12.19.20

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Microsoft Security Theatre and Microsoft-Funded Media Frenzy That Stigmatises “Linux”

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security at 7:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An old lock

Summary: Misinformation about security is all too common in today’s media; the goal is to get people to embrace software with back doors and surveillance, falsely believing that it guarantees privacy and autonomy

THERE’S security, there’s false or pseudo security, blatant insecurity (not even advertised as real security), “national security” (typically means back doors), and all sorts of other nonsense.

Encryption is maths, not a myth. And it’s a science; there’s logic behind it. Those who speak of “weakening encryption” or anything along those lines basically speak of eliminating encryption, not weakening it. To claim that it’s possible to allow one entity to undermine encryption but not others is extremely dishonest. Like DRM schemes, it’s only a matter of time before it’s rendered obsolete. “Nothing protected by Widevine, FairPlay, or PlayReady ever delays the video surfacing on bittorrent sites,” Ryan notes.

The notion that the government can take away security while still preserving general security is a mirage; it’s largely responsible for the security mess we’re often reading about in the corporate media. But blame is being misplaced. How can we securely bank online using encryption that has back doors in it? Moreover, if the servers have back doors in them, should we not expect data breaches to become inevitable?

“The bank is a backdoor,” Ryan notes. “They are legally required to report suspicious transactions and large amounts of cash activity to the federal government immediately.”

When it comes to Free software, transparency (for audits among other things) ensures that back doors in encryption will be easy to see. One can even compile the code for oneself, having audited it, just to ensure the build system and the build process are intact.

There’s no need to make guesses about Microsoft back doors because in 2013 Edward Snowden leaked proof of it. Corporate media likes to pretend that this is “old news” and no longer relevant, albeit there’s nothing whatsoever which can suggest a change, so we must assume the same facts are still applicable. One reader of ours wrote regarding a subject covered some days ago in a short video:

OVERVIEW

This article is a bit of an overview over a few web pages that revolve around GNU/Linux security; it’s actually more about misinformation on the topic of GNU/Linux security.

The discussion is an overview of articles such as:

• A0: http://techrights.org/2020/11/07

• A1: https://threatpost.com/gitpaste-12-worm-widens-exploits/162290/

• A2: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/new-windows-info-stealing-malware-may-soon-target-linux-macos/

• A3: http://techrights.org/2020/12/13/human-error-zdnet/


ATTACKS BY PROXY.

Seen from A0, A1, and A2, we see an example of attacks (propaganda) about GNU/Linux by proxy. Just because something ported to GNU/Linux (or any other operating system) is insecure, doesn’t mean GNU/Linux is insecure. This kind of attack by proxy is a standard propaganda weapon. You could call this kind of propaganda straw man arguments.

INSECURE CONFIGURATION DOES NOT EQUAL INSECURE SOFTWARE.

Seen from A3, we have another form of “attack by proxy”; it’s worth talking about this special case of straw man argument. Propaganda like A3 boils down to person(s) implementing insecure configuration of software. The underlying software is not to blame. But here we see propaganda such as A3 attacking software when the person(s) configuring the software are to blame.


WHERE TO GO FOR SECURITY ADVICE?

Security advice should be taken from people that work on security – not propaganda websites. Forums, IRC chats, email lists and such, for the SPECIFIC software are the right place to ask for advice. Mistrust everything you read, by default; this is generally the best security advice you can get. A lot of software projects have dedicated communication channels for their users; this is a good place to hang out or drop in, when you want security advice.

Ask people with provable record working on security.

With the above information, you should be better-equipped to protect yourself from malicious propaganda.

Moments ago in IRC Ryan spoke about some of the latest FUD in the media, along with PR stunts about “secure” chips. “This attitude at Microsoft has only changed to the extent that there’s security theater now and they pay off the fake news to say “PC problem” and everything open source is “Linux”,” he said. “Not only this, but Microsoft wants to port “Defender”, a backdoor and a piece of spyware, to Linux, which is not really having too much of a problem with malware,” he added. Here’s the full text of his rant:

Whenever security and usability/backwards compatibility (even with serious mistakes) clash at Microsoft, security loses.

This is the company that hooked up Windows 98 and even XP to the internet with no security model, administrator logins for everyone, and no firewall.

Then waited until the news was actually reporting on what a worm farm Windows had become and how once you had it connected to the internet, it was a matter of about 3 minutes before it was infected.

This attitude at Microsoft has only changed to the extent that there’s security theater now and they pay off the fake news to say “PC problem” and everything open source is “Linux”.

Every day, we find out that the cyberattack was worse and it’s pretty much all thanks to Microsoft’s shitty software design and the antivirus concept failing to actually keep pace with threats in the modern world.

Not only this, but Microsoft wants to port “Defender”, a backdoor and a piece of spyware, to Linux, which is not really having too much of a problem with malware, even though antivirus is relatively unheard of.

The biggest threat vector on Linux is a seriously misconfigured system that involves not the kernel, but some piece of userspace software.

Which….does happen, but it’s a lot harder to do that on Linux because of the concept of trusted software sources, open source being a lousy way to hide backdoors and malicious payloads for obvious reasons, and just the overall higher intelligence of its users.

Also, not being buried under an OS that’s 90% crap that harkens back to the 90s and 2000s because some business will whine if Internet Explorer and the driver model from Windows XP isn’t there.

People who value real security and accurate information about threats will stay away from media that overlaps the PR industry. They want us to believe that companies which actively undermine security are in fact the biggest champions of security; similarly, those mass surveillance giants are often being portrayed as guardians of people’s privacy.

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