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01.14.14

Kali Linux Improves GNU/Linux Security in the Age of Suspicionless Laptop Searches

Posted in GNU/Linux at 1:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A new release of Kali Linux facilitates users’ need to remotely wipe a disk, e.g. in case it falls into the wrong hands

IN A “BRAVE NEW WORLD” hounded by the NSA and its espionage-happy partners we need tools to protect ourselves. One is disk encryption, which helps prevent disk access upon confiscation of devices like laptops (in the US it is now legal to do laptop/tablet/phone searches without even suspicion [1,2]) and another may be remote nuking of data on one’s lost (or ‘detained’) laptop.

Kali Linux 1.0.6 has just been released [3-7], boasting a feature that can “nuke” an encrypted disk (assuming, for example, that the oppressor can make bit-by-bit copy of disk surface for code-breaking on a supercomputer at a later time).

This is a fantastic example of how GNU/Linux development advances to foil Orwellian regimes and forensics as a tool of oppression.

The NSA would of course tell us that only pedophiles and terrorists seek privacy. It could not be further from the truth.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. District Judge Upholds Government’s Right to Search Electronics at Border
  2. Court Rules No Suspicion Needed for Laptop Searches at Border

    A federal court today dismissed a lawsuit arguing that the government should not be able to search and copy people’s laptops, cell phones, and other devices at border checkpoints without reasonable suspicion. An appeal is being considered. Government documents show that thousands of innocent American citizens are searched when they return from trips abroad.

    “We’re disappointed in today’s decision, which allows the government to conduct intrusive searches of Americans’ laptops and other electronics at the border without any suspicion that those devices contain evidence of wrongdoing,” said Catherine Crump, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who argued the case in July 2011. “Suspicionless searches of devices containing vast amounts of personal information cannot meet the standard set by the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Unfortunately, these searches are part of a broader pattern of aggressive government surveillance that collects information on too many innocent people, under lax standards, and without adequate oversight.”

  3. Kali Linux 1.0.6 released. Cryptsetup has “nuclear option” integrated
  4. Emergency Self Destruction of LUKS in Kali
  5. A Kali Linux cryptsetup patch that can “nuke” an encrypted disk
  6. Kali Linux 1.0.6 Released with LUKS Self-Destruction Feature

    Kali Linux 1.0.6 is the first release to introduce an amazing feature called “emergency self-destruction of LUKS,” which allows users to quickly nuke the entire installation in case of an emergency.

  7. Developers mull adding data nuke to Kali Linux

    Kali Linux is an open-source operating system based on the popular BackTrack Linux suite, but backed and funded by Offensive Security. It can be set up to use full-disk encryption using a combination of Logical Volume Management (LVM) and Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS).

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