New Linux kernel debuts, adds more suspect NSA-sourced crypto

New Linux kernel debuts, adds more suspect NSA-sourced crypto


Linux creator and lead developer Linus Torvalds has released a new version of the Linux kernel.
Version 4.18 went through eight release candidates – one more than usual – on its way to release.
The biggest change this time around is the omission of the Lustre filesystem, software popular in the high-performance computing community because it helps storage to scale.
Lustre’s developers emphasized work on the standalone version of the software and it was never fully-integrated with Linux, so this release dumped it.
An interesting inclusion is improved support for the Speck128 and Speck256 encryption algorithms in some other filesystems.
Speck was developed by the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) and security experts aren’t entirely certain the NSA has told the world all it needs to know about the algorithms. Some suspect the agency may be able to circumvent its use.
Another notable addition is support for the Qualcomm 845 system-on-chip. That silicon already powers plenty of phones, but the chip will also be adapted into the model 850 to power Microsoft’s forthcoming PCs powered by ARM chips.
Those PCs are promised to have 24-hour-plus battery life, making Linux support for the 845 an important step on the route towards Qualcomm getting into the PC business and the Wintel duopoly shaking just a little.

Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht


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