mintCast 308 – Encryption Part 2

mintCast Episode 308 Show Notes




  • We’re recording on Sunday May 5, 2019.
  • First up, in our Wanderings, I decide whether I want to drop OpenMediaVault, Joe prints more and gets his game on, Moss beams about his first Distrohopper’s Digest episode and gets equipped, Josh taught the teachers in London, and Tony Hughes works the back end of Distrohopper’s Digest.
  • Then, in the news, LINUX DIES! And like the phoenix it is, rises again.
  • In our innards, we talk secure messaging
  • Finally, we wrap up the show with lots of feedback and a couple recommendations


Bi-Weekly Wanderings:


  • Leo
    • Planning and testing moving my NAS from OpenMediaVault 4 to Fedora 30 Server and dropping Samba for SSHFS
  • Joe
    • Had The 3d printer up and running again for a few days.
      • Hot end needed now
      • Got today have not installed yet
    • Got Batman Arkham Knight working under Lutris
      • It looks beautiful.  Should go through the issues i had with initial setup in regards to a second screen
        • The main screen was fine but on the mirrored screen because the resolution had changed you could for some reason still everything on the right and bottom.  Once i changed the resolution of the game to match that of the screen i had much less problems and it looks very good.
      • Less than random crashes and screen cutouts
        • There is a small chance that when I die that it will crash and i will have to exit out and then restart from where i left off
        • Randomly the screen just goes black and i will have to pause the game from the controller and then i will have hit the spacebar on the keyboard and it comes back
      • I think that my wife is just happy that it is not Borderlands
    • Speaking of Borderlands, Epic games will be the only people with the game for the first 6 months and their launcher/installer will not at this time work on Linux, even under wine.  So it will be 7 months before I get the game.
    • Got easytether working again had some problems with staying connected for more than a few seconds
      • First i tried to restart the service on the computer side
      • Then I tried setting up a vpn on the phone thinking that it could be the provider causing the problem
      • I would get a connection for a few seconds and then it would drop
      • So I tried running vpn on the tablet side and the phone side.
        • Still would only connect for a few seconds and then die.
      • Tried reinstalling and troubleshooting
      • Tried a different tethering application and was getting the same issue while trying to manually copy files over from my phone.
      • So replaced the usb cable and my speeds went from 250kbps to 2-4 mbps
    • Over the past few years I have bought a few of those lots of messed up bluetooth headsets.  I was also running out of headsets. I don’t usually throw them away when they break again. Gathered up about 13 or 14 of the old ones and started working on them again so I don’t have to buy another set of them.  Back up from one good set to 6 good sets and it looks like I will be able to fix 4 more. Had to fully decommission 4 sets though.
    • Looking at the available UDEMY red hat classes.  Wondering where i can find more hours in the day.
    • Turtle Beach Ear Force z2
  • Moss
    • Tony Hughes and I completed the first episode of Distrohoppers’ Digest. It was a great first effort, with plenty of room to grow. It also showed me I need to get a boom for my Yeti… I ordered a new boom and pop filter for my Yeti. Should be here for the next show. eBay $15.99. I’ve installed Linux Lite 4.4 for the next show. Having some interesting pushback from the developer “Jerry”, mostly on my printer and the KDE games.  Everything else works great. I had a minor issue with my Kodi installation, but on May 4, I started over and it worked right. I also did a clean install of Ubuntu Budgie 19.04 and got that set up.
    • I am working on installing Mumble on my various non-Mint distros, something I’ve overlooked on previous installs — Bodhi first. And I now have Kodi fully configured and running on all 4 partitions.
    • I got some new computer speakers, OG-1060, an update of the old ones that the kittens chewed through a wire on.
    • I ran a test of boot times this morning. I always clock to when the hard drive shows it is no longer loading drivers and background stuff, which I believe is the better comparison as the computer can run quite slowly while it’s still doing other things. This was especially a problem in Windows XP and 7, where it could take several minutes to finish loading libraries and drivers.  The results are LM 3:04, Bodhi 2:47, Linux Lite 1:39 and Ubuntu Budgie 1:44. I think I can tweak the time down in Bodhi, as it spends a lot of time looking for things I should be able to tell it not to look for. For reference, my machine is a T430 with an i5 U3320M processor running at 2.60 GHz with 8 Gb of RAM.
    • Question: If I was to get a new printer, being as how I would prefer a Brother MFC or maybe Epson, which model should I get? This MFC-J470DW is showing some years and I have more trouble installing it in some distros than I should. I know Solus would be happy for me to have a J460 or J480, not sure about other distros.
    • I’ve quit my second job at the convenience store, so I need to drive Uber more until I find something else. I was coming home in increasing amounts of pain, and the store manager was not managing properly, especially in the part of making sure I could go home at the end of my shift.  My mother is still hanging in there, and the immigration issue on my wife is moving forward.
  • Josh
    • Did a keynote to 600 teachers in London last week where I talked about the new edublocks.
    • Installed Linux Mint on my Dell XPS 13 9333 after a bad experience with Manjaro
    • Design a PCB for the micro:bit  which the prototypes are on their way from China.
    • Youtube Live Stream (Will fill in more details later)                                                                                                                           
  • Tony H
    • Recording the first episode of Distrohoppers’ Digest with Moss, considering it was the first show it went OK, not perfect but not too bad.
    • Setting up the Blogger site for the show, still need to work out how to setup RSS feeds and get an Apple account for posting the show.

Post show note I got it working –

    • Starting to Play with Fedora 29 in preparation for next DHD, started with Gnome 3 edition but quickly realised why I don’t like Gnome and installed the Mate Spin which was like returning to an old Friend. I can say the installer is rubbish for a new user and not much better for a seasoned user, If you want to dual boot you need to partition the drive before you start and Install Fedora First, As just one distro on the PC it’s a little better but not by much.
    • Staying at Woodbrooke Quaker study centre doing some voluntary work, beautiful surroundings and the food is great, but I have to do a little work each day in return 🙂


The News:


  1. Linux dies:
    1. Scientific Linux is being discontinued
      1. Will be replaced with CentOS 8
      2. Fermi Labs will continue to support versions 6 and 7 until EOL
      3. 6 EOL’s in Nov 2020, 7 EOL’s in June 2024
    2. Ubuntu 14.04 is at End Of Life
      1. Reached EOL April 2019, so about a week ago
      2. No more updates! Security or otherwise!
      3. Update to 16.04 or 18.04
    3. Linux Mint Monthly News – Linux Mint 17.x EOL
      1. Like it’s 14.04 dad, it is EOL
      2. Clem is beaming with all of the positive feedback
      3. Doubles down on the idea that they’re not depressed!
      4. Clem says “I wasn’t exactly looking for TLC when making this post last month, and we’re not “depressed” (as we could read in some blogs on the Internet)”


  1. Linux lives!
    1. Debian 9.9 Released
      1. If you’re running debian 9, use apt-get dist-upgrade or apt upgrade
    2. Ubuntu 19.04 – welcome surprise for NVidia GPU users
      1. Proprietary drivers can now be installed with the “Third Party” button on install!
      2. After a few weeks, you’ll still need to keep up to date with your Nvidia drivers yourself if you need newer versions
    3. Ubuntu 19.10 upcoming features
      1. Please tell Leo how to pronounce Eoan (Ian?)
      2. Arriving in October 2019
      3. Gnome 3.34
      4. Last release before 20.04
    4. DeepinOS 15.10 announced – now on Debian Stable
    5. Fedora 30 is out with a new hat, bye-bye shadow man
      1. Gnome 3.32
      2. Improved DNF performance
      3. Kernel 5.0.9
    6. Ubuntu Store closes


Linux Innards:


  • Leo
    • Encrypted Messaging
      • Telegram
        • Millions of users
        • Not encrypted by default
        • Doesn’t store messages in Secret chats
        • Has had one audit with no flaws found, and another ongoing with a bounty of $300,000, still not claimed
        • MTProto protocol
      • Wire
        • Encrypted by default
        • Encryption is self developed but based on Signal
        • Open Source
        • Proteus protocol
      • WhatsApp
        • Massive amounts of users
        • Owned by Facebook
        • Doesn’t store messages
        • Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram messaging will converge
        • Closed Source
      • Signal
        • One of the original secure messaging platforms
        • Lots of users… certainly more than 10 (probably 1M or more)
        • Might be the most secure on the list as its spawned other services
        • Endorsed by Bruce Schneier and Edward Snowden
        • Axolotl protocol
      • Discord(ish) (not much to say here)
        • Proprietary
      • Librem One
  • Joe
    • Encrypted Email
      • Synchronous encryption
        • This is the simplest kind of encryption that involves only one secret key to cipher and decipher information. Symmetrical encryption is an old and best-known technique. It uses a secret key that can either be a number, a word or a string of random letters. It is a blended with the plain text of a message to change the content in a particular way. The sender and the recipient should know the secret key that is used to encrypt and decrypt all the messages. Blowfish, AES, RC4, DES, RC5, and RC6 are examples of symmetric encryption. The most widely used symmetric algorithm is AES-128, AES-192, and AES-256.
        • The main disadvantage of the symmetric key encryption is that all parties involved have to exchange the key used to encrypt the data before they can decrypt it.
      • Asynchronous encryption
        • Asymmetrical encryption is also known as public key cryptography, which is a relatively new method, compared to symmetric encryption. Asymmetric encryption uses two keys that are related to encrypt a plain text. Secret keys are exchanged over the Internet or a large network. It ensures that malicious persons do not misuse the keys. It is important to note that anyone with a secret key can decrypt the message and this is why asymmetrical encryption uses two related keys to boosting security. A public key is made freely available to anyone who might want to send you a message. The second private key is kept a secret so that you can only know.
        • A message that is encrypted using a public key can only be decrypted using a private key, while also, a message encrypted using a private key can be decrypted using a public key. Security of the public key is not required because it is publicly available and can be passed over the internet. Asymmetric key has a far better power in ensuring the security of information transmitted during communication.
        • Asymmetric encryption is mostly used in day-to-day communication channels, especially over the Internet. Popular asymmetric key encryption algorithm includes EIGamal, RSA, DSA, Elliptic curve techniques, PKCS.
      • Protonmail


Vibrations from the Ether:


  • Hilander (sent to us AND Going Linux)


  • Brad A.

[notes and links from email]

…the problem with mundane filenames to hide your treasures is that regardless of the name you give it, the file command will give you away:


[storm@defiant ~]$ file rsx.jpg

rsx.jpg: JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01, resolution (DPI), density 300×300, segment length 16, Exif Standard: [TIFF image data, little-endian, direntries=5, xresolution=74, yresolution=82, resolutionunit=2, software=GIMP 2.10.8, datetime=2019:03:22 15:29:12], progressive, precision 8, 1556×593, frames 3

[storm@defiant ~]$ cp rsx.jpg thisisnotajpg.bin

[storm@defiant ~]$ file thisisnotajpg.bin

thisisnotajpg.bin: JPEG image data, JFIF standard 1.01, resolution (DPI), density 300×300, segment length 16, Exif Standard: [TIFF image data, little-endian, direntries=5, xresolution=74, yresolution=82, resolutionunit=2, software=GIMP 2.10.8, datetime=2019:03:22 15:29:12], progressive, precision 8, 1556×593, frames 3


Similar to people who move their ssh daemon. Whatever port you move it to, if you telnet to that port, it is going to say something to the effect of


Escape character is ‘^]’.

SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_7.8 FreeBSD-20180909


  • Abebe


  • Michael



Lots of people in that thread had success with @bradleypariah ‘s suggestions. Here’s the specific post in that thread.


Check This Out!





  • mintCast listener Jackie Moore writes:

Everyone that is a mintCast listener is aware of Moss’s difficulties of late. I have started a go fund me to help Moss go to SELF in Charlotte NC. To donate please go to Grow Moss at Southeast Linux Fest ! This can be our way of saying Thank You for doing mintCast and Distrohoppers’ Digest!  [Please help Moss decide what to do with these funds if he doesn’t get enough to go… there is no refund link, all funds are sent on an ongoing basis to his bank. At the time of the show, about $96 has been received; one donor has stated his $20 donation can be used for Moss’ fundraiser to keep his wife in the country if the fundraiser is unsuccessful.]




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