Ubuntu Unearths ‘Hateful Discourse’ in Version 23.10

    Ubuntu has pulled its Desktop release 23.10 due to the discovery of hate speech in its Ukrainian translations. The offensive slurs, which included anti-Semitic, homophobic, and xenophobic language, were injected into the distribution by a malicious contributor using a third-party tool outside of the Ubuntu Archive. The affected translations were found buried within the Ukrainian release, prompting Ubuntu to remove the 23.10 image and issue a statement. The project explained that a community contributor had submitted the malicious translations through a public online service that the Ubuntu Desktop Installer relied on for language support. These translations only affected users during installation through the Live CD environment and were not propagated to the disk. Upgrades to Ubuntu Desktop 23.10 from previous releases are not impacted. The incident occurred around September 22nd, prior to the Israel-Hamas conflict, but was discovered after the release of Ubuntu 23.10. Concerns have been raised about the potential for malware injections through dependencies in future Ubuntu releases. Ubuntu has restored its Ukrainian translations to their pre-sabotage state and is conducting a broader audit before making them officially available again. In the meantime, users are advised to download Ubuntu Desktop 23.10 from the unaffected Legacy installer ISO or upgrade from a previously supported release.

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