Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor? - Linux

This is a discussion on Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor? - Linux ; Sebastian G. wrote: > Bill Baka wrote: >> >> If you don't think the NSA (or anybody else) gets into your computer, >> how about this, my experience so far. I used a torrent engine to >> download 'Dreamgirls' for ...

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Thread: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

  1. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    Sebastian G. wrote:
    > Bill Baka wrote:
    >>
    >> If you don't think the NSA (or anybody else) gets into your computer,
    >> how about this, my experience so far. I used a torrent engine to
    >> download 'Dreamgirls' for my daughter. What I got was a crappy copy
    >> and a nasty e-mail from the MPAA police.

    >
    >
    > And this requires access to your computer about how far?


    Government warning, that's all.
    >
    >> About 30 years ago I got a visit from 2 FBI gorillas in $1,000 suits
    >> knocking on my door (at home, 8:00 P.M.) for a very minor infraction
    >> of FCC regulations,

    >
    >
    > And this requires access to your computer about how far?


    Government warning, that's all.
    >
    >> A few years back, like 2004 (I think) I was detained by both DHS and
    >> FBI agents on duty at Beale A.F.B. for riding my bike on a PUBLIC road
    >> and taking a few pictures with me 1.2 M Pixel fixed focus el-cheapo
    >> camera.
    >> Even after proving I was born here, 3rd generation, they held me for a
    >> local Sheriff to pick me up and take me straight home with the bike
    >> loosely in his trunk.

    >
    >
    > And this requires access to your computer about how far?


    Government warning, that's all.
    >
    >> They do it because they can.

    >
    > They don't do it because they can't.


    Do you ever get out??
    Just because you personally haven't gotten harassed by the government
    doesn't mean they aren't watching you.
    Be paranoid.
    1984 is coming true, just a little later than Orwell expected.
    Bill Baka

  2. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    Bill Baka writes:

    > plenty900@yahoo.com wrote:
    >>> It might be more complicated than this. They are said to have back doors in
    >>> *standard protocols* (Linux included) [1,2,3,4] and these are hard to get by
    >>> unless you are a security professional (I'm not). What about hardware-based
    >>> hacks [5] (in which case "Intel" might be just an abbreviation)? Remember that
    >>> they just need to sniff packets and then decrypt successfully in order to gain
    >>> remote access.

    >>
    >> Finally a mature response. I was beginning to think I was dealing with
    >> 11-year-olds.

    >
    > If you don't think the NSA (or anybody else) gets into your computer,
    > how about this, my experience so far. I used a torrent engine to
    > download 'Dreamgirls' for my daughter. What I got was a crappy copy
    > and a nasty e-mail from the MPAA police.


    Whats has that got to do with you computer?

    > About 30 years ago I got a visit from 2 FBI gorillas in $1,000 suits
    > knocking on my door (at home, 8:00 P.M.) for a very minor infraction
    > of FCC regulations, and they gave me a pink ticket and a warning that
    > if I dot another warning it would be a RED ticket. The RED ticket is
    > one step from having you license pulled for a year.


    As Homer would says : "Dooweee. Dooweee. Dooweee."

    > If you don't think the FBI monitors your activities just write
    > something that says "A$$a$$inate p-r-e-s-i-d-e-n-t 'WEED'" in it and
    > wait for the FBI at your door.
    > I'm not paranoid, I have been hassled over trivial stuff.


    Just mad.

  3. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    Bill Baka wrote:


    >>> They do it because they can.

    >> They don't do it because they can't.

    >
    > Do you ever get out??
    > Just because you personally haven't gotten harassed by the government
    > doesn't mean they aren't watching you.



    No. You were claiming that they're accessing people's computers at the time,
    by an included backdoor. And that's obviously nonsense.

  4. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    ____/ Chris Mattern on Wednesday 05 March 2008 16:30 : \____

    > On 2008-03-05, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    >>
    >> It might be more complicated than this. They are said to have back doors in
    >> *standard protocols* (Linux included) [1,2,3,4] and these are hard to get by

    >
    > Linux is not a protocol, standard or otherwise.


    A kernel does not make an operating platform complete, either. The question
    about 2.4 fallback is irrelevant here, but the argument still stands.

    --
    ~~ Best of wishes

    Roy S. Schestowitz
    http://Schestowitz.com | Free as in Free Beer | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
    Cpu(s): 26.0%us, 4.0%sy, 1.0%ni, 64.4%id, 4.1%wa, 0.3%hi, 0.1%si, 0.0%st
    http://iuron.com - semantic engine to gather information

  5. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Chris Mattern

    wrote
    on Wed, 05 Mar 2008 16:30:30 -0000
    :
    > On 2008-03-05, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    >>
    >> It might be more complicated than this. They are said to have back doors in
    >> *standard protocols* (Linux included) [1,2,3,4] and these are hard to get by

    >
    > Linux is not a protocol, standard or otherwise.
    >


    Linux does have a protocol -- an implied one.
    Communications with the Linux kernel are done using a
    callgate/trap mechanism; the mechanisms vary between
    processors but Linux is clearly creating a protocol, at
    least at the call/return level. For example, to open a
    file one has to go through the callgate with the parameters
    of filename, open mode, and creation mode. (Most app
    developers use higher levels which eventually go through
    libc's open() call.)

    Depending on the callgate mechanism parameters are in
    the registers or on the stack, and additional parameters
    may be needed either in registers or on the stack; for
    example, in Linux/x86 one has to pass a call identifier
    (__NR_open, or the constant 5; these are defined in
    /usr/src/linux/asm-i386/unistd.h and correlate with a
    dispatch table deep in the kernel) in %EAX. The actual
    callgate is INT 80H (or int $0x80 in gas syntax).

    There are some issues in binary compatibility which I'd
    have to look up but at one point Linux was able to run
    old SCO Unix binaries.

    Parts of this protocol have been standardized, at
    the libc level; for example, POSIX.1-2001 specifies
    what open() shall be required to do.

    X also has a protocol; one big difference between Linux
    and X is that X goes a little deeper, specifying the
    actual packets. Since the Linux callgate doesn't bother
    with packets to do the actual call, no one's gone to that
    detail, although in the case of Linux one can specify
    packets of variable size (because of pointers), if need be.

    It is far from clear how one would infiltrate the Linux
    protocol, though an alternate entrance is available,
    namely network packet processing. At this point (AFAIK)
    the only leveraging (FSVO) was to crash a running kernel
    using the teardrop attack.

    This Linux protocol can and has been leveraged; the most
    obvious application was UML, which could be construed as
    "a linux executable emulating a linux system running a
    linux kernel". (QEMU and VmWare run at a lower level,
    as I understand it. Note that UML also means "universal
    modeling language", which can get a bit confusing.)

    --
    #191, ewill3@earthlink.net
    Linux. Because it's there and it works.
    Windows. It's there, but does it work?

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  6. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Moshe Goldfarb

    wrote
    on Wed, 5 Mar 2008 12:23:04 -0500
    <1gadm4bnqljf$.g9qeuh3pyebn.dlg@40tude.net>:
    > On Wed, 05 Mar 2008 16:30:30 -0000, Chris Mattern wrote:
    >
    >> On 2008-03-05, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    >>>
    >>> It might be more complicated than this. They are said to have
    >>> back doors in *standard protocols* (Linux included) [1,2,3,4]
    >>> and these are hard to get by

    >>
    >> Linux is not a protocol, standard or otherwise.

    >
    > To a Linux advocacy loon:
    >
    > A. Linux is the kernel.
    > B. Except when Linux is not the kernel.
    >
    > Pick either A or B depending upon what argument you are involved in and
    > which one suits your POV at the moment.
    >


    Linux is an entire generic distro system in most posts
    here. Depending on the context one might specify which
    distro, especially when one finds bugs; however, most
    packages are available for the distros in some form,
    and bugs in those packages are therefore bugs in Linux.

    For example, almost all distros have Open Office, and
    the bugs in Open Office are therefore part of Linux.

    To a purist (such as myself), this logic verges on
    the bizarre, but it does make sense; it is not the
    responsibility of the *user* to pin it down further than
    "Linux is broken", but the responsibility of the packager
    and possibly the system administrator. After all, the
    user doesn't see Gnome, Nautilus, xterm, oowriter, or gpdf;
    he sees a system display which he clicks on. Pick a menu,
    do something, oops it's broken, report it to IT.

    (Unless the user *IS* IT -- as in the home user, in which
    case, he either looks up the relevant symptoms using Google
    or carts the broken unit to a fix-it guy who can hopefully
    make the magic box work again.)

    The Linux distros have many doors, depending on what
    daemons are installed. For example, Apache opens port 80
    by default; Tomcat and/or JBoss opens ports 8080, 8009,
    and 1099; NFS uses port 2049; a DNS-capable server opens
    port 53. All of these use well-established protocols.

    (Not that it matters; network address translation (NAT)
    blocks all incoming packets unless one specifically opens
    a port through the router, therefore making Windows'
    relative openness far less of an issue than it used to be.)

    Fortunately, the system administrator is in general control
    of which ports Linux opens -- if he's knowledgeable enough.

    Unfortunately, Windows appears simpler, as Windows has
    more advanced GUI underpinnings. (They've had more time
    to work on configuration applets.)

    --
    #191, ewill3@earthlink.net
    Murphy was an optimist.

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  7. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Sebastian G.

    wrote
    on Wed, 05 Mar 2008 18:46:40 +0100
    <6384laF26l55mU1@mid.dfncis.de>:
    > Bill Baka wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>> They do it because they can.
    >>> They don't do it because they can't.

    >>
    >> Do you ever get out??
    >> Just because you personally haven't gotten harassed by the government
    >> doesn't mean they aren't watching you.

    >
    >
    > No. You were claiming that they're accessing people's computers
    > at the time, by an included backdoor. And that's obviously nonsense.


    Not as obvious as one might think. I'd have to look to
    see how BitTorrent works but my understanding is that a
    daemon uses surplus bandwidth, for example.

    --
    #191, ewill3@earthlink.net
    Useless C/C++ Programming Idea #2239120:
    void f(char *p) {char *q = p; strcpy(p,q); }

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com


  8. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    On 2008-03-05, Moshe Goldfarb wrote:
    > On Wed, 05 Mar 2008 16:30:30 -0000, Chris Mattern wrote:
    >
    >> On 2008-03-05, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    >>>
    >>> It might be more complicated than this. They are said to have back doors in
    >>> *standard protocols* (Linux included) [1,2,3,4] and these are hard to get by

    >>
    >> Linux is not a protocol, standard or otherwise.

    >
    > To a Linux advocacy loon:
    >
    > A. Linux is the kernel.
    > B. Except when Linux is not the kernel.
    >
    > Pick either A or B depending upon what argument you are involved in and
    > which one suits your POV at the moment.
    >

    Whether or not Linux is a kernel can be slippery, yes. But
    it's not a protocol, period. That's like describing an
    airplane as being a flight plan.

    --
    Christopher Mattern

    NOTICE
    Thank you for noticing this new notice
    Your noticing it has been noted
    And will be reported to the authorities

  9. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    Chris Mattern wrote:

    >On 2008-03-05, Moshe Goldfarb wrote:


    Please don't feed the troll.


  10. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    On Wed, 05 Mar 2008 18:20:34 +0000, Roy Schestowitz wrote:

    > ____/ Chris Mattern on Wednesday 05 March 2008 16:30 : \____
    >
    >> On 2008-03-05, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    >>>
    >>> It might be more complicated than this. They are said to have back doors in
    >>> *standard protocols* (Linux included) [1,2,3,4] and these are hard to get by

    >>
    >> Linux is not a protocol, standard or otherwise.

    >
    > A kernel does not make an operating platform complete, either. The question
    > about 2.4 fallback is irrelevant here, but the argument still stands.


    Linux is the kernel.
    Linux is not the kernel.

    You Linux dweebs change your arguments more than you change your panties.

    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

  11. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    On Wed, 05 Mar 2008 19:13:52 -0000, Chris Mattern wrote:

    > On 2008-03-05, Moshe Goldfarb wrote:
    >> On Wed, 05 Mar 2008 16:30:30 -0000, Chris Mattern wrote:
    >>
    >>> On 2008-03-05, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> It might be more complicated than this. They are said to have back doors in
    >>>> *standard protocols* (Linux included) [1,2,3,4] and these are hard to get by
    >>>
    >>> Linux is not a protocol, standard or otherwise.

    >>
    >> To a Linux advocacy loon:
    >>
    >> A. Linux is the kernel.
    >> B. Except when Linux is not the kernel.
    >>
    >> Pick either A or B depending upon what argument you are involved in and
    >> which one suits your POV at the moment.
    >>

    > Whether or not Linux is a kernel can be slippery, yes. But
    > it's not a protocol, period. That's like describing an
    > airplane as being a flight plan.


    You are correct, I agree with you.

    I was merely using an illustration to demonstrate how Roy Schestowitz is
    going to squirm and try and twist this one all over the place.

    BTW would you like to hear Roy Schestowitz discussing OOXML vs ODF?

    Here you go!
    Click on the podcast.
    It's a real eye opener.

    http://www.linux.com/feature/122470
    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

  12. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    plenty900@yahoo.com wrote:
    >
    > I've learned that there are bits of NSA's SELinux in various
    > places in kernel 2.6. How can I be sure that Big Brother isn't
    > using back doors or bugs to break into my computer?
    > Especially with all the illegal spying done these days...
    > How much safer would it be to just switch back to 2.4 or 2.5?


    As someone who has lurked on the Linux Kernel Mailing List for
    quite a few years, I can assure you that the whole 'many eyes'
    argument in favor of Linux's open source nature is absolutely
    true. While not a 100% guarantee, it makes it very unlikely that
    purposeful security backdoors would survive peer review. It is
    much more likely that a closed source operating system, with its
    budget constraints and release date pressures, would let
    something like that slip through.

    Also, keep in mind that Linux, with its popularity as an embedded
    OS in the safety conscious aerospace, automotive, and medical
    technology industries, has been put through some rather rigorous
    source code audits (some mandated by the government) even over
    and above the usual scrutiny by the core kernel hackers.

    I've no worries about the 2.6 kernel.

    Thad
    --
    Yeah, I drank the Open Source cool-aid... Unlike the other brand, it had
    all the ingredients on the label.

  13. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    The Ghost In The Machine wrote:
    > In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Sebastian G.
    >
    > wrote
    > on Wed, 05 Mar 2008 18:46:40 +0100
    > <6384laF26l55mU1@mid.dfncis.de>:
    >> Bill Baka wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>>> They do it because they can.
    >>>> They don't do it because they can't.
    >>> Do you ever get out??
    >>> Just because you personally haven't gotten harassed by the government
    >>> doesn't mean they aren't watching you.

    >>
    >> No. You were claiming that they're accessing people's computers
    >> at the time, by an included backdoor. And that's obviously nonsense.


    How do you know for sure? The government can easily tell them to include
    a piece of code for them to use, and if it can be abused the government
    will abuse it, Republicans or Democrats.
    >
    > Not as obvious as one might think. I'd have to look to
    > see how BitTorrent works but my understanding is that a
    > daemon uses surplus bandwidth, for example.
    >

    My point was that if the MPAA is allowed access to tracker information
    so easily at demonoid.com then they would definitely give it to the
    feds. The X-Files had it right, "Trust no one.".
    Bill Baka
    BTW, most of us hate cross posting so for the record I am on
    comp.os.linux.setup.

  14. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    The Ghost In The Machine wrote:

    > In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Sebastian G.
    >
    > wrote
    > on Wed, 05 Mar 2008 18:46:40 +0100
    > <6384laF26l55mU1@mid.dfncis.de>:
    >> Bill Baka wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>>> They do it because they can.
    >>>> They don't do it because they can't.
    >>> Do you ever get out??
    >>> Just because you personally haven't gotten harassed by the government
    >>> doesn't mean they aren't watching you.

    >>
    >> No. You were claiming that they're accessing people's computers
    >> at the time, by an included backdoor. And that's obviously nonsense.

    >
    > Not as obvious as one might think.



    None of the things you mentioned gives any evidence that such a thing is
    happening.

    > I'd have to look to see how BitTorrent works but my understanding is that
    > a daemon uses surplus bandwidth, for example.


    Which is an obvious instance of the reasons why one shouldn't use untrusted
    software. The BitTorrent client from Bram Cohen became untrustworthy when he
    decided to cooperate with the media mafia.




  15. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    Chris Mattern wrote:
    > Whether or not Linux is a kernel can be slippery, yes. But
    > it's not a protocol, period. That's like describing an
    > airplane as being a flight plan.
    >

    I do know that stuff is happening since my router's Internet light
    sometimes gets all 'blinky' when I don't have any Internet stuff
    running. It almost never gets to my hard drive since I also use a 3Com
    server grade card with it's own junk blocking.
    I don't keep anything financial on my computer so if anyone is looking
    to hijack me, good luck.
    Bill Baka


  16. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?


  17. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    Bill Baka writes:

    > Chris Mattern wrote:
    >> Whether or not Linux is a kernel can be slippery, yes. But
    >> it's not a protocol, period. That's like describing an
    >> airplane as being a flight plan.
    >>

    > I do know that stuff is happening since my router's Internet light
    > sometimes gets all 'blinky' when I don't have any Internet stuff
    > running. It almost never gets to my hard drive since I also use a 3Com
    > server grade card with it's own junk blocking.
    > I don't keep anything financial on my computer so if anyone is looking
    > to hijack me, good luck.
    > Bill Baka
    >


    Lovely. The old a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing once
    more.

    "any internet stuff running". LOL.

  18. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    On Wed, 05 Mar 2008 20:56:40 GMT, Bill Baka wrote:

    > Chris Mattern wrote:
    >> Whether or not Linux is a kernel can be slippery, yes. But
    >> it's not a protocol, period. That's like describing an
    >> airplane as being a flight plan.
    >>

    > I do know that stuff is happening since my router's Internet light
    > sometimes gets all 'blinky' when I don't have any Internet stuff
    > running. It almost never gets to my hard drive since I also use a 3Com
    > server grade card with it's own junk blocking.
    > I don't keep anything financial on my computer so if anyone is looking
    > to hijack me, good luck.
    > Bill Baka


    So?

    Assuming you are on broadband, there is traffic on your node.
    Probably some kid down the road with a Quake server.




    --
    Moshe Goldfarb
    Collector of soaps from around the globe.
    Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
    http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/

  19. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    Sebastian G. wrote:
    > The Ghost In The Machine wrote:
    >
    >> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Sebastian G.
    >>
    >> wrote
    >> on Wed, 05 Mar 2008 18:46:40 +0100
    >> <6384laF26l55mU1@mid.dfncis.de>:
    >>> Bill Baka wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>>> They do it because they can.
    >>>>> They don't do it because they can't.
    >>>> Do you ever get out??
    >>>> Just because you personally haven't gotten harassed by the
    >>>> government doesn't mean they aren't watching you.
    >>>
    >>> No. You were claiming that they're accessing people's computers
    >>> at the time, by an included backdoor. And that's obviously nonsense.

    >>
    >> Not as obvious as one might think.

    >
    >
    > None of the things you mentioned gives any evidence that such a thing is
    > happening.


    Like they would leave evidence?
    >
    > > I'd have to look to see how BitTorrent works but my understanding is

    > that
    > > a daemon uses surplus bandwidth, for example.

    >
    > Which is an obvious instance of the reasons why one shouldn't use
    > untrusted software. The BitTorrent client from Bram Cohen became
    > untrustworthy when he decided to cooperate with the media mafia.
    >
    >
    >

    So far I haven't used BitTorrent, just Ktorrent and utorrent.
    I'm starting to play with Azureus but haven't downloaded anything with
    it yet.
    I have all the music I could ever want or listen to so I don't download
    MP3 files, only the odd something I may want to check out.
    As to the bandwidth, Ktorrent sucks up all it can get and it really
    messes up my mail and news, and even my browser (Firefox).

    Never underestimate the government. Who do you think hires the best and
    brightest?
    Bill Baka

  20. Re: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

    Hadron wrote:
    > Bill Baka writes:
    >
    >> Chris Mattern wrote:
    >>> Whether or not Linux is a kernel can be slippery, yes. But
    >>> it's not a protocol, period. That's like describing an
    >>> airplane as being a flight plan.
    >>>

    >> I do know that stuff is happening since my router's Internet light
    >> sometimes gets all 'blinky' when I don't have any Internet stuff
    >> running. It almost never gets to my hard drive since I also use a 3Com
    >> server grade card with it's own junk blocking.
    >> I don't keep anything financial on my computer so if anyone is looking
    >> to hijack me, good luck.
    >> Bill Baka
    >>

    >
    > Lovely. The old a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing once
    > more.
    >
    > "any internet stuff running". LOL.


    Clean slate, just the desktop.
    Bill Baka

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