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

12.22.13

More Details Revealed About How the NSA Infiltrates Windows and Other Proprietary Software, Governments Should Now Ban Microsoft

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 2:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

RSA Conference

Summary: RSA is the latest (known) entity to have received bribes from the NSA in exchange for back doors; Germany may move towards banning software from companies that share data with the NSA

A COUPLE of nights ago Reuters published an explosive report about RSA, basically showing that Windows does not have back doors, it is a back door and so is a lot of the software that’s proprietary. Free/libre software does not suffer from the trap [1]. This is a serious wakeup call to any government that still relies on proprietary software and US companies that collect data.

Munich moved to GNU/Linux owing to political determination to do so [2], but what about other cities? Their politicians are in serious trouble and a constant threat of espionage.

“This is a serious wakeup call to any government that still relies on proprietary software and US companies that collect data.”As the Reuters report revealed [3] (and there was a lot of journalism linking to it [4,5]), “RSA Weakened Encryption For $10M From NSA,” to quote Slashdot, which consequently also published the item “Microsoft Security Essentials Misses 39% of Malware” (especially NSA malware that enables system compromise). Remember that Windows XP will soon receive no patches, so not just the NSA will get easy access through back doors. IDG’s advice on this matter is misguided as it basically offers continued use of Windows XP rather than runaway to a secure platform like GNU/Linux. As the author put it, “Microsoft’s support for Windows XP ends in less than four months, and the company has warned users repeatedly that it’s time to move on. But a lot of them are sticking with the aged OS. And for Microsoft, that’s a problem.”

Security is not really a problem here because there was never really any security to begin with. As we showed in our articles about the NSA, Windows is just a Trojan horse. It is obviously not secure and the only variable is, how many people can seize control of it?

The latest news makes almost all proprietary software suspect, even fake ‘open source’ like TrueCrypt (it is proprietary). As one tweet put it, “Check all on this list who use Dual_EC_DRBG as possible recipients of NSA bribes [...] Note Blackberry, Cisco, Juniper [...] Blast from the past: Call tracking Dual_EC_DRBG “Bribe Finder”: Any use by default post 2007 required either an implicit or explicit bribe.”

This is another good reason to avoid all proprietary software, including widely-used GNU/Linux programs like Skype. One tweet said that “Dual EC_DRBG was suspiciously absent from Wednesday’s report by President Obama’s NSA advisory panel.”

Going back to Microsoft’s flawed detection of malware, MinceR wrote that “their alleged “anti-malware” efforts started with stopping detecting claria as malware just as they were about to buy it, so i don’t know why anyone trusts them with such … [it] manages to out-sleaze even the other “antivirus” companies.”

” With Microsoft, NSA gets video/audio surveillance, not just through Skype but also through people’s webcams on computers that have Windows installed (and are idle).”Sosumi said that “they don’t detect NSA backdoors as malware, so why trust them?”

Nobody can trust Microsoft. The above report says that “latest tests from Dennis Publishing’s security labs saw Microsoft Security Essentials fail to detect 39% of the real-world malware thrown at it.”

It’s not just a case of access to one’s files by the way. See the new post titled “Windows users: Your webcam lights aren’t safe from the FBI either” (we wrote about CIPAV almost 5 years ago).

“In recent news,” says the post, “it was revealed the FBI has a “virus” that will record a suspect through the webcam secretly, without turning on the LED light. Some researchers showed this working on an older Macbook. In this post, we do it on Windows.”

“The more you know about how the NSA gets along with RSA & Microsoft,” writes one Twitter user, “the more perspective you have on their handling of Lavabit.” With Microsoft, NSA gets video/audio surveillance, not just through Skype but also through people’s webcams on computers that have Windows installed (and are idle). This is a good enough reason to immediately abandon Microsoft and some politicians in Germany already think about moving in this direction. See [6,7] below for details of the latest news and pay attention to the explosive new article “Snowden ally Appelbaum claims his Berlin apartment was invaded” [8]; clearly it’s not about terrorism but about cracking down on activists [9].

Following the revelations above there is some new effort [10] — including from GNU/Linux developers [11] — to sack with prejudice potential NSA moles.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Worried OpenSSL uses NSA-tainted crypto? This BUG has got your back

    As fears grow that US and UK spies have deliberately hamstrung key components in today’s encryption systems, users of OpenSSL can certainly relax about one thing.

    It has been revealed that the cryptography toolkit – used by reams of software from web browsers for HTTPS to SSH for secure terminals – is not using the discredited random number generator Dual EC DRBG.

    And that’s due to a bug that’s now firmly a WONTFIX.

    A coding flaw uncovered in the library prevents “all use” of the dual elliptic curve (Dual EC) deterministic random bit generator (DRBG) algorithm, a cryptographically weak algorithm championed by none other than the NSA.

    No other DRBGs used by OpenSSL are affected, we’re told.

  2. Moving a city to Linux needs political backing, says Munich project leader

    This year saw the completion of the city of Munich’s switch to Linux, a move that began about ten years ago. “One of the biggest lessons learned was that you can’t do such a project without continued political backing,” said Peter Hofmann, the leader of the LiMux project, summing up the experience.

    The Munich city authority migrated around 14,800 of the 15,000 or so PCs on its network to LiMux, its own Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, exceeding its initial goal of migrating 12,000 desktops.

  3. Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer

    As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry, Reuters has learned.

  4. NSA Gave RSA $10 Million To Promote Crypto It Had Purposely Weakened

    Earlier this year, the Snowden leaks revealed how the NSA was effectively infiltrating crypto standards efforts to take control of them and make sure that backdoors or other weaknesses were installed. Many in the crypto community reacted angrily to this, and began to rethink how they interact with the feds. However, Reuters has just dropped a bombshell into all of this, as it has revealed that not only did the NSA purposefully weaken crypto, it then paid famed crypto provider RSA $10 million to push the weakened crypto, making it a de facto standard.

  5. How much did NSA pay to put a backdoor in RSA crypto? Try $10m – report

    Latest Snowden claims: Flawed encryption tech switched on by default in exchange for cash

  6. Germany should ban U.S. contracting companies passing data to NSA – report

    U.S. contracting companies such as Cisco, which manages much of the German armed forces’ data, should be contractually barred from passing sensitive information to the U.S. security services, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives was quoted saying.

  7. German government buildings and charities were targets of GCHQ and NSA, says Edward Snowden

    Humanitarian organisations and German government buildings are among the targets of UK and US surveillance agencies, documents leaked by Edward Snowden are said to show.

    The latest disclosures from the Snowden archive also highlight the key role in national security played by the small Cornish holiday resort town of Bude.

    A government listening facility on the Cornish coast had a unit that was used to analyse samples of electronic date to assess whether surveillance targets were worth the effort of listening in on their communications more frequently.

    A significant amount of the Bude listening post’s funding comes from the National Security Agency (NSA), the US surveillance body, because of shared operational projects.

  8. Snowden ally Appelbaum claims his Berlin apartment was invaded

    Jacob Appelbaum, a US Internet activist and one of the people with access to Edward Snowden’s documents, has told a Berlin paper that his apartment was broken into, saying he suspected US involvement.

  9. The Real Purpose of Oakland’s Surveillance Center

    City leaders have argued that Oakland needs a massive surveillance system to combat violent crime, but internal documents reveal that city staffers are also focused on tracking political protesters.

  10. Critics: NSA agent co-chairing key crypto standards body should be removed (updated)

    Security experts are calling for the removal of a National Security Agency employee who co-chairs an influential cryptography panel, which advises a host of groups that forge widely used standards for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

    Kevin Igoe, who in a 2011 e-mail announcing his appointment was listed as a senior cryptographer with the NSA’s Commercial Solutions Center, is one of two co-chairs of the IETF’s Crypto Forum Research Group (CFRG). The CFRG provides cryptographic guidance to IETF working groups that develop standards for a variety of crucial technologies that run and help secure the Internet. The transport layer security (TLS) protocol that underpins Web encryption and standards for secure shell connections used to securely access servers are two examples. Igoe has been CFRG co-chair for about two years, along with David A. McGrew of Cisco Systems.

  11. Kevin M. Igoe should step down from CFRG Co-chair

    I’ve said recently that pervasive surveillance is wrong. I don’t think anyone from the NSA should have a leadership position in the development or deployment of Internet communications, because their interests are at odds with the interest of the rest of the Internet. But someone at the NSA is in exactly such a position. They ought to step down.

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. “Corrupt Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić Today in Zagreb at 25th Anniversary of SIPO Croatia”

    Shortly after Željko Topić lost his court case for the third time (over allegations of corruption at SIPO), his EPO boss Benoît Battistelli joins SIPO celebrations



  2. The US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Maintains High Pace of Patent Invalidation, in Spite of Appeals to CAFC

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), i.e. the court system, has become the last resort of serial litigators, as the PTAB gets in their way more and more often following AIA and Alice



  3. Good Luck to the US Supreme Court in Eliminating a Supremely Unjust Misuse of Patent Law

    In an important upcoming patent case, gross abuse of patent laws for the support of dubious business models can finally be tackled



  4. EPO Protest This Coming Wednesday Strives to Restore the Rule of Law and Freedom of Speech at the Office

    The level of autocracy at the European Patent Organisation, an institution which has effectively positioned itself above the law with Battistelli and his minions in charge of the Office, faces growing backlash from staff



  5. The EPO is Collapsing. Attacks on Journalists, Interns as Staff, Patents on Plants, and Bureaucratic Red Tape...

    A look at some of the latest issues surrounding the European Patent Office, whose insistence on denying the problems and instead attacking those who bring up legitimate concerns, will spell its doom



  6. Ignore the Bristows UPC Echo Chamber, the UPC is Not Happening

    Response to some of the latest UPC promotion, courtesy of some of the usual suspects, who stand to benefit financially if the UPC ever becomes a reality



  7. British Media Slams Battistelli for Attempting to Cover Up 2 Years of Juridical Abuses With Help From the Administrative Council of the EPO

    A growing voice of concern about the integrity of the European Patent Organisation, whose management appears to be in cahoots (overseers/regulators included) so as to cover up its own serious abuses



  8. Boards of Appeal Still Under Attack From Team Battistelli While the EPO Proceeds to Granting Patents on Carlsberg BEER!

    The lunacy of the EPO with its patent maximalism will likely go unchecked (and uncorrected) if Battistelli gets his way and turns the EPO into another SIPO (Croatian in the human rights sense and Chinese in the quality sense)



  9. Memo “Deliberately Leaked to Cover up the UPC” With Its Many Associated Issues Amid Brexit

    Some eye-opening updates about the awkward move from Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who made promises (expression of intent) she can neither fulfill nor justify to the British public



  10. Links 8/12/2016: Korora GNU/Linux 25, SparkyLinux 4.5.1

    Links for the day



  11. Links 7/12/2016: ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5, Ubuntu Touch OTA-14

    Links for the day



  12. The UPC Scam Part VII: A Fine Mess in the Making, as Nothing Can be Made of It Amid/After Brexit

    The final part in this multi-part series about UPC, which cannot be implemented in the UK as long as Brexit is on the agenda



  13. The UPC Scam Part VI: The Real Story Which People Missed Due to Puff Pieces Seeded by Battistelli-Bribed Media is That UPC Technically Cannot Come to the UK

    Another long installment in a multi-part series about UPC at times of post-truth Battistelli-led EPO, which pays the media to repeat the lies and pretend that the UPC is inevitable so as to compel politicians to welcome it regardless of desirability and practicability



  14. EPO Spiraling Down the Drain as Experienced Examiners and Judges Are Seemingly Being Replaced by Interns

    Implementing yet more of his terrible ideas and so-called 'reforms', Battistelli seems to be racing to the bottom of everything (patent quality, staff experience, labour rights, working conditions, access to justice etc.)



  15. A Lot of News From the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Today, With Some Important Decisions on Patents Coming Soon

    A roundup of today's outcomes from the US Supreme Court, which intends to review and decide on important patent cases



  16. In Historic Blow to Design Patents, Apple Loses to Samsung at the Supreme Court

    A $399 million judgment against Android devices from Samsung, with potential implications for other Android OEMs, is rejected by SCOTUS



  17. Good Riddance. Ray Niro is Dead.

    The infamous father of patent trolling is dead, so we need to remember his real legacy rather than rewrite his history to appease his rich relatives (enriched by destroying real companies)



  18. EPO Suicides Greater in Number Than is Widely Reported, Unjust System a Contributor to These

    The horrible regime of Benoît Battistelli has an enormous human toll (fatalities), far greater than the Office is willing to publicly acknowledge



  19. Lobbying Disguised as 'Reporting' by the Patent Microcosm, Which Wants More Patents and More Lawsuits (Lawyers Needed)

    A rebuttal to some new articles about patents, especially those that strive to increase patent-related activities (usually for personal gain)



  20. USPTO Echo Chamber That Lacks Actual Software Professionals Deciding on Patentability of Software

    A look at yesterday's "Roundtable on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility," which lacked involvement from those actually affected by patents rather than those who sell, trade, and exploit these



  21. More Examples of Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Taxing Linux, Even After Microsoft 'Joined' (Paid) the Linux Foundation

    A quick look at the past week's news and clues about Microsoft's (and its broad army of patent trolls) strategy for taxing Linux, or imposing bundling at zero cost (to Microsoft)



  22. Heiko Maas, the SPD “Cash for Access” Affair, and Suspicions of Unwarranted Censorship at IP Kat (Again)

    Unsayable views or just a glitch? Readers of IP Kat express concern about a culture of censorship at IP Kat



  23. Endgame for Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Battistelli turns bad into worse by spitting on the very notion of accepting justice (from the highest court in The Hague or even the UN in this case)



  24. Les Échos Chamber: Having Corrupted the Media (With EPO Money), Battistelli Now Uses It for More UPC Propaganda

    The lies about the Unitary Patent are now being broadcast (Battistelli given the platform) by the publication that Battistelli pays



  25. Rumour: EPO in Berlin the Next Casualty of Battistelli's 'Reform' (Organisational Suicide Plan)

    Months after we learned that a former staff representative in Berlin had been dismissed we come across an anonymous claim that Berlin's 'branch' of the EPO will be folded onto Munich's



  26. Caricature: the Maas App

    The failure of Maas to even bother with regulation of Battistelli (among others) earns him this cartoon



  27. Links 5/12/2016: Linux 4.9 RC 8, DeepMind as FOSS

    Links for the day



  28. Leaked: Battistelli Acknowledges Bunk 'Justice' in About 100 Cases at the Internal Appeals Committee of the EPO

    A look at Battistelli's response to the latest from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), exceptionally delivering two decisions at the very end of last month



  29. The UPC Scam Part V: Unitary Patent Regime a Fantasy of Patent Trolls

    "Good for trolls" is a good way to sum up the Unitary Patent, which would give litigators plenty of business (defendants and plaintiffs, plus commissions on high claims of damages) if it ever became a reality



  30. EPO at a Tipping Point: Battistelli Quarrelling With French Politicians, Administrative Council Urged to Act, Staff Unrest Peaking

    The latest messages about Battistelli's regime at the EPO, which faces growing opposition from more directions than ever before


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