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[News] Possible Hardware-level Back Doors

  • Subject: [News] Possible Hardware-level Back Doors
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2007 05:21:51 +0000
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: Netscape / schestowitz.com
  • User-agent: KNode/0.10.4
Chip Design Flaw Could Subvert Encryption

,----[ Quote ]
| Shamir said that if an intelligence organization discovered such a flaw, 
| security software on a computer with a compromised chip could be "trivially 
| broken with a single chosen message." The attacker would send a "poisoned" 
| encrypted message to a protected computer, he wrote. It would then be 
| possible to compute the value of the secret key used by the targeted system.    
| Trouble with Design Secrets
| "Millions of PCs can be attacked simultaneously, without having to manipulate 
| the operating environment of each one of them individually," Shamir wrote.  


Maybe "Intel" is indeed an abbreviation for Intelligence, as in NSA.


"Trusted" Computing

,----[ Quote ]
| Do you imagine that any US Linux distributor would say no to the
| US government if they were requested (politely, of course) to add
| a back-door to the binary Linux images shipped as part of their
| products ? Who amongst us actually uses the source code so helpfully
| given to us on the extra CDs to compile our own version ? With
| Windows of course there are already so many back-doors known and
| unknown that the US government might not have even bothered to 
| ask Microsoft, they may have just found their own, ready to
| exploit at will. What about Intel or AMD and the microcode on
| the processor itself ?


Who do You Trust with Your Computing?

,----[ Quote ]
| Helios was speaking out against trusted computing (TC) and Digital
| Rights Management (DRM) that is humming softly at the hardware and
| software level inside YOUR computer right now. That's right! Chances
| are, it's already made it on a chip on your and my motherboards...but
| it's there. Soon, if what can happen does happen...we'll all be so
| very unhappy at being told how we can and can't operate our PCs.
| Some of you may be asking, "what the heck are you talking about?
| They can't tell me how I can use my computer inside my own home".
| Unfortunately, that statement is false. DRM chips are already on a
| majority of motherboards and even built into some processors (viiv 
| anyone?). All it takes is a flip of the switch and you'll do what
| Microsoft or any other company that wants to manage your rights
| for you tells you to do whether you like it or not. That is, ofc
| ourse, unless you use Linux :)  Linux has always been about
| choice...we choose to compute in ways WE want to...not ways
| that are defined for us.


Microsoft exec calls XP hack 'frightening'

,----[ Quote ]
| "You can download attack tools from the Internet, and even script kiddies can 
| use this one," said Mick. 
| Mick found the IP address of his own computer by using the XP Wireless 
| Network Connection Status dialog box. He deduced the IP address of Andy's 
| computer by typing different numerically adjacent addresses in that IP range 
| into the attack tool, then scanning the addresses to see if they belonged to 
| a vulnerable machine.    
| Using a different attack tool, he produced a security report detailing the 
| vulnerabilities found on the system. Mick decided to exploit one of them. 
| Using the attack tool, Mick built a piece of malware in MS-DOS, giving it a
| payload that would exploit the flaw within a couple of minutes.   


Duh! Windows Encryption Hacked Via Random Number Generator

,----[ Quote ]
| GeneralMount Carmel, Haifa – A group of researchers headed by Dr. Benny 
| Pinkas from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Haifa 
| succeeded in finding a security vulnerability in Microsoft's "Windows 2000" 
| operating system. The significance of the loophole: emails, passwords, credit 
| card numbers, if they were typed into the computer, and actually all 
| correspondence that emanated from a computer using "Windows 2000" is 
| susceptible to tracking. "This is not a theoretical discovery. Anyone who 
| exploits this security loophole can definitely access this information on 
| other computers," remarked Dr. Pinkas.        
| Editors Note:  I believe this "loophole" is part of the Patriot Act, it is 
| designed for foreign governments.  Seriously, if you care about security, 
| privacy, data, trojans, spyware, etc., one does not run Windows, you run 
| Linux.   


Why proprietary code is bad for security

,----[ Quote ]
| Tho Skype is using an encrypted protocol, it’s still their own, non-disclosed 
| code and property. So we don’t know what it contains. 
| [...]
| It’s time to stop accepting that we are the bad guys, and to stop consuming 
| things we just don’t understand (and cannot, because they are proprietary,  
| closed-source systems). 
| Say no to companies, or even governments who treat you like this. Start using 
| open sourced products and protocols wherever you can. Even if you could 
| still never understand the code used in these systems, there are still lots 
| of people who can, and who will examine it. The magic word here is “peer 
| review” - your friend or buddy or neighbour may be able to understand all 
| that, and to help. No, not with Skype or Windows or any black box from Cisco.      


Did NSA Put a Secret Backdoor in New Encryption Standard?

,----[ Quote ] 
| Which is why you should worry about a new random-number standard that 
| includes an algorithm that is slow, badly designed and just might contain a 
| backdoor for the National Security Agency.  


,----[ Quote ]
| "Is this a good idea or not? For the first time, the giant software maker 
| is acknowledging the help of the secretive agency, better known for
| eavesdropping on foreign officials and, more recently, U.S. citizens as 
| part of the Bush..."


Microsoft could be teaching police to hack Vista

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft may begin training the police in ways to break the
| encryption built into its forthcoming Vista operating system.


UK holds Microsoft security talks

,----[ Quote ]
| "UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of 
| Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects' computer files."


Austria OKs terror snooping Trojan plan

,----[ Quote ]
| Austria has become one of the first countries to officially sanction the use 
| of Trojan Horse malware as a tactic for monitoring the PCs of suspected 
| terrorists and criminals.  
| [...]
| Would-be terrorists need only use Ubuntu Linux to avoid the ploy. And even if 
| they stuck with Windows their anti-virus software might detect the malware. 
| Anti-virus firms that accede to law enforcement demands to turn a blind eye 
| to state-sanctioned malware risk undermining trust in their software, as 
| similar experience in the US has shown.    


Can FOSS save your privacy?

,----[ Quote ]
| Well, the Bush regime has already claimed "we don't need no steenkin
| warrant" to listen to your phone calls, see what websites you visit,
| scan your emails, and now, with the revelation of a new
| "signing statement", it?s even claiming the authority to read your
| physical mail. When the government becomes the biggest threat to
| your privacy, you better take advantage of the legion of privacy
| advocates creating FOSS to help you retain what little bit of privacy
| you can still have.
| [...]
| However, just because your privacy is being threatened doesn't mean
| you have to accept it. There is a growing array of FOSS being
| developed to provide us with the ability to control our privacy.
| It's about time we all start using it.


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