Practical Technology

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To trust or not to trust Red Hat, that is the question


I like Linux. I like Red Hat and Fedora Linux. I use them every day. What I don’t like, though, is not knowing what’s what with the recent security break-in into the RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) and Fedora file servers.

What happened, we’re told by Paul W. Frields, the Fedora project leader, “some Fedora servers were illegally accessed” during the week of August 11th. OK, fair enough, Web servers are broken into all the time. Frields then added, “The intrusion into the servers was quickly discovered, and the servers were taken offline.” OK, that’s what they should have done, but then things get more interesting.

As a result of the Fedora break-in, Red Hat checked into its RHEL servers and, Frields wrote, “Detected an intrusion of certain of its computer systems and has issued a communication to Red Hat Enterprise Linux users.” Excuse me, your people found out that your community Linux servers had been compromised before they found out that there were problems with the business Linux servers?

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