The PDF of his these is over here and you can read an abstract on his blog over here
From his thesis abstract:
Based on more than 2 years of daily use of the Ubuntu Linux system and 6 months of on-line and in-person fieldwork among the developers working to develop and maintain it, this thesis examines the individual and collaborative day-to-day practices of these developers as they relate to the computer operating system that is the result of their labour. Despite being spread across the industrialized world, these Ubuntu hackers socialise, share their knowledge, and come to depend on each other in their work across the Internet, as well as in their in-person meetings at conferences and summits.
I argue that these shared and negotiated on-line and in-person practices constitute a community of practice (Wenger 1998) rooted in a more than 40-year old "oral" computing tradition based on the Unix operating system which has spawned a lively interdependent on-line eco-system of free software projects built on the reciprocal sharing of knowledge and source code which, guaranteed by cleverly crafted copyright licenses, has resulted in a cumulatively improved system developed openly on-line in a fashion which has made it a viable alternative to the mainstream IT industry.
Taking the Ubuntu system as my point of departure, I examine the network of practices, processes and actors in which it has been constructed. Through a strategically selected constellation of theories, I seek to describe and analyze the three central dimensions of a community of practice: Joint enterprise, mutual engagement and shared repertoire.
From the SANS report:
In the past couple of days, reports have surfaced on the hijacking of the domains for ICANN and IANA attributed to the group NetDevilz.
According to news articles, an ICANN spokesman stated they were unaware of the events. The total time for the redirection before the entry was corrected was about twenty minutes. However it will take 24 to 48 hours after the correction to ensure all the DNS entries are updated. In that time, users were redirected to a site that stated the follow:
"You think that you control the domains but you don't! Everybody knows wrong. We control the domains including ICANN! Don't you believe us? haha
What triggered the changing of the DNS entries has not been disclosed that I have found. Dancho Danchevs blog shows an email address listed in the updated records and note the email address in the entry called "firstname.lastname@example.org" as well as the date they were updated as June 26. Regardless of how it happened (though I'm sure everyone would like to know) there is a big concern here. Nothing on the internet is safe and if this can happen to these folks, it can happen to anyone.
From the article:
The incident was first reported by Intego, a Mac security software Relevant Products/Services vendor. Sunbelt Software, the SANS Institute's Internet Storm Center (ISC), Sophos, and McAfee have confirmed the Trojan. Dubbed "OSX.RSPlug.a," the Trojan changes the Mac's Domain Name System (DNS) settings to redirect unsuspecting users to different sites.
"The whole Trojan is relatively simple and works almost exactly the same as its brother for Windows," said ISC analyst Bojan Zdrnja in a warning the center posted on Thursday. "The bad guys are taking Mac seriously now. This is a professional attempt at attacking Mac systems, and they could have been much more damaging."
Porn Opens the Door
The family of malware Relevant Products/Services that is targeting Macs is called "Puper." It's been plaguing Windows users since 2005. One of the most notable cases of Puper attacks was exploits on infected MySpace pages.
In the Mac attack, people who are searching for porn on the Internet may find it. But they may also find a nasty payload when they encounter a popup window instructing them that QuickTime needs to install new software so they can view the videos. If the user tries to install the codec, a script then creates a scheduled task to change the Mac's DNS to point to a malicious server.
Apart from the specs (1.5 GHz via processor, 512MB RAM, 80MB HDD), mind you it does cost $200 sans monitor etc; this is an important step in the right direction for all penguins everywhere.
From the article: Advocates of Linux, the free open-source operating system, like to say that buying a standard-issue computer involves a Microsoft Tax, because you have no choice but to pay for Windows. New versions of Linux and inexpensive hardware like the new Everex gPC TC2502 make that tax avoidable.
This computer has a 1.5-gigahertz Via processor, 512 megabytes of memory and an 80-gigabyte hard drive. What makes it stand out, however, is GOS, a version of Linux specially made to run Google applications like GMail and Google Documents. It also runs OpenOffice, an open-source office suite that can handle Microsoft Word documents, and some multimedia applications.
The interface features an intuitive desktop interface with a set of icons. Clicking on the Map icon, for example, brings up Google Maps. The ostensible goal is to move much of the processing from the PC to the Internet.
The gPC is available now at Wal-Mart for $200, including a keyboard and mouse. A monitor costs extra, and the Microsoft Tax is missing entirely. JOHN BIGGS