Great Job Ubuntu Community

Posted: November 19, 2011 in Random pontifications
Tags: , , ,

I was considering posting some relatively technical article tonight, in fact I laid the ground work, fired up the VM did all the testing and took all the screen shots already. However, in doing that I realized that quite frankly many of the individuals in the open source community who put forth an effort to aid, educate or in other words help new users understand the security benefits and ramifications of a Linux based operating system are rarely praised.

Sure there are professionals out there, and we seek to educate, others just want to make it through the day alive, and others still are security evangelists (divas); a title which I myself have no doubt earned several times over in certain circles. The truth is though, particularly in the community on Ubuntu Forums the individuals who try to help are not compensated in any way shape or form. They are volunteering, and they do it for the betterment of the community. I am speaking about several individuals in particular whom I will name (well handle) at the end of this. These individuals took a concept, that is not easy to approach “Security for Newbies” (new users being the politically correct term), and undertook a huge task by organizing the community and putting out a fairly detailed amount of documentation as well as a gigantic thread with all sorts of crazy stuff in it. They did this in a relatively limited time and with a limited knowledge base, researching a lot of information so that others may learn from their work.

I was involved in this project as well, and while I did not even begin to bear the burden of the work, I did receive a portion of the flames that I’m sure those spearheading the project received. I heard “hey man Ubuntu is secure, you’re spreading fear uncertainty and doubt.” or “This isn’t what Open Source software is about”. Truthfully, with respect to those opinions (it’s my blog if you don’t like it leave) I disagree. The efforts put forth by these individuals is at the very core of OSS, in that they are sharing the knowledge which they acquired, whether you like it or not for your benefit. Of course, if you disagree, or just don’t want to hear it, you’re entitled to that opinion.

However, my thoughts on the subject are that everyone involved did an amazing job, and it was a great project to be a part of, and hopefully we can keep the ball rolling and making it something better still. In fact in my opinion it was a unifying thread in some respects, and it dissolved a lot of the mysteries surrounding Linux/Ubuntu and a great deal of good came from it.

So overall, I just want to say great job to all of those involved in the “Security for Newbies Thread” and the associated wiki it spawned.

So without further ado by name thanks here it goes

  • MrLeek – The thread as your idea, and though it was a rocky start, it wouldn’t have happened without your idea and contributions.
  • Ms. Daisy – Probably the individual who put the most time in editing building and otherwise organizing a giant conglomeration of ideas and thoughts. Probably also the largest learning curve achieved (MVP anyone?). Ambitions for blue team (see you soon ;-))
  • Olle Wiklund – Contributed multiple ideas, as well as marketed the idea of the wiki and promoted it to individuals who desired learning.
  • Haqking – An infosec professional with like a billion years of experience and a really good friend of mine, who’s contributions to the thread helped greatly (as well as a good place for me to vent some frustrations) Also note worthy this man is lethal with google πŸ˜‰
  • Thewhistlingwind – Keeping the thread on track with grounded and practical knowledge of application in security concepts. To quote a song by The Offspring “you’re gonna go far kid.”
  • vasa1 – you only made a few posts, but you helped guide the direction of it more than you probably realize (as I was putting in research for different concepts in the thread I kept finding your name in most of the things I looked up lol.
  • mrwoof – Router security tips, simple things that most people don’t look at but can end up devestating quickly
  • BlinkinCat – Encouraging the thread and FAQ in its infantile stages
  • tartalo – Also encouragement, probably when the project needed it the most
  • Spartacux – I know I give you crap for wearing your “tin foil hat” too much, but you made some great points, and though a lot of the privacy related stuff didn’t make it to the wiki your points will still be heard through the thread.
  • dflyer – While I disagree with the usefulness of shieldsup and anything else made by Steve Gibson, it does have its purposes, and can help educate users (mostly correctly) in the state of TCP ports. +1 for contributing a resource that speaks clearly to some people.
  • OpSecShellshock – Another talented infosec professional, I’m pretty sure this individual knows everything there is to know about web based vulnerabilities, well done and thank you for taking the time.
  • crazyguy50 – For elaborating very concisely what shields up does. (you did miss the part about selling subscriptions to zone alarm though :-P)
  • CharlesA – IT professional, and well on his way to becoming a member of the Infosec field, keep at it, you’ll make it you’ve got your head in the right place. Generally cool guy and official mod mascot πŸ˜‰
  • Bukie – Awesome points on passwords, even more winning for sending the thread into a 2 day debate about divulging password constructs
  • desukane – Contributed by bringing the wiki back to a level of speaking to its target audience (which was not in fact at B-Sides)
  • Lisati – For bringing a GOOD choice of beer and differentiating two very important social groups “hackers” and “crackers” hackers make money legally and shower, this is the difference. πŸ˜‰
  • jramshu – For bringing some good points to the thread as well as a healthy sense of paranoia (and on a personal note for reminding me that we should in fact NOT mess with Texas)
  • Orangecrate – by providing a dissenting opinion, you can’t make a document relevant if you can’t make it important to those who couldn’t care less.
  • leoquant – valid points about targeting of certain platforms flash in particular
  • Vanhenjyr – for pointing out the fact that some of this stuff is really hard to embrace, thus spawning the NoScript configuration guide πŸ™‚
  • Many Anonymous Contributors – For those who didn’t want to be recognized, you’re still getting recognized. Thank you for your contributions
  • If I missed you in any way — please send me a message on the forum I will add you to the list if you want to be, if you do NOT want to be on this list let me know I will take you of as well.

    Also this project is not dead, or finished, if you’d like to contribute feel free to join in πŸ™‚

    Have a great weekend everyone!
    (read I’ll see you on the forums tomorrow morning lol)

  1. Tushar Kumar says:

    Very good post… and a special thanks to you πŸ™‚

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