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red hat network

Last week one or more of Red Hat's servers got cracked. Now, it has been revealed that both Fedora and Red Hat servers have been compromised. As a result Fedora is changing their package signing key. The intruder was able to sign a small number of OpenSSH packages relating only to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (i386 and x86_64 architectures only) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (x86_64
architecture only).

This update has been rated as having critical security impact. If your Red hat based server directly connected to the Internet, immediately patch up the system.

From the RHN announcement:

Last week Red Hat detected an intrusion on certain of its computer systems and took immediate action. While the investigation into the intrusion is on-going, our initial focus was to review and test
the distribution channel we use with our customers, Red Hat Network (RHN) and its associated security measures. Based on these efforts, we remain highly confident that our systems and processes prevented the intrusion from compromising RHN or the content distributed via RHN and accordingly believe that customers who keep their systems updated using Red Hat Network are not at risk. We are issuing this alert primarily for those who may obtain Red Hat binary packages via channels other than
those of official Red Hat subscribers.

Following products are affected:
=> Red Hat Desktop (v. 4)
=> Red Hat Enterprise Linux (v. 5 server)
=> Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS (v. 4)
=> Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS (v. 4.5.z)
=> Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop (v. 5 client)
=> Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES (v. 4)
=> Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES (v. 4.5.z)
=> Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS (v. 4)

How do I patch up my system?

Login as the root and type the following command:
# yum update

This is the main reason I don't use Fedora in a production.

More information:

Now, Red hat did not disclosed how the hell attacker got in to the server. I'd like to know more about that - was it 0 day bug or plain old good social engineering hack?

Updated for accuracy - CentOS is not affected by this bug, see the comments below.

Today, at the Red Hat Summit in Boston, Mass., Red Hat introduced Project Spacewalk. RHN has provided patches and software for Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. Spacewalk is an open source (GPLv2) Linux systems management solution. It is the upstream community project from which the Red Hat Network Satellite product is derived. From the press release:

Spacewalk is the upstream project upon which RHN Satellite will now be based. Spacewalk will work with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and other Red Hat Enterprise Linux derivative distributions like CentOS and Scientific Linux. Spacewalk will bring together a growing community of new users along with seasoned systems management veterans. In this way, the Satellite product can grow (as Linux itself does) with the combined efforts of the open source leader, Red Hat, and an invigorated community. Both will work together to expand the capabilities and stature of the upstream project. This will translate into faster adoption of new, innovative ideas and technologies into the downstream Satellite product.


(Fig.01: Spacewalk in action)

=> You can download spacewalk software here.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 Released

Red Hat enterprise Linux version 5.2 has been released and available via a Red Hat Network subscription. This update brings broad refresh of hardware support and improved quality, combined with new features and enhancements in areas such as virtualization, desktop, networking, storage & clustering and security.

Virtualization of very large systems, with up to 64 CPUs and 512 GB of memory, is now possible. Virtualization support for NUMA-based architectures is provided, as well as security, performance, manageability and robustness improvements. CPU frequency scaling support for virtualized environments also allows for reduced power consumption.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.2 provides enhanced capabilities for several hardware architectures, covering x86/x86-64, Itanium, IBM POWER and IBM System z, which provide improved performance, power usage, scalability and manageability. For example, support for Intel's Dynamic Acceleration Technology permits power saving by quiescing idle CPU cores, and offers performance gains by potentially overclocking busy cores within safe thermal levels. Other hardware enhancements include extensive device driver updates, covering storage, network and graphics devices, and certification of IBM's new Cell Blade systems.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux becomes a certified operating system for IBM's new high-performance blade server based on Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E) Architecture.

Desktop version includes latest cutting edge softwares:

  • Evolution 2.12.3
  • Firefox 3
  • OpenOffice 2.3.0
  • Thunderbird 2.0

Red Hat Cluster Suite, which is included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Advanced Platform, now has a Resource Event Scripting Language that enables sophisticated application failover capabilities. It also newly supports SCSI-3 reservation fencing support for active/active and active/passive DM/MPIO (multipathing), which widens the range of storage devices that can be used in clusters.

Improved iSCSI support allows users to set-up diskless systems with a root volume on the iSCSI server, a common requirement in high-density Blade environments.


How do I upgrade my system?

First, make sure you backup existing configuration and data. Next, simply type the following two commands:
# yum update
# reboot

Verify that everything is working fine including all services:
# netstat -tulpn
# netstat -nat
# tail -f /var/log/messages
# egrep -i 'error|warn' /var/log/messages
# egrep -i 'error|warn' /path/to/apps/log/file

Alternatively, you can click on the "Red Hat Network Alert Notification GUI Tool" - which is a notifier that appears on the panel and alerts users when software package updates are available for the systems. This is point and click method.

If you are CentOS Linux user wait for some time to get all updates. More information available at Red Hat web site.