07.20.19

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Slack Committed a Very Major Crime That Can Cost Many Billions If Not Trillions in Damages for Years to Come

Posted in Security at 5:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bankruptcy must follow, maybe arrests as well (the company’s logo gives away the company’s real worth and values)

Slack's new logo is a penis swastika

Summary: The inevitable has happened to Slack, which no longer deserves to exist as a company; moreover, the people who ran the company must be held criminally accountable

TO say that Slack got merely “compromised” would be the understatement of the decade. Yes, it did in fact get compromised, but it’s a lot worse. It’s far worse than a compromise per se. We’re going to explain, starting with the basics.

Slack is malware. Not just the ‘app’. Their Web site hardly works with any Web browser – they want the very worst and privacy-hostile browsers to be used for extraction of data. It’s a resource hog because it’s malware disguised as an IRC ‘clone’.

“It’s a resource hog because it’s malware disguised as an IRC ‘clone’.”Slack the ‘app’ is literal malware. It follows you around if you install it on a phone. The browser side is also malicious, but it’s less capable of geographical/location tracking. They use it for data-mining. See the source code (page source at least). It’s malware. GDPR should be applicable here and we suspect that EU authorities have not assessed that aspect just yet.

Slack is not a communications platform but a data harvester with an interface that looks like a communications platform. What it is to users isn’t what it is to Slack, the company. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued strongly-worded warnings about Slack and even Microsoft, the NSA back doors giant that kick-started PRISM, outright banned Slack for security reasons! Yes, Slack is really that bad. We won’t even call this ‘anticompetitive’ on Microsoft’s behalf; Microsoft does have a few engineers and they very well understand what Slack is and why it must be avoided. Even unqualified Microsoft hacks can understand that. Slack was always a ticking time bomb, which I warned about before, e.g. here in Tux Machines. I very much foresaw the latest disaster. I did all that I could to spread information about it, at the very least to ensure people are forewarned. Now I feel vindicated, but how much damage will be done for years if not decades to come? It’s difficult to assess or measure because it’s almost impossible to track the sources of rogue actors’ data.

“It’s the complete doomsday scenario, an equivalent of having one’s own Jabber server completely and totally hijacked, and all communications in it (names, passwords) stolen.”Slack did not have a mere ‘incident’. It was a CATASTROPHE! They knew about it for quite some time (at higher levels, too). It’s the complete doomsday scenario, an equivalent of having one’s own Jabber server completely and totally hijacked, and all communications in it (names, passwords) stolen. But in the case of Slack millions of businesses are affected. In one fell swoop. Just like that. Even the public sector. Military, hospitals, you name it…

Slack got totally ‘PWNED’, but they won’t admit that. They will lie about the extent of the damage, just like Yahoo and Equifax did (each time waiting months before revealing it was orders of magnitude worse). They game the news cycle that way. People must assume that all data is compromised. Everything! Slack sold everyone out and gave everything away. Even those who paid Slack (a small minority) were betrayed.

This is a major, major, MAJOR catastrophe. Businesses and their clients’ data is on Slack. Even HR stuff, which gets passed around in internal communications. Super-sensitive things like passwords, passports and so on.

Who was Slack data copied by? Mirrored or ‘stolen’, to put it another way? Possibly by rogue military actors that can leverage it for espionage and blackmail, as many do. Covertly. You rarely hear about blackmail because that’s just the nature of the blackmail. It happens silently. It’s like ‘hush money’.

Some would say Slack got “hacked” (they typically mean cracked). But it’s actually a lot worse than getting cracked! We’ll explain further…

About a month ago Slack got to its IPO milestone, the legendary capitalist pigs’ initial public offering (which one can reach even while making massive losses like Uber does). Big day for Slack! These people can pretend to be billionaires ‘on top of the world’. But they’re not. Especially as they’re not profitable at all and there’s no business model other than spying…

So for years these people consciously covered up this massive incident. Slack is therefore a criminal organisation. It must be shut down as a matter of law. These operations are illegal.

“Slack didn’t just “mess up”. It broke the law; yes, it committed an actual crime by not informing the customers.”To prevent the company from totally collapsing Slack lied to millions of people and businesses. That’s a fact. To save face…

So the only justice now would be federal and private lawsuits, forcing this company to shut down. Will anyone be arrested? Unlikely. White-collar crimes are ‘special’. No jail time (or rarely any, except as a symbolic token to the public, e.g. Madoff after the financial collapse more than a decade ago).

Slack didn’t just “mess up”. It broke the law; yes, it committed an actual crime by not informing the customers. They would change passwords etc. had they known. But Slack did not obey the law. It did not inform customers. It announced all this after the IPO, in order to make shareholders liable, and it did so late on a Friday (to minimise press coverage about this likely crime). The shareholders too should sue for concealment of critical information.

This is a very, very major scandal for Slack and if the company survives at the end, then it only means one thing: crime pays! Crime pays off. Just that. Because they committed a very major crime. Consciously. Now they need to hire PR people and lawyers. Maybe they can also bribe some journalists for puff pieces that belittle the severity of this mere ‘incident’.

As we said at the start, Slack is technically malware. Slack is surveillance. This is their business model, which isn’t even successful (so they will likely get more aggressive at spying or holding corporate data hostage in exchange for payments). For example, scrolling limits. This is like ransomware. It preys on businesses desperate to access their own data. They try to ‘monetise’ separating businesses from their data/infrastructure. It’s inherently unethical. It’s like a drug dealer’s business model/mindset.

“Companies may never know if past system breaches, identity thefts etc. were the fault of Slack.”Slack basically bet on being a ‘spy agency’ (without all the associated paperwork). And later they got cracked, passing all their surveillance ‘mine’ (trove) to even more rogue actors than the company itself. The Slack ‘incident’ doesn’t affect just Slack. Companies everywhere can now be held legally liable for having put their information on Slack servers. It’s an espionage chain. Centralisation’s doomsday in action…

Companies may never know if past system breaches, identity thefts etc. were the fault of Slack. It’s hard to prove that. But it’s guaranteed to have happened. Moreover, there are future legal ramifications.

Slack knew what had happened and why it waited all this time. This waiting makes the crime worse. This scandal can unfold for quite some time to come. The ramifications are immense! And we might not even know the full extent of these (ever). Privacy-centric competitors of Slack already capitalise on this very major scandal and use that to promote themselves; Keybase for instance…

It would be wise to move to locally-hosted FOSS. However, that would not in any way undo the damage of having uploaded piles of corporate data to Slack and their compromised servers.

Are managers at Slack criminally-liable? Probably. Just announcing this scandal after an IPO and late on a Friday when many people are on holiday won’t save Slack. They need to go bankrupt faster than the time period since their IPO. Anyone who still uses Slack must be masochistic.

“Just announcing this scandal after an IPO and late on a Friday when many people are on holiday won’t save Slack.”In the coming days many companies will come to realise that for years they tactlessly and irresponsibly gave piles of personal/corporate data to Slack and now a bunch of crackers around the world have this data.

“Trusting our data with one company isn’t feasible,” one person told me this morning. “The data lasts forever & we must expect that our worst enemies will have it or get it with small time delay. Otherwise encrypt everything which slows everything down & complicates everything making those “safe” uncompetitive.” That’s now how Slack works.

“These troves of Slack data are invaluable to those looking to use them to blackmail people, take over servers, discredit people, and generally cause complete chaos, even deaths.”We expect Slack to stonewall for a while, saying that it’s the weekend anyway. Slack lied to everyone for years. They’re a bunch of frauds. Anyone who now believes a single word that comes out of their mouths is a fool. They also committed a crime (punishable by law) with these lies. When it comes to Slack, expect what happened with Yahoo; First they say it’s a small incident; Months pass; Then they toss out a note to say it was actually big; A year later (when it’s “old news”): 3 BILLION accounts affected. Anyone who now believes the lies told by Slack’s PR people deserves a Darwin Award. These scammers lost millions/billions for years just pursuing an IPO (others bearing the losses); They lied, like frauds (like Donald Trump), just to get there (the IPO). Now, like Yahoo, they will downplay scope of impact. A lot of companies can suffer for years to come (e.g. data breaches, identity theft). These troves of Slack data are invaluable to those looking to use them to blackmail people, take over servers, discredit people, and generally cause complete chaos, even deaths. We’ll soon do a series of articles showing how Microsoft caused deaths at hospitals.

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