Cryptome: NSA has access to Windows Mobile smartphones

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| First time in history has released information about the
| characteristics of NSA’s network surveillance.

And Microsoft has just confirmed that there's a errr.... 'bug'.

Microsoft confirms that XP contains random number generator bug

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| As recently as last Friday, Microsoft hedged in answering questions about
| whether XP and Vista could be attacked in the same way, saying only that
| later versions of Windows "contain various changes and enhancements to the
| random number generator."

Appended below (in order):

i) the effect of back doors being found (zombies everywhere)
ii) compelling evidence of government involvement
iii) Windows mobile suckage and vulnerabilities


In zombies we trust

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| A little over a year ago, I wrote an editorial where in back-of-the-envelope
| style (.pdf) I estimated that perhaps 15-30% of all privately owned computers
| were no longer under the sole control of their owner. In the intervening
| months, I received a certain amount of hate mail but in those intervening
| months Vint Cert guessed 20-40%, Microsoft said 2/3rds, and IDC suggested
| 3/4ths. It is thus a conservative risk position to assume that any random
| counterparty stands a fair chance of being already compromised. * * *

Over 50% of corporate desktops infected with malware: IronPort

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| The report also reveals that more than 50% of corporate desktops
| worldwide are infected with some type of spyware with the rate of
| infection as high as 70% in the United States. Trojans or malicious
| system monitors represented over 7% of the infections. Rootkits and
| trick loaders, which reinstall spyware and other obfuscation techniques,
| make remediation very difficult thus prevention is the key to stopping
| these threats.

Botnet 'pandemic' threatens to strangle the net

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| Cerf estimated that between 100 million and 150 million of the
| 600 million PCs on the internet are under the control of hackers,
| the BBC reports.

House passes Restore Act with no telecom immunity provision

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| The House of Representatives has passed the Restore Act, which facilitates
| broad surveillance of foreign terror groups while restoring the Foreign
| Intelligence Surveillance Act Court's oversight of communications between
| foreign and domestic surveillance targets. The Restore Act controversially
| does not include a provision granting telecom companies retroactive legal
| immunity for their involvement in the NSA wiretap program. * * *

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| "Is this a good idea or not? For the first time, the giant software maker
| is acknowledging the help of the secretive agency, better known for
| eavesdropping on foreign officials and, more recently, U.S. citizens as
| part of the Bush..."

Microsoft could be teaching police to hack Vista

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| Microsoft may begin training the police in ways to break the
| encryption built into its forthcoming Vista operating system.

UK holds Microsoft security talks

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| "UK officials are talking to Microsoft over fears the new version of
| Windows could make it harder for police to read suspects' computer files."

Microsoft patents the mother of all adware systems

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| The adware framework would leave almost no data untouched in its quest to
| sell you stuff. It would inspect "user document files, user e-mail files,
| user music files, downloaded podcasts, computer settings, computer status
| messages (e.g., a low memory status or low printer ink)," and more. How could
| we have been so blind as to not see the marketing value in computer status
| messages? * *

Why proprietary code is bad for security

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| Tho Skype is using an encrypted protocol, it’s still their own, non-disclosed
| code and property. So we don’t know what it contains.
| [...]
| It’s time to stop accepting that we are the bad guys, and to stop consuming
| things we just don’t understand (and cannot, because they are proprietary, *
| closed-source systems).
| Say no to companies, or even governments who treat you like this. Start using
| open sourced products and protocols wherever you can. Even if you could
| still never understand the code used in these systems, there are still lots
| of people who can, and who will examine it. The magic word here is “peer
| review” - your friend or buddy or neighbour may be able to understand all
| that, and to help. No, not with Skype or Windows or any black box from Cisco. * * *

Beware of Skype

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| The Skype network has been a concern of government intelligence agencies
| since its inception because it provides a worldwide network of encrypted VoIP
| calls to potential “terrorists”. So how coincidental is it that 10 days after
| Bush signs into law a Bill giving the government authority to track foreign
| calls that go through U.S. networks that Skype, for the first time in its
| existence, undergoes a massive worldwide outage? * *
| [...]
| But there are FOSS alternatives to Skype people really should start
| considering now. One is the OpenWengo Project. Businesses, and even
| individuals, should also consider setting up their own Asterisk servers with
| encryption. *

Skype staff play good cop bad cop with Linux users

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| Thank goodness for another staff member, Ryan Hunt, who injected a
| little decorum into the thread, and more than a little honesty, by
| admitting “With 1.4 we're taking it back to basics so we can do it
| right - because that's what you deserve” and stating that “One of
| the features at the heart of 1.4 is the greatly improved audio
| quality and stability.

Spy Master Admits Error

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| Intel czar Mike McConnell told Congress a new law helped bring down a terror
| plot. The facts say otherwise.

FBI ducks questions about its remotely installed spyware

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| There are plenty of unanswered questions about the FBI spyware that, as we
| reported earlier this week, can be delivered over the Internet and implanted *
| in a suspect's computer remotely.

United States Government Online Watchdogs? Part of the war on terror?

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| Is there anyone in the abandonia community with a US based connection who is
| experiencing this watchdog behavior? Are any foreign Vista users experiencing
| similar attacks from their own countries ministries and governing agencies?" *

Back doors in Windows XP...

Mother of all spyware...

Police eats your CPU cycles and disk space...

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| Vista—Microsoft’s latest operating system—may prove to be most
| appropriately named, especially for those seeking evidence of how a
| computer was used.

Will Microsoft Put The Colonel in the Kernel?

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| "The kernel meets The Colonel in a just-published Microsoft patent
| application for an Advertising Services Architecture, which delivers targeted
| advertising as 'part of the OS.' *

Austria OKs terror snooping Trojan plan

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| Austria has become one of the first countries to officially sanction the use
| of Trojan Horse malware as a tactic for monitoring the PCs of suspected
| terrorists and criminals. *
| [...]
| Would-be terrorists need only use Ubuntu Linux to avoid the ploy. And even if
| they stuck with Windows their anti-virus software might detect the malware.
| Anti-virus firms that accede to law enforcement demands to turn a blind eye
| to state-sanctioned malware risk undermining trust in their software, as
| similar experience in the US has shown. * *

Schäuble renews calls for surreptitious online searches of PCs

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| In his speech towards the end of the national conference of the Junge Union,
| the youth organization of the ruling conservative Christian Democratic Union
| (CDU), in Berlin the Federal Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble has
| again come out in favor of allowing authorities to search private PCs
| secretly online and of deploying the German Armed Forces in Germany in the
| event of an emergency. * *

Is My Boss Reading My Personal E-mail?

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| Your employer can monitor all electronic communication
| to and from work equipment, especially when it's sent
| over the corporate network

Botnet 'pandemic' threatens to strangle the net

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| Cerf estimated that between 100 million and 150 million of the
| 600 million PCs on the internet are under the control of hackers,
| the BBC reports.

Encrypted E-Mail Company Hushmail Spills to Feds

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| Hushmail, a longtime provider of encrypted web-based email, markets itself by
| saying that "not even a Hushmail employee with access to our servers can read
| your encrypted e-mail, since each message is uniquely encoded before it
| leaves your computer." *
| But it turns out that statement seems not to apply to individuals targeted by
| government agencies that are able to convince a Canadian court to serve a
| court order on the company. *

No email privacy rights under Constitution, US gov claims

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| This appears to be more than a mere argument in support of the
| constitutionality of a Congressional email privacy and access scheme. It
| represents what may be the fundamental governmental position on
| Constitutional email and electronic privacy - that there isn't any. What is
| important in this case is not the ultimate resolution of that narrow issue,
| but the position that the United States government is taking on the entire
| issue of electronic privacy. That position, if accepted, may mean that the
| government can read anybody's email at any time without a warrant. * * *

Can FOSS save your privacy?

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| Well, the Bush regime has already claimed "we don't need no steenkin
| warrant" to listen to your phone calls, see what websites you visit,
| scan your emails, and now, with the revelation of a new
| "signing statement", it?s even claiming the authority to read your
| physical mail. When the government becomes the biggest threat to
| your privacy, you better take advantage of the legion of privacy
| advocates creating FOSS to help you retain what little bit of privacy
| you can still have.
| [...]
| However, just because your privacy is being threatened doesn't mean
| you have to accept it. There is a growing array of FOSS being
| developed to provide us with the ability to control our privacy.
| It's about time we all start using it.

Polippix: The Political Linux Distribution of Denmark

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| From what I have been able to determine, PROSA, the Association of
| Computer Professionals, is the group responsible for its development
| and distribution. Their feelings on how privacy is being affected in
| the country of Denmark are rather obvious, and it looks as if they
| are not going to take these concerns lying down.

Microsoft exec calls XP hack 'frightening'

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| "You can download attack tools from the Internet, and even script kiddies can
| use this one," said Mick.
| Mick found the IP address of his own computer by using the XP Wireless
| Network Connection Status dialog box. He deduced the IP address of Andy's
| computer by typing different numerically adjacent addresses in that IP range
| into the attack tool, then scanning the addresses to see if they belonged to
| a vulnerable machine. * *
| Using a different attack tool, he produced a security report detailing the
| vulnerabilities found on the system. Mick decided to exploit one of them.
| Using the attack tool, Mick built a piece of malware in MS-DOS, giving it a
| payload that would exploit the flaw within a couple of minutes. *

Duh! Windows Encryption Hacked Via Random Number Generator

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| GeneralMount Carmel, Haifa – A group of researchers headed by Dr. Benny
| Pinkas from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Haifa
| succeeded in finding a security vulnerability in Microsoft's "Windows 2000"
| operating system. The significance of the loophole: emails, passwords, credit
| card numbers, if they were typed into the computer, and actually all
| correspondence that emanated from a computer using "Windows 2000" is
| susceptible to tracking. "This is not a theoretical discovery. Anyone who
| exploits this security loophole can definitely access this information on
| other computers," remarked Dr. Pinkas. * * * *
| Editors Note: *I believe this "loophole" is part of the Patriot Act, it is
| designed for foreign governments. *Seriously, if you care about security,
| privacy, data, trojans, spyware, etc., one does not run Windows, you run
| Linux. *

"Trusted" Computing

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| Do you imagine that any US Linux distributor would say no to the
| US government if they were requested (politely, of course) to add
| a back-door to the binary Linux images shipped as part of their
| products ? Who amongst us actually uses the source code so helpfully
| given to us on the extra CDs to compile our own version ? With
| Windows of course there are already so many back-doors known and
| unknown that the US government might not have even bothered to
| ask Microsoft, they may have just found their own, ready to
| exploit at will. What about Intel or AMD and the microcode on
| the processor itself ?

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| In relation to the issue of sharing technical API and protocol
| information used throughout Microsoft products, which the
| states were seeking, Allchin alleged that releasing this
| information would increase the security risk to consumers.
| * * * *"It is no exaggeration to say that the national security is
| * * * *also implicated by the efforts of hackers to break into
| * * * *computing networks. Computers, including many running Windows
| * * * *operating systems, are used throughout the United States
| * * * *Department of Defense and by the armed forces of the United
| * * * *States in Afghanistan and elsewhere."

How NSA access was built into Windows

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| A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has revealed that
| special access codes prepared by the US National Security Agency
| have been secretly built into Windows.
| [...]
| The first discovery of the new NSA access system was made two years
| ago by British researcher Dr Nicko van Someren. But it was only a
| few weeks ago when a second researcher rediscovered the access
| system. With it, he found the evidence linking it to NSA.

NSA Builds Security Access Into Windows

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| A careless mistake by Microsoft programmers has shown that special access
| codes for use by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) have been secretly
| built into all versions of the Windows operating system.

Reaching for Apple, Falling Short

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| Frankly, Windows Mobile 6 is a mess. Common features require an infinitude of
| taps and clicks, and the ones you need most are buried in menus. Apparently
| the Windows Mobile 6 team learned absolutely nothing from Windows Mobile 1,
| 2, 3, 4 and 5. *

Windows Mobile flaws could crash phones

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| A security firm has found a pair of security bugs in Microsoft's
| Windows Mobile which, if exploited, could crash phones and other
| devices running the software.

Trend Micro Finds More Windows Mobile Flaws

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| Trend Micro has again discovered flaws related to Windows Mobile.
| Both of the newly found vulnerabilities are flaws in applications
| that ship by default with Microsoft?s mobile device OS.

Microsoft shows its hand to stay in the mobile web war

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| Repeatedly it has been asked of Microsoft, why not throw away Windows
| Mobile and build a new generation of software on top of the prevalent
| smart phone operating systems -- Symbian and Linux, or add Windows
| Mobile only as an afterthought?

Palm's Fat Hand

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| Samsung' Blackjack and Motorola's Q, while easy on the eyes, are
| hampered by Microsoft's unintuitive Windows Mobile operating
| system.

Vista-Windows Mobile 6.0 file-sync fix due in mid-June

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| Even though Windows Vista has been out since January (or November,
| if you're a business customer), there are still products and applications
| -- including some from Microsoft itself -- that don't work with Vista.

I'm breaking up with Windows Mobile

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| But tomorrow, I'm saying goodbye, or at least fare-well to my Windows
| Mobile days.

T-Mobile Wing Review

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| With that said, Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 is a disappointment.
| Working with a number of applications or "heavy" documents was
| painful. The delay was too much, especially in Word and PowerPoint
| files that it wasn?t possible for us to work with the device without
| messing up somewhere and not realizing it in the end. This lag is
| present across a number of other scenarios as well.

HTC takes a gamble with new brand and OS strategy

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| Despite making gains in the enterprise and becoming a fairly robust
| and well recognized, if relatively minor, smartphone platform, Windows
| Mobile will clearly be just an element in the mobile picture, and
| probably a small one compared to Linux and the growing family of
| Java-oriented OSs like Symbian/Series 60 or Sun's new developments.

Microsoft Hides Its Mobile and Business Apps Divisions

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| The company is folding its two worst-performing divisions -- Microsoft
| Business Solutions (its business applications unit) and its Mobile and
| Embedded units -- into the Microsoft Business Division and Microsoft Home
| and Entertainment units, respectively.

How to crash a Windows mobile using MMS

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| Security researchers have released proof-of-concept code that exploits
| vulnerabilities in MMS implementations in mobile phones running
| mobile versions of Windows.

70 percent of smartphones use Symbian

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| At 3GSM it became clear that 70 percent of all smartphones use Symbian.
| Linux accounts for 16.9 percent of the smartphone market and only
| 4.6 percent uses Microsoft Windows Mobile.

Microsoft doesn't deny Windows Mobile flaw

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| Microsoft has refused to deny that the most recent version of
| Windows Mobile leaves data poorly secured on handsets.

Mobile Security, Virtualization on tap at MS Hacking Meet

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| Plus, we've got a couple of talks on Windows Mobile and more about automated
| exploit creation-- this time using Metasploit."

Airscanner Vulnerability Summary: Windows Mobile Security Software Fails the

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| Since developers are not in a hurry to keep their users information
| secure... we feel compelled to publish - with exclusivity granted to us
| by author till August 21, 2006 - an article, that reveals various
| problems with Windows Mobile software from various software vendors!
| This article is a "must read" for any serious user of Windows Mobile...

Review of Windows Mobile 6.0 for PPC (Crossbow) operating system

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| Regrettably, this world lacks miracles and this case is just another
| proof of that. The system still doesn?t offer support for several
| active windows in Internet Explorer, so that you are limited to a
| single window at a time, also profiles are missing in WM; the office
| applications haven?t been enhanced either. Nor were the multimedia
| tools. What the company has really got to do is keep on tuning
| Office Mobile, extending Windows Live, release Windows Media Mobile
| 11 and so on.