EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.27.13

NSA Shows Why We Should Abandon All Proprietary Software and Verify Trust

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Security at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Without source code of all levels/layers of the software trust just cannot be established

Compiler

Summary: Proprietary software can never be secure and back doors inside of it can be assumed (unless proven otherwise), based on some of the latest NSA leaks

THE NSA is a criminal operation, so we expect it to work with other criminal operations. Microsoft and the NSA collude to make the world a less secure place, enabling espionage with Windows (Stuxnet for example) and providing video/audio surveillance in people’s own homes without any warrants. Microsoft is about lawlessness is the same way the NSA is. The law of “rule” supersedes the rule of law.

Some say that the Windows-centric Stuxnet is the “world’s first true cyber-weapon”, but that is not true. History aside, to put it as IDG put it: “Stuxnet’s creators recognized they had built the world’s first true cyber-weapon and were more interested in pushing the envelope of this new type of digital warfare than causing large-scale destruction within targeted Iranian nuclear facilities, a study shows.

“In an analysis released last week, Ralph Langner, head of The Langner Group and a renowned expert in industrial control systems (ICS), also refuted arguments that only a nation-state had the resources to launch a Stuxnet-like attack. Assailants with less ambition could take the lessons learned and apply them to civilian critical infrastructure, he said.”

This was an example of overreach and violation of the law, enabled of course by Microsoft and Windows. GNU/Linux does not sell its users down the river the way Windows does.

Sadly, firms like White Source make a comeback with their FUD and they single out FOSS for security issues (here is the press release). This is not acceptable because they totally ignore the much bigger threats, as above (where security issues are there by design).

The White House is at war against FOSS geeks and other phantom enemies [1,2], where the logic is something along the lines of, if we don’t control it (we as in the government), then it’s a threat to national security. While it seems clear that a brute force attack is the Achilles Heel of FOSS [3,4,5] and Google keeps improving security of FOSS projects like Android [6,7,8,9.10] and others [11,12], the logic followed by the likes of White Source and White House is that if something proprietary keeps its flaws (or back doors) secret, then it’s secure and we should not pay attention to real security. Again, this is simply not acceptable.

The head of the Linux Foundation recently said that FOSS is safer, and Linux is more secure than any other OS [13]. Mikko Hypponen seems to agree with him [14] and despite some new known flaws in Red Hat software [15,16] (transparency makes weaknesses visible) we should remember that lack of knowledge about something does not mean it’s not there. Just because we cannot easily see back doors in proprietary software doesn’t mean they’re not there (some groups of people know they’re there and they exploit them silently). If Europe is serious about cyber security [17], then it should dump all proprietary software (back doors-friendly software) as soon as possible. Given everything we now know about the NSA, ignorance and uncertainty are no longer an excuse. A Dutch source has just revealed that the NSA cracked 50,000 computer networks. The evidence is overwhelming. Stuxnet is peanuts next to that.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. How Antisec Died

    Depending on when one asked, Antisec was generally between 8-10 people, with a solid core of about six. Not all of them were comfortable with talking to me, and certain ones were designated to communicate with press. I was never entirely sure who was in or out at any particular time — it was a fluid group. I never knew all the nicks. I talked repeatedly with five of them, including Sabu.

  2. Bizarre Online Gambling Movie-Plot Threat

    This article argues that online gambling is a strategic national threat because terrorists could use it to launder money.

  3. Huge horde of droids whacks code box GitHub in password-guess attack
  4. GitHub resets user passwords following rash of account hijack attacks

    GitHub is experiencing an increase in user account hijackings that’s being fueled by a rash of automated login attempts from as many as 40,000 unique Internet addresses.

  5. Google extends its proactive Patch Reward Program to include Android Open Source Project, Web servers, and more
  6. Google adds Android Open Source Project to Patch Rewards program
  7. Google expands Patch Rewards Program
  8. Google extends open source bug bounty programme to Android and Apache
  9. Android now part of Google’s Patch Reward Program
  10. Google adds Android and Apache to open source security rewards programme

    Google has extended its Patch Reward Program to include a raft of new platforms and technologies including its own Android system as it looks to improve the securiry of open source software.

    The firm announced an overhaul to its security patch policies last month, offering white hats up to $3,133 for fixes.

  11. Experts applaud Google completion of SSL certificate upgrade

    Step up to 2048-bit keys optimizes balance between protection of company services and maintaining performance

  12. Pinkie Pie and His Google Exploits: The Legend Grows

    Pinkie Pie returned in 2013 for the desktop Pwn2Own event operated by Hewlett-Packard’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), taking aim once again at Google. This time, it was Google’s Chrome browser running on Chrome OS. Pinkie Pie’s effort landed him another $40,000 in award money for the discovery and reporting of what turned out to be a trio of flaws, including one buried deep within the Linux kernel. Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system that Google uses on its Chromebook notebooks.

    But wait. There is still more.

    Just this week in Japan at HP’s Mobile Pwn2Own event, the legend of Pinkie Pie grew as the My Little Pony-loving security researcher once again demonstrated previously unknown zero-day flaws in Google’s Chrome. Pinkie Pie was able to pwn Chrome on both a Nexus 4 as well as a Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone. This time, Pinkie Pie pocketed $50,000 for his efforts.

  13. Linux chief: ‘Open source is safer, and Linux is more secure than any other OS’ (exclusive)
  14. Mikko Hypponen: Open Source Software Will Make the World More Secure

    Open source software can be one answer to combating the global surveillance of innocent citizens, said security expert Mikko Hypponen in his keynote last week at LinuxCon and CloudOpen Europe in Edinburgh.

  15. Hackers actively exploiting JBoss vulnerability to compromise servers, researchers say

    Attackers are actively exploiting a known vulnerability to compromise JBoss Java EE application servers that expose the HTTP Invoker service to the Internet in an insecure manner.

  16. Red Hat: 2013:1521-01: python-django: Moderate Advisory
  17. European businesses urged implement anti-cyber security systems

    The European Cyber Security Directive, which proposes that European businesses have a legal obligation to ensure they have suitable IT security mechanisms in place, is soon to be enforced in the UK.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/2/2017: GParted 0.28.1, LibreOffice Donations Record

    Links for the day



  2. The EPO is Becoming an Embarrassment to Europe and a Growing Threat to the European Union

    The increasingly pathetic moves by Battistelli and the ever-declining image/status of the EPO (only 0% of polled stakeholders approve Battistelli's management) is causing damage to the reputation of the European Union, even if the EPO is not a European Union organ but an international one



  3. Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

    Cherry-picking one's way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation



  4. As the United States Shuts Its Door on Low-Quality Patents the Patent Trolls Move to Asia

    Disintegration of Intellectual Ventures (further shrinkage after losing software patents at CAFC), China's massive patent bubble, and Singapore's implicit invitation/facilitation of patent trolls (bubble economy)



  5. Links 17/2/2017: Wine 2.2, New Ubuntu LTS

    Links for the day



  6. Bad Advice From Mintz Levin and Bejin Bieneman PLC Would Have People Believe That Software Patents Are Still Worth Pursuing

    The latest examples of misleading articles which, in spite of the avalanche of software patents in the United States, continue to promote these



  7. Patents Are Not Property, They Are a Monopoly, and They Are Not Owned But Temporarily Granted

    Patent maximalism and distortion of concepts associated with patents tackled again, for terminology is being hijacked by those who turned patents into their "milking cows"



  8. SoftBank Group, New Owner of ARM, Could Potentially Become (in Part) a Patent Troll or an Aggressor Like Qualcomm

    SoftBank grabbed headlines (in the West at least) when it bought ARM, but will it soon grab headlines for going after practicing companies using a bunch of patents that it got from Inventergy, ARM, and beyond?



  9. Technicolor, Having Turned Into a Patent Troll, Attacks Android/Tizen/Linux With Patents in Europe

    Technicolor, which a lot of the media portrayed as a patent troll in previous years (especially after it had sued Apple, HTC and Samsung), is now taking action against Samsung in Europe (Paris, Dusseldorf and Mannheim)



  10. Michelle Lee is Still “in Charge” of the US Patent System

    Contrary to a malicious whispering campaign against Lee (a coup attempt, courtesy of patent maximalists who make a living from mass litigation), she is still in charge of the USPTO



  11. Our Assessment: EPO Wants a Lot of Low-Quality Patents and Low-Paid Staff With UPC (Prosecution Galore)

    The European Patent Office seems to be less interested in examination and more interested in facilitating overzealous prosecution all across Europe and beyond; The Administrative Council has shown no signs that it is interested in profound changes, except those proposed by Battistelli in the face of growing resistance from staff and from ordinary stakeholders



  12. Links 16/2/2017: HITMAN for GNU/Linux, Go 1.8

    Links for the day



  13. Yet More Complaints About the European Patent Office in the Bavarian Regional Government

    Some German politicians do care about the welfare of EPO staff, a lot more so than the EPO's management that is actively crushing this staff



  14. EPO Staff Representatives to Escalate Complaint About Severe Injustices to the EPO's Secretive Board 28

    In a new letter to President Benoît Battistelli it is made abundantly apparent -- however politely -- that Battistelli's gross abuses could further complicate things for Battistelli, who is already embroiled in a fight with his predecessor, Roland Grossenbacher



  15. New Survey Reveals That High Patent Quality, or Elimination of Bad Patents, is Desirable to Patent Holders

    A new survey from Bloomberg BNA and AIPLA reveals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which still grows in prominence, is supported by people who have themselves gotten patents (not those who are in the bureaucracy of patents and self-serving politics)



  16. Open Patent Office is Not the Solution; Ending Software Patents is the Solution

    Our remarks about the goals and methods of the newly-established Open Patent Office and what is instead needed in order to combat the menace that threatens software development



  17. New Scholarly Paper Says “UK’s Withdrawal From the EU Could Mean That the Entire (Unitary Patent) System Will Not Go Into Effect”

    A paper from academics -- not from the patent microcosm (for a change) -- provides a more sobering interpretation, suggesting quite rightly that the UPC can't happen in the UK (or in Europe), or simply not endure if some front groups such as CIPA somehow managed to bamboozle politicians into it (ratification in haste, before the facts are known)



  18. Patent Trolls Update: Rodney Gilstrap Maintains His Support for Trolls, MPEG-LA Goes Hunting in China, and Blackberry Hits Nokia

    A roundup of the latest news about patent trolls and what they are up to in the United States, Europe, and Asia



  19. Guest Post: EPO, an Idyllic Place to Work

    The true face of the EPO as explained by an insider, recalling the history that led to the negative image and toxic work atmosphere



  20. Links 15/2/2017: Linux 4.9.10 and Linux 4.4.49

    Links for the day



  21. Claude Rouiller (ILOAT) and ILO Rulings Effectively Disregarded by the European Patent Office

    The compositions of kangaroo courts at the EPO continue to be absurd, in spite of a ruling from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which insisted that change must be made following a lot of mistrials



  22. National Law Journal Believes That Gorsuch as Supreme Court Justice Would be Opponent of Patent Reform

    Whispering campaign surrounds Neil Gorsuch's alleged or perceived views on patents, and in particular the America Invents Act (AIA) which brought the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), a serial invalidator of software patents, owing to Alice (a Supreme Court decision)



  23. Center for Intellectual Property Understanding (CIPU) is a Lobby Group for Software Patents and Patent Maximalism

    An introduction to what the Center for Intellectual Property Understanding really is, what it is for, and who is behind it



  24. The European Patent Office Looks More and More Like the Sicilian Mafia Every Day

    Battistelli has constructed or pulled together a Mafia-like family inside the EPO, where all those who protect the 'King' (or Don) are rewarded and the rest are removed with prejudice



  25. EPO-Connected Writers Are Using Alternative Facts or Fake News to Promote the Unitary Patent in British Media

    The misuse of publications for the purpose of lobbying by Battistelli and Team UPC (a small group of opportunists looking to exploit change that they themselves introduce) is worth noting, for its frequency is on the rise again



  26. Microsoft Has Not Managed to Blackmail Huawei Over Android and GNU/Linux, But Its Trolls/Satellites Are Trying

    The story of Huawei gets more complicated, even though software patents are losing their teeth and notorious patent trolls are altogether losing their patents



  27. IBM Has Become an Enemy of GNU/Linux and a Loud Proponent of Software Patents

    IBM's poisonous policy on patents, which has long been incompatible with Free/Libre software, has gotten even worse and the company now takes the lead in lobbying for patenting of software



  28. Leaked: European Patent Office a Fire Hazard Waiting to Cause Tragedy (Possible Deaths)

    The EPO has known for a while that is was not in compliance with regulations, but as usual -- flaunting immunity and impunity -- nothing happened



  29. For Valentine's Day, Battistelli Learns to Stop Worrying and Love to Lie

    Battistelli lies about patent quality once again, incidentally on the very same day that serious leaks regarding patent quality got published (and need distracting from)



  30. India Cites Public Interest in Patent Case Where Embargo Attempted Against Local Drugmaker

    India turns away a foreign corporation that attempts to use patents to shut down (or destroy the business model of) an Indian company


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts