Verifying authenticity of ubuntu updates

Asked by Ariel Faigon

On Dec 18, rkhunter (root kit detector) emailed me about several executables that were updated on my sytem:

Usually I can easily associate such changes with me running an update and finding matches to pathnames of updated executables in my logs like this:

   packagename=`dpkg-query -S $pathname | sed 's,:.*,,'`
   grep -hw $packagename /var/log/dpkg.log* | sort

This time although these were all in the dpkg logs, I didn't recall running adept-updater around the time of the change (I may have run some general update from the command line, not sure).

My question/request:

1) Is there a official list of recent-updates I can retrieve from launchpad on the package file date+time level ?
2) Is there a list of md5 (or sha1) signatures on the file level anywhere on launchpad (not on my system) that I can use to verify that my executables are legitimate?

Ideally there would be a web page on launchpad were I would enter something like:


and it would give me back a list (reverse sorted by time most recently updated on top) of lines like this:

file date+time package version md5sum
/usr/sbin/vipw 2008-12-18 08:45:27 GMT passwd 1:4.1.1-1ubuntu1.2 e50b549349b822f542c9da934c440853

This way I can verify for sure that any of my files which might be suspect is legit.

Thank you!

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Best Bulat (bulatkjug) said :

Don't know whether there is such a list. But you can go to and browse through repositories manually. It's the place from where Synaptics downloads updates etc. for Ubuntu. There you can find all the information you need.

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Bulat (bulatkjug) said :

P.S. I now recall that there've been an update of some user management related package on my laptop recently. Never the less, you'd better go and check yourself in the repositories.

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Ariel Faigon (ariel.faigon) said :


Thanks so much. This is definitely a good and helpful answer.
It gives me something to start from.

What is not so obvious is how can I translate from a package name to the location in the repositories. I guess some legwork of grepping recursively in /var/lib/apt/lists/ string manipulation and transformation could help me automate this verification process.

So I still have much work to do but this is very helpful (should have thought about it myself :)
so I will mark it solved.

Perhaps later I can share my verification script.

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Ariel Faigon (ariel.faigon) said :

Thanks Bulat, that solved my question.