Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor? - Setup

This is a discussion on Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor? - Setup ; 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 ...

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Thread: Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?

  1. Does kernel 2.6 include an NSA backdoor?


    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?


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

    On Mar 4, 7:19*pm, plenty...@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?


    None, they've been in the kernel since the beginning. They are out to
    get you and your family. No one is safe.

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

    In comp.os.linux.advocacy, plenty900@yahoo.com

    wrote
    on Tue, 4 Mar 2008 16:19:16 -0800 (PST)
    <0d20143f-558b-4e80-8191-2804cd0b5b81@e23g2000prf.googlegroups.com>:
    >
    > 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?
    >


    Naaah...just switch to Microsoft Windows Vista. That way you can be
    absolutely *sure* that there are bugs allowing malware to break into
    your computer....

    ;-)

    As it is...SELinux is not a backdoor intrusion device; it's
    a series of implementations of ACLs, as I understand it,
    and other such enhancements.

    --
    #191, ewill3@earthlink.net
    Q: "Why is my computer doing that?"
    A: "Don't do that and you'll be fine."

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


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

    In article <0d20143f-558b-4e80-8191-2804cd0b5b81@e23g2000prf.googlegroups.com>, 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?


    I have heard that if one wears a tin-foil hat of the correct type in
    conjuction with a microwave oven plus a radio and antenna tuned to the
    proper frequency, this will block the bits that the NSA uses to spy
    on your computer, which they can otherwise do even if it is turned off.

    Or, you could just examine the kernel source code, and once satisfied
    that it is clean, build it from source. (But then again, perhaps the NSA
    has compromised the compiler. Oh dear...)

    > 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?


    From what I understand a typewriter is safer yet.

    --
    Roger Blake
    (Subtract 10s for email.)

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

    Roger Blake wrote:
    > In article <0d20143f-558b-4e80-8191-2804cd0b5b81@e23g2000prf.googlegroups.com>, 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?

    >
    > I have heard that if one wears a tin-foil hat of the correct type in
    > conjuction with a microwave oven plus a radio and antenna tuned to the
    > proper frequency, this will block the bits that the NSA uses to spy
    > on your computer, which they can otherwise do even if it is turned off.
    >
    > Or, you could just examine the kernel source code, and once satisfied
    > that it is clean, build it from source. (But then again, perhaps the NSA
    > has compromised the compiler. Oh dear...)


    Right, and even if you check the source of the compiler and then compile it
    from scratch, you will be in trouble because the compiler you compile it
    with could be compromised.

    But even if you had a compiler written in assembler, and you assembled it
    from scratch, you would not be safe because if they wanted to, perhaps the
    NSA could have prevailed on Intel and the other processor manufacturers to
    automatically insert trojans in object code.
    >
    >> 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?

    >
    > From what I understand a typewriter is safer yet.
    >

    Perhaps, but only if you do not have a ribbon in the typewriter. If you type
    something and mail it, you are surely at risk. I cannot believe that the
    government has stopped steaming open letters of people they wish to examine.

    I have heard from someone, now deceased, that he wrote that he hoped the
    military censors would pass a particular letter. The letter had written on
    it "Nonsense: we do not censor mail." I am not sure how true the story is,
    but he is someone who really had his telephone tapped (by the FBI, not the NSA).

    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ PGP-Key: 9A2FC99A Registered Machine 241939.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey http://counter.li.org
    ^^-^^ 22:05:01 up 21 days, 4:16, 1 user, load average: 4.22, 4.18, 4.10

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

    On 5 Mar, 00:19, plenty...@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?


    OK, people are making fun of you. Most seriously, the SELinux bits are
    open source and recompilable, so there are good chances to review it:
    I don't consider it a big risk. No, the big SELinux risk is that lots
    of people turn it *off* and don't bother to use it, because it
    interferes with all sorts of reasonable tools in unpredictable ways
    and the configuration tools for it suck really, really hard. So if
    you're in a hurry to get work done, many folks simply turn it off to
    eliminate the burden of maintaining it.

    This is particularly true with webtools, many of which scatter their
    writable directories and utilities all over your file system and
    refuse to acknowledge the UNIX File System Hierarchy, much less any
    security practices. I once went through conniptions trying to get
    Bugzilla working, and rejoiced when it was finally packaged up into a
    clean RPM that worked well with SELinux.

    If I see one more utility that says "download the latest CVS from here
    and just run it iin place on your system!" and the CVS blatantly does
    not work, much less have any way of detecting which particular verson
    of the software it contains.....

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

    ____/ Nico Kadel-Garcia on Wednesday 05 March 2008 07:27 : \____

    > On 5 Mar, 00:19, plenty...@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?

    >
    > OK, people are making fun of you. Most seriously, the SELinux bits are
    > open source and recompilable, so there are good chances to review it:
    > I don't consider it a big risk. No, the big SELinux risk is that lots
    > of people turn it *off* and don't bother to use it, because it
    > interferes with all sorts of reasonable tools in unpredictable ways
    > and the configuration tools for it suck really, really hard. So if
    > you're in a hurry to get work done, many folks simply turn it off to
    > eliminate the burden of maintaining it.
    >
    > This is particularly true with webtools, many of which scatter their
    > writable directories and utilities all over your file system and
    > refuse to acknowledge the UNIX File System Hierarchy, much less any
    > security practices. I once went through conniptions trying to get
    > Bugzilla working, and rejoiced when it was finally packaged up into a
    > clean RPM that worked well with SELinux.
    >
    > If I see one more utility that says "download the latest CVS from here
    > and just run it iin place on your system!" and the CVS blatantly does
    > not work, much less have any way of detecting which particular verson
    > of the software it contains.....


    Nico,

    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.

    Those whose role is to deny these things will of course attack the messenger,
    but I haven't seen Bruce S getting attacked just yet.

    ___
    [1] Did NSA Put a Secret Backdoor in New Encryption Standard?

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | Which is why you should worry about a new random-number standard that
    | includes an algorithm that is slow, badly designed and just might contain a
    | backdoor for the National Security Agency.
    `----

    http://www.wired.com/politics/securi...tymatters_1115


    [2] NSA Backdoors in Crypto AG Ciphering Machines

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | We don't know the truth here, but the article lays out the evidence pretty
    | well.
    |
    | See this essay of mine on how the NSA might have been able to read Iranian
    | encrypted traffic.
    `----

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...ckdoors_i.html


    [3] Dual_EC_DRBG Added to Windows Vista

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft has added the random-number generator Dual_EC-DRBG to Windows
    | Vista, as part of SP1. Yes, this is the same RNG that could have an NSA
    | backdoor.
    |
    | It's not enabled by default, and my advice is to never enable it. Ever.
    `----

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...c_drbg_ad.html


    [4] Duh! Windows Encryption Hacked Via Random Number Generator

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | 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.
    `----

    http://www.linuxelectrons.com/news/g...mber-generator


    [5] Chip Design Flaw Could Subvert Encryption

    ,----[ Quote ]
    | Shamir said that if an intelligence organization discovered such a flaw,
    | security software on a computer with a compromised chip could be "trivially
    | broken with a single chosen message." The attacker would send a "poisoned"
    | encrypted message to a protected computer, he wrote. It would then be
    | possible to compute the value of the secret key used by the targeted system.
    |
    | Trouble with Design Secrets
    |
    | "Millions of PCs can be attacked simultaneously, without having to manipulate
    | the operating environment of each one of them individually," Shamir wrote.
    `----

    http://www.crm-daily.com/story.xhtml...d=11200BH5USIO


    --
    ~~ Best of wishes

    Roy S. Schestowitz | Watch your step, that soapbox is very slippery
    http://Schestowitz.com | GNU/Linux | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
    Mem: 515500k total, 444876k used, 70624k free, 5120k buffers
    http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms

  8. 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?


    Well if you understood what SELinux is, then you wouldn't be asking such
    a naive question.

    SELinux enforces Mandatory Access Controls as an /additional/ security
    measure to the usual authentication and security methods on a typical
    GNU/Linux system. It doesn't replace the standard security of
    traditional Unix permissions; PAM and iptables, it merely further
    defines the specific contexts that control the scope of access for any
    given process such that, for example, even root may be denied access to
    certain parts of the system, according to the defined policy.

    The fact that the implementation of this is entirely transparent, and
    the sources for SELinux components are freely available, would suggest
    that if the NSA did in fact wish to install "back doors", then surely
    someone in the Free Software development community would have noticed.

    Note that none of this has anything whatsoever to do with encryption;
    there is no random number generation in any part of SELinux. If you're
    looking for back doors, then I suggest you read this:

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...c_drbg_ad.html

    --
    K.
    http://slated.org

    ..----
    | 'When it comes to knowledge, "ownership" just doesn't make sense'
    | ~ Cory Doctorow, The Guardian. http://tinyurl.com/22bgx8
    `----

    Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel 2.6.23.8-63.fc8
    10:24:05 up 75 days, 7:59, 4 users, load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.00

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


    > 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.

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

    plenty900@yahoo.com wrote:

    >I was beginning to think


    *plonk*


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

    Roger Blake wrote:

    > I have heard that if one wears a tin-foil hat of the correct type in
    > conjuction with a microwave oven plus a radio and antenna tuned to
    > the proper frequency, this will block the bits that the NSA uses to
    > spy on your computer, which they can otherwise do even if it is
    > turned off.


    Not very far-fetched:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TEMPEST

    However, as counter-surveillance measures go, the tin-foil hat leaves
    much to be desired

    --
    K.
    http://slated.org

    ..----
    | 'When it comes to knowledge, "ownership" just doesn't make sense'
    | ~ Cory Doctorow, The Guardian. http://tinyurl.com/22bgx8
    `----

    Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel 2.6.23.8-63.fc8
    13:49:32 up 75 days, 11:25, 5 users, load average: 0.00, 0.04, 0.03

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

    plenty900@yahoo.com writes:

    >> 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.


    No. Just COLA freaks. And in COLA land Linux is perfect.

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

    chrisv wrote:
    > plenty900@yahoo.com wrote:


    >> I was beginning to think

    >
    > *plonk*


    That's uncanny. I was beginning to think the same thing.

    --
    K.
    http://slated.org

    ..----
    | 'When it comes to knowledge, "ownership" just doesn't make sense'
    | ~ Cory Doctorow, The Guardian. http://tinyurl.com/22bgx8
    `----

    Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel 2.6.23.8-63.fc8
    14:37:27 up 75 days, 12:13, 5 users, load average: 0.00, 0.02, 0.00

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

    On Wednesday 05 March 2008 1:10 pm, plenty900@yahoo.com wrote in
    comp.os.linux.advocacy:

    Use a proper newsreader, An attribute to whom you are responding.

    --
    Mandrake 2008.1 RC1
    --On a 64bit system--

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

    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    They do it because they can.
    Bill Baka

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

    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.

    --
    Christopher Mattern

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

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

    Bill Baka wrote:

    > 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.



    And this requires access to your computer about how far?

    > 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?

    > 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?

    > They do it because they can.


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

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

    On Wed, 5 Mar 2008 05:10:43 -0800 (PST), 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.


    You are dealing with the Linux advocate loons of comp.os.linux.advocacy.

    What they lack in brains, they make up for in stupidity.

    --
    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?

    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.

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

  20. 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

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