02.27.13

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Much Worse Than Proprietary With ‘Secure Boot’ Scam, Pretends to be ‘Open’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 1:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Emergency phone

Summary: Some of Microsoft’s latest technical attacks on Linux and some responses to EEE (embrace, extend, extinguish) tactics and FUD

Torvalds clearly refuses to give up by putting blobs and keys (similar to but worse than firmware) by adding Microsoft interfaces for Microsoft-signed keys inside the kernel, especially if these are Microsoft’s. This is major news that got the attention of journalists and a known Microsoft booster incites against Torvalds over this (just see headline and image here). Red Hat has been getting close to Microsoft again, so as one blogger put it:

  • Linus Bites RedHat

    It’s great that Linus does not support the idea of making M$ the keeper of the keys. We’ve had enough of that in IT for decades. Free Software needs to remain free of M$ and anyone else who wishes to lock out competition. Linus is not a great lover of FLOSS. His views are based on practicality. It’s stupid to lock Linux into M$. Does RedHat really believe it’s a great thing if millions of GNU/Linux boxes quit booting if M$ revokes a key via firmware upgrade etc.? Do they really think “secure boot” is about security of the world’s IT rather than perpetuation of M$’s monopoly on legacy x86 stuff? Using the damned keys to induce the world to take another step on the Wintel treadmill is just too tempting a fruit to trust M$ to leave it alone.

  • Closed !== Open

    I don’t think so. In the immortal words of Paul Maritz, “* to combat Nscp. we have to have position the browser as “going away” and do deeper integration on Windows. The stronger way to communicate this is to have a “new release“ of windows and make a big deal out of it. We will thus position Memphis as “Windows 98′. * IE integration will be most compelling feature of Memphis.“ Nathan Myhrvold wrote, “I think that it is CRUCIAL to make the statement we ask people about in the survey, or the statement we ask them to sign etc. is worded properly. Saying “put the browser in the OS” is already a statement that is prejudical to us. The name “Browser” suggests a separate thing. I would NOT phrase the survey. or other things only in terms of “put the browser in the 0S’‘. Instead you need to ask a more neutral question about how Internet technology needs to merge with local computing. I have been pretty successful in trying this on various joumalists and industry people.“ To sum up, is the company that brought waves of malware to the world of IT by integrating a totally insecure web browser with their OS in order to mess with competitors to be trusted as “open”? No. M$ is a closed corporation with closed products intending to close out competition by fair means or foul. Pretending to be open is just a means to delay the shift to real openness, FLOSS, or to slow that shift.

Even more Microsoft-apologetic circles accepted Torvalds’ skepticism. To quote one:

As it turned out, almost all of the Windows 8 machines that first appeared had Secure Boot implemented in such a way that Linux was locked out. Workarounds have appeared, but they are based on Microsoft-signed keys. As the maker of the dominant Windows operating system, Microsoft has a responsibility to protect fair play in a way that it didn’t here. In this day of virtualization and usage of multiple operating systems, it’s unfair to build an operating system around a methodology that allows for complete and utter lockout of other platforms. Torvalds’ reactions are only protests at the end of the chain reaction that all of this represented. The fact is that if Microsoft wants to be accepted as playing more fairly with open source these days than it ever has, it has carry that concept through to how it deals with everything it builds and how it deals with hardware makers.

Microsoft pretends to be open, but it’s not working. Here is another new embrace-and-extend attempt:

The expanded partnership between Microsoft and Hadoop distribution specialist Hortonworks has borne fruit with the release of a beta of Hortonworks’ Hadoop Data Platform for Windows.

With its hidden patches and a deal with Sourcefire Microsoft must have hoped to diss Linux some more. Watch this nonsense:

But simple vulnerability counts can give a distorted view. The Linux kernel is considered to be one monolithic project across the entire period, for example, while every version of Windows is a separate project. The total count of vulnerabilities for all Windows versions exceeds Linux. But then Windows is more than just a kernel. Add in all the software included in Linux distributions, and Linux goes back into the doghouse. Younan counted just the high-severity vulnerabilities, those with a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score of 7 or higher. Windows XP tops that list. “Windows Vista is at the number five position, even though Microsoft put a lot of effort into securing Windows Vista,” he said. “The Linux kernel isn’t even in the top ten.” Vista was the first version of Windows to benefit from Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), the software development process created after Bill Gates’ Trustworthy Computing memo of January 2002. Yet from the vulnerability perspective, Vista looks like little more than a rough draft of Windows 7. Counting high-severity vulnerabilities alone, Flash Player is back in the top 10, at number five. The count of high-severity vulnerabilities doesn’t exhibit that 2012 uptick, only the steady post-2006 decline. However when looking at just critical vulnerabilities, those with a CVSS of 10, there’s no sign of a decline at all.

What silly way to count vulnerabilities. As one of the many comments points out: “I largely agree with Alex in Comment 3 (I also agree with Myth in Comment 1 that 22 != 25, but I digress). Without knowing which kernels had which CVEs reported against it, and which distros shipped with those kernels and how many people used the vulnerable kernel and the averages of people updating on install… ‘simply’ citing the Linux CVEs are practically meaningless.” The FUD against Linux recently seems like part of a trend this month, with Microsoft partners behind it.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

4 Comments

  1. mjg59 said,

    February 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Gravatar

    The patches in question do not include any blobs or keys. You should correct your first paragraph.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “The way we have come up with to get around this is to embed an X.509 certificate containing the key in a section called “.keylist” in an EFI PE binary and then get the binary signed by Microsoft. The key can then be passed to the kernel by passing the signed binary” -David Howells at LKML

    mjg59 Reply:

    Yes. It adds an additional keyloading interface to the kernel, alongside the keyloading interface that already exists. The only thing it changes is that it allows you to use a different key format. It adds no keys or blobs to the kernel.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ll amend the post.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  2. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  4. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  5. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  6. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  7. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  8. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  9. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  11. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  14. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  15. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  16. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  17. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  18. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  19. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  20. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  21. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  22. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  24. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  26. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  27. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  28. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  29. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  30. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all


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

Recent Posts