5# Weekly Linux and Tech Update

  • Malicious app “Exodus” impersonating a popular crypto wallet infiltrated Snap Store, absconding with around $500,000 in Bitcoin from a user. This recurrence highlights the vulnerability of Snap Store to such threats.
    • The fraudulent app, deployed in early February, leveraged the snap sandbox but lacked authenticity compared to the official Exodus app, utilizing Flutter instead of Electron.
    • Operating under the guise of Exodus, the scam prompted users to input their 12-word passphrase—a departure from the official Exodus protocol, which never requests such sensitive information. Subsequently, the scam likely exploited this passphrase to access and deplete the wallet via an API.
    • Canonical, in response, has isolated the compromised snap and is endeavoring to bolster identity verification measures for all snap publishers. Suggestions include mandating credit card authentication and employing industry-standard identity verification technology or implementing a fee-based system with a waiting period to mitigate risks, albeit at the expense of prolonged app publishing timelines.
  • Warp Terminal on Linux: Warp, a juiced-up terminal app with hardware acceleration, collaborative work, and AI features, is now available on Linux as a DEB or AppImage.
    • The Linux version has better performance than the macOS version due to Linux-specific optimizations.
    • The terminal is built using Rust and uses the Cosmic Text library developed by System76 for their Cosmic desktop.
    • The app isn’t open source yet, but developers plan to open source parts of it.
  • Linux RGB API: Tuxedo Computers is working on a dedicated kernel interface to handle complex RGB devices and interactions on Linux.
    • The API would make things better for everyone, not just Tuxedo Computers.
  • Cosmic Desktop on Fedora: There are plans to create a Fedora spin using the Cosmic desktop environment.
  • Firefox 123: The latest Firefox release has several new features, including built-in translation improvements, better controller support, and improved performance on ARM devices.
  • Gaming News:
    • Progress on the proposed NT Sync driver for the Linux kernel, which aims to implement a better way to use Windows NT synchronization when running Windows games through Proton or Wine.
    • The latest NVIDIA drivers (510 branch) have improved Vulkan extension support, support for various color formats, HDR improvements, and fixes for older NVIDIA GPUs.
    • Proton 9.0 public beta released, based on Wine 9.0, bundling the latest Vkd3d-Proton, DXVK, DXVK-NVAPI, and other underlying libraries for gaming on Linux.
  • Crossover 24 has been released with Wine 9.0, Wine Mono 8.10, VkD3D 1.1.0, and MoltenVK 1.2.5, with UI improvements and new features.
  • DreamWorks Animation has open-sourced their renderer MoonRay, a multi-award winning state-of-the-art production renderer.
  • System76 announcing a refresh for their line of laptops with newer 14th-gen Intel CPUs.
  • Juno Computers announcing the fifth generation of the Saturn lineup of Linux-powered laptops.
  • KDE Slimbook 5, the first laptop to come pre-installed with KDE Plasma 6 desktop environment.
  • Manjaro partnering with Slimbook and Orange Pi to develop new hardware.
  • KDE Plasma 5.25 is set to be released next week, and GNOME 46 beta has been announced.
  • LXQt 20 is on its way, with most default apps and core components already ported to Qt 6.
  • Valve is releasing more of their software as open source, including Steam Audio.
  • GIMP 2.99.18 is the final development version before GIMP 3.0, which includes new features and improvements for color management and non-destructive editing.
  • LXQt 20 is expected to be released in April 2024, with a new default application menu and improved support for Wayland display protocol.

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