OpenBSD's stateful packet filter, PF, has recently added passive OS fingerprinting capabilities. This new functionality allows one to design packet filtering policy based around the source operating system. It is based on Michal Zalewski's p0f. The functionality was also added to tcpdump.
OpenBSD 3.3-current now turns 3.4-beta, as the cvs log says. More info at Deadly.org.
A thousand open source projects quietly produce excellent code under the radar. What goes on in these projects? How do new people join? What motivation is there? Cameron Laird and George Peter Staplin interview several core OpenBSD developers.
The OpenBSD folks are informing us that mozilla works in -current, the SMP branch works okay with a big lock on i386, the UltraSPARC III goes single user now and the AMD Hammer port: kernel works so far, toolchain/compiler stuff in the works now.
The latest OpenBSD 3.3 release arrives with even stronger attack defenses coupled with an amazing record of just a single remotely exploitable vulnerability in more than seven years, the best security track record for any general-purpose operating system around. Read the review at eWeek.
The OpenBSD project is having currently its Hackathon event (despite their financial sponsor backing down last month), where all the developers are getting together to code for almost two weeks. Usually, that's the month of the year with the most CVS commits and the biggest advancements that are happening to the OS. Canada's tech media are reporting the event with more info.
Julien Bordet has ported code from NetBSD to support NTFS4 and NTFS5 in OpenBSD-current. He has heavily tested read accesses to his Windows 2000 partition, and that has worked fine. Julien says that there is an existing port, but his port is new and adds NTFS5 support.
The open-source project's leader says the unused portion of a $2.3 million grant has been withdrawn due to concerns that it was mainly funding foreign researchers. OpenBSD would have 60 developers flying in from around the world (they bought their own tickets, non-refundable) for a Hackathon May 8 - 20, which is a major part of OpenBSD's development cycle. Follow the discussion here.
The OpenBSD project hopes that new changes to its latest release will eliminate "buffer overflows," a software issue that has been plaguing security experts for more than three decades.
KernelTrap offers an in depth look at the recent efforts to port OpenBSD's stateful packet filter, pf, to other operating systems.
"An update on the current status of OpenBSD Symmetric Multiprocessor support was recently posted to the OpenBSD smp mailing list. At this time, it still looks to be quite a ways off in the future, with currently only i386-specific code that will detect and spinup a 2'nd processor, but not yet actually use it." Read the report at KernelTrap.
Continuing down the path of evolutionary development, release time for OpenBSD 3.3 grows near. Pre-orders of CD sets are now being accepted and new t-shirt designs are up. More at OpenBSD Journal.
OpenBSD's packet filter has really grown up. Since its introduction in OpenBSD 3.0, it has become an advanced tool for networking and security. In the first of four articles, Jacek Artymiak examines recent updates to pf. This week, he looks at Network Address Translation. The whole series of OpenBSD articles can be found here.
From the OpenBSD Journal: In his post, Theo deRaadt gives a brief technical overview of the four major security changes in OpenBSD: POSIX page protection schemes, WorX, read only segments, and Propolice. Not all of these are on all platforms, but every platform has some protection. To quote Theo in his message, "We feel that these 4 technologies together will be a a royal pain in the a$$ for the typical buffer overflow attacker."
In late November of 2002, OpenBSD creator Theo de Raadt announced on the project's mailing lists that after over a year of attempting to obtain useful UltraSparc III documentation, they had still not made much headway. In the email he rallied the OpenBSD community to help out, asking them to contact the people within Sun responsible for providing such information. C/Net reported on this in their story titled, Open-source clan in spat with Sun. The UltraSparc III is Sun's third generation 64-bit RISC architecture based processor.
"OpenBSD 3.2 is with us, and it's time to upgrade our systems to the latest release. As usual, it is strongly suggested that you install the latest release on a spare machine, apply patches, and test it until you are happy with what the OpenBSD gang gave us. Only then you should upgrade and patch the production machine. But how do you patch OpenBSD?" Read the article at OnLamp.
Acheron writes: "Spotted this on Deadly.org today. Four University of Waterloo students are working on adding SMP support to the OpenBSD kernel as their 4th year Computer Engineering Design Project. Their website can be found at Spinlocks.org. Best of luck to them."
Seen the interesting article linked from Deadly.org: "Why would one install his own personal gateway to the Internet? Because it is quite easy to do. And also because it simply is the most reliable, safest way to connect machines to a dedicated xDSL modem. Moreover, we can stash a whole bunch of useful features in such a little box."
"In today's Internet-centric computing world, networking components are a paramount feature of any system worth its salt. Easily falling into that category, OpenBSD contains strong network code and configuration interfaces which, with a little research and learning, can be put to powerful use. This series of articles aims to illustrate that with practical examples and direct application to real-world situations." Read the article at OnLamp. In the meantime, patch 001 for OpenBSD 3.2 was posted.