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Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:56 AM

A trip down memory lane - How NSA access was built into Windows (1999)

I am not a techie but I remember lots of talk in the tech crowd about this but didn't pay much attention. I'm posting this without comment.

How NSA access was built into Windows
Duncan Campbell 04.09.1999
Careless mistake reveals subversion of Windows by NSA.

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 NSA access system is built into every version of the Windows operating system now in use, except early releases of Windows 95 (and its predecessors). The discovery comes close on the heels of the revelations earlier this year that another US software giant, Lotus, had built an NSA "help information" trapdoor into its Notes system, and that security functions on other software systems had been deliberately crippled.

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.

...

A second key

Two weeks ago, a US security company came up with conclusive evidence that the second key belongs to NSA. Like Dr van Someren, Andrew Fernandez, chief scientist with Cryptonym of Morrisville, North Carolina, had been probing the presence and significance of the two keys. Then he checked the latest Service Pack release for Windows NT4, Service Pack 5. He found that Microsoft's developers had failed to remove or "strip" the debugging symbols used to test this software before they released it. Inside the code were the labels for the two keys. One was called "KEY". The other was called "NSAKEY".

Fernandes reported his re-discovery of the two CAPI keys, and their secret meaning, to "Advances in Cryptology, Crypto'99" conference held in Santa Barbara. According to those present at the conference, Windows developers attending the conference did not deny that the "NSA" key was built into their software. But they refused to talk about what the key did, or why it had been put there without users' knowledge.

A third key?!

...

Researchers are divided about whether the NSA key could be intended to let US government users of Windows run classified cryptosystems on their machines or whether it is intended to open up anyone's and everyone's Windows computer to intelligence gathering techniques deployed by NSA's burgeoning corps of "information warriors".

...


http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/5/5263/1.html


There's also a quote in the article "For non-American IT managers relying on Windows NT to operate highly secure data centres, this find is worrying. The US government is currently making it as difficult as possible for "strong" crypto to be used outside of the US. That they have also installed a cryptographic back-door in the world's most abundant operating system should send a strong message to foreign IT managers".

Van Someren holds a doctorate and First Class degree in computer science from Cambridge University in the UK. He is a fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Computer Society



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Microsoft Installs US Spy Agency with Windows

Research Triangle Park, NC - 31 August 1999 - Between Hotmail hacks and
browser bugs, Microsoft has a dismal track record in computer security.
Most of us accept these minor security flaws and go on with life. But
how is an IT manager to feel when they learn that in every copy of
Windows sold, Microsoft may have installed a 'back door' for the
National Security Agency (NSA - the USA's spy agency) making it orders
of magnitude easier for the US government to access their computers?

While investigating the security subsystems of WindowsNT4, Cryptonym's
Chief Scientist Andrew Fernandes discovered exactly that - a back door
for the NSA in every copy of Win95/98/NT4 and Windows2000. Building on
the work of Nicko van Someren (NCipher), and Adi Shamir (the 'S' in
'RSA'), Andrew was investigating Microsoft's "CryptoAPI" architecture
for security flaws. Since the CryptoAPI is the fundamental building
block of cryptographic security in Windows, any flaw in it would open
Windows to electronic attack.

...

Then came WindowsNT4's Service Pack 5. In this service release of software
from Microsoft, the company crucially forgot to remove the symbolic
information identifying the security components. It turns out that there are
really two keys used by Windows; the first belongs to Microsoft, and it allows
them to securely load CryptoAPI services; the second belongs to the NSA. That
means that the NSA can also securely load CryptoAPI services... on your
machine, and without your authorization.

The result is that it is tremendously easier for the NSA to load unauthorized
security services on all copies of Microsoft Windows, and once these security
services are loaded, they can effectively compromise your entire operating
system. For non-American IT managers relying on WinNT to operate highly secure
data centers, this find is worrying. The US government is currently making it
as difficult as possible for "strong" crypto to be used outside of the US;
that they have also installed a cryptographic back-door in the world's most
abundant operating system should send a strong message to foreign IT managers.

...
Cryptonym: Bringing you the Next Generation of Internet Security,
using cryptography, risk management, and public key infrastructure.


Interview Contact:
Andrew Fernandes
Telephone: +#####
email: >>>>@cryptonym.com
Fax: +1 ######

Cryptonym Corporation
1695 Lincolnshire Boulevard
Mississauga, Ontario
Canada L5E 2T2

http://www.cryptonym.com

http://web.archive.org/web/20000617163417/http://www.cryptonym.com/hottopics/msft-nsa/msft-nsa.html


Then there's this, and I'm sure a lot more out there:


Microsoft Denies Windows 7 Has NSA Backdoor
By Marcus YamNovember 20, 2009 11:11 AM - Source: Tom's Hardware US

No backdoor action for Windows 7, assures Microsoft.

Earlier this week we learned that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been working with Microsoft to improve the security measures of Windows 7.

"Working in partnership with Microsoft and (the Department of Defense), NSA leveraged our unique expertise and operational knowledge of system threats and vulnerabilities to enhance Microsoft's operating system security guide without constraining the user's ability to perform their everyday tasks," said Richard Schaeffer, the NSA's Information Assurance Director. "All this was done in coordination with the product release, not months or years later in the product cycle."

...

Marc Rotenberg, the executive director of the Electronics Privacy Information Center (EPIC), expressed his concern as the NSA has an interest in surveillance as as a part of its efforts in security.

...

"The key point is that the NSA is not the right agency to promote computer security in the private sector," Rotenberg argued. "The risks to end users are real -- the original NSA key escrow proposal, 'Clipper,' was a terrible idea -- and there is too little transparency about these arrangements."

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/microsoft-windows-7-nsa-backdoor,9130.html

90 replies, 6524 views

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Reply A trip down memory lane - How NSA access was built into Windows (1999) (Original post)
Catherina Jun 2013 OP
denem Jun 2013 #1
LineReply .
blkmusclmachine Jun 2013 #2
octoberlib Jun 2013 #3
Cali_Democrat Jun 2013 #4
Aerows Jun 2013 #6
Go Vols Jun 2013 #75
Aerows Jun 2013 #7
Cali_Democrat Jun 2013 #11
Aerows Jun 2013 #13
mattclearing Jun 2013 #87
Major Hogwash Jun 2013 #26
Aerows Jun 2013 #31
nashville_brook Jun 2013 #5
Aerows Jun 2013 #8
Catherina Jun 2013 #30
TroglodyteScholar Jun 2013 #9
Catherina Jun 2013 #12
Aerows Jun 2013 #14
Catherina Jun 2013 #29
ljm2002 Jun 2013 #32
Catherina Jun 2013 #34
Aerows Jun 2013 #78
TroglodyteScholar Jun 2013 #89
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #10
Aerows Jun 2013 #15
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #17
Aerows Jun 2013 #18
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #22
Aerows Jun 2013 #25
Aerows Jun 2013 #55
Aerows Jun 2013 #16
Catherina Jun 2013 #33
DJ13 Jun 2013 #61
Catherina Jun 2013 #70
Aerows Jun 2013 #71
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #19
Aerows Jun 2013 #21
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #23
Aerows Jun 2013 #24
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #27
Aerows Jun 2013 #28
nebenaube Jun 2013 #62
Aerows Jun 2013 #72
Aerows Jun 2013 #40
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #41
Aerows Jun 2013 #42
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #43
Aerows Jun 2013 #44
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #46
Aerows Jun 2013 #47
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #48
Aerows Jun 2013 #49
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #51
Aerows Jun 2013 #52
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #53
Aerows Jun 2013 #54
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #56
Aerows Jun 2013 #57
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #63
Aerows Jun 2013 #64
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #66
Aerows Jun 2013 #68
Aerows Jun 2013 #73
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #74
Aerows Jun 2013 #76
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #77
Aerows Jun 2013 #59
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #60
Aerows Jun 2013 #65
IDemo Jun 2013 #79
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #81
IDemo Jun 2013 #83
Progressive dog Jun 2013 #85
markiv Jun 2013 #20
Catherina Jun 2013 #36
Savannahmann Jun 2013 #35
Catherina Jun 2013 #37
longship Jun 2013 #38
Catherina Jun 2013 #39
longship Jun 2013 #45
Catherina Jun 2013 #50
longship Jun 2013 #58
Catherina Jun 2013 #69
IDemo Jun 2013 #80
IDemo Jun 2013 #88
longship Jun 2013 #90
burnodo Jun 2013 #67
iwillalwayswonderwhy Jun 2013 #82
Catherina Jun 2013 #84
Catherina Jun 2013 #86

Response to Catherina (Original post)


Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:55 AM

2. .

.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:05 AM

3. Wow. nt

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:06 AM

4. This seems a little conspiratorial

Do you have other, more well-known sources?

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:23 AM

6. Considering that in several versions of MS Office

Every document, spreadsheet and PPT presentation had hidden codes detailing it's exact origin, this really shouldn't be a shock to you. And if Tom's Hardware isn't a reputable source, then I'm rather curious who you think would be. Tom's Hardware has been around forever and is VERY well-known to those in the computer industry.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:15 PM

75. +1

for Toms

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:27 AM

7. Here are some more sources

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Response to Aerows (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:58 AM

11. Thank you.

Yikes is all I can say.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 12:52 PM

13. Precisely

A lot of this has been floating around for at least a decade, but now it is coalescing into a big picture of a security apparatus. It's not CT.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 09:29 PM

87. All the second option says is how secure Windows 7 is.

Where does it say, "Windows 7 is really secure for use by the intelligence community, except the backdoor that lets the Intelligence community listen to whatever Windows 7 is doing?"

I'm aware of the NSA key and don't know what it does, but what you've presented as evidence just isn't.

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Response to Cali_Democrat (Reply #4)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:43 PM

26. A little!?

Have you ever seen "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"?

That's my weekend movie suggestion for this weekend.

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Response to Major Hogwash (Reply #26)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:20 PM

31. Your handle continues

to define your posts if this is the best you can come up with.



Let's get it on, tell me about your qualifications to speak about, well, anything, in any sphere, but when you start attacking folks that know OS's and are completely able to speak on them, I'm eager to hear YOUR qualifications. All I've heard so far is trolling and

Come on, brilliant person. I'm waiting to hear what you have to contribute to the conversation besides and "I'm obviously posting with a purpose". Go for it.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:16 AM

5. k and r

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:47 AM

8. It's very well known

that the NSA was involved in the development of Windows 7. Do with that information what you will, but I sincerely doubt it was all innocent and benevolent.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:13 PM

30. I remember techie friends in Silicon Valley being angry about it

and being angry about the antitrust deal but I couldn't follow the tech talk. And I didn't know about Windows 7. I appreciate your contributions on this. I'm still running XP and Vista but I think I'm finally going to take the plunge into Unix and a few other programs now, using this link as a starting guide http://prism-break.org/

Thank you

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 10:27 AM

9. I'll let my avatar stand as my reply. n/t

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Response to TroglodyteScholar (Reply #9)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 12:52 PM

12. Can you help me out?

I thought it was just a cute penguin so I'm lost here lol. Thanks

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Response to Catherina (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 12:53 PM

14. Linux

Vs. Windows

Linux is open source and the source code can be rigorously peer reviewed, thus eliminating chunks of hidden code that's already compiled in.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:05 PM

29. Thank you

Now I feel blind lol.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:38 PM

32. That penguin logo represents Linux n/t

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Response to ljm2002 (Reply #32)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:43 PM

34. Thanks :) n/t

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Response to Catherina (Reply #34)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:22 PM

78. I'm kind of bad at explaining this at time, but yeah

Penguin is Linux. It's like candy vs. pie. Both can be brought to levels of tasty, and you don't want to be afraid you won't get ice cream on either.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 11:46 PM

89. Tux is the mascot for Linux n/t

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 10:32 AM

10. Classified data is stored on computers running windows

Some of these computers actually store stuff that should be classified and kept under a need to know basis. They are not going to place a key in the operating system so that anyone who has that key could access anything. That doesn't make any sense.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 12:54 PM

15. Ha ha ha

Ha ha ha ha.



It's not necessarily a key, but it's also a salt and an encryption tag. Put the two together, and there you go.

I can't condense two decades of security and IT knowledge in one post, so I'll let you start with those two, google them, and work your way on from there.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #15)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:07 PM

17. So that's funny, it's fact

The government may not be smart enough to keep NSA back doors out of computers, but they sure enough require lots of other security for computers.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #17)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:10 PM

18. The best level of security

truly, is physical security. When you lose physical control, you lose all security.

That's what happens when you hand over maintenance to people that have physical access. There is no guard against it, and never will be.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #18)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:23 PM

22. Of course it is but it is more costly because you have slower access

Snowden supposedly was allowed to leave the computer room, carrying a storage device. If he was just maintenance, even with a clearance, he should have been accompanied at all times by a system user.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #22)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:36 PM

25. But he wasn't

So. He gets paid 122,000 a year, and can't keep his mouth shut. How well does that sit with you, as an American taxpayer? Not well at all with me.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #25)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:34 PM

55. No answer, but I didn't expect one

because we are dealing with a person that doesn't do anything but PR.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:03 PM

16. K&R

It's interesting how many folks are surprised by this information. And equally so when you consider kerfluffle over things like Intel's tagged chips and MS Office tagging documents directly with user origin.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:41 PM

33. I'm not surprised but what bothers me

what bothers me is I can't really understand it all. One night, Tom Waits explained on stage why he didn't own a TV. His contention was that the same way they could get the signal in was the same way they could get the signal out and he didn't trust them not to be spying through it. Everyone laughed and I never knew if he was joking or serious but the whole two-way thing stayed with me because really, what do I know about their technology? And all their new requirements for chips that have to be installed.

Well what do you know. I thought I'd google that before posting something that sounded incredibly imaginative or overly paranoid and what's the first link that pops up?


Is Your New HDTV Watching You?
March 19th, 2012

Samsung’s 2012 top-of-the-line plasmas and LED HDTVs offer new features never before available within a television including a built-in, internally wired HD camera, twin microphones, face tracking and speech recognition. While these features give you unprecedented control over an HDTV, the devices themselves, more similar than ever to a personal computer, may allow hackers or even Samsung to see and hear you and your family, and collect extremely personal data.

While Web cameras and Internet connectivity are not new to HDTVs, their complete integration is, and it’s the always connected camera and microphones, combined with the option of third-party apps (not to mention Samsung’s own software) gives us cause for concern regarding the privacy of TV buyers and their friends and families.

Samsung has not released a privacy policy clarifying what data it is collecting and sharing with regard to the new TV sets. And while there is no current evidence of any particular security hole or untoward behavior by Samsung’s app partners, Samsung has only stated that it “assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable” in the event that a product or service is not “appropriate.”

...

Privacy concerns

We began to wonder exactly what data Samsung collects from its new “eyes and ears” and how it and other companies intend use it, which raises the following questions:

* Can Samsung or Samsung-authorized companies watch you watching your Samsung TV?

* Do the televisions send a user ID or the TV’s serial number to the Samsung cloud whenever it has an Internet connection?

* Does Samsung cross reference a user ID or facial scan to your warranty registration information, such as name, address etc.?

* Can a person or company listen to you, at will, via the microphone and Internet connection?

* Does Samsung’s cloud store all this information? How secure is this extremely personal data?

* Can a hacker intercept this data or view you via the built in camera?

* Can a third-party app program do any of the above?

* Exactly what information does the TV send to Samsung or other parties?

* Does Samsung intend to sell data collected by its Smart TV owners, such as who, what and when one is viewing?

...

http://hdguru.com/is-your-new-hdtv-watching-you/


Tip of the iceberg Loretta Sanchez said.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #33)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:01 PM

61. You should check out Microsoft's next XBox if you want to see an intrusive spy machine

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #61)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:44 PM

70. No danger there lol

I'm turning into a Luddite in my old age lol. DU is my gaming site

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Response to DJ13 (Reply #61)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:00 PM

71. Jesus

Xbox one, let's spy on our kids, and then cut out all possibility to sell games back. . Stunningly a bag of hammers in it's brilliance, except saddly all of those hammers are seeking a nail.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:17 PM

19. The US government restricted export of programs allowing high encryption levels

I don't know if they still do, but it couldn't be very effective. That is no secret. Clipper was hardware not software and was supposed to prevent encryption that NSA couldn't read. This would have required chip reworking to circumvent which is more difficult than editing software.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #19)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:22 PM

21. "Chip reworking"

Please do expound upon that. I'm eager to hear how you came to the conclusion that there isn't hardware capable of multiple parallel operations into the range of Tera flops that is incapable.

And tell me which of those are not widely available on the open market, too. Because there are several solutions.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #21)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:28 PM

23. I don't understand the question

I think you dropped the part that tells what it's incapable of.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #23)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:31 PM

24. You can commercially buy

the ability to transcode, parallel compute and manipulate data at the level of Tera flops. And cheap, too.

No "chip working" necessary, because you have raw horsepower to crunch in concurrent streams. Have you guessed what I'm talking about yet? If not, you are not up to speed with the computing world, and I mean no insult. I just mean that it has changed tenfold in as little as five or six years, and some haven't realized that.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #24)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:53 PM

27. You couldn't do it at the time of clipper and

there are government requirements for encryption of government data. The NSA sets these standards. The standards require passing a specified test of encryption strength.
This is like an arms race, but here faster computers allow more complex encryption, requiring faster computers to break the encryption.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #27)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:58 PM

28. No you couldn't

but you can now.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #28)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:01 PM

62. is that...

 

It that the same hardware that bitcoin miners are using to compute hashes?

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Response to nebenaube (Reply #62)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:03 PM

72. Probably

but it's less insidious than that and mostly used for benign purposes. When people don't even have that far of a clue, though, it illustrates that they are over-paid, over-pensioned, or plain over-easy.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #19)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:42 PM

40. Okay

You now sound like you are revealing intelligence. I have two choices - think you are a bumbling old man phishing or somebody that knows and is phishing.

Want to play that back? Either way, it's pretty sanctioned.


And I explained why.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #40)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:53 PM

41. That is pretty sick and stupid

The clipper chips were argued about in public. It is no secret. Encryption from wikipedia.
You are one sick puppy, you sound like an idiot. You just revealed your lack of intelligence.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #41)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:54 PM

42. LOL

Indeed, I am to be reviled, disgraced and dishonored. I know nothing, I am a piece of shit.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #42)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:55 PM

43. Couldn't agree more

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #43)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:02 PM

44. You win

cher, I'm a horrible person. I can't see through anything, I just devour it.

LOL You are about as much as a Belgian Malinois as a toy poodle is an attack dog.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #44)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:05 PM

46. Still repeating yourself, I alredy agreed with your self description

nt

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #46)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:10 PM

47. LOL

Report me, please

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Response to Aerows (Reply #47)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:13 PM

48. You aren't worth it

and anyhow I find you amusing .

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #48)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:15 PM

49. Why not?

It could get you a promotion.

or a better pension. *smirk*

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Response to Aerows (Reply #49)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:20 PM

51. Now that is even funnier

nt

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #51)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:26 PM

52. It's as funny as your earlier claims

Both are wildly ridiculous, but didn't stop you from making them. I just thought I'd offer you the same opportunity to laugh at pure bullshit, since you offered it as an hors d'oeuvre.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #52)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:29 PM

53. Now pretending to be in on the secrets huh

High level knowledge and all. Play acting at it's worst but funniest.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #53)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:31 PM

54. Er, if this is high level knowledge

then I fear for the IT department in our military. You really DO have no idea what I'm talking about. Jesus. 5 years really does make the difference.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #54)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:34 PM

56. Oh are you military now, secrets secrets secrets, and you're going to post

them on a public board. How naughty. Would you like to tell me another, I'm all ears.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #56)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:43 PM

57. Only if you think that certain chips don't have certain abilities

Which you have *obviously* no knowledge of and then proceed to demonstrate that you do not. You clearly illustrate that you have no knowledge of programming on said hardware in the last five years, and then again, get hostile. And then, you just blow a gasket and scream about that fact.

I'd say, good luck with that one.

Welcome to 2013.

I only became disrespectful when you did. I tried to be polite, but you got ugly, and I even tried to deflect it, but there you went again. So here it is, full cannon.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #57)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:02 PM

63. They can work miracles and the Chinese make them and install them for us

I got it already, you can stop the comedy act. Or if you don't want to, you can continue to amuse me.
BTW I'd put some tinfoil around that chip marked NSA Clipper if I were you. It's on the bottom of the motherboard no matter which side is up, you have to hold it up and get underneath it. It may be booby trapped, so don't push too hard when installing the foil.
Just to be safe unplug it first.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #63)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:11 PM

64. I prefer that folks like you think everyone else wears a tinfoil hat

*wink*

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Response to Aerows (Reply #64)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:16 PM

66. No, maybe one in ten

So you might be a member of a small elite group.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #66)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:27 PM

68. *wink*

Maybe

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #66)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:13 PM

73. Think fast

A) What does VPN stand for, and what is it's usefulness?
B) Seven layers of the OSI model described by pizza?
C) Code of conduct taken by every SA

Go for it.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #73)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:15 PM

74. Don't care

physics is not topped by bullshit

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #74)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:16 PM

76. i.e.

You have no idea what you are discussing, and there's a little bit of physics in there that you don't get.

Scorn it. *smirk*.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #76)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:20 PM

77. You are not only funny you are strange

That is simply bizarre, is the pizza bit something to do with a sci fi movie?

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #56)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:46 PM

59. You just have no idea what you are talking about

is what it amounts to.

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Response to Aerows (Reply #59)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:54 PM

60. Saying it don't make it so

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #60)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:12 PM

65. No.

It does not.

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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #19)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:33 PM

79. Please explain the chip reworking

Are you meaning - lifting or cutting a pin on the IC such as Vcc or Chip Enable to disable the chip; removing the chip from the board, possibly replacing it with another without the NSA backdoor; or venturing inside the silicon itself (exceedingly unlikely)?

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Response to IDemo (Reply #79)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:55 PM

81. Actually building a new chip would almost certainly be necessary.

This isn't something 1 or 2 people could do. It's fortunate that there is no chip (and never
has been one) in wintel computers. If they did exist it could not be kept secret and someone would be selling solutions.



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Response to Progressive dog (Reply #81)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:24 PM

83. I work in R&D for a large memory company

Engineering a new chip and building it would require far more resources - time, a massive amount of money, and engineering talent than anyone outside such an environment is capable of. It's not something a few Steve Jobs working in a warehouse are going to pull off.

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Response to IDemo (Reply #83)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:34 PM

85. I agree,

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 01:19 PM

20. it's a fact that almost any misfit can write a virus to infect your computer

 

and log your every keystroke, NOBODY denys that

so almost anyting is believable in the most ubiquitous insecure opperating system ever written

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Response to markiv (Reply #20)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:48 PM

36. All those *security patches" and malicious software removal etc etc etc etc etc

that Microsoft has you download and all the self-updating programs... I'm :shudder: at all the possibilities right now and the trust issues. I know these thoughts are nothing new to Unix, Debian etc users but the enormity just hit me.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:44 PM

35. Allow me to play the part of the defenders of the faith

Their arguments are often contradictory, but this is generally what they come back with.

1) This is not happening, and I would not believe it is happening until President Obama acknowledges it publicly. My trust in our President is absolute. Even if the President acknowledges it, I'm sure it's not all that bad.

2) If it is happening, then its for our own good, and to protect us from the shadowy forces of evil.

3) The NSA needs this kind of access to track terrorists who might not be emailing or calling others and thus get caught in the Prism/FISA court net.

4) If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about.

5) This is all old information, it's dated from 1999, it's way too late to get upset about it now.

6) By posting this you are doing exactly what the Terrorists or Republicans (Sometimes they are portrayed as exactly the same thing here on DU) want you to do and that will lead to the destruction of our nation through some sort of vague connect the dots thingy.

Did I miss anything?

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Response to Savannahmann (Reply #35)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 02:53 PM

37. I love #5 the best! And this one too... "isn't really a bad thing is it?"

This one's not courtesy of the defenders of the faith but it's damn close

Question

Is there anyway my tv can be used to watch me like in Big Brother?

It is an ultimate science fiction test/quiz and I'm afraid to ask this question to mature adults. This is why propaganda and mind games exist, and therefore I need just feedback. I know in CIA or FBI surveillance they bug it, but do common everyday stalkers put devices on electronic equipment to watch us or am I being buzzer?

11 months ago


Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
yes..

It's fairly common knowledge that devices like TVs/cameras and speakers/microphones can be used in reverse for spying purposes..
Here's something you can try at home to prove it to yourself:
...



Other Answers

It's quite possible, however, it is a serious offense.

If the stalker or creeper is caught spying on you in such a way, they will definately be put behind bars. You can bet they won't enjoy that either. <: I guess the thought sort of forces you to think about how you act just about anywhere. Which isn't really a bad thing is it?


http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120731104800AABnpVO

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:22 PM

38. If you're worried about this there is a simple and cheap solution.

Run open source software starting with your operating system.

Specifically, dump WinBlows for Linux, which has no back doors and no secrets. You can even download the entire source code for free and compile it from scratch if you want to. I've even done that very thing myself.

Or, you can install Ubuntu, which is easy.

By the way, strong encryption has been long available on any platform, again for free.

Try Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) which can be easily configured to be NSA proof simply by using a secure enough key. I use a diceware pass phrase to secure my keys. No, it's not written down anywhere and it's long enough to make it near impossible to guess, let alone with my tweaks.

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Response to longship (Reply #38)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 03:31 PM

39. Thanks Longship. I'm not really worried, I'm pissed off lol

but I have this page bookmarked, courtesy of a new poster named Civilization2, to install all that.

http://prism-break.org/

Which would be easier for a DOS-baby to install? And how easy is it to learn, to use after you've been a slave to Windows for 20 years?

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Response to Catherina (Reply #39)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:04 PM

45. Ubuntu is fairly easy.

It's easiest when you have a fairly clean machine so that you can repartition your hard drive. Or, a clean machine which has been wiped.

First download the Ubuntu disk image and burn a couple of copies. Make sure you are familiar with partitioning if you plan on retaining Windows. (Note: that can get complex.)

Otherwise, once you boot off the install disk, CD or DVD, it's straightforward. It's helpful if you know your hardware in case of problems, but Ubuntu is damned good at sorting things out. Better than Windows installs I've had to do.

You need a broadband Inet connection of some type. If you use a router, you'll be all set if it works on your existing system. Know the IP address of your router. Most routers are default configured with dynamic IP assignment and should work without any problems.

If you have a laptop that's good, too. Just in case you have problems.

But these things are worst case scenarios. Ubuntu installs great on almost all desktop machines without any issues. If the install disk boots up, you should be golden.

I have a System 76 laptop that came with Ubuntu installed. It is one flying machine, quad core! (For those who want a secure alternative to Microsoft and Apple.)

Good luck.

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Response to longship (Reply #45)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:18 PM

50. Thanks very much. And then...

As soon as things die down around here, I'll tackle that.

The installation sounds easy enough. Do you have any advice on how to transfer my MS Outlook pst files so I don't lose years worth of emails? That's the main thing I can't figure out how to best work out. I know I could install an open source email client on Windows and then transfer the converted files but do you know if there's a program that can open Outlook's .pst file directly?

And then, of seriously minimal importance, how to handle I-tunes files? I can kiss that goodbye but I like my old I-pod lol.

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Response to Catherina (Reply #50)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 04:46 PM

58. Google is your friend.

There is a lot of info on Linux, especially such issues as you address.

When you Google such things, make sure you use "Ubuntu" and not "Linux". Ubuntu derives from cutting edge Debian Linux but has a separate source code tree and certification. That's been common since the early days of open source and Linux.

I haven't used my iPod in years. The battery went DOA. But there were iTune replacements that worked back then. Check it out. Apple is like Microsoft; they like to release updates which break the open source alternatives. For instance, my iPhone isn't recognized by Ubuntu apps that I've been able to find.

Also, get a thumb drive or backup hard drive to back your stuff up. I don't know about Outlook. It's a proprietary e-mail format. You may have to find a workaround there and Microsoft doesn't like open source either.

Good luck.

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Response to longship (Reply #58)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:43 PM

69. Thank you. I really appreciate all your help

Really, really appreciate it.

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Response to longship (Reply #38)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 07:43 PM

80. A plug for Mint

Mint is Ubuntu-based, but possibly more accessible for the newcomer. It's actually the #1 download on DistroWatch.

http://www.linuxmint.com/

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Response to longship (Reply #38)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 09:59 PM

88. On the other hand..

I'm nowhere near Linux savvy enough to understand all about kernel security underpinnings, but it doesn't give me warm feelings:

http://www.nsa.gov/research/selinux/contrib.shtml
Contributors to SELinux

The following organizations and individuals have contributed to the Security-enhanced Linux project. The listing of contributors is partitioned into two lists:

a list of the original four organizations that contributed to the initial public release of SELinux,
a list of external individuals and organizations that have contributed to SELinux since that initial release.


The Original Contributors

The National Security Agency (NSA)
Researchers in NSA's National Information Assurance Research Laboratory (NIARL) designed and implemented flexible mandatory access controls in the major subsystems of the Linux kernel and implemented the new operating system components provided by the Flask architecture, namely the security server and the access vector cache. The NSA researchers reworked the LSM-based SELinux for inclusion in Linux 2.6. NSA has also led the development of similar controls for the X Window System (XACE/XSELinux) and for Xen (XSM/Flask).

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Response to IDemo (Reply #88)

Sun Jun 16, 2013, 02:05 AM

90. SELinux is a secure Linux.

And ALL Linuces are copylefted under a GPL, meaning that the source code is available and can be viewed, downloaded, and compiled.

There is nothing ever proprietary in Linux and all the applications are either GPL or some other open source license.

This stuff is peer reviewed ad nauseum.

It has no secret junk in it.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 05:18 PM

67. Maybe they can blame that

 

For the continuing platform problems

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:03 PM

82. It was this dude, wasn't it

Paper Clip dude.

Don't you all remember? He'd say, "I see you were writing a letter, would you like some help?"

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Response to iwillalwayswonderwhy (Reply #82)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:34 PM

84. Ok, that made me laugh! Very good lol.

I wish I could reach back in time and stomp him.

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Response to Catherina (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2013, 08:41 PM

86. Guys, don't miss this thread. Confirmed. They can reach into your computer any time they want

what they’re doing is going across the network and going through your weaknesses or holes in your operating system and then getting into your computer and then looking at whatever data you have in there, selecting it out, and using your unused CPU to send it back to themselves.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023024549


For the last 2 weeks, my CPU has been running so unbelievably high that I've been deleting, defragmenting, running every virus check out there,

The implications of this are mind-boggling.

love letters mistresses, bizarre sexual fetishes, scientific discoveries... they have access to it all...

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