11.27.13

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  2. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  3. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses



  4. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial



  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)



  6. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day



  7. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation



  8. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…



  9. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 20, 2021



  11. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  12. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  13. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  14. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  16. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  17. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  19. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  20. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  21. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  22. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  23. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  24. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  25. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  26. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  27. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  29. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)



  30. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day


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