Linked by runjorel on Thu 13th Jan 2011 19:35 UTC
Linux "At the end of 2010, the 'open-source' software movement, whose activists tend to be fringe academics and ponytailed computer geeks, found an unusual ally: the Russian government. Vladimir Putin signed a 20-page executive order requiring all public institutions in Russia to replace proprietary software, developed by companies like Microsoft and Adobe, with free open-source alternatives by 2015."
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fisherman2
Member since:
2011-01-14

"I'm still yet to hear a convincing way how they could without being noticed"

It may be unlikely, but only an idiot would claim it couldn't be done.

"But so little information that such hack would be pointless"

I certainly hope your not suggesting that because the pipe is small that it's of no danger! Maybe all they need is password/credentials/keys. Such could easily compromise VPN encryption or admin account.

"HTTP isn't encrypted so no it couldn't"

Use your head!! Just because the HTTP protocol isn't encrypted doesn't mean someone couldn't hide a covert message within perfectly normal IIS/HTTP variables.

"...a network admin somewhere in the world would notice updates to a network location where they've not requested it."

You either didn't read or didn't comprehend my previous message. An entity with the ability to wiretap doesn't strictly need to direct packets to a tracable IP.

Furthermore, if a backdoor leaked the information through normal connections over the course of several days using stenography, then even the most determined sysadmin would fail to detect a leak since every single packet would appear to be normal traffic.


"Not if you're sat behind a firewall with restrictive port access - as most businesses and governments would be."

This makes you sound like a novice. Even with a firewall, connections must get through. These open up attack vectors. Firewalls do not protect normal connections from being exploited.

"So You can't prove something that isn't there."

I've never claimed that there was a backdoor, only that there is the possibility for one which you cannot disprove by looking at traffic alone. That is after all what we're talking about.

"I've already discounted that possibility. Read my reply to the guy who suggested that."

You're reply was mistaken, stenography can apply to much more than just embedded images within emails.
Examples: session id, timestamps, tcp windows, source port numbers, dns transaction id, maybe even bits in a word document...it only needs to be one bit here and there to achieve a leak.

A sysadmin looking at a network trace is helpless; the data appears normal to him.

"It's 100% just paranoia. Sure MS have the technical ability, but then so does open source."

Well, if they (ms/gov) posses the technical ability, then the only thing stopping them from doing it is ethics. Just because you believe them doesn't mean other people do.

It could happen to open source too, but then it would be much more difficult to hide successfully for a prolonged period.

"When was the last time you compiled your own binaries rather than pulling binaries from US repositories?"

For what it's worth, I have my own distribution.

"Sure, you can download the source too, but like Windows' source code, who's to say that backdoors weren't added after the source was published?"

md5/sha1

"You see, we could all make worthless speculation about backdoors in any OS that we haven't programmed personally."

I'm not asserting there is a back door, only that your reasoning for claiming there are none is faulty.


"Putting such a backdoor in the kernel itself would be too low level. The minimum you need is keylogger and access to a TCP/IP stack - thus you need the backdoor in user space. It's not 'rules', it's pretty much the unbreakable laws of computer physics."

You're unbelievable! Are you for real? Of course the kernel can do keylogging and access the tcp stack. How could you possibly think otherwise?? What do you think a kernel does??

Forget it, based on the lack of intelligence in your responses, I'm not interested in continuing this dialog.

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