Michal Čihař - Blog Archives for Debian

phpMyAdmin security issues

You might wonder why there is so high number of phpMyAdmin security announcements this year. This situations has two main reasons and I will comment a bit on those.

First of all we've got quite a lot of attention of people doing security reviews this year. It has all started with Mozilla SOS Fund funded audit. It has discovered few minor issues which were fixed in the 4.6.2 release. However this was really just the beginning of the story and the announcement has attracted quite some attention to us. In upcoming weeks the security@phpmyadmin.net mailbox was full of reports and we really struggled to handle such amount. Handling that amount actually lead to creating more formalized approach to handling them as we clearly were no longer able to deal with them based on email only. Anyway most work here was done by Emanuel Bronshtein, who is really looking at every piece of our code and giving useful tips to harden our code base and infrastructure.

Second thing which got changed is that we release security announcements for security hardening even when there might not be any practical attack possible. Typical example here might be PMASA-2016-61, where using hash_equals is definitely safer, but even if the timing attack would be doable here, the practical result of figuring out admin configured allow/deny rules is usually not critical. Many of the issues also cover quite rare setups (or server misconfigurations, which we've silently fixed in past) like PMASA-2016-54 being possibly caused by server executing shell scripts shipped together with phpMyAdmin.

Overall phpMyAdmin indeed got safer this year. I don't think that there was any bug that would be really critical, on the other side we've made quite a lot of hardenings and we use current best practices when dealing with sensitive data. On the other side, I'm pretty sure our code was not in worse shape than any similarly sized projects with 18 years of history, we just become more visible thanks to security audit and people looked deeper into our code base.

Besides security announcements this all lead to generic hardening of our code and infrastructure, what might be not that visible, but are important as well:

  • All our websites are server by https only
  • All our releases are PGP signed
  • We actively encourage users to verify the downloaded files
  • All new Git tags are PGP signed as well

Weblate 2.9

Slightly behind schedule (it should have been released in October), Weblate 2.9 is out today. This release brings Subversion support or improved zen mode.

Full list of changes:

  • Extended parameters for createadmin management command.
  • Extended import_json to be able to handle with existing components.
  • Added support for YAML files.
  • Project owners can now configure translation component and project details.
  • Use "Watched" instead of "Subscribed" projects.
  • Projects can be watched directly from project page.
  • Added multi language status widget.
  • Highlight secondary language if not showing source.
  • Record suggestion deletion in history.
  • Improved intuitivity of languages selection in profile.
  • Fixed showing whiteboard messages for component.
  • Keep preferences tab selected after saving.
  • Show source string comment more prominently.
  • Automatically install Gettext PO merge driver for Git repositories.
  • Added search and replace feature.
  • Added support for uploading visual context (screnshots) for translations.

If you are upgrading from older version, please follow our upgrading instructions.

You can find more information about Weblate on https://weblate.org, the code is hosted on Github. If you are curious how it looks, you can try it out on demo server. You can login there with demo account using demo password or register your own user. Weblate is also being used on https://hosted.weblate.org/ as official translating service for phpMyAdmin, OsmAnd, Aptoide, FreedomBox, Weblate itself and many other projects.

Should you be looking for hosting of translations for your project, I'm happy to host them for you or help with setting it up on your infrastructure.

Further development of Weblate would not be possible without people providing donations, thanks to everybody who have helped so far! The roadmap for next release is just being prepared, you can influence this by expressing support for individual issues either by comments or by providing bounty for them.

New features on Hosted Weblate

Today, new version has been deployed on Hosted Weblate. It brings many long requested features and enhancements.

Adding project to watched got way simpler, you can now do it on the project page using watch button:

Watch project

Another feature which will be liked by project admins is that they can now change project metadata without contacting me. This works for both project and component level:

Project settings

And adding some fancy things, there is new badge showing status of translations into all languages. This is how it looks for Weblate itself:

Translation status

As you can see it can get pretty big for projects with many translations, but you get complete picture of the translation status in it.

You can find all these features in upcoming Weblate 2.9 which should be released next week. Complete list of changes in Weblate 2.9 is described in our documentation.

Gammu 1.37.90

Yesterday Gammu 1.37.90 has been released. This release brings quite a lot of changes and it's for testing purposes. Hopefully stable 1.38.0 will follow soon as soon as I won't get negative feedback on the changes.

Besides code changes, there is one news for Windows users - there is Windows binary coming with the release. This was possible to automate thanks to AppVeyor, who does provide CI service where you can download built artifacts. Without this, I'd not be able to do make this as I don't have single Windows computer :-).

Full list of changes:

  • Improved support Huawei K3770.
  • API changes in some parameter types.
  • Fixed various Windows compilation issues.
  • Fixed several resource leaks.
  • Create outbox SMS atomically in FILES backend.
  • Removed getlocation command as we no longer fit into their usage policy.
  • Fixed call diverts on TP-LINK MA260.
  • Initial support for Oracle database.
  • Removed unused daemons, pbk and pbk_groups tables from the SMSD schema.
  • SMSD outbox entries now can have priority set in the database.
  • Added SIM IMSI to the SMSD status table.
  • Added CheckNetwork directive.
  • SMSD attempts to power on radio if disabled.
  • Fixed processing of AT unsolicited responses in some cases.
  • Fixed parsing USSD responses from some devices.

Would you like to see more features in Gammu? You an support further Gammu development at Bountysource salt or by direct donation.

New free software projects on Hosted Weblate

Hosted Weblate provides also free hosting for free software projects. I'm quite slow in processing the hosting requests, but when I do that, I process them in a batch and add several projects at once.

This time, the newly hosted projects include:

motranslator 2.0

Yesterday, the motranslator 2.0 has been released. As the version change suggests there are some important changes under the hood.

Full list of changes:

  • Consistently use camelCase in API
  • No more relies on using eval()
  • Depends on symfony/expression-language for calculations

As you can see, yesterday announced SimpleMath is not used in the end and I've moved to use existing library. Somehow I misunderstood library description and I thought that it works as PHP, what would be problem for us (or would bring need to add parenthesis around ternary operator as we did with eval()). But this is not the case and ternary operator behaves sane in ExpressionLanguage, so we're good too use it.

Anyway if you were using MoTranslator, it might be good idea to upgrade and check if API changes affect you.

Announcing SimpleMath

For quite some time we've been relying on using eval() function in phpMyAdmin in two places. One of them is gettext library, where we have to evaluate plural forms and second of them is MySQL configuration advisor, which does it's suggestions based on text file (the original idea was to make this file shared with other tools, but it never really worked out).

Using eval() in PHP is something what is better to avoid, but we were using it on data we ship, so it was considered safe. On the other side, there are hostings which deny using eval() altogether (as many of exploits are using this function), so it's better to avoid that. I've been looking for options for replacing eval() in motranslator (library we use for handling Gettext MO files) for quite some time, but never found library which would support all operators needed in Gettext plural formulas.

Yesterday I finally came to conclusion that writing own library to do this is best approach. This way it can in future extended to work with Advisor as well. Also we can make it pretty lightweight without additional dependencies (what was problem in some existing libraries I've found).

To make the story short, this is how SimpleMath was born. As of now, it has grown to version 0.2 (you can use Packagist to install it). For now it's really simple and it can be probably confused by various strange inputs, but it seems for work pretty well for our case. Currently supported features:

  • Supports basic arithmetic operations +, -, *, /, %
  • Supports parenthesis
  • Supports right associative ternary operator
  • Supports comparison operators ==, !=, >, <, >=, <=
  • Supports basic logical operations &&, ||
  • Supports variables (either PHP style $a or simple n)

Maybe it will be usable for somebody else as well, but even if not, it's the way for us to get rid of using eval() in our codebase.

Update

It seems that Symfony ExpressionLanguage Component is doing pretty much same, but more flexible and faster, so SimpleMath will be probably dead soon and we will switch to using Symphony component.

stardicter 0.10

Stardicter 0.10, the set of scripts to convert some freely available dictionaries to StarDict format, has been released today. There are mostly minor changes and it's time to push them out in official release.

There is one change worth mentioning though - the original site for English - Czech dictionary (http://slovnik.zcu.cz/) has stopped to work and has been moved to https://www.svobodneslovniky.cz/. Hopefully this new location will live at least as long as the original one and will bring back new contributors (honestly the original dictionary gained mostly spam entries in last months). The dictionary data are now hosted in Git repository on GitHub.

wlc 0.6

wlc 0.6, a command line utility for Weblate, has been just released. There have been some minor fixes, but the most important news is that Windows and OS X are now supported platforms as well.

Full list of changes:

  • Fixed error when invoked without command.
  • Tested on Windows and OS X (in addition to Linux).

wlc is built on API introduced in Weblate 2.6 and still being in development. Several commands from wlc will not work properly if executed against Weblate 2.6, first fully supported version is 2.7 (it is now running on both demo and hosting servers). You can usage examples in the wlc documentation.

Weblate 2.8

Quite on schedule (just one day later), Weblate 2.7 is out today. This release brings Subversion support or improved zen mode.

Full list of changes:

  • Documentation improvements.
  • Translations.
  • Updated bundled javascript libraries.
  • Added list_translators management command.
  • Django 1.8 is no longer supported.
  • Fixed compatibility with Django 1.10.
  • Added Subversion support.
  • Separated XML validity check from XML mismatched tags.
  • Fixed API to honor HIDE_REPO_CREDENTIALS settings.
  • Show source change in zen mode.
  • Alt+PageUp/PageDown/Home/End now works in zen mode as well.
  • Add tooltip showing exact time of changes.
  • Add option to select filters and search from translation page.
  • Added UI for translation removal.
  • Improved behavior when inserting placeables.
  • Fixed auto locking issues in zen mode.

If you are upgrading from older version, please follow our upgrading instructions.

You can find more information about Weblate on https://weblate.org, the code is hosted on Github. If you are curious how it looks, you can try it out on demo server. You can login there with demo account using demo password or register your own user. Weblate is also being used on https://hosted.weblate.org/ as official translating service for phpMyAdmin, OsmAnd, Aptoide, FreedomBox, Weblate itself and many other projects.

Should you be looking for hosting of translations for your project, I'm happy to host them for you or help with setting it up on your infrastructure.

Further development of Weblate would not be possible without people providing donations, thanks to everybody who have helped so far! The roadmap for next release is just being prepared, you can influence this by expressing support for individual issues either by comments or by providing bounty for them.