the contents of their binary installers, and it's still not very easy to look at the contents of MSI packages on Windows. Kudos to Ubuntu and the gDebi developers for implementing this feature so conveniently, and more importantly doing it before this recent attack ever occurred.

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